Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/394

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378
A Bundle of Life.
 

"Arabella, dowdy, but exclusive"), no sooner heard that magic name than her whole demeanour changed. The little dignity and resolution she had assumed fell like a veil, and it was soon agreed between the two women that Teresa should be sent for on the morrow.

"The nuns must bring her to London," said Blanche, "for Sidney hates the Channel, and it is death to me."

Yet she had crossed it on the great occasion of her elopement.


III.


Four days after this interview between Lady Warcop and her sister, Sir Sidney might have been seen making his way towards Bedford Row. In person he was unusually handsome, his head and features reminding one in a striking degree of the popular representation of Cicero, while his extraordinarily brilliant blue eyes and lively hair did full justice to his Celtic origin. As in the case of Agamemnon, there were many men taller than he, but in a crowd he was not to be matched for grace and majesty of movement. There was, however, a certain studied ease in his gestures, a premeditated charm in his manner, which to those who disagreed with his politics made insincerity seem the sincerest thing about him. But if he had not a guileless soul, he had at least immaculate linen, which so dazzled the spectator by its purity that to a cynical mind it might have seemed that in this generation a good laundress is more useful than a clean record.

When Sir Sidney entered the private office of Mr. Robert Waddilove (of the firm of Waddilove, Shorn-