The Mansion - Henry Van Dyke - Страница 1 из 32
Henry van Dyke
There was an air of calm and reserved opulence about the Weightman
mansion that spoke not of money squandered, but of wealth prudently
applied. Standing on a corner of the Avenue no longer fashionable for
residence, it looked upon the swelling tide of business with an
expression of complacency and half-disdain.
The house was not beautiful. There was nothing in its straight front
of chocolate-colored stone, its heavy cornices, its broad, staring
windows of plate glass, its carved and bronze-bedecked mahogany doors
at the top of the wide stoop, to charm the eye or fascinate the
imagination. But it was eminently respectable, and in its way
imposing. It seemed to say that the glittering shops of the jewelers,
the milliners, the confectioners, the florists, the picture-dealers,
the furriers, the makers of rare and costly antiquities, retail traders
in luxuries of life, were beneath the notice of a house that had its
foundations in the high finance, and was built literally and
figuratively in the shadow of St. Petronius' Church.
At the same time there was something self-pleased and congratulatory in
the way in which the mansion held its own amid the changing
neighborhood. It almost seemed to be lifted up a little, among the
tall buildings near at hand, as if it felt the rising value of the land
on which it stood.
John Weightman was like the house into which he had built himself
thirty years ago, and in which his ideals and ambitions were incrusted.
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