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Chapter 4 Experience

  • Rowland passed the summer in England, staying with several old friends and tw_r three new ones. On his arrival, he felt it on his conscience to write t_rs. Hudson and inform her that her son had relieved him of his tutelage. H_elt that she considered him an incorruptible Mentor, following Roderick lik_ shadow, and he wished to let her know the truth. But he made the truth ver_omfortable, and gave a succinct statement of the young man's brillian_eginnings. He owed it to himself, he said, to remind her that he had no_udged lightly, and that Roderick's present achievements were more profitabl_han his inglorious drudgery at Messrs. Striker & Spooner's. He was now takin_ well-earned holiday and proposing to see a little of the world. He woul_ork none the worse for this; every artist needed to knock about and look a_hings for himself. They had parted company for a couple of months, fo_oderick was now a great man and beyond the need of going about with a keeper.
  • But they were to meet again in Rome in the autumn, and then he should be abl_o send her more good news. Meanwhile, he was very happy in what Roderick ha_lready done—especially happy in the happiness it must have brought to her. H_entured to ask to be kindly commended to Miss Garland.
  • His letter was promptly answered—to his surprise in Miss Garland's own hand.
  • The same mail brought also an epistle from Cecilia. The latter was voluminous, and we must content ourselves with giving an extract.
  • "Your letter was filled with an echo of that brilliant Roman world, which mad_e almost ill with envy. For a week after I got it I thought Northampto_eally unpardonably tame. But I am drifting back again to my old deeps o_esignation, and I rush to the window, when any one passes, with all my ol_ratitude for small favors. So Roderick Hudson is already a great man, and yo_urn out to be a great prophet? My compliments to both of you; I never hear_f anything working so smoothly. And he takes it all very quietly, and doe_'t lose his balance nor let it turn his head? You judged him, then, in a da_etter than I had done in six months, for I really did not expect that h_ould settle down into such a jog-trot of prosperity. I believed he would d_ine things, but I was sure he would intersperse them with a good man_ollies, and that his beautiful statues would spring up out of the midst of _traggling plantation of wild oats. But from what you tell me, Mr. Striker ma_ow go hang himself… .. There is one thing, however, to say as a friend, i_he way of warning. That candid soul can keep a secret, and he may hav_rivate designs on your equanimity which you don't begin to suspect. What d_ou think of his being engaged to Miss Garland? The two ladies had given n_int of it all winter, but a fortnight ago, when those big photographs of hi_tatues arrived, they first pinned them up on the wall, and then trotted ou_nto the town, made a dozen calls, and announced the news. Mrs. Hudson did, a_east; Miss Garland, I suppose, sat at home writing letters. To me, I confess, the thing was a perfect surprise. I had not a suspicion that all the while h_as coming so regularly to make himself agreeable on my veranda, he wa_uietly preferring his cousin to any one else. Not, indeed, that he was eve_t particular pains to make himself agreeable! I suppose he has picked up _ew graces in Rome. But he must not acquire too many: if he is too polite whe_e comes back, Miss Garland will count him as one of the lost. She will be _ery good wife for a man of genius, and such a one as they are often shrew_nough to take. She 'll darn his stockings and keep his accounts, and sit a_ome and trim the lamp and keep up the fire while he studies the Beautiful i_retty neighbors at dinner-parties. The two ladies are evidently very happy, and, to do them justice, very humbly grateful to you. Mrs. Hudson never speak_f you without tears in her eyes, and I am sure she considers you a speciall_atented agent of Providence. Verily, it 's a good thing for a woman to be i_ove: Miss Garland has grown almost pretty. I met her the other night at _ea-party; she had a white rose in her hair, and sang a sentimental ballad i_ fine contralto voice."
  • Miss Garland's letter was so much shorter that we may give it entire:—
  • My dear Sir,—Mrs. Hudson, as I suppose you know, has been for some time unabl_o use her eyes. She requests me, therefore, to answer your favor of the 22_f June. She thanks you extremely for writing, and wishes me to say that sh_onsiders herself in every way under great obligations to you. Your account o_er son's progress and the high estimation in which he is held has made he_ery happy, and she earnestly prays that all may continue well with him. H_ent us, a short time ago, several large photographs of his two statues, take_rom different points of view. We know little about such things, but they see_o us wonderfully beautiful. We sent them to Boston to be handsomely framed, and the man, on returning them, wrote us that he had exhibited them for a wee_n his store, and that they had attracted great attention. The frames ar_agnificent, and the pictures now hang in a row on the parlor wall. Our onl_uarrel with them is that they make the old papering and the engravings loo_readfully shabby. Mr. Striker stood and looked at them the other day ful_ive minutes, and said, at last, that if Roderick's head was running on suc_hings it was no wonder he could not learn to draw up a deed. We lead here s_uiet and monotonous a life that I am afraid I can tell you nothing that wil_nterest you. Mrs. Hudson requests me to say that the little more or less tha_ay happen to us is of small account, as we live in our thoughts and ou_houghts are fixed on her dear son. She thanks Heaven he has so good a friend.
  • Mrs. Hudson says that this is too short a letter, but I can say nothing more.
  • Yours most respectfully,
  • Mary Garland.
  • It is a question whether the reader will know why, but this letter gav_owland extraordinary pleasure. He liked its very brevity and meagreness, an_here seemed to him an exquisite modesty in its saying nothing from the youn_irl herself. He delighted in the formal address and conclusion; they please_im as he had been pleased by an angular gesture in some expressive girlis_igure in an early painting. The letter renewed that impression of stron_eeling combined with an almost rigid simplicity, which Roderick's betrothe_ad personally given him. And its homely stiffness seemed a vivid reflectio_f a life concentrated, as the young girl had borrowed warrant from he_ompanion to say, in a single devoted idea. The monotonous days of the tw_omen seemed to Rowland's fancy to follow each other like the tick-tick of _reat time-piece, marking off the hours which separated them from the suprem_elicity of clasping the far-away son and lover to lips sealed with the exces_f joy. He hoped that Roderick, now that he had shaken off the oppression o_is own importunate faith, was not losing a tolerant temper for the silen_rayers of the two women at Northampton.
  • He was left to vain conjectures, however, as to Roderick's actual moods an_ccupations. He knew he was no letter-writer, and that, in the youn_culptor's own phrase, he had at any time rather build a monument than write _ote. But when a month had passed without news of him, he began to be hal_nxious and half angry, and wrote him three lines, in the care of _ontinental banker, begging him at least to give some sign of whether he wa_live or dead. A week afterwards came an answer—brief, and dated Baden-Baden.
  • "I know I have been a great brute," Roderick wrote, "not to have sent you _ord before; but really I don't know what has got into me. I have latel_earned terribly well how to be idle. I am afraid to think how long it i_ince I wrote to my mother or to Mary. Heaven help them—poor, patient, trustful creatures! I don't know how to tell you what I am doing. It seems al_musing enough while I do it, but it would make a poor show in a narrativ_ntended for your formidable eyes. I found Baxter in Switzerland, or rather h_ound me, and he grabbed me by the arm and brought me here. I was walkin_wenty miles a day in the Alps, drinking milk in lonely chalets, sleeping a_ou sleep, and thinking it was all very good fun; but Baxter told me it woul_ever do, that the Alps were 'd——d rot,' that Baden-Baden was the place, an_hat if I knew what was good for me I would come along with him. It is _onderful place, certainly, though, thank the Lord, Baxter departed last week, blaspheming horribly at trente et quarante. But you know all about it and wha_ne does—what one is liable to do. I have succumbed, in a measure, to th_iabilities, and I wish I had some one here to give me a thundering goo_lowing up. Not you, dear friend; you would draw it too mild; you have to_uch of the milk of human kindness. I have fits of horrible homesickness fo_y studio, and I shall be devoutly grateful when the summer is over and I ca_o back and swing a chisel. I feel as if nothing but the chisel would satisf_e; as if I could rush in a rage at a block of unshaped marble. There are _ot of the Roman people here, English and American; I live in the midst o_hem and talk nonsense from morning till night. There is also some one else; and to her I don't talk sense, nor, thank heaven, mean what I say. I confess, I need a month's work to recover my self-respect."
  • These lines brought Rowland no small perturbation; the more, that what the_eemed to point to surprised him. During the nine months of thei_ompanionship Roderick had shown so little taste for dissipation that Rowlan_ad come to think of it as a canceled danger, and it greatly perplexed him t_earn that his friend had apparently proved so pliant to opportunity. Bu_oderick's allusions were ambiguous, and it was possible they might simpl_ean that he was out of patience with a frivolous way of life and frettin_holesomely over his absent work. It was a very good thing, certainly, tha_dleness should prove, on experiment, to sit heavily on his conscience.
  • Nevertheless, the letter needed, to Rowland's mind, a key: the key arrived _eek later. "In common charity," Roderick wrote, "lend me a hundred pounds! _ave gambled away my last franc—I have made a mountain of debts. Send me th_oney first; lecture me afterwards!" Rowland sent the money by return of mail; then he proceeded, not to lecture, but to think. He hung his head; he wa_cutely disappointed. He had no right to be, he assured himself; but so i_as. Roderick was young, impulsive, unpracticed in stoicism; it was a hundre_o one that he was to pay the usual vulgar tribute to folly. But his frien_ad regarded it as securely gained to his own belief in virtue that he was no_s other foolish youths are, and that he would have been capable of looking a_olly in the face and passing on his way. Rowland for a while felt a sor_ense of wrath. What right had a man who was engaged to that fine girl i_orthampton to behave as if his consciousness were a common blank, to b_verlaid with coarse sensations? Yes, distinctly, he was disappointed. He ha_ccompanied his missive with an urgent recommendation to leave Baden-Bade_mmediately, and an offer to meet Roderick at any point he would name. Th_nswer came promptly; it ran as follows: "Send me another fifty pounds! I hav_een back to the tables. I will leave as soon as the money comes, and meet yo_t Geneva. There I will tell you everything."
  • There is an ancient terrace at Geneva, planted with trees and studded wit_enches, overlooked by gravely aristocratic old dwellings and overlooking th_istant Alps. A great many generations have made it a lounging-place, a grea_any friends and lovers strolled there, a great many confidential talks an_omentous interviews gone forward. Here, one morning, sitting on one of th_attered green benches, Roderick, as he had promised, told his frien_verything. He had arrived late the night before; he looked tired, and ye_lushed and excited. He made no professions of penitence, but he practiced a_nmitigated frankness, and his self-reprobation might be taken for granted. H_mplied in every phrase that he had done with it all, and that he was countin_he hours till he could get back to work. We shall not rehearse his confessio_n detail; its main outline will be sufficient. He had fallen in with som_ery idle people, and had discovered that a little example and a littl_ractice were capable of producing on his own part a considerable relish fo_heir diversions. What could he do? He never read, and he had no studio; i_ne way or another he had to pass the time. He passed it in dangling abou_everal very pretty women in wonderful Paris toilets, and reflected that i_as always something gained for a sculptor to sit under a tree, looking at hi_eisure into a charming face and saying things that made it smile and play it_uscles and part its lips and show its teeth. Attached to these ladies wer_ertain gentlemen who walked about in clouds of perfume, rose at midday, an_upped at midnight. Roderick had found himself in the mood for thinking the_ery amusing fellows. He was surprised at his own taste, but he let it tak_ts course. It led him to the discovery that to live with ladies who expec_ou to present them with expensive bouquets, to ride with them in the Blac_orest on well-looking horses, to come into their opera-boxes on nights whe_atti sang and prices were consequent, to propose little light suppers at th_onversation House after the opera or drives by moonlight to the Castle, to b_lways arrayed and anointed, trinketed and gloved,—that to move in suc_ociety, we say, though it might be a privilege, was a privilege with _enalty attached. But the tables made such things easy; half the Baden worl_ived by the tables. Roderick tried them and found that at first they smoothe_is path delightfully. This simplification of matters, however, was onl_omentary, for he soon perceived that to seem to have money, and to have it i_act, exposed a good-looking young man to peculiar liabilities. At this poin_f his friend's narrative, Rowland was reminded of Madame de Cruchecassee i_he Newcomes, and though he had listened in tranquil silence to the rest o_t, he found it hard not to say that all this had been, under th_ircumstances, a very bad business. Roderick admitted it with bitterness, an_hen told how much—measured simply financially—it had cost him. His luck ha_hanged; the tables had ceased to back him, and he had found himself up to hi_nees in debt. Every penny had gone of the solid sum which had seemed a larg_quivalent of those shining statues in Rome. He had been an ass, but it wa_ot irreparable; he could make another statue in a couple of months.
  • Rowland frowned. "For heaven's sake," he said, "don't play such dangerou_ames with your facility. If you have got facility, revere it, respect it, adore it, treasure it—don't speculate on it." And he wondered what hi_ompanion, up to his knees in debt, would have done if there had been no good- natured Rowland Mallet to lend a helping hand. But he did not formulate hi_uriosity audibly, and the contingency seemed not to have presented itself t_oderick's imagination. The young sculptor reverted to his late adventure_gain in the evening, and this time talked of them more objectively, as th_hrase is; more as if they had been the adventures of another person. H_elated half a dozen droll things that had happened to him, and, as if hi_esponsibility had been disengaged by all this free discussion, he laughe_xtravagantly at the memory of them. Rowland sat perfectly grave, o_rinciple. Then Roderick began to talk of half a dozen statues that he had i_is head, and set forth his design, with his usual vividness. Suddenly, as i_as relevant, he declared that his Baden doings had not been altogethe_ruitless, for that the lady who had reminded Rowland of Madame d_ruchecassee was tremendously statuesque. Rowland at last said that it al_ight pass if he felt that he was really the wiser for it. "By the wiser," h_dded, "I mean the stronger in purpose, in will."
  • "Oh, don't talk about will!" Roderick answered, throwing back his head an_ooking at the stars. This conversation also took place in the open air, o_he little island in the shooting Rhone where Jean-Jacques has a monument.
  • "The will, I believe, is the mystery of mysteries. Who can answer for hi_ill? who can say beforehand that it 's strong? There are all kinds o_ndefinable currents moving to and fro between one's will and one'_nclinations. People talk as if the two things were essentially distinct; o_ifferent sides of one's organism, like the heart and the liver. Mine, I know, are much nearer together. It all depends upon circumstances. I believe ther_s a certain group of circumstances possible for every man, in which his wil_s destined to snap like a dry twig."
  • "My dear boy," said Rowland, "don't talk about the will being 'destined.' Th_ill is destiny itself. That 's the way to look at it."
  • "Look at it, my dear Rowland," Roderick answered, "as you find mos_omfortable. One conviction I have gathered from my summer's experience," h_ent on—"it 's as well to look it frankly in the face—is that I possess a_lmost unlimited susceptibility to the influence of a beautiful woman."
  • Rowland stared, then strolled away, softly whistling to himself. He wa_nwilling to admit even to himself that this speech had really the siniste_eaning it seemed to have. In a few days the two young men made their way bac_o Italy, and lingered a while in Florence before going on to Rome. I_lorence Roderick seemed to have won back his old innocence and his preferenc_or the pleasures of study over any others. Rowland began to think of th_aden episode as a bad dream, or at the worst as a mere sporadic piece o_isorder, without roots in his companion's character. They passed a fortnigh_ooking at pictures and exploring for out the way bits of fresco and carving, and Roderick recovered all his earlier fervor of appreciation and comment. I_ome he went eagerly to work again, and finished in a month two or three smal_hings he had left standing on his departure. He talked the most joyou_onsense about finding himself back in his old quarters. On the first Sunda_fternoon following their return, on their going together to Saint Peter's, h_elivered himself of a lyrical greeting to the great church and to the city i_eneral, in a tone of voice so irrepressibly elevated that it rang through th_ave in rather a scandalous fashion, and almost arrested a procession o_anons who were marching across to the choir. He began to model a new statue—_emale figure, of which he had said nothing to Rowland. It represented _oman, leaning lazily back in her chair, with her head drooping as if she wer_istening, a vague smile on her lips, and a pair of remarkably beautiful arm_olded in her lap. With rather less softness of contour, it would hav_esembled the noble statue of Agrippina in the Capitol. Rowland looked at i_nd was not sure he liked it. "Who is it? what does it mean?" he asked.
  • "Anything you please!" said Roderick, with a certain petulance. "I call it _eminiscence."
  • Rowland then remembered that one of the Baden ladies had been "statuesque,"
  • and asked no more questions. This, after all, was a way of profiting b_xperience. A few days later he took his first ride of the season on th_ampagna, and as, on his homeward way, he was passing across the long shado_f a ruined tower, he perceived a small figure at a short distance, bent ove_ sketch-book. As he drew near, he recognized his friend Singleton. The hones_ittle painter's face was scorched to flame-color by the light of souther_uns, and borrowed an even deeper crimson from his gleeful greeting of hi_ost appreciative patron. He was making a careful and charming little sketch.
  • On Rowland's asking him how he had spent his summer, he gave an account of hi_anderings which made poor Mallet sigh with a sense of more contrasts tha_ne. He had not been out of Italy, but he had been delving deep into th_icturesque heart of the lovely land, and gathering a wonderful store o_ubjects. He had rambled about among the unvisited villages of the Apennines, pencil in hand and knapsack on back, sleeping on straw and eating black brea_nd beans, but feasting on local color, rioting, as it were, on chiaroscuro, and laying up a treasure of pictorial observations. He took a devou_atisfaction in his hard-earned wisdom and his happy frugality. Rowland wen_he next day, by appointment, to look at his sketches, and spent a whol_orning turning them over. Singleton talked more than he had ever done before, explained them all, and told some quaintly humorous anecdote about th_roduction of each.
  • "Dear me, how I have chattered!" he said at last. "I am afraid you had rathe_ave looked at the things in peace and quiet. I did n't know I could talk s_uch. But somehow, I feel very happy; I feel as if I had improved."
  • "That you have," said Rowland. "I doubt whether an artist ever passed a mor_rofitable three months. You must feel much more sure of yourself."
  • Singleton looked for a long time with great intentness at a knot in the floor.
  • "Yes," he said at last, in a fluttered tone, "I feel much more sure of myself.
  • I have got more facility!" And he lowered his voice as if he wer_ommunicating a secret which it took some courage to impart. "I hardly like t_ay it, for fear I should after all be mistaken. But since it strikes you, perhaps it 's true. It 's a great happiness; I would not exchange it for _reat deal of money."
  • "Yes, I suppose it 's a great happiness," said Rowland. "I shall really thin_f you as living here in a state of scandalous bliss. I don't believe it '_ood for an artist to be in such brutally high spirits."
  • Singleton stared for a moment, as if he thought Rowland was in earnest; the_uddenly fathoming the kindly jest, he walked about the room, scratching hi_ead and laughing intensely to himself. "And Mr. Hudson?" he said, as Rowlan_as going; "I hope he is well and happy."
  • "He is very well," said Rowland. "He is back at work again."
  • "Ah, there 's a man," cried Singleton, "who has taken his start once for all, and does n't need to stop and ask himself in fear and trembling every month o_wo whether he is advancing or not. When he stops, it 's to rest! And wher_id he spend his summer?"
  • "The greater part of it at Baden-Baden."
  • "Ah, that 's in the Black Forest," cried Singleton, with profound simplicity.
  • "They say you can make capital studies of trees there."
  • "No doubt," said Rowland, with a smile, laying an almost paternal hand on th_ittle painter's yellow head. "Unfortunately trees are not Roderick's line.
  • Nevertheless, he tells me that at Baden he made some studies. Come when yo_an, by the way," he added after a moment, "to his studio, and tell me wha_ou think of something he has lately begun." Singleton declared that he woul_ome delightedly, and Rowland left him to his work.
  • He met a number of his last winter's friends again, and called upon Madam_randoni, upon Miss Blanchard, and upon Gloriani, shortly after their return.
  • The ladies gave an excellent account of themselves. Madame Grandoni had bee_aking sea-baths at Rimini, and Miss Blanchard painting wild flowers in th_yrol. Her complexion was somewhat browned, which was very becoming, and he_lowers were uncommonly pretty. Gloriani had been in Paris and had come awa_n high good-humor, finding no one there, in the artist-world, cleverer tha_imself. He came in a few days to Roderick's studio, one afternoon whe_owland was present. He examined the new statue with great deference, said i_as very promising, and abstained, considerately, from irritating prophecies.
  • But Rowland fancied he observed certain signs of inward jubilation on th_lever sculptor's part, and walked away with him to learn his private opinion.
  • "Certainly; I liked it as well as I said," Gloriani declared in answer t_owland's anxious query; "or rather I liked it a great deal better. I did n'_ay how much, for fear of making your friend angry. But one can leave hi_lone now, for he 's coming round. I told you he could n't keep up th_ranscendental style, and he has already broken down. Don't you see i_ourself, man?"
  • "I don't particularly like this new statue," said Rowland.
  • "That 's because you 're a purist. It 's deuced clever, it 's deuced knowing, it 's deuced pretty, but it is n't the topping high art of three months ago.
  • He has taken his turn sooner than I supposed. What has happened to him? Has h_een disappointed in love? But that 's none of my business. I congratulate hi_n having become a practical man."
  • Roderick, however, was less to be congratulated than Gloriani had taken i_nto his head to believe. He was discontented with his work, he applie_imself to it by fits and starts, he declared that he did n't know what wa_oming over him; he was turning into a man of moods. "Is this of necessit_hat a fellow must come to"—he asked of Rowland, with a sort of peremptor_lash in his eye, which seemed to imply that his companion had undertaken t_nsure him against perplexities and was not fulfilling his contract—"thi_amnable uncertainty when he goes to bed at night as to whether he is going t_ake up in a working humor or in a swearing humor? Have we only a season, ove_efore we know it, in which we can call our faculties our own? Six months ag_ could stand up to my work like a man, day after day, and never dream o_sking myself whether I felt like it. But now, some mornings, it 's the ver_evil to get going. My statue looks so bad when I come into the studio that _ave twenty minds to smash it on the spot, and I lose three or four hours i_itting there, moping and getting used to it."
  • Rowland said that he supposed that this sort of thing was the lot of ever_rtist and that the only remedy was plenty of courage and faith. And h_eminded him of Gloriani's having forewarned him against these sterile mood_he year before.
  • "Gloriani 's an ass!" said Roderick, almost fiercely. He hired a horse an_egan to ride with Rowland on the Campagna. This delicious amusement restore_im in a measure to cheerfulness, but seemed to Rowland on the whole not t_timulate his industry. Their rides were always very long, and Roderic_nsisted on making them longer by dismounting in picturesque spots an_tretching himself in the sun among a heap of overtangled stones. He let th_corching Roman luminary beat down upon him with an equanimity which Rowlan_ound it hard to emulate. But in this situation Roderick talked so muc_musing nonsense that, for the sake of his company, Rowland consented to b_ncomfortable, and often forgot that, though in these diversions the day_assed quickly, they brought forth neither high art nor low. And yet it wa_erhaps by their help, after all, that Roderick secured several mornings o_rdent work on his new figure, and brought it to rapid completion. On_fternoon, when it was finished, Rowland went to look at it, and Roderic_sked him for his opinion.
  • "What do you think yourself?" Rowland demanded, not from pusillanimity, bu_rom real uncertainty.
  • "I think it is curiously bad," Roderick answered. "It was bad from the first; it has fundamental vices. I have shuffled them in a measure out of sight, bu_ have not corrected them. I can't—I can't—I can't!" he cried passionately.
  • "They stare me in the face—they are all I see!"
  • Rowland offered several criticisms of detail, and suggested certai_racticable changes. But Roderick differed with him on each of these points; the thing had faults enough, but they were not those faults. Rowland, unruffled, concluded by saying that whatever its faults might be, he had a_dea people in general would like it.
  • "I wish to heaven some person in particular would buy it, and take it off m_ands and out of my sight!" Roderick cried. "What am I to do now?" he went on.
  • "I have n't an idea. I think of subjects, but they remain mere lifeless names.
  • They are mere words—they are not images. What am I to do?"
  • Rowland was a trifle annoyed. "Be a man," he was on the point of saying, "an_on't, for heaven's sake, talk in that confoundedly querulous voice." Bu_efore he had uttered the words, there rang through the studio a loud, peremptory ring at the outer door.
  • Roderick broke into a laugh. "Talk of the devil," he said, "and you see hi_orns! If that 's not a customer, it ought to be."
  • The door of the studio was promptly flung open, and a lady advanced to th_hreshold—an imposing, voluminous person, who quite filled up the doorway.
  • Rowland immediately felt that he had seen her before, but he recognized he_nly when she moved forward and disclosed an attendant in the person of _ittle bright-eyed, elderly gentleman, with a bristling white moustache. The_e remembered that just a year before he and his companion had seen in th_udovisi gardens a wonderfully beautiful girl, strolling in the train of thi_onspicuous couple. He looked for her now, and in a moment she appeared, following her companions with the same nonchalant step as before, and leadin_er great snow-white poodle, decorated with motley ribbons. The elder lad_ffered the two young men a sufficiently gracious salute; the little ol_entleman bowed and smiled with extreme alertness. The young girl, withou_asting a glance either at Roderick or at Rowland, looked about for a chair, and, on perceiving one, sank into it listlessly, pulled her poodle toward_er, and began to rearrange his top-knot. Rowland saw that, even with her eye_ropped, her beauty was still dazzling.
  • "I trust we are at liberty to enter," said the elder lady, with majesty. "W_ere told that Mr. Hudson had no fixed day, and that we might come at an_ime. Let us not disturb you."
  • Roderick, as one of the lesser lights of the Roman art-world, had not hithert_een subject to incursions from inquisitive tourists, and, having no regula_eception day, was not versed in the usual formulas of welcome. He sai_othing, and Rowland, looking at him, saw that he was looking amazedly at th_oung girl and was apparently unconscious of everything else. "By Jove!" h_ried precipitately, "it 's that goddess of the Villa Ludovisi!" Rowland i_ome confusion, did the honors as he could, but the little old gentlema_egged him with the most obsequious of smiles to give himself no trouble. "_ave been in many a studio!" he said, with his finger on his nose and a stron_talian accent.
  • "We are going about everywhere," said his companion. "I am passionately fon_f art!"
  • Rowland smiled sympathetically, and let them turn to Roderick's statue. H_lanced again at the young sculptor, to invite him to bestir himself, bu_oderick was still gazing wide-eyed at the beautiful young mistress of th_oodle, who by this time had looked up and was gazing straight at him. Ther_as nothing bold in her look; it expressed a kind of languid, imperturbabl_ndifference. Her beauty was extraordinary; it grew and grew as the young ma_bserved her. In such a face the maidenly custom of averted eyes and read_lushes would have seemed an anomaly; nature had produced it for man's deligh_nd meant that it should surrender itself freely and coldly to admiration. I_as not immediately apparent, however, that the young lady found an answerin_ntertainment in the physiognomy of her host; she turned her head after _oment and looked idly round the room, and at last let her eyes rest on th_tatue of the woman seated. It being left to Rowland to stimulat_onversation, he began by complimenting her on the beauty of her dog.
  • "Yes, he 's very handsome," she murmured. "He 's a Florentine. The dogs i_lorence are handsomer than the people." And on Rowland's caressing him: "Hi_ame is Stenterello," she added. "Stenterello, give your hand to th_entleman." This order was given in Italian. "Say buon giorno a lei."
  • Stenterello thrust out his paw and gave four short, shrill barks; upon whic_he elder lady turned round and raised her forefinger.
  • "My dear, my dear, remember where you are! Excuse my foolish child," sh_dded, turning to Roderick with an agreeable smile. "She can think of nothin_ut her poodle."
  • "I am teaching him to talk for me," the young girl went on, without heedin_er mother; "to say little things in society. It will save me a great deal o_rouble. Stenterello, love, give a pretty smile and say tanti complimenti!"
  • The poodle wagged his white pate—it looked like one of those little pads i_wan's-down, for applying powder to the face—and repeated the barking process.
  • "He is a wonderful beast," said Rowland.
  • "He is not a beast," said the young girl. "A beast is something black an_irty—something you can't touch."
  • "He is a very valuable dog," the elder lady explained. "He was presented to m_aughter by a Florentine nobleman."
  • "It is not for that I care about him. It is for himself. He is better than th_rince."
  • "My dear, my dear!" repeated the mother in deprecating accents, but with _ignificant glance at Rowland which seemed to bespeak his attention to th_lory of possessing a daughter who could deal in that fashion with th_ristocracy.
  • Rowland remembered that when their unknown visitors had passed before them, _ear previous, in the Villa Ludovisi, Roderick and he had exchange_onjectures as to their nationality and social quality. Roderick had declare_hat they were old-world people; but Rowland now needed no telling to fee_hat he might claim the elder lady as a fellow-countrywoman. She was a perso_f what is called a great deal of presence, with the faded traces, artfull_evived here and there, of once brilliant beauty. Her daughter had com_awfully by her loveliness, but Rowland mentally made the distinction that th_other was silly and that the daughter was not. The mother had a very sill_outh—a mouth, Rowland suspected, capable of expressing an inordinate degre_f unreason. The young girl, in spite of her childish satisfaction in he_oodle, was not a person of feeble understanding. Rowland received a_mpression that, for reasons of her own, she was playing a part. What was th_art and what were her reasons? She was interesting; Rowland wondered wha_ere her domestic secrets. If her mother was a daughter of the great Republic, it was to be supposed that the young girl was a flower of the American soil; but her beauty had a robustness and tone uncommon in the somewhat facil_oveliness of our western maidenhood. She spoke with a vague foreign accent, as if she had spent her life in strange countries. The little Italia_pparently divined Rowland's mute imaginings, for he presently steppe_orward, with a bow like a master of ceremonies. "I have not done my duty," h_aid, "in not announcing these ladies. Mrs. Light, Miss Light!"
  • Rowland was not materially the wiser for this information, but Roderick wa_roused by it to the exercise of some slight hospitality. He altered th_ight, pulled forward two or three figures, and made an apology for not havin_ore to show. "I don't pretend to have anything of an exhibition—I am only _ovice."
  • "Indeed?—a novice! For a novice this is very well," Mrs. Light declared.
  • "Cavaliere, we have seen nothing better than this."
  • The Cavaliere smiled rapturously. "It is stupendous!" he murmured. "And w_ave been to all the studios."
  • "Not to all—heaven forbid!" cried Mrs. Light. "But to a number that I have ha_ointed out by artistic friends. I delight in studios: they are the temples o_he beautiful here below. And if you are a novice, Mr. Hudson," she went on,
  • "you have already great admirers. Half a dozen people have told us that your_ere among the things to see." This gracious speech went unanswered; Roderic_ad already wandered across to the other side of the studio and was revolvin_bout Miss Light. "Ah, he 's gone to look at my beautiful daughter; he is no_he first that has had his head turned," Mrs. Light resumed, lowering he_oice to a confidential undertone; a favor which, considering the shortness o_heir acquaintance, Rowland was bound to appreciate. "The artists are al_razy about her. When she goes into a studio she is fatal to the pictures. An_hen she goes into a ball-room what do the other women say? Eh, Cavaliere?"
  • "She is very beautiful," Rowland said, gravely.
  • Mrs. Light, who through her long, gold-cased glass was looking a little a_verything, and at nothing as if she saw it, interrupted her random murmur_nd exclamations, and surveyed Rowland from head to foot. She looked at hi_ll over; apparently he had not been mentioned to her as a feature o_oderick's establishment. It was the gaze, Rowland felt, which the vigilan_nd ambitious mamma of a beautiful daughter has always at her command fo_ell-dressed young men of candid physiognomy. Her inspection in this cas_eemed satisfactory. "Are you also an artist?" she inquired with an almos_aressing inflection. It was clear that what she meant was something of thi_ind: "Be so good as to assure me without delay that you are really the youn_an of substance and amiability that you appear."
  • But Rowland answered simply the formal question—not the latent one. "Dear me, no; I am only a friend of Mr. Hudson."
  • Mrs. Light, with a sigh, returned to the statues, and after mistaking the Ada_or a gladiator, and the Eve for a Pocahontas, declared that she could no_udge of such things unless she saw them in the marble. Rowland hesitated _oment, and then speaking in the interest of Roderick's renown, said that h_as the happy possessor of several of his friend's works and that she wa_elcome to come and see them at his rooms. She bade the Cavaliere make a not_f his address. "Ah, you 're a patron of the arts," she said. "That 's what _hould like to be if I had a little money. I delight in beauty in every form.
  • But all these people ask such monstrous prices. One must be a millionaire, t_hink of such things, eh? Twenty years ago my husband had my portrait painted, here in Rome, by Papucci, who was the great man in those days. I was in a bal_ress, with all my jewels, my neck and arms, and all that. The man got si_undred francs, and thought he was very well treated. Those were the days whe_ family could live like princes in Italy for five thousand scudi a year. Th_avaliere once upon a time was a great dandy—don't blush, Cavaliere; any on_an see that, just as any one can see that I was once a pretty woman! Get hi_o tell you what he made a figure upon. The railroads have brought in th_ulgarians. That 's what I call it now—the invasion of the vulgarians! Wha_re poor we to do?"
  • Rowland had begun to murmur some remedial proposition, when he was interrupte_y the voice of Miss Light calling across the room, "Mamma!"
  • "My own love?"
  • "This gentleman wishes to model my bust. Please speak to him."
  • The Cavaliere gave a little chuckle. "Already?" he cried.
  • Rowland looked round, equally surprised at the promptitude of the proposal.
  • Roderick stood planted before the young girl with his arms folded, looking a_er as he would have done at the Medicean Venus. He never paid compliments, and Rowland, though he had not heard him speak, could imagine the startlin_istinctness with which he made his request.
  • "He saw me a year ago," the young girl went on, "and he has been thinking o_e ever since." Her tone, in speaking, was peculiar; it had a kind of studie_nexpressiveness, which was yet not the vulgar device of a drawl.
  • "I must make your daughter's bust—that 's all, madame!" cried Roderick, wit_armth.
  • "I had rather you made the poodle's," said the young girl. "Is it ver_iresome? I have spent half my life sitting for my photograph, in ever_onceivable attitude and with every conceivable coiffure. I think I have pose_nough."
  • "My dear child," said Mrs. Light, "it may be one's duty to pose. But as to m_aughter's sitting to you, sir—to a young sculptor whom we don't know—it is _atter that needs reflection. It is not a favor that 's to be had for the mer_sking."
  • "If I don't make her from life," said Roderick, with energy, "I will make he_rom memory, and if the thing 's to be done, you had better have it done a_ell as possible."
  • "Mamma hesitates," said Miss Light, "because she does n't know whether yo_ean she shall pay you for the bust. I can assure you that she will not pa_ou a sou."
  • "My darling, you forget yourself," said Mrs. Light, with an attempt a_ajestic severity. "Of course," she added, in a moment, with a change of note,
  • "the bust would be my own property."
  • "Of course!" cried Roderick, impatiently.
  • "Dearest mother," interposed the young girl, "how can you carry a marble bus_bout the world with you? Is it not enough to drag the poor original?"
  • "My dear, you 're nonsensical!" cried Mrs. Light, almost angrily.
  • "You can always sell it," said the young girl, with the same artfu_rtlessness.
  • Mrs. Light turned to Rowland, who pitied her, flushed and irritated. "She i_ery wicked to-day!"
  • The Cavaliere grinned in silence and walked away on tiptoe, with his hat t_is lips, as if to leave the field clear for action. Rowland, on the contrary, wished to avert the coming storm. "You had better not refuse," he said to Mis_ight, "until you have seen Mr. Hudson's things in the marble. Your mother i_o come and look at some that I possess."
  • "Thank you; I have no doubt you will see us. I dare say Mr. Hudson is ver_lever; but I don't care for modern sculpture. I can't look at it!"
  • "You shall care for my bust, I promise you!" cried Roderick, with a laugh.
  • "To satisfy Miss Light," said the Cavaliere, "one of the old Greeks ought t_ome to life."
  • "It would be worth his while," said Roderick, paying, to Rowland's knowledge, his first compliment.
  • "I might sit to Phidias, if he would promise to be very amusing and make m_augh. What do you say, Stenterello? would you sit to Phidias?"
  • "We must talk of this some other time," said Mrs. Light. "We are in Rome fo_he winter. Many thanks. Cavaliere, call the carriage." The Cavaliere led th_ay out, backing like a silver-stick, and Miss Light, following her mother, nodded, without looking at them, to each of the young men.
  • "Immortal powers, what a head!" cried Roderick, when they had gone. "There '_y fortune!"
  • "She is certainly very beautiful," said Rowland. "But I 'm sorry you hav_ndertaken her bust."
  • "And why, pray?"
  • "I suspect it will bring trouble with it."
  • "What kind of trouble?"
  • "I hardly know. They are queer people. The mamma, I suspect, is the least bi_f an adventuress. Heaven knows what the daughter is."
  • "She 's a goddess!" cried Roderick.
  • "Just so. She is all the more dangerous."
  • "Dangerous? What will she do to me? She does n't bite, I imagine."
  • "It remains to be seen. There are two kinds of women—you ought to know it b_his time—the safe and the unsafe. Miss Light, if I am not mistaken, is one o_he unsafe. A word to the wise!"
  • "Much obliged!" said Roderick, and he began to whistle a triumphant air, i_onor, apparently, of the advent of his beautiful model.
  • In calling this young lady and her mamma "queer people," Rowland but roughl_xpressed his sentiment. They were so marked a variation from the monotonou_roop of his fellow-country people that he felt much curiosity as to th_ources of the change, especially since he doubted greatly whether, on th_hole, it elevated the type. For a week he saw the two ladies driving daily i_ well-appointed landau, with the Cavaliere and the poodle in the front seat.
  • From Mrs. Light he received a gracious salute, tempered by her native majesty; but the young girl, looking straight before her, seemed profoundly indifferen_o observers. Her extraordinary beauty, however, had already made observer_umerous and given the habitues of the Pincian plenty to talk about. Th_choes of their commentary reached Rowland's ears; but he had little taste fo_andom gossip, and desired a distinctly veracious informant. He had found on_n the person of Madame Grandoni, for whom Mrs. Light and her beautifu_aughter were a pair of old friends.
  • "I have known the mamma for twenty years," said this judicious critic, "and i_ou ask any of the people who have been living here as long as I, you wil_ind they remember her well. I have held the beautiful Christina on my kne_hen she was a little wizened baby with a very red face and no promise o_eauty but those magnificent eyes. Ten years ago Mrs. Light disappeared, an_as not since been seen in Rome, except for a few days last winter, when sh_assed through on her way to Naples. Then it was you met the trio in th_udovisi gardens. When I first knew her she was the unmarried but ver_arriageable daughter of an old American painter of very bad landscapes, whic_eople used to buy from charity and use for fire-boards. His name was Savage; it used to make every one laugh, he was such a mild, melancholy, pitiful ol_entleman. He had married a horrible wife, an Englishwoman who had been on th_tage. It was said she used to beat poor Savage with his mahl-stick and whe_he domestic finances were low to lock him up in his studio and tell him h_hould n't come out until he had painted half a dozen of his daubs. She had _ood deal of showy beauty. She would then go forth, and, her beauty helping, she would make certain people take the pictures. It helped her at last to mak_n English lord run away with her. At the time I speak of she had quit_isappeared. Mrs. Light was then a very handsome girl, though by no means s_andsome as her daughter has now become. Mr. Light was an American consul, newly appointed at one of the Adriatic ports. He was a mild, fair-whiskere_oung man, with some little property, and my impression is that he had go_nto bad company at home, and that his family procured him his place to kee_im out of harm's way. He came up to Rome on a holiday, fell in love with Mis_avage, and married her on the spot. He had not been married three years whe_e was drowned in the Adriatic, no one ever knew how. The young widow cam_ack to Rome, to her father, and here shortly afterwards, in the shadow o_aint Peter's, her little girl was born. It might have been supposed that Mrs.
  • Light would marry again, and I know she had opportunities. But she overreache_erself. She would take nothing less than a title and a fortune, and they wer_ot forthcoming. She was admired and very fond of admiration; very vain, ver_orldly, very silly. She remained a pretty widow, with a surprising variety o_onnets and a dozen men always in her train. Giacosa dates from this period.
  • He calls himself a Roman, but I have an impression he came up from Ancona wit_er. He was l'ami de la maison. He used to hold her bouquets, clean her gloves (I was told), run her errands, get her opera-boxes, and fight her battles wit_he shopkeepers. For this he needed courage, for she was smothered in debt.
  • She at last left Rome to escape her creditors. Many of them must remember he_till, but she seems now to have money to satisfy them. She left her poor ol_ather here alone—helpless, infirm and unable to work. A subscription wa_hortly afterwards taken up among the foreigners, and he was sent back t_merica, where, as I afterwards heard, he died in some sort of asylum. Fro_ime to time, for several years, I heard vaguely of Mrs. Light as a wanderin_eauty at French and German watering-places. Once came a rumor that she wa_oing to make a grand marriage in England; then we heard that the gentlema_ad thought better of it and left her to keep afloat as she could. She was _erribly scatter-brained creature. She pretends to be a great lady, but _onsider that old Filomena, my washer-woman, is in essentials a greater one.
  • But certainly, after all, she has been fortunate. She embarked at last on _awsuit about some property, with her husband's family, and went to America t_ttend to it. She came back triumphant, with a long purse. She reappeared i_taly, and established herself for a while in Venice. Then she came t_lorence, where she spent a couple of years and where I saw her. Last year sh_assed down to Naples, which I should have said was just the place for her, and this winter she has laid siege to Rome. She seems very prosperous. She ha_aken a floor in the Palazzo F——, she keeps her carriage, and Christina an_he, between them, must have a pretty milliner's bill. Giacosa has turned u_gain, looking as if he had been kept on ice at Ancona, for her return."
  • "What sort of education," Rowland asked, "do you imagine the mother'_dventures to have been for the daughter?"
  • "A strange school! But Mrs. Light told me, in Florence, that she had given he_hild the education of a princess. In other words, I suppose, she speaks thre_r four languages, and has read several hundred French novels. Christina, _uspect, is very clever. When I saw her, I was amazed at her beauty, and, certainly, if there is any truth in faces, she ought to have the soul of a_ngel. Perhaps she has. I don't judge her; she 's an extraordinary youn_erson. She has been told twenty times a day by her mother, since she was fiv_ears old, that she is a beauty of beauties, that her face is her fortune, an_hat, if she plays her cards, she may marry a duke. If she has not bee_atally corrupted, she is a very superior girl. My own impression is that sh_s a mixture of good and bad, of ambition and indifference. Mrs. Light, havin_ailed to make her own fortune in matrimony, has transferred her hopes to he_aughter, and nursed them till they have become a kind of monomania. She has _obby, which she rides in secret; but some day she will let you see it. I '_ure that if you go in some evening unannounced, you will find her scannin_he tea-leaves in her cup, or telling her daughter's fortune with a greas_ack of cards, preserved for the purpose. She promises her a prince—a reignin_rince. But if Mrs. Light is silly, she is shrewd, too, and, les_onsiderations of state should deny her prince the luxury of a love-match, sh_eeps on hand a few common mortals. At the worst she would take a duke, a_nglish lord, or even a young American with a proper number of millions. Th_oor woman must be rather uncomfortable. She is always building castles an_nocking them down again—always casting her nets and pulling them in. If he_aughter were less of a beauty, her transparent ambition would be ver_idiculous; but there is something in the girl, as one looks at her, tha_eems to make it very possible she is marked out for one of those wonderfu_omantic fortunes that history now and then relates. 'Who, after all, was th_mpress of the French?' Mrs. Light is forever saying. 'And beside Christin_he Empress is a dowdy!'"
  • "And what does Christina say?"
  • "She makes no scruple, as you know, of saying that her mother is a fool. Wha_he thinks, heaven knows. I suspect that, practically, she does not commi_erself. She is excessively proud, and thinks herself good enough to occup_he highest station in the world; but she knows that her mother talk_onsense, and that even a beautiful girl may look awkward in makin_nsuccessful advances. So she remains superbly indifferent, and lets he_other take the risks. If the prince is secured, so much the better; if he i_ot, she need never confess to herself that even a prince has slighted her."
  • "Your report is as solid," Rowland said to Madame Grandoni, thanking her, "a_f it had been prepared for the Academy of Sciences;" and he congratulate_imself on having listened to it when, a couple of days later, Mrs. Light an_er daughter, attended by the Cavaliere and the poodle, came to his rooms t_ook at Roderick's statues. It was more comfortable to know just with whom h_as dealing.
  • Mrs. Light was prodigiously gracious, and showered down compliments not onl_n the statues, but on all his possessions. "Upon my word," she said, "you me_now how to make yourselves comfortable. If one of us poor women had half a_any easy-chairs and knick-knacks, we should be famously abused. It 's reall_elfish to be living all alone in such a place as this. Cavaliere, how shoul_ou like this suite of rooms and a fortune to fill them with pictures an_tatues? Christina, love, look at that mosaic table. Mr. Mallet, I coul_lmost beg it from you. Yes, that Eve is certainly very fine. We need n't b_shamed of such a great-grandmother as that. If she was really such _eautiful woman, it accounts for the good looks of some of us. Where is Mr.
  • What 's-his-name, the young sculptor? Why is n't he here to be complimented?"
  • Christina had remained but for a moment in the chair which Rowland had place_or her, had given but a cursory glance at the statues, and then, leaving he_lace, had begun to wander round the room—looking at herself in the mirror, touching the ornaments and curiosities, glancing at the books and prints.
  • Rowland's sitting-room was encumbered with bric-a-brac, and she found plent_f occupation. Rowland presently joined her, and pointed out some of th_bjects he most valued.
  • "It 's an odd jumble," she said frankly. "Some things are very pretty—some ar_ery ugly. But I like ugly things, when they have a certain look. Prettines_s terribly vulgar nowadays, and it is not every one that knows just the sor_f ugliness that has chic. But chic is getting dreadfully common too. There '_ hint of it even in Madame Baldi's bonnets. I like looking at people'_hings," she added in a moment, turning to Rowland and resting her eyes o_im. "It helps you to find out their characters."
  • "Am I to suppose," asked Rowland, smiling, "that you have arrived at an_onclusions as to mine?"
  • "I am rather muddled; you have too many things; one seems to contradic_nother. You are very artistic and yet you are very prosaic; you have what i_alled a 'catholic' taste and yet you are full of obstinate little prejudice_nd habits of thought, which, if I knew you, I should find very tiresome. _on't think I like you."
  • "You make a great mistake," laughed Rowland; "I assure you I am very amiable."
  • "Yes, I am probably wrong, and if I knew you, I should find out I was wrong, and that would irritate me and make me dislike you more. So you see we ar_ecessary enemies."
  • "No, I don't dislike you."
  • "Worse and worse; for you certainly will not like me."
  • "You are very discouraging."
  • "I am fond of facing the truth, though some day you will deny that. Where i_hat queer friend of yours?"
  • "You mean Mr. Hudson. He is represented by these beautiful works."
  • Miss Light looked for some moments at Roderick's statues. "Yes," she said,
  • "they are not so silly as most of the things we have seen. They have no chic, and yet they are beautiful."
  • "You describe them perfectly," said Rowland. "They are beautiful, and yet the_ave no chic. That 's it!"
  • "If he will promise to put none into my bust, I have a mind to let him mak_t. A request made in those terms deserves to be granted."
  • "In what terms?"
  • "Did n't you hear him? 'Mademoiselle, you almost satisfy my conception of th_eautiful. I must model your bust.' That almost should be rewarded. He is lik_e; he likes to face the truth. I think we should get on together."
  • The Cavaliere approached Rowland, to express the pleasure he had derived fro_is beautiful "collection." His smile was exquisitely bland, his accen_ppealing, caressing, insinuating. But he gave Rowland an odd sense of lookin_t a little waxen image, adjusted to perform certain gestures and emit certai_ounds. It had once contained a soul, but the soul had leaked out.
  • Nevertheless, Rowland reflected, there are more profitless things than mer_ound and gesture, in a consummate Italian. And the Cavaliere, too, had sou_nough left to desire to speak a few words on his own account, and cal_owland's attention to the fact that he was not, after all, a hired cicerone, but an ancient Roman gentleman. Rowland felt sorry for him; he hardly kne_hy. He assured him in a friendly fashion that he must come again; that hi_ouse was always at his service. The Cavaliere bowed down to the ground. "Yo_o me too much honor," he murmured. "If you will allow me—it is no_mpossible!"
  • Mrs. Light, meanwhile, had prepared to depart. "If you are not afraid to com_nd see two quiet little women, we shall be most happy!" she said. "We have n_tatues nor pictures—we have nothing but each other. Eh, darling?"
  • "I beg your pardon," said Christina.
  • "Oh, and the Cavaliere," added her mother.
  • "The poodle, please!" cried the young girl.
  • Rowland glanced at the Cavaliere; he was smiling more blandly than ever.
  • A few days later Rowland presented himself, as civility demanded, at Mrs.
  • Light's door. He found her living in one of the stately houses of the Vi_ell' Angelo Custode, and, rather to his surprise, was told she was at home.
  • He passed through half a dozen rooms and was ushered into an immense saloon, at one end of which sat the mistress of the establishment, with a piece o_mbroidery. She received him very graciously, and then, pointing mysteriousl_o a large screen which was unfolded across the embrasure of one of the dee_indows, "I am keeping guard!" she said. Rowland looked interrogative; whereupon she beckoned him forward and motioned him to look behind the screen.
  • He obeyed, and for some moments stood gazing. Roderick, with his back turned, stood before an extemporized pedestal, ardently shaping a formless mass o_lay. Before him sat Christina Light, in a white dress, with her shoulder_are, her magnificent hair twisted into a classic coil, and her head admirabl_oised. Meeting Rowland's gaze, she smiled a little, only with her deep gra_yes, without moving. She looked divinely beautiful.