He could be as patient as Death, that inchmeal stalker of his prey; he could be as ruthless as the sea, and incredibly generous upon occasion. To the men he led he was a father, known and beloved as such; it was as a ruler they found him too lonely to be loved. In war he was the very footboy's friend.
But in the business of summoning Carlat Mademoiselle de Vrillac's steward and major-domo he lost the contemptuous "Christaudins!" that hissed from a footboy's lips, and the "Southern dogs!" that died in the moustachios of a bully in the livery of the King's brother.
The terror lest there should be too little on the table, and the consequent danger of there being too much: the fear at once of worrying the cook with too many directions, and leaving any necessary thing unsaid: the trembling doubt of any power of entertainment that may exist in the house; the anticipation of a yawn on the part of any guest, or of such a silence as may make the creaking of the footboy's shoes heard at dinner, or the striking of the hall clock in the evening these are the apprehensions which make the young wife wish herself on the other side of her first dinner-party, and render alluring the prospect of sitting down next day to hash or cold fowl, followed by odd custards and tartlets, with a stray mince-pie.