The place it occupied in that part of the Marais, which was at certain hours enveloped by its smoke and its din, Risler's enthusiasm, his fabulous tales concerning his employer's wealth and goodness and cleverness, had aroused that childish curiosity; and such portions as she could see of the dwelling-houses, the carved wooden blinds, the circular front steps, with the garden-seats before them, a great white bird-house with gilt stripes glistening in the sun, the blue-lined coupe standing in the courtyard, were to her objects of continual admiration.
At first he was for letting her have her way, but her wild, convulsive movements aroused his pity, and vaulting the garden-seats and the bushes he hastened to her rescue. Her brother's voice had an alarming effect upon Lida. Her nerves, wrought to the utmost pitch by her inward conflict, suddenly gave way.
It was as if all the silent, patient woe and discouragement of a dumb antiquity had been congealed into this memorial. Agnes was often conscious, when a child, of being saddened by it, and yet drawn towards it with a mysterious attraction. About this fountain, under the shadow of bending rose-trees and yellow jessamines, was a circle of garden-seats, adopted also from the ruins of the past.
Rude, and sufficiently picturesque garden-seats, were scattered about, and on one of these were seated the captain and his wife; he, with his hair sprinkled with grey, a hale, athletic, healthy man of sixty, and she a fresh-looking, mild-featured, and still handsome matron of forty-eight.
He lived beneath himself in his common intercourse with others; he ate his heart when he was alone. Unconsciously, by force of habit, he selected the most comfortable and cleanly of the garden-seats, and made sure that the best of cigars was drawing perfectly, before he gave himself to his meditations on this particular moonlight night.
The squire had taken part of the furniture with him, the rest of the suites and fixtures were sold to the neighbouring gentry; the Jews bought up the library by the pound, the priest acquired the American organ, the garden-seats passed into Gryb's ownership, and for three roubles the peasant Orzchewski became possessed of the large engraving of Leda and the Swan, to which the purchaser and his family said their prayers.
Betty summoned old Isaac and bade him take charge of the horse, and then led the way into the garden. "We are primitive folk here," she said. "But I find most people prefer our garden-seats to entering the house."
Kenney, the playwright, has a rustic plaint: All this is mighty pleasant for a plaint, and just such as Mr. Kenney would write on one of the garden-seats of the Tuileries, or in the green-room of the little theatre in the Haymarket. The lines on a young collegian and his "dearest Lily," are equally playful: But these are hardly polished enough for the Gem. In another vein, Dr.
Then what a high wall at one end, flanked by a summer-house so lofty, that after ascending its long flight of steps you could see perfectly well there was no view worth looking at; what alcoves and garden-seats in all directions; and along one side, what a hedge, tall, and firm, and unbroken, like a green wall! It was near this hedge that Mr. Jerome was standing when Sally found him.
Here and there, around the enclosure, large garden-seats, shaped like sentry-boxes, were reserved for the mothers and sisters of the members of the club, so that they could observe, from a comfortable shelter, the evolutions of those in whom they were interested.