Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/154

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private, and covered him with confusion in public by making him talk at table.

But the most amusing of all the family was Madame A., a handsome widow from Lyons, with two ugly children and a stout old mamma, who wore orange stockings and a curious edifice of black lace encircled with large purple asters. The widow had married an Italian artist, who was mortally jealous of his wife, whose blonde beauty attracted much attention at Rome. In some quarrel with a model the husband was stabbed, and the handsome widow left in peace.

A tall, fair lady, with a profile like Marie Antoinette; she dressed in white with violet ribbons, and wore much ancient jewelry. A loud-voiced, energetic woman, who bewailed the sack of her house at Lyons, scolded her children, and cursed the Germans with equal volubility and spirit. When silent she was the picture of a patrician beauty; but, alas! her voice destroyed the charm, and her manners—great heavens, what things that woman did! Picking her pearly teeth with a hair-pin, and knocking her darlings into their chairs with one sweep of her elbow when they annoyed her at