daisy miller

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HENRY JAMESDAISY MILLERANDOTHER STORIESElibron Classicswww.elibron.comElibron Classics is a trademark of Adamant Media Corporation.Visit us at www.elibron.com3DAISY MILLERChapter IAt the little town of Vevey, in Switzerland, there is aparticularlycomfortablehotel.Thereare,indeed,manyhotels;fortheentertainmentoftouristsisthebusinessoftheplace,which,asmanytravellerswillremember,isseated upontheedgeofaremarkablybluelakealakethat it behoves every tourist to visit. The shore of the lakepresents an unbroken array of establishments of this order,ofeverycategory,fromthe'grandhotel'ofthenewestfashion, with a chalk-white front, a hundred balconies, andadozenflagsflyingfromitsroof,tothelittleSwisspen-sionofanelderday,withitsnameinscribedinGerman-looking lettering upon a pink or yellow wall, and an awk-ward summer-house in the angle of the garden. One of thehotels at Vevey, however, is famous, even classical, beingdistinguishedfrommanyofitsupstartneighboursbyanairbothofluxuryandofmaturity.Inthisregion,inthemonthofJune,Americantravellersareextremelynumer-ous, it may be said indeed, that Vevey assumes at this pe-riod some of the characteristics of anAmerican watering-place.Therearesightsandsoundswhichevokeavision,anecho,ofNewportandSaratoga.Thereisaflittinghitherandthitherof'stylish'younggirls,arustlingofmuslinflounces,arattleofdancemusicinthemorninghours,asoundofhigh-pitchedvoicesatalltimes.Youreceiveanimpressionofthesethingsattheexcellentinnofthe'TroisCouronnes,'andaretransportedinfancytotheOceanHouseortoCongressHall.Butatthe'TroisCouronnes,' it must be added, there are other features thatare much at variance with these suggestions: neat Germanwaiters,wholooklikesecretariesoflegation:RussianHENRY JAMES4princesses sitting in the garden; little Polish boys walkingabout,heldbythehand,withtheirgovernors;aviewofthesnowycrestoftheDentduMidiandthepicturesquetowers of the Castle of Chillon.I hardly know whether it was the analogies or the dif-ferencesthatwereuppermostinthemindofayoungAmerican,who,twoorthreeyearsago,satinthegardenof the 'Trois Couronnes,' looking about him, rather idly, atsomeofthegracefulobjectsIhavementioned.Itwasabeautifulsummermorning,andinwhateverfashiontheyoung American looked at things, they must have seemedto him charming.He had come from Geneva the day before, by the lit-tlesteamer,toseehisaunt,whowasstayingatthehotelGenevahavingbeenforalongtimehisplaceorresi-dence. But his aunt had a headache his aunt had almostalwaysaheadacheandnowshewasshutupinherroom, smelling camphor, so that he was at liberty to wan-derabout.Hewassomeseven-and-twentyyearsofage;whenhisfriendsspokeofhim,theyusuallysaidthathewas at Geneva, 'studying.' When his enemies spoke of himtheysaidbut,afterall,hehadnoenemies;hewasanextremelyamiablefellow,anduniversallyliked.WhatIshouldsayis,simply,thatwhencertainpersonsspokeofhim they affirmed that the reason of his spending so muchtimeatGenevawasthathewasextremelydevotedtoaladywholivedthereaforeignladyapersonolderthan himself. Very few Americans indeed I think nonehadeverseenthislady,aboutwhomthereweresomesingularstories.ButWinterbournehadanoldattachmentforthelittlemetropolisofCalvinism;hehadbeenputtoschool there asa boy,andhehadafterwardsgonetocol-lege there circumstances which had led to his forming agreatmanyyouthfulfriendships.Manyofthesehehadkept, and they were a source of great satisfaction to him.DAISY MILLER5After knocking at his aunt's door and learning that shewasindisposed,hehadtakenawalkaboutthetownandthen he had come in to his breakfast. He had now finishedhisbreakfast,buthewasdrinkingasmallcupofcoffee,whichhadbeenservedtohimonalittletableinthegar-den by one of the waiters, who looked like an attach. Atlasthefinishedhiscoffeeandlitacigarette.Presentlyasmallboycamewalkingalongthepathanurchinofnineorten.Thechild,whowasdiminutiveforhisyears,hadanagedexpressionofcountenance,apalecomplex-ion,andsharplittlefeatures.Hewasdressedinknicker-bockers, with red stockings, which displayed his poor littlespindleshanks; he also wore a brilliant red cravat. He car-riedinhishandalongalpenstock,thesharppointofwhich he thrust into everything that he approached theflower-beds,thegardenbenches,thetrainsoftheladies'dresses.InfrontofWinterbournehepaused,lookingathim with a pair of bright penetrating little eyes.'Willyougivemealumpofsugar?'heasked,inasharphardlittlevoiceavoiceimmature,andyet,somehow, not young.Winterbourne glanced at the small table near him, onwhich his coffee-service rested, and saw that several mor-sels of sugar remained.Yes,youmaytakeone,'heanswered;'butIdon'tthink sugar is good for little boys.'This little boy stepped forwardand carefully selectedthree of the coveted fragments, two of which he buried inthepocketofhisknickerbockers,depositingtheotheraspromptly in another place. He poked his alpenstock, lance-fashion, into Winterbourne's bench,andtriedtocrackthelump of sugar with his teeth.HENRY JAMES6'Oh,blazes;it'shar-r-d!'heexclaimed,pronouncingthe adjective in a peculiar manner.Winterbournehadimmediatelyperceivedthathemighthavethehonourofclaiminghimasafellow-countryman. 'Take care you don't hurt your teeth,' he said,paternally.'Ihaven'tgotanyteethtohurt.Theyhaveallcomeout. I have only got seven teeth. My mother counted themlastnight,andonecameoutrightafterwards.Shesaidshe'd slap me if any more came out. I can't help it. It's thisoldEurope.It'stheclimatethatmakesthemcomeoutInAmerica they didn't come out. It's these hotels.'Winterbournewasmuchamused.'Ifyoueatthreelumpsofsugaryourmotherwillcertainlyslapyou,'hesaid.'She'sgottogivemesomecandy,then,'rejoinedhisyounginterlocutor.'Ican'tgetanycandyhereanyAmerican candy. American candy's the best candy.''AndareAmericanlittleboysthebestlittleboys?'asked Winterbourne.'I don't know. I'm an American boy,' said the child.'I see you are one of the best!' laughed Winterbourne.'AreyouanAmericanman?'pursuedthisvivaciousinfant.Andthen,onWinterbourne'saffirmativereply'American men are the best,' he declared.Hiscompanionthankedhimforthecompliment;andthe child, who had now got astride of his alpenstock, stoodlookingabouthim,whileheattackedasecondlumpofsugar. Winterbourne wondered if he himself had been likethisinhisinfancy,forhehadbeenbroughttoEuropeatabout this age.DAISY MILLER7'Herecomesmysister!'criedthechild,inamoment.'She's an American girl.'Winterbourne looked along the path and saw a beauti-fulyoungladyadvancing.'Americangirlsarethebestgirls,' he said, cheerfully, to his young companion.'My sister ain't the best!' thechilddeclared.'She'sal-ways blowing at me.''Iimaginethatisyourfault;nothers,'saidWinter-bourne.Theyoungladymeanwhilehaddrawnnear.Shewasdressedinwhitemuslin,withahundredfrillsandflounces, and knots of pale-coloured ribbon. She was bare-headed; but she balanced in her hand a large parasol, withadeepborderofembroidery;andshewasstrikingly,ad-mirablypretty.'Howprettytheyare!'thoughtWinter-bourne,straighteninghimselfinhisseat,asifhewereprepared to rise.The young lady paused in front of his bench, near theparapet of the garden, which overlooked the lake. The lit-tle boy had now converted his alpenstock into avaulting-pole,bytheaidofwhichhewasspringingaboutinthegravel, and kicking it up not a little.'Randolph,' said the young lady, 'what are you doing?'Im going up the Alps,' replied Randolph. 'This is theway!' And he gave another little jump, scattering the peb-bles about Winterbourne's ears.'That's the way they come down,' said Winterbourne.'He'sanAmericanman!'criedRandolph,inhislittlehard voice.Theyoungladygavenoheedtothisannouncement,butlookedstraightatherbrother.'Well,Iguessyouhadbetter be quiet,' she simply observed.HENRY JAMES8It seemed to Winterbourne that he had been in a man-nerpresented.Hegotupandsteppedslowlytowardstheyounggirl,throwingawayhiscigarette.Thislittleboyand I have made acquaintance,' he said, with great civility.InGeneva,ashehadbeenperfectlyaware,ayoungmanwas not at liberty to speak to ayoung unmarried ladyex-cept undercertain rarely occurring conditions; but hereatVevey,whatconditionscouldbebetterthanthese?aprettyAmericangirlcomingandstandinginfrontofyouin a garden. This pretty Americangirl,however,onhear-ingWinterbourne'sobservation,simplyglancedathim;shethenturnedherheadandlookedovertheparapet,atthelakeandtheoppositemountains.Hewonderedwhether hehadgonetoofar;buthedecidedthathemustadvance farther, rather than retreat. While he was thinkingof something else to say, the young lady turned to the littleboy again.'Ishouldliketoknowwhereyougotthatpole,'shesaid.'I bought it!' responded Randolph.'You don't mean to say you're going to take it to Italy!''Yes, I am going to take it to Italy!' the child declared.The young girl glanced over the front of her dress andsmoothed out a knot or two of ribbon. Then she rested hereyes upon the prospect again. 'Well, I guess you had betterleave it somewhere,' she said, after a moment.'AreyougoingtoItaly?'Winterbourneinquired,inatone of great respect.Theyoungladyglancedathimagain.'Yes,sir,'shereplied. And she said nothing more.'AreyouagoingovertheSimplon?'Winter-bourne pursued, a little embarrassed.DAISY MILLER9'I don't know,' she said. 'I suppose it's some mountain.Randolph, what mountain are we going over?''Going where?' the child demanded.'To Italy,' Winterbourne explained.'I don't know,' said Randolph. 'I don't want to go to It-aly. I want to go to America.''Oh,Italyisabeautifulplace!'rejoinedtheyoungman.'Can you get candy there?' Randolph loudly inquired.'Ihopenot,'saidhissister.'Iguessyouhavehadenough candy, and mother thinks so too.''Ihaven'thadanyforeversolongforahundredweeks!' cried the boy, still jumping about.Theyoung lady inspected her flounces and smoothedherribbonsagain;andWinterbournepresentlyriskedanobservationuponthebeautyoftheview.Hewasceasingtobeembarrassed,forhehadbeguntoperceivethatshewasnotintheleastembarrassedherself.Therehadnotbeentheslightestalterationinhercharmingcomplexion;shewasevidentlyneitheroffendednorfluttered.Ifshelooked another way when he spoke to