He looked baffled and hungry, and Archer reflected that he would probably finish his meal on Ellen Olenska.
It gave him an odd sensation to reflect that, but for the Countess’s arrival, he might have been, if not still a free man, at least a man less irrevocably pledged.
On his face it became a mild benevolence which Mrs. Archer’s countenance dutifully reflected.
Agreeable as their expression was, the young man was shocked that they should reflect so unseemly a picture of the august tribunal before which, at that very moment, her case was being tried.
It was, perhaps, Archer reflected, because her early vivacity had disappeared; because she was so quiet—quiet in her movements, her voice, and the tones of her low-pitched voice.
"She knows as well as I do," he reflected, "the real reason of her cousin’s staying away; but I shall never let her see by the least sign that I am conscious of there being a shadow of a shade on poor Ellen Olenska’s reputation."
She stood silent, resting her thin elbows on the mantelpiece, her profile reflected in the glass behind her.
The allusion brought the colour to her cheek, and it reflected itself in Archer’s vivid blush.
He reflected, however, that Mrs. Struthers’s Sunday evenings were not like a ball, and that her guests, as if to minimise their delinquency, usually went early.
His first thought was of some dark menace from abroad; then he reflected that he did not know her epistolary style, and that it might run to picturesque exaggeration.
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He saw no reason to suppose that she would want anything different in her own house; and his only comfort was to reflect that she would probably let him arrange his library as he pleased—which would be, of course, with "sincere" Eastlake furniture, and the plain new bookcases without glass doors.
"After that I suppose we shall have pretty nearly finished rubbing off each other’s angles," he reflected; but the worst of it was that May’s pressure was already bearing on the very angles whose sharpness he most wanted to keep.
He saw his blush more darkly reflected in M. Riviere’s sallow countenance.
It was thus, Archer reflected, that New York managed its transitions: conspiring to ignore them till they were well over, and then, in all good faith, imagining that they had taken place in a preceding age.
"It functions as actively, no doubt, but the rhythm is different," he reflected, recalling the cool composure with which the young man had announced his engagement, and taken for granted that his family would approve.
Then the house had been boldly planned with a ball-room, so that, instead of squeezing through a narrow passage to get to it (as at the Chiverses’) one marched solemnly down a vista of enfiladed drawing-rooms (the sea-green, the crimson and the bouton d’or), seeing from afar the many-candled lustres reflected in the polished parquetry, and beyond that the depths of a conservatory where camellias and tree-ferns arched their costly foliage over seats of black and gold bamboo.
No, don’t come any farther than this," she cried, walking hurriedly away down the long room, as if the reflected radiance in his eyes had frightened her.