On that Wednesday evening Phineas Finn was at The Universeby@anthonytrollope

On that Wednesday evening Phineas Finn was at The Universe

by Anthony Trollope15mOctober 27th, 2023
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On that Wednesday evening Phineas Finn was at The Universe. He dined at the house of Madame Goesler, and went from thence to the club in better spirits than he had known for some weeks past. The Duke and Duchess had been at Madame Goesler's, and Lord and Lady Chiltern, who were now up in town, with Barrington Erle, and,—as it had happened,—old Mr. Maule. The dinner had been very pleasant, and two or three words had been spoken which had tended to raise the heart of our hero. In the first place Barrington Erle had expressed a regret that Phineas was not at his old post at the Colonies, and the young Duke had re-echoed it. Phineas thought that the manner of his old friend Erle was more cordial to him than it had been lately, and even that comforted him. Then it was a delight to him to meet the Chilterns, who were always gracious to him. But perhaps his greatest pleasure came from the reception which was accorded by his hostess to Mr. Maule, which was of a nature not easy to describe. It had become evident to Phineas that Mr. Maule was constant in his attentions to Madame Goesler; and, though he had no purpose of his own in reference to the lady,—though he was aware that former circumstances, circumstances of that previous life to which he was accustomed to look back as to another existence, made it impossible that he should have any such purpose,—still he viewed Mr. Maule with dislike. He had once ventured to ask her whether she really liked "that old padded dandy." She had answered that she did like the old dandy. Old dandies, she thought, were preferable to old men who did not care how they looked;—and as for the padding, that was his affair, not hers. She did not know why a man should not have a pad in his coat, as well as a woman one at the back of her head. But Phineas had known that this was her gentle raillery, and now he was delighted to find that she continued it, after a still more gentle fashion, before the man's face. Mr. Maule's manner was certainly peculiar. He was more than ordinarily polite,—and was afterwards declared by the Duchess to have made love like an old gander. But Madame Goesler, who knew exactly how to receive such attentions, turned a glance now and then upon Phineas Finn, which he could now read with absolute precision. "You see how I can dispose of a padded old dandy directly he goes an inch too far." No words could have said that to him more plainly than did these one or two glances;—and, as he had learned to dislike Mr. Maule, he was gratified.

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Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope

@anthonytrollope

Anthony Trollope was a novelist.

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Anthony Trollope@anthonytrollope
Anthony Trollope was a novelist.

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