My Friend Prospero
"I feel I ought to warn you," he said in a portentous voice, "that some of us are mere marquises--of the house of Carabas."
Lady Blanchemain, her whole expansive person, simmered with enjoyment.
"Bless you," she cried, "those are the ducalest, for marquises--of the house of Carabas--are men of dash and spirit, born to bear everything before them, and to marry the King's daughter."
With that, she had a moment of abstraction. Again, her eyeglass up, she glanced round the walls--hung, in this octagonal room, with dim-coloured portraits of women, all in wonderful toilets, with wonderful hair and head-gear, all wonderfully young and pleased with things, and all four centuries dead. They caused her a little feeling of uneasiness, they were so dead and silent, and yet somehow, in their fixed postures, with their unblinking eyes, their unvarying smiles, so--as it seemed to her--so watchful, so intent; and it was a relief to turn from th