This is Mr. Anthony Hope's only historical novel. It deals with the Court of Charles II., and gives a brilliant picture of that complex age, relieved by a charming love story.
you," said I, and I stood bareheaded while Barbara, without another glance at me, walked off towards the house. Half penitent, yet wholly obstinate, I watched her go; she did not once look over her shoulder. Had she--but a truce to that. What passed is enough; with what might have, my story would stretch to the world's end. I smothered my remorse, and went up to the stranger, bidding her good-day in my most polite and courtly manner; she smiled, but at what I knew not. She seemed little more than a child, sixteen years old or seventeen at the most, yet there was no confusion in her greeting of me. Indeed, she was most marvellously at her ease, for, on my salute, she cried, lifting her hands in feigned amazement,
"A man, by my faith; a man in this place!"
Well pleased to be called a man, I bowed again.
"Or at least," she added, "what will be one, if it please Heaven."
"You may live to see it without growing wrinkled," said I, striving to conceal my annoyance.
"And one that h
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