Vivian Grey, by Benjamin Disraeli

Chapter 3

The intercourse between the Marquess and Vivian after this interview was constant. No dinner-party was thought perfect at Carabas House without the presence of the young gentleman; and as the Marchioness was delighted with the perpetual presence of an individual whom she could always consult about Julie, there was apparently no domestic obstacle to Vivian’s remaining in high favour.

The Earl of Eglamour, the only child in whom were concentrated all the hopes of the illustrious House of Lorraine, was in Italy. The only remaining member of the domestic circle who was wanting was the Honourable Mrs. Felix Lorraine, the wife of the Marquess’s younger brother. This lady, exhausted by the gaiety of the season, had left town somewhat earlier than she usually did, and was inhaling fresh air, and studying botany, at the magnificent seat of the Carabas family, Château Desir, at which splendid place Vivian was to pass the summer.

In the meantime all was sunshine with Vivian Grey. His noble friend and himself were in perpetual converse, and constantly engaged in deep consultation. As yet, the world knew nothing, except that, according to the Marquess of Carabas, “Vivian Grey was the most astonishingly clever and prodigiously accomplished fellow that ever breathed;” and, as the Marquess always added, “resembled himself very much when he was young.”

But it must not be supposed that Vivian was to all the world the fascinating creature that he was to the Marquess of Carabas. Many complained that he was reserved, silent, satirical, and haughty. But the truth was, Vivian Grey often asked himself, “Who is to be my enemy to-morrow?” He was too cunning a master of the human mind, not to be aware of the quicksands upon which all greenhorns strike; he knew too well the danger of unnecessary intimacy. A smile for a friend, and a sneer for the world, is the way to govern mankind, and such was the motto of Vivian Grey.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 15:19