We ought to have brought some other young people some of the Inglehart boys. But we're respectable, we Americans abroad; we're decorous, above all things; and I don't know about meeting you here, Mr. Colville. It has a very bad appearance. Are you sure that you didn't know I was to go by here at exactly half-past four?" "I was living from breath to breath in the expectation of seeing you.
They both looked mystified, but Miss Graham said, "I'm sorry to say you won't see Mrs. Bowen today. She has a very bad headache, and has left Effie and me to receive. We feel very incompetent, but she says it will do us good." There were some people there of the night before, and Colville had to talk to them. One of the ladies asked him if he had met the Inglehart boys as he came in.
Colville, at his risotto, almost the room's length away, could hear what they thought, one and another, of Botticelli and Michelangelo; of old Piloty's things at Munich; of the dishes they had served to them, and of the quality of the Chianti; of the respective merits of German and Italian tobacco; of whether Inglehart had probably got to Venice yet; of the personal habits of Billings, and of the question whether the want of modelling in Simmons's nose had anything to do with his style of snoring; of the overrated colouring of some of those Venetian fellows; of the delicacy of Mino da Fiesole, and of the genius of Babson's tailor.
In the Atlantic, as a makeshift, I called him Inglehart, the disguise under which he figures in one of Howells's novels. But why not call him boldly by his name when Inglehart is the thinnest and flimsiest of masks, as friends of his were quick to tell me, and Duveneck means so much more to all who know and all who do not know are not worth bothering about.
But no one came, though, as he cast his eyes carelessly over the company, he found that it had been increased by the accession of eight or ten young fellows, with a refreshing light of originality in their faces, and little touches of difference from the other men in their dress. "Oh, there are the Inglehart boys!" cried the girl, with a flash of excitement.
They were, J. L. Ackley, F. I. Bradley, C. D. Brayton, W. A. Clark, Horace Congar, E. Cushing, Jonathan Foote, S. B. Gay, Robert Hicks, M. L. Hewitt, Smith Inglehart, Robert Johnston, Burr Kellogg, David Long, P. Mathivet, George Mendenhall, Joshua Mills, T. M. Moore, W. F. Otis, A. D. Smith, J. Swain, Charles Terry, Samuel Underhill, Joseph Walrath.
"Well, I know the English laugh at us for doing it, and say it's like servants; but I never feel quite right answering just 'Yes' and 'No' to a man of his age." This was one of the Inglehart boys, whom he met at nearly all of these parties, and not all of whom were so respectful.
He it was who drew "the boys" to Munich, then from Munich to Florence, and then from Florence to Venice, and "the boys" have passed into the history of American Art and the history of Venice wouldn't that give me away and explain who he was if I called him Inglehart dozens of times over?
"The Inglehart boys? No. What are the Inglehart boys?" "They were here all last winter, and they've just got back. It's rather exciting for Florence." She gave him a rapid sketch of that interesting exodus of a score of young painters from the art school at Munich, under the head of the singular and fascinating genius by whose name they became known.
Don't you think he's about the nicest gentleman we know, Imogene?" "Yes; he's very kind." "And I think he's handsome. A good many people would consider him old-looking, and of course he isn't so young as Mr. Morton was, or the Inglehart boys; but that makes him all the easier to get along with. And his being just a little fat, that way, seems to suit so well with his character."