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The Princess Casamassima

By James, Henry

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Book Id: WPLBN0000000115
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 2.6 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: The Princess Casamassima  
Author: James, Henry
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Classic Literature Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Ebook Library


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James, H. (n.d.). The Princess Casamassima. Retrieved from

OH, YES, I dare say I can find the child, if you would like to see him, Miss Pynsent said; she had a fluttering wish to assent to every suggestion made by her visitor, whom she regarded as a high and rather terrible personage. To look for the little boy, she came out of her small parlor, which she had been ashamed to exhibit in so untidy a state, with paper patterns lying about on the furniture, and snippings of stuff scattered over the carpet —she came out of this somewhat stuffy sanctuary, dedicated at once to social intercourse and to the ingenious art to which her life had been devoted, and, opening the house-door, turned her eyes up and down the little street. It would presently be tea-time, and she knew that at that solemn hour Hyacinth narrowed the circle of his wanderings. She was anxious and impatient, and in a little fever of excitement and complacency, not wanting to keep Mrs. Bowerbank waiting, though she sat there, heavily and consideringly, as if she meant to stay; and wondering not a little whether the object of her quest would have a dirty face. Mrs. Bowerbank had intimated so definitely that she thought it remarkable on Miss Pynsent's part to have taken care of him, gratuitously, for so many years, that the little dressmaker, whose imagination took flights about every one but herself, and who had never been conscious of an exemplary benevolence, suddenly aspired to appear, throughout, as devoted to the child as she had struck her solemn, substantial guest as being, and felt how much she should like him to come in fresh and frank, and looking as pretty as he sometimes did. Miss Pynsent, who blinked confusedly as she surveyed the outer prospect, was very much flushed, partly with the agitation of what Mrs. Bowerbank had told her, and partly because, when she offered that lady a drop of something refreshing, at the end of so long an expedition, she had said she couldn't think of touching anything unless Miss Pynsent would keep her company. The chiffonier (as Amanda was always careful to call it), beside the fireplace, yielded up a small bottle which had formerly contained eau-de-cologne, and which now exhibited half a pint of a rich gold-colored liquid. Miss Pynsent was very delicate; she lived on tea and watercress, and she kept the little bottle in the chiffonier only for great emergencies. She didn't like hot brandy and water, with a lump or two of sugar, but she partook of half a tumbler on the present occasion, which was of a highly exceptional kind. At this time of day the boy was often planted in front of the little sweet-shop on the other side of the street, an establishment where periodical literature as well as tough toffy and hard lollipops was dispensed, and where song-books and pictorial sheets were attractively exhibited in the small-paned, dirty window. He used to stand there for half an hour at a time, spelling out the first pages of the romances in the Family Herald and the London Journal, and admiring the obligatory illustration, in which the noble characters (they were always of the highest birth) were presented to the carnal eye. When he had a penny he spent only a fraction of it on stale sugar-candy; with the remaining halfpenny he always bought a ballad, with a vivid woodcut at the top. Now, however, he was not at his post of contemplation; nor was he visible anywhere to Miss Pynsent's impatient glance.

Table of Contents
· BOOK FIRST. · I. · II. · III. · IV. · V. · VI. · VII. · VIII. · IX. · X. · XI. · BOOK SECOND. · XII. · XIII. · XIV. · XV. · XVI. · XVII. · XVIII. · XIX. · XX.


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