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And now she was dame pour accompagner to the Duchesse de Chartres, and her influence was soon felt in the society of the Palais Royal.Isola rarely touched that stick without remembering the day it was boughta rainy day in Milanjust such a day as this, a low, grey sky, and an oppressive mildness of atmosphere. She remembered, with the sick pain that goes with long partings, how she and her husband had dawdled away an afternoon in the Victor Emmanuel Gallery, buying handkerchiefs and neckties, a book or two, a collection of photographs, and finally the orange stick.
Mme. Geoffrin  was born 1699: her father a  valet de chambre of the Dauphin. He and her mother died young and left her and her brother to the guardianship of their grandmother, a certain Mme. Chemineau, a woman of strong, upright character, and a devout Catholic, but narrow and without much education. She brought up her grandchildren with care and affection, and married the girl when about fourteen to M. Geoffrin, a rich and worthy commercial man of forty-eight. With him Thrse lived in tranquil obscurity until she was about thirty, when she became acquainted with the celebrated Mlle. Tencin, sister of the Cardinal, over whose house and salon she presided, and who, like Mme. Geoffrin, lived in the rue St. Honor.CHAPTER V
"On the last day of the year before lastthe winter I spent in Burmah. What were you doingwhere were youwhere had you been? Is it so difficult to remember?"Then the sunset, in the furnace of heavy purple and red, reflected in the water in fiery copper-colour streaked with violet, till soon it all faded together, to gold, to lemon-colour; the mist rising from the river spread over all the country, and everything looked the same in the cloudless gloom. One quarter of the sky glowed faintly, through the haze a crimson globe rose into view, the moon appeared, and soon lighted up all the sky with a soft greenish glow, pallid but deep, lying on the tranquil Ganges in broad rippling sheets of gold and green, spangled with light where a fish leaped, or a white bird dipped its wing as it skimmed swiftly across without a sound. The gold grew cold and dead, the moon turned to steel against the intensely blue sky, to cold blue steel on the lustrous face of the waters.
"Oh, we had the firelightParker forgot to bring the lamp."
We saw the Jasmine tower from a corner of the garden in the glow of sunset. With its gilt cupola blazing in the low beams, its amber-hued walls as transparent as melting wax, and its pierced screen-work, it looked so diaphanous, so fragile, that it might be carried away by the evening breeze. And beyond the pavilion, above the ramparts carved with huge elephants, lies the old Hindoo palace, deserted by Jehangir for his house of pale marblesan endless palace, a labyrinth of red buildings loaded to the top with an agglomeration of ornament supporting flat roofs. And pagodas that have lost their doors, a work of destruction begun by Aurungzeeb. One court is still intact, overhung by seventy-two balconies, where the zenana could look on at the dancing of bayadres. Perfect, too, is the queen's private apartment, with two walls between which an army kept guard by day and by night.