Page:Pierre.djvu/95

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PRESENTIMENT AND VERIFICATION 81

cally- turning her gay head a little sideways ' very beautiful, indeed ; this, I suppose, is all premeditated for my entertainment. Orpheus finding his Eurydice ; or Pluto stealing Proserpine. Admirable ! It might almost stand for either.'

'No,' said Pierre, gravely ; ' it is the last. Now, first I see a meaning there.' Yes, he added to himself inwardly, I am Pluto stealing Proserpine ; and every accepted lover is.

'And you would be very stupid, brother Pierre, if you did not see something there/ said his mother, still that way pursuing her own different train of thought. ' The meaning thereof is this : Lucy has commanded me to stay you ; but in reality she wants you to go along with her. Well, you may go as far as the porch ; but then, you must return, for we have not concluded our little affair, you know. Adieu, little lady ! '

There was ever a slight degree of affectionate patronising in the manner of the resplendent, full-blown Mrs. Glendinning, toward the delicate and shrinking girlhood of young Lucy. She treated her very much as she might have treated some surpassingly beautiful and precocious child ; and this was precisely what Lucy was. Looking beyond the present period, Mrs. Glendinning could not but perceive, that even in Lucy's womanly maturity, Lucy would still be a child to her ; because, she, elated, felt, that in a certain intellectual vigour, so to speak, she was the essential opposite of Lucy, whose sympathetic mind and person had both been cast in one mould of wondrous delicacy. But here Mrs. Glendinning was both right and wrong. So far as she here saw a difference between herself and Lucy Tartan, she did not err ; but so far—and that was very far—as she thought she saw her innate superiority to her in the absolute scale of being, here she very widely and immeasurably erred. For what