"Was it you who yawned so, Clementina?"
The questioner was an old gentleman inhis eightieth year or so, dressed in a splendid flowered silk Kaftan, with awoollen night-cap on his head, warm cotton stockings on his feet, anddiamond, turquoise, and ruby rings on his fingers. He was reclining on anatlas ottoman, his face was as wooden as a mummy's, a mere patch-work ofwrinkles, he had a dry, thin, pointed nose, shaggy, autumnal-yellow eyebrows,and his large prominent black eyes protected by irritably sensitive eyelids,lent little charm to his peculiar cast of countenance.
"Well! Will nobody answer? Whoyawned so loudly behind my back just now?" he asked again, with an angrysnort. "Will nobody answer?"
Nobody answered, and yet there was a sufficientnumber of people in the room to have found an answer between them. In frontof the hearth was sitting a young woman about thirty or thirty-five, withjust such a strongly-pronounced pointed nose, with just such high raisedeyebrows as the old gentleman's, only her face was still red (though thefavour of Nature had not much to do with that perhaps) and her eyebrows werestill black; but her thin lips were just as hermetically sealed as the oldman's, when she was not speaking. This young woman was playing at Patience.
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