Page:Court Royal.djvu/426

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Every window of Court Royal is lighted up, and the terrace is hung with coloured lamps. Carriage after carriage drives up and deposits members of every knowable family for many miles round Kingsbridge, for the Cheek-Roseveres are settled in, and are giving their first soirée of dancing and music.

The footmen in scarlet and buff are in the hall and on the grand staircase—scarlet and buff are the Cheek-Rosevere livery, because no more showy livery could be thought of. That of the Eveleighs was only buff and scarlet. The house had gone through a reformation under the hands of an art adviser and Oxford Street furniture dealers. Much of the old decoration was preserved but renovated; most of the good Chippendale furniture, and Florentine inlaid cabinets, and Sèvres and Dresden china, and the pictures of Morland, and Gainsborough, and Gerard Dow were still there. But everything was freshened up, the gilding regilt and burnished, the colours brightened, the polished wood re-polished. The curtains, the coverings, were all of silk or satin, and were new.

The state drawing-room was lighted by electric burners, the chandeliers had been banished from the ball-room. The old motto of the Eveleighs, ‘Quod antiquatur et sencscit prope interitum est,’ was everywhere effaced and supplanted by ‘Nil præstat buccæ,’ which may be interpreted ‘Nothing like Cheek.’ In the dining-room, over the chimney-piece, the Ducal arms had made way for the cognizance of the Cheeks, an unicorn, beneath which was inscribed ‘Plentie of Pushe’ as well as ‘Nil præstat buccæ,’ for the old scroll of the legend had been utilised, and two mottoes were needed to fill the scroll from which the lengthy inscription had been erased. Besides, as the family name was double, and the arms were double, why not duplicate the motto?

Some time has elapsed since the event described in the last chapter, and in that time great changes have taken place. The affairs of the Duke reached a climax; Court Royal was lost, and passed to Cheek of the Monokeratic system. But the Monokeros was too pushing and prosperous a beast to be resigned, and the old man remained at the head of the