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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James

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Title: The Portrait of a Lady

Volume 2 (of 2)

Author: Henry James

Release Date: December 1, 2008 [EBook #2834]

Language: English

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY ***

Produced by Eve Sobol, and David Widger

THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY

VOLUME II (of II)

By Henry James

Contents

   Previous Volume

CHAPTER XXVIII

CHAPTER XXIX

CHAPTER XXX

CHAPTER XXXI

CHAPTER XXXII

CHAPTER XXXIII

CHAPTER XXXIV

CHAPTER XXXV

CHAPTER XXXVI

CHAPTER XXXVII

CHAPTER XXXVIII

CHAPTER XXXIX

CHAPTER XL

CHAPTER XLI

CHAPTER XLII

CHAPTER XLIII

CHAPTER XLIV

CHAPTER XLV

CHAPTER XLVI

CHAPTER XLVII

CHAPTER XLVIII

CHAPTER XLIX

CHAPTER L

CHAPTER LI

CHAPTER LII

CHAPTER LIII

CHAPTER LIV

CHAPTER LV

CHAPTER XXVIII

On the morrow, in the evening, Lord Warburton went again to see his friends at their hotel, and at this establishment he learned that they had gone to the opera. He drove to the opera with the idea of paying them a visit in their box after the easy Italian fashion; and when he had obtained his admittance—it was one of the secondary theatres—looked about the large, bare, ill-lighted house. An act had just terminated and he was at liberty to pursue his quest. After scanning two or three tiers of boxes he perceived in one of the largest of these receptacles a lady whom he easily recognised. Miss Archer was seated facing the stage and partly screened by the curtain of the box; and beside her, leaning back in his chair, was Mr. Gilbert Osmond. They appeared to have the place to themselves, and Warburton supposed their companions had taken advantage of the recess to enjoy the relative coolness of the lobby. He stood a while with his eyes on the interesting pair; he asked himself if he should go up and interrupt the harmony. At last he judged that Isabel had seen him, and this accident determined him. There should be no marked holding off. He took his way to the upper regions and on the staircase met Ralph Touchett slowly descending, his hat at the inclination of ennui and his hands where they usually were.

'I saw you below a moment since and was going down to you. I feel lonely and want company,' was Ralph's greeting.

'You've some that's very good which you've yet deserted.'

'Do you mean my cousin? Oh, she has a visitor and doesn't want me. Then Miss Stackpole and Bantling have gone out to a cafe to eat an ice—Miss Stackpole delights in an ice. I didn't think they wanted me either. The opera's very bad; the women look like laundresses and sing like peacocks. I feel very low.'

'You had better go home,' Lord Warburton said without affectation.

'And leave my young lady in this sad place? Ah no, I must watch over her.'

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