Translated by Georgina Harding. Verses Translated by Arthur Symons. Introduction by Ernest Boyd.
he hearth, and several low seats were invitingly disposed within range of its warmth, while large leaf plants spread their red-veined foliage over the low backs.
The Marchesa, advanced to meet the two new arrivals with her delightful ready laugh.
'Ah,' she said, 'a happy chance has forestalled me and made it unnecessary for me to tell you one another's names. Cousin Sperelli, make obeisance before the divine Elena.'
Andrea bowed profoundly. The Duchess held out her hand with a frank and graceful gesture.
'I am very glad to know you, Count,' she said, looking him full in the face. 'I heard so much about you last summer at Lucerne from one of your friends--Giulio Musellaro. I must confess I was rather curious--Besides, Musellaro lent me your exquisite "Story of the Hermaphrodite" and made me a present of your etching "Sleep"--a proof copy--a real gem. You have a most ardent admirer in me--please remember that.'
She spoke with little pauses in between. Her voice was so warm and