Jacqueline — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 244 pages of information about Jacqueline Complete.

Madame Bentzon is a novelist, translator, and writer of literary essays.  The list of her works runs as follows:  ’Le Roman d’un Muet (1868); Un Divorce (1872); La Grande Sauliere (1877); Un remords (1878); Yette and Georgette (1880); Le Retour (1882); Tete folle (1883); Tony, (1884); Emancipee (1887); Constance (1891); Jacqueline (1893).  We need not enter into the merits of style and composition if we mention that ’Un remords, Tony, and Constance’ were crowned by the French Academy, and ‘Jacqueline’ in 1893.  Madame Bentzon is likewise the translator of Aldrich, Bret Harte, Dickens, and Ouida.  Some of her critical works are ’Litterature et Moeurs etrangeres’, 1882, and ‘Nouveaux romanciers americains’, 1885.

                  M. THUREAU-DANGIN
               de l’Academie Francaise.

JACQUELINE

BOOK 1.

CHAPTER I

A PARISIENNE’S “At home”

Despite a short frock, checked stockings, wide turned-over collar, and a loose sash around the waist of her blouse in other words, despite the childish fashion of a dress which seemed to denote that she was not more than thirteen or fourteen years of age, she seemed much older.  An observer would have put her down as the oldest of the young girls who on Tuesdays, at Madame de Nailles’s afternoons, filled what was called “the young girls’ corner” with whispered merriment and low laughter, while, under pretence of drinking tea, the noise went on which is always audible when there is anything to eat.

No doubt the amber tint of this young girl’s complexion, the raven blackness of her hair, her marked yet delicate features, and the general impression produced by her dark coloring, were reasons why she seemed older than the rest.  It was Jacqueline’s privilege to exhibit that style of beauty which comes earliest to perfection, and retains it longest; and, what was an equal privilege, she resembled no one.

The deep bow-window—­her favorite spot—­which enabled her to have a reception-day in connection with that of her mamma, seemed like a great basket of roses when all her friends assembled there, seated on low chairs in unstudied attitudes:  the white rose of the group was Mademoiselle d’Etaples, a specimen of pale and pensive beauty, frail almost to transparency; the Rose of Bengal was the charming Colette Odinska, a girl of Polish race, but born in Paris; the dark-red rose was Isabelle Ray-Belle she was called triumphantly—­whose dimpled cheeks flushed scarlet for almost any cause, some said for very coquetry.  Then there were three little girls called Wermant, daughters of an agent de change—­a spray of May roses, exactly alike in features, manners, and dress, sprightly and charming as little girls could be.  A little pompon rose was tiny Dorothee d’Avrigny, to whom the pet name Dolly was appropriate, for never had any doll’s waxen face been more lovely than her little round one, with its mouth shaped like a little heart—­a mouth smaller than her eyes, and these were round eyes, too, but so bright, and blue, and soft, that it was easy to overlook their too frequently startled expression.

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Jacqueline — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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