A thousand thanks, Monsieur . Senhor de Silvis had forgotten the name a thing that often happened to him with his guests. 'He is a musician, said Mademoiselle Adèle to her friend. Anatole grunted admiringly. Indeed, all were similarly impressed by the mere way in which he sat down and, without any preparation, struck a few chords here and there, as if to wake the instrument.
And Cicely listened with the wistful equivocal triumph of one whose goose has turned out to be a swan and who realises with secret concern that she has only planned the role of goosegirl for herself. The last chords died away, the fire faded out of the jade-coloured eyes, and Ronnie became once more a well-groomed youth in a drawing-room full of well-dressed people.
I had not thought of it as music until I saw her face but she listened as well as saw, and her expression changed as it changes when the pomp of a great orchestra breaks upon the silence. It flashed to the chords of blood-red and gold that was burning fire.
Meanwhile the glorious music was rolling overhead in the high vaulted roof. The old man was extemporising; but his manner was evident even in that; there was a simple solemn phrase that formed his theme, and round this adorning and enriching it moved the grave chords.
It should not smite the heart's chords to wring from them a mere shriek of distress, but to inspire it with a deeper and more elevated tone, and by the element of sadness which it infuses make a more liquid and exquisite melody.
Assuring himself of the hopelessness of his affection would make no difference to one of his temperament. He was not one who could coolly say to his ardent and impetuous nature, "Thus far, and no farther." There was something in her every tone, word, and movement which touched chords within his heart that vibrated pleasurably or painfully. This power cannot be explained. It was not passion.
When there, the chapel, with the beautiful organ, was the great attraction, and George Frederick, as indomitable then as he was in after-life, found his way into the organ loft, and when the regular service was over, contrived to take the organist's place, and began a performance of his own; and strange to say, though he had not had the slightest training, a melody with chords and the correct harmonies was heard.
And I hope Miss Gascoigne will enjoy it as much as I shall myself." The soft, answer never wasted upon fiercest wrath threw a little oil upon Miss Gascoigne's. She spoke no more, but she resolutely turned her back upon the offending instrument. Christian struck a few chords, just to please her husband, and came away. It was an uncomfortable tea-party not nearly so merry as Arthur's first.
The young girl almost trembled with the ecstasy of this new mode of being, soliciting every sense with light, with perfume, with melody, all that could make her feel the wonderful complex music of a fresh life when all its chords first vibrate together in harmony. Miss Victoria Capsheaf stuck to the wall as if she had been a fresco on it. The fifty-year-old dynasties were dismayed and dismounted.
The company was assembled in a large apartment; the shaded lamp burned dimly, but this was with the intention of increasing the effect when the drawing-room doors should open and the children joyfully press in together. Wilhelm now stepped to the piano-forte; a few chords produced stillness and attention.