In the male the posterior part of the cephalo- thorax is pure white, with the anterior part of a rich green, shading into dark brown; and it is remarkable that these colours are liable to change in the course of a few minutes the white becoming dirty grey or even black, the green "losing much of its brilliancy."
Briefly stated, the plot is as follows: Leda, the daughter of a Roman duke, loves Cephalo, who is a gentleman but not a nobleman, and is loved by him. Her father, however, has forced her to become engaged to Alberto, a man of high degree, whom she does not love. The wedding is imminent, and Leda is sorely perplexed.
The only character in the entire narrative who has any virility is the antiquarian, and he is one of the meanest Loeben ever drew. Alberto has no will at all, Leda not much, Cephalo less than Leda, and Danae is without character. In short, the only valuable, part of the story lies in its approach to a development of the psychology of love in art.
But she loses her life through the falling of an old, dilapidated castle wherein she has been keeping an unconventional tryst, and Cephalo becomes the intimate friend of the painter. Loeben's ideas and technique stand out in every line of this story.
Previous to this Alberto had ordered a certain painter to paint a picture of "Leda and the Swan." Danae, the daughter of an old, unscrupulous antiquarian, was seen by Cephalo while posing as a model for Leda. Enraged at this, she tells her father that she will not be appeased until married to Cephalo.
Her father does not know why she is so indifferent to the approaching event and accordingly sends her to a distant and lonely castle in the hope that she may become interested, at least, in her own nuptials. While there she drowns herself in the swan lake. Alberto drops out of the story, and Cephalo becomes the intimate friend of the duke.