You 've been trying to philander with the Nobil Donna Susanna Torrebianca and she 's sent you about your business. Oh, I 've seen how things were going." He winked and nodded. "Nothing of the sort," said Anthony. "You might tell Wickersmith to pack our things. We 'll take the eight-fifteen up to-morrow morning. That will get us to Victoria in time for the eleven o'clock Continental express." "Oh?
He had just mounted a little knoll, and now, glancing down before him, he saw, not twenty yards away, under a hawthorn in full blossom, "Madame Torrebianca, as I am alive," he gasped. Ts-s-s-s!
"It's about calling on Madame Torrebianca," said Adrian. "Oh," sighed Anthony. With a presence of mind that I can't help thinking rather remarkable, he feigned a continuity of mood; but something went ping within him. "Look here," said Adrian, imperatively. "I 'll thank you to drop that air of ineffable fatigue of yours, and to sit up and listen.
Our melancholic young squire of Craford was not a man much given to quick-born enthusiasms; but now, as he put down his pen, and her face shone before him for the twentieth time this sunny afternoon, now all at once, "By Jove, she's unique," he cried out. "I have never seen a woman to touch her. If she is Madame Torrebianca " But there he checked himself. "Of course she is n't.
Put it in black and white, says I. 'La Nobil Donna Susanna Torrebianca, of the Palazzo Sebastiani, via Quattro Fontane, Rome, party of the second part. A beau vers, is n't it? The lilt, the swelling cadence, the rich rhyme, the hidden alliterations, and then the sensitive, haunting pathos, the eternal verities adumbrated by its symbolism. I 've stood upon Achilles' tomb, and heard Troy doubted.
"If she really is Madame Torrebianca," he told himself, with a thrill and a craving, "I shall see her on Sunday." The flowers, beyond there, in the sun, the droning of the bees, the liquid bird-notes, the perfumes in the still soft air, all seemed to melt and become part of his thought of her, rendering it more poignant, more insidiously sweet. At last he started up, in a kind of anger.
The dog-cart and its occupants, with the stretch of brown road, and the hedge-rows and meadows at either side, were visible anew to him; and he saw that the young lady who was driving had dark hair and dark eyes, and looked rather foreign; and he said, but without much concern as yet, "Ah, that was no doubt Madame Torrebianca, with her friend Miss What 's-her-name;" and proceeded again to think of other things.
He sees that I patter of Miss Sandus. What perspicuity. And he just a mortal man, like anybody nay, by all accounts, just a bluff country squire. Ah, what a noble understanding. Well, then, my dear Hawkshaw, since there's no concealing anything from you, fine mouche, allez! I own up. I patter of Miss Sandus." "Do you happen to know where Madame Torrebianca comes from?" Anthony asked.
Then, as Anthony vouchsafed no answer, but merely twirled his stick, and gazed with indifferent eyes at the horizon, "Oh Madame Torrebianca?" he conjectured. "Still harping on my daughter? Of course I know where she comes from. She comes from the land where the love of the turtle now melts into sweetness, now maddens to crime as who should say a land of Guildhall banquets. She comes from Italy.
"Oho!" cried Adrian. "It's Madame Torrebianca that you 've been raving about. Ah, yes. Oh, I concede at once that Madame Torrebianca is very nice too. None readier than I to do her homage. But for fun and devilment give me Peebles. Give me old ladies, or give me little girls. You 're welcome to the betwixts and the betweens.