Confidence - Henry James - Страница 1 из 279

by Henry James
It was in the early days of April; Bernard Longueville had been spending
the winter in Rome. He had travelled northward with the consciousness of
several social duties that appealed to him from the further side of the
Alps, but he was under the charm of the Italian spring, and he made a
pretext for lingering. He had spent five days at Siena, where he had
intended to spend but two, and still it was impossible to continue his
journey. He was a young man of a contemplative and speculative turn, and
this was his first visit to Italy, so that if he dallied by the way he
should not be harshly judged. He had a fancy for sketching, and it was
on his conscience to take a few pictorial notes. There were two old
inns at Siena, both of them very shabby and very dirty. The one at which
Longueville had taken up his abode was entered by a dark, pestiferous
arch-way, surmounted by a sign which at a distance might have been read
by the travellers as the Dantean injunction to renounce all hope. The
other was not far off, and the day after his arrival, as he passed
it, he saw two ladies going in who evidently belonged to the large
fraternity of Anglo-Saxon tourists, and one of whom was young and
carried herself very well. Longueville had his share--or more than his
share--of gallantry, and this incident awakened a regret. If he had
gone to the other inn he might have had charming company: at his own
establishment there was no one but an aesthetic German who smoked bad

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