Page:Othmar, by Ouida.djvu/16

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OTHMAR. 

blonde with blue eyes that gazed from under black lashes with pathetic tenderness.

'Euh! euh!' murmured one impertinent. 
'Oh, oh!' murmured another. 
'Ouiche !' said a third under his breath. 

The sovereign smiled ironically :

'Ah, my dear Duchesse! all that died out 

with the poets of 1830. It belongs to the time when women wore muslin gowns, looked at the moon, and played the harp.'

'If I might venture on a definition in the 

langue verte,' suggested a handsome man, seated at the feet of the queen, 'though I fear I should be turned out of Court as Eabelais and Scarron are turned out of the drawing-room———'

'We can imagine what it would be, and 

will not give you the trouble to say any more. If the definition of Love be, on the contrary, left to me, I shall include it all in one word— Illusion.'

'That is a cruel statement!'
'It is a fact. We have our own ideal, 

which we temporarily place in the person, and clothe with the likeness, of whoever is fortunate enough to resemble it superficially enough to