Ragged Lady — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Ragged Lady — Volume 2.
an American colony, so that her friends were chiefly Americans, though she had a wide international acquaintance.  Perhaps her habit of taking her brother’s part, when he was a black sheep, inclined her to mercy with people who had not been so blameless in their morals as they were in their minds and manners.  She exacted that they should be interesting and agreeable, and not too threadbare; but if they had something that decently buttoned over the frayed places, she did not frown upon their poverty.  Bohemians of all kinds liked her; Philistines liked her too; and in such a place as Florence, where the Philistines themselves are a little Bohemian, she might be said to be very popular.  You met persons whom you did not quite wish to meet at her house, but if these did not meet you there, it was your loss.


On the night of the dance the line of private carriages, remises and cabs, lined the Viale Ariosto for a mile up and down before her gates, where young artists of both sexes arrived on foot.  By this time her passion for Clementina was at its height.  She had Maddalena bring her out early in the evening, and made her dress under her own eye and her French maid’s, while Maddalena went back to comfort Mrs. Lander.

“I hated to leave her,” said Clementina.  “I don’t believe she’s very well.”

“Isn’t she always ill?” demanded Miss Milray.  She embraced the girl again, as if once were not enough.  “Clementina, if Mrs. Lander won’t give you to me, I’m going to steal you.  Do you know what I want you to do tonight?  I want you to stand up with me, and receive, till the dancing begins, as if it were your coming-out.  I mean to introduce everybody to you.  You’ll be easily the prettiest girl, there, and you’ll have the nicest gown, and I don’t mean that any of your charms shall be thrown away.  You won’t be frightened?”

“No, I don’t believe I shall,” said Clementina.  “You can tell me what to do.”

The dress she wore was of pale green, like the light seen in thin woods; out of it shone her white shoulders, and her young face, as if rising through the verdurous light.  The artists, to a man and woman, wished to paint her, and severally told her so, during the evening which lasted till morning.  She was not surprised when Lord Lioncourt appeared, toward midnight, and astonished Miss Milray by claiming acquaintance with Clementina.  He asked about Mrs. Lander, and whether she had got to Florence without losing the way; he laughed but he seemed really to care.  He took Clementina out to supper, when the time came; and she would have topped him by half a head as she leaned on his arm, if she had not considerately drooped and trailed a little after him.

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Ragged Lady — Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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