The Egoist eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 555 pages of information about The Egoist.

“Well, now, the gift can be shared, if you’re either of you for a division.”  In the crash of the carriage-wheels he heard, “At any rate there was a rogue in that porcelain.”

These are the slaps we get from a heedless world.

As for the vase, it was Horace De Craye’s loss.  Wedding-present he would have to produce, and decidedly not in chips.  It had the look of a costly vase, but that was no question for the moment:—­What was meant by Clara being seen walking on the high-road alone?—­What snare, traceable ad inferas, had ever induced Willoughby Patterne to make her the repository and fortress of his honour!

CHAPTER XVIII

COLONEL DE CRAYE

Clara came along chatting and laughing with Colonel De Craye, young Crossjay’s hand under one of her arms, and her parasol flashing; a dazzling offender; as if she wished to compel the spectator to recognize the dainty rogue in porcelain; really insufferably fair:  perfect in height and grace of movement; exquisitely tressed; red-lipped, the colour striking out to a distance from her ivory skin; a sight to set the woodland dancing, and turn the heads of the town; though beautiful, a jury of art critics might pronounce her not to be.  Irregular features are condemned in beauty.  Beautiful figure, they could say.  A description of her figure and her walking would have won her any praises:  and she wore a dress cunning to embrace the shape and flutter loose about it, in the spirit of a Summer’s day.  Calypso-clad, Dr. Middleton would have called her.  See the silver birch in a breeze:  here it swells, there it scatters, and it is puffed to a round and it streams like a pennon, and now gives the glimpse and shine of the white stem’s line within, now hurries over it, denying that it was visible, with a chatter along the sweeping folds, while still the white peeps through.  She had the wonderful art of dressing to suit the season and the sky.  To-day the art was ravishingly companionable with her sweet-lighted face:  too sweet, too vividly meaningful for pretty, if not of the strict severity for beautiful.  Millinery would tell us that she wore a fichu of thin white muslin crossed in front on a dress of the same light stuff, trimmed with deep rose.  She carried a grey-silk parasol, traced at the borders with green creepers, and across the arm devoted to Crossjay a length of trailing ivy, and in that hand a bunch of the first long grasses.  These hues of red rose and pale green ruffled and pouted in the billowy white of the dress ballooning and valleying softly, like a yacht before the sail bends low; but she walked not like one blown against; resembling rather the day of the South-west driving the clouds, gallantly firm in commotion; interfusing colour and varying in her features from laugh to smile and look of settled pleasure, like the heavens above the breeze.

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The Egoist from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.