Posts Tagged ‘the enchanted april’

Oh Poor Lady Caroline …

Try as she may to be snooty and dismissive to others, her bewitching beauty and lovely voice betrayed her true feelings. The more she tried to be rude and cold to acquaintances. the more they were enchanted by her natural charms and they loved her even more. Oh, to be so cursed as was Lady Caroline!

So she ignored Mrs. Arbuthnot’s remark and raised forefinger, and said with marked coldness–at least, she tried to make it sound marked–that she supposed they would be going to breakfast, and that she had had hers; but it was her fate that however coldly she sent forth her words they came out sounding quite warm and agreeable. That was because she had a sympathetic and delightful voice, due entirely to some special formation of her throat and the roof of her mouth, and having nothing whatever to do with what she was feeling. Nobody in consequence ever believed they were being snubbed. It was most tiresome. And if she stared icily it did not look icy at all, because her eyes, lovely to begin with, had the added loveliness of very long, soft, dark eyelashes. No icy stare could come out of eyes like that; it got caught and lost in the soft eyelashes, and the persons stared at merely thought they were being regarded with a flattering and exquisite attentiveness. And if ever she was out of humour or definitely cross–and who would not be sometimes in such a world?—she only looked so pathetic that people all rushed to comfort her, if possible by means of kissing. It was more than tiresome, it was maddening. Nature was¬†determined that she should look and sound angelic. She could never be disagreeable or rude without being completely misunderstood.

‘I had my breakfast in my room,’ she said, trying her utmost to sound curt. ‘Perhaps I’ll see you later.’

And she nodded, and went back to where she had been sitting on the wall, with the lilies being nice and cool round her feet.”

“The Enchanted April,” by Elizabeth von Arnim, at the end of Chapter 6.

Perhaps I’ll see you later.


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