Once I was a great beauty and attended all sorts of cocktail-drinking, prize-giving-and-taking, artistic demonstrations and other casually hazardous gatherings organised for the purpose of people wasting other people’s time. I was always in demand and my beautiful face would hang suspended over fashionable garments, smiling continually. An ardent heart, however, beat under the fashionable costumes, and this very ardent heart was like an open tap pouring quantities of hot water over anybody who asked. This wasteful process soon took its toll on my beautiful smiling face. My teeth fell out.
How pitiful the Muses’ hapless suitor
A stranger to the dressing gown’s delights.
A devotee of fashion, dressed up like a doll
And flushed with decorous excitement,
Comes to his study as if entering a ball.
His colours rouge and powder-white;
In aromatic ink he dips
His quill, and drafts a madrigal.
of my ode is this:
beauty is twice
and what is good is doubly
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime,
Tells me from you, that now it is bed time.
Off with that happy busk, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.
Your gown going off, such beauteous state reveals,
As when from flowery meads th’hill’s shadow steals.
Varenka quickly got dressed, grabbed her new hat and once again began trying it on.
‘Absolutely stunning! Especially like this, from the side…’
Oh! What a woman can get away with when she’s wearing a hat like this! Things that a woman wearing any old hat wouldn’t even dare to dream of.
I’m going to tell a secret: my dress is lovely and I don’t want to die. On Friday the dress will be at my house, and on Saturday I’ll wear it. No death, just blue sea. Are there yellow clouds? There are golden ones. I don’t have a story. Does the dead man? He does: he went to swim in the sea at Urca, the fool, and died, who gave the order?
There were twelve mannequins at Jeanne Veron’s: six of them were lunching, the others still paraded, goddess-like, till their turn came for rest and refreshment. Each of the twelve was a distinct and separate type: each of the twelve knew her type and kept to it, practising rigidly in clothing, manner, voice and conversation.
The Pierrot-Eel, seated, casual, tapped the marble balusters with a dangling heel, revealing only its two satin slippers and a black-gloved hand bent back against one hip. The two oblique slits in the mask, carefully covered over with a tulle mesh, allowed only a smothered fire of indeterminate color to pass through.
Helen pouted, and dragged over to the swing for comfort. She swung high, and thought Doctor Malcolm was a most beautiful man – and wondered if his dog had finished the plate of bones in the backyard. Decided to go and see. Slower she swung, then took a flying leap; her tight skirt caught on a nail – there was a sharp, tearing sound – quickly she glanced at the others – they had not noticed – and then at the frock – at a hole big enough to stick her hand through. She felt neither frightened nor sorry.
Riki pulled the towel closer to cover the wide expanses of rosy flesh between the top and bottom of an extremely scanty bikini. Obviously this guy was a real hick who just didn’t know any better. His Southern drawl was a give-away. He probably didn’t even know that this kind of a pass might get him a slap in the face from most girls.
But then, Riki wasn’t most girls! Not by a long shot. It might be fun to lead this square on a little. Just for kicks. With a coy glance, Riki let the towel slip down to expose part of one sun-tinted swell of flesh.
There’s a conventional belief that it’s horrible to grow old, because old age is ugly. As a result, a woman has her white hairs plucked, or dyes them; she uses makeup to hide her wrinkles, or at least, tries to add some luster to her faded cheeks with the deceptive glitter of bright fabrics. I don’t want to make a long catalogue of cosmetic artifices, so I’ll stop there. But note that instead of banishing the signs of old age, such devices merely make them more lasting and more glaring.
The gallery owner was pushing through the crowd towards Drioli. He was calm now, deadly serious, making a smile with his mouth. ‘Monsieur,’ he said, ‘I will buy it. I said I will buy it. Monsieur.’ ‘How can you buy it?’ Drioli asked softly. All the sadness in the world was in his voice. ‘Yes!’ they were saying in the crowd. ‘How can he sell it? It is part of himself!’