Mrs. Fleming's stories have always been extremely popular. Their delineations of character, lifelike conversations, the flashes of wit, their constantly varying scenes and deeply interesting plots combine to place their author in an enviable position.
polished black oak, slippery as ice, and shining like glass; a few old Flemish paintings on the walls; a large, round table in the centre of the floor, on which lay a pair of the old musical instruments called "virginals." Two large, curtainless windows, with minute diamond-shaped panes, set in leaden casements, admitted the golden and crimson light.
"For the reception-room of a sorceress," remarked Sir Norman, with an air of disappointed criticism, "there is nothing very wonderful about all this. How is it she spaes fortunes any way? As Lilly does by maps and charts; or as these old Eastern mufti do it by magic mirrors and all each fooleries?"
"Neither," said Ormiston, "her style in more like that of the Indian almechs, who show you your destiny in a well. She has a sort of magic lake in her room, and--but you will see it all for yourself presently."
"I have always heard," said Sir Norman, in the same meditative way, "that truth lies at the bottom of a well, and I am glad some one has tu
One of Fleming's more lurid novels, which is saying a lot. Recounted in the airiest possible tone, this historical romance featuring a mysterious, masked fortuneteller; a beautiful, tragic bride; a brave if foolhardy young knight; three unlikely doppelgangers; deadly secret midnight revels; strange noblemen; a fearsome dwarf; grisly beheadings; and a peculiar king, all set amid the grim horrors of the Great Plague of London in 1665. Rather more unbelievable than most, it's perhaps best approached as fantasy.