Then, perceiving that he had spoken too much upon impulse given utterance to what was passing in his mind "I but mention it to show your ladyship how mistaken are your conclusions," he added. The countess loosed her hold of Hortensia's wrist in her amazement, and looked the gentleman from France up and down in a mighty scornful manner.
Lady Mary, leaving the countess to Sir Harry Stapleton, Caryll and the others, moved to Hortensia's side for a moment she was at loss what to say, and took refuge in a commonplace. "I have long desired the pleasure of your acquaintance," said she. "I am honored, madam," replied Hortensia, with downcast eyes. Then lifting them with almost disconcerting suddenness.
While Charles. flirted with his three sultanas, Hortensia's French page, a handsome boy, whose vocal performances were the delight of Whitehall, and were rewarded by numerous presents of rich clothes, ponies, and guineas, warbled some amorous verses. A party of twenty courtiers was seated at cards round a large table on which gold was heaped in mountains.
"I need no forgiveness, for I have done no wrong. A folly, I confess to. I was mad to have heeded such a villain." Her ladyship gathered forces for a fresh assault. But Mr. Caryll anticipated it. It was no doubt a great impertinence in him; but he saw Hortensia's urgent need, and he felt, moreover, that not even Lord Ostermore would resent his crossing swords a moment with her ladyship.
Lord Ostermore heaved a sigh of relief; the hard look had faded from Hortensia's eyes. "What is't ye mean, giving me this rubbish?" "I offer you my excuses for the contents of my pockets," said Mr. Caryll. "Ye see, I did not expect to be honored by your inquisition. Had I but known " Mr. Green struck an attitude. "Now attend to me, sir! I am a servant of His Majesty's Government."
This loyalty may have had its roots in pride indeed, no other soil can be assigned to them a pride that would allow no strangers to pry into the sore places of his being. He frowned now to hear Hortensia's angry mention of her ladyship's name; and if his blue eyes moved uneasily under his beetling brows, it was because the situation irked him.
Rotherby took his stand beside his mother's chair, both observing Mr. Caryll, who, in his turn, was observing Mr. Templeton, a faint smile playing round the corners of his mouth. Once they saw him stoop and whisper something in Hortensia's ear, and they caught the upward glance of her eyes, half fear, half question. Mr.
I am not like to talk much longer." The door opened to admit a gentleman in black, wearing a grizzle wig and carrying a gold-headed cane. Men moved aside to allow him to approach Mr. Caryll. The latter, not noticing him, had met at last the gaze of Hortensia's eyes. He continued to smile, but his smile was now changed to wistfulness under that pitiful regard of hers.
"I could have chosen no better season," she replied, "to mark my scorn of evil tongues and backbiters." Color stained Hortensia's cheek again; gratitude glowed in her eyes. "You are very noble, madam," she answered with flattering earnestness. "La!" said the Lady Mary. "Is nobility, then, so easily achieved?" And thereafter they talked of inconsequent trifles, until Mr.
Caryll " she began, but to what else she said he lent no ear, being suddenly brought back to his fears at the mention of that gentleman's name. "Mr. Caryll! Save us! What is keeping him?" he cried. "Can they can they " The door opened, and Mr. Caryll walked in, ushered by the hostess. Both turned to confront him, Hortensia's eyes swollen from her weeping. "Well?" quoth his lordship.