emotions. He never could be in the slightest degree a courtier
The next instant a servant stood in the doorway, bearing to our great astonishment, a tray well set with decanter and glasses.
"Mr. Blake's compliments, gentlemen," said he, setting it down on the table before us. "He hopes you will make yourselves at home and he will see you as soon as possible."
The humph! of Mr. Gryce when the servant had gone would have done your soul good, also the look he cast at the pretty Dresden Shepherdess on the mantel-piece, as I reached out my hand towards the decanter. Somehow it made me draw back.
"I think we had better leave his wine alone," said he.
And for half an hour we sat there, the wine untouched between us, listening alternately to the sound of speech-making and laughter that came from the dining-room, and the solemn ticking of the clock as it counted out the seconds on the mantel-piece. Then the guests came in from the table, filing before us past the open door on their way to the parlors. They were all gentlemen of course--Mr. Blake never invited ladies to his house--and gentlemen of well known repute. The dinner had been given in honor of a certain celebrated statesman, and the character of his guests was in keeping with that of the one thus complimented.
As they went by us gaily indulging in the jokes and light banter with which such men season a social dinner, I saw Mr. Gryce's face grow sober by many a shade; and when in the midst of it all, we heard the voice of Mr. Blake rise in that courteous and measured tone for which it is distinguished, I saw him reach forward and grasp his cane with an uneasiness I had never seen displayed by him before. But when some time later, the guests having departed, the dignified host advanced with some apology to where we were, I never beheld a firmer look on Mr. Gryce's face than that with which he rose and confronted him. Mr. Blake's own had not more character in it.
"You have called at a rather inauspicious time, Mr. Gryce," said the latter, glancing at the card which he held in his hand. "What may your business be? Something to do with politics, I suppose."
I surveyed the man in amazement. Was this great politician stooping to act a part, or had he forgotten our physiognomies as completely as appeared.
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