Estelle Russell PDF ePub eBook

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Estelle Russell free pdf Excerpt from Estelle Russell The short winter of Languedoc was drawing near its close. The noonday sun had been fierce enough, but towards evening a cold wind had sprung up, increasing in violence as the sun went down. It was raging now tempestuously over the city of Toulouse- sweeping up and down the streets in eddying blasts, bursting open doors, slamming the heavy window-shutters that care less housewives had left unfastened, screaming down chimneys, and whistling through every cranny of the quaint brick houses. The day-laborers on their way home to the poor suburb across the bridge of St. Cyprien, meeting the blast, turned back and waited shivering- the peasant women and children fled before it, taking refuge in courts and alleys and sheltered corners, till the violence of the hurricane should be spent. The dwellers in the noble quarter of the city - that lying between the Garonne and the Jardin Royal - hearing the roar without, instinctively drew nearer, their wood-fires, shutting out the bleak, unwelcome sounds as they best might with the help of closed shutters and thick curtains. Among all the houses in that wealthy and exclusive quarter there was not one which had a pleasanter drawing-room than Mrs. Russell's on the first floor of the Hotel St. Jean, Rue des Couteliers. There was many a drawing-room in which greater splendor of carving and gilding and upholstery prevailed - some few, perhaps, possessing greater length of floor and height of ceiling- but in Mrs. Russel's drawing-room there was, besides a great deal that was pretty, quaint, or valuable, that atmosphere of home that a room can only get by being lived in daily, and used as if it belonged to its mistress, instead of being kept as a state-room for the reception of visitors, with blinds drawn down and furniture in strict order. The furniture in this room was a curious conglomeration. Scarcely a chair or a table matched. There were Japan tables and cabinets filled with hideous and valuable ornaments, and there were tables and cabinets of Florentine mosaic, -and copies in alabaster of the famous antiques, such as one sees by thousands in Rome and Florence. Side by side with ancient high-backed chairs stood couches of the latest Paris make, whereon a visitor might recline and admire oak carving at his ease, with a feeling of thankfulness that his own back was not being tortured by the bosses and foliage which our forefather's backs had to lean against. Old pictures hung on the walls, reflected in the Louis Quinze mirrors which reached from floor to ceiling- an old gilt clock stood on the mantel-piece, flanked by a couple of Dresden shepherdesses. The room was, moreover, filled with the perfume of the violets and gardenias for which Toulouse is so famous, and which have earned for her the name of "The City of Flowers." Mrs. Russell was a little woman, most beautifully formed, with the hand and foot of a fairy, a sweet white and pink complexion, dark violet eyes and a profusion of curls, so white that she looked like a powered marquise as she sat nestled in her low chair, enveloped in the luxuriant folds of a black velvet dress. She was one of those ethereal-looking creatures who live and move as if a mere breath would completely annihilate them, but who nevertheless contrive to get their own way, and who rule despotically over their husbands and children. Mrs. Russell had ruled despotically over her husband, Captain Russell, while he lived. He was dead now- he had died at Pau when his eldest boy, Harry, was just old enough to enter the navy. Perhaps, if he had lived, his wife would have wished to see Harry in the army rather than in the navy, and would have been pretty certain to carry out her wish. But almost with his last breath Captain Russell had expressed a hope that Harry would enter the navy- and his wife for once put her own ideas on the point of a profession aside, and followed those of the husband who had bee

About Mary Allan-Olney

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Details Book

Author : Mary Allan-Olney
Publisher : Forgotten Books
Data Published : 27 September 2015
ISBN : 1331247373
EAN : 9781331247371
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 394 pages
Age + : 5-9 years
Language : English
Rating :

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