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The inside of this portico, as well as the gallery, was shaped like a roof, painted sky-blue, and sown with stars. The throne of their Majesties was erected on a stage in the shape of a semicircle, and covered with a bluff carpet studded with bees, and was reached by twenty-two steps.
Her name, her beauty, the at times quite divine expression of her face, made the eye follow, after which a certain greatness of mind was felt and the attention became riveted. The pictures moved again, Mrs. Fitzgerald singing "positively, this time, the last!" Some of the "belles," attended by the "beaux," drifted toward the portico, several toward the smaller room and its softly lowered lights.
It was in the winter of the second year after his retirement that his melancholy increased to a pitch of almost intolerable heaviness. That winter was an extraordinarily mild one, and even during the coldest month he strolled every evening after he had supped on the terrace walk which was before the portico.
In front of the portico was one of the broad walks of the garden, for on this side the garden extended up to the house. At least there was no fence between, though there was a small plot of green grass next to the house; and next to that came the trees and flowers. One pleasant evening Dwight and Caleb were playing on this grass, waiting for Madam Rachel to come and call them in to the sofa.
"Nobody must go upstairs," he instructed the butler. "When the doctor and the coroner's officer come, they must be admitted by the principal entrance, and if I am not here, you must understand that under no circumstances are those stairs leading to the portico to be used." He himself went out of the main entrance to make a tour of the grounds.
He heard the boughs of the clipped pines rustle as they were whipped together, and the cold drops lashed him in the face. He had become soaking wet, lying on the floor of the portico, but he did not notice it. Harry saw far to his left a single dim light in the dip beyond the forest, and he knew that it shone through a window in one of the houses of Pendleton.
Joey went into a shop here and there to ask for employment he was turned away everywhere. He spent the first day in this manner, and at night, tired and hungry, he laid down on the stone steps of a portico, and fell asleep. The next morning he awoke shivering with the cold, faint with hunger. He asked at the areas for something to eat, but no one would give him anything.
To-day the base of the columns of the porch is on a level with the pavement; consequently what was once the ground-floor of the house of which we speak is now its cellar. A portico, reached by a few steps, leads to the entrance of the tower, in which a spiral stairway winds up round a central shaft carved with a grape-vine.
I have received your letter, from which I gather that you have dedicated a most beautiful portico in the joint names of yourself and your son, and that on the following day you promised a sum of money for the decoration of the gates, so as to signalise the completion of your earlier act of generosity by immediately beginning a new one.
The court is surrounded by the usual tiled verandah, supported by one hundred and twenty-two light and elegant white marble pillars, the arches between which show some eleven different forms. At each end is a portico jutting out from the verandahs, and four cupolas add to the appearance of the roofs.