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had not reached the height which it has attained subsequently, and the girls of Fanny's generation were not enabled to purchase sixteen pages of excitement for a penny, rich with histories of crime, murder, oppressed virtue, and the heartless seductions of the aristocracy; but she had had the benefit of the circulating library which, in conjunction with her school and a small brandy-ball and millinery business, Miss Minifer kept,—and Arthur appeared to her at once as the type and realisation of all the heroes of all those darling greasy volumes which the young girl had devoured. Mr. Pen, we have seen, was rather a dandy about shirts and haberdashery in general. Fanny had looked with delight at the fineness of his linen, at the brilliancy of his shirt studs, at his elegant cambric pockethandkerchief and white gloves, and at the jetty brightness of his charming boots. The Prince had appeared and subjugated the poor little handmaid. His image traversed constantly her restless slumbers; the tone of his voice, the blue light of his eyes, the generous look, half love half pity,—the manly protecting smile, the frank, winning laughter,—all these were repeated in the girl's fond memory. She felt still his arm encircling her, and saw him smiling so grand as he filled up that delicious glass of champagne. And then she thought of the girls, her friends, who used to sneer at her—of Emma Baker, who was so proud, forsooth, because she was engaged to a cheesemonger, in a white apron, near Clare Market; and of Betsy Eodgers, who made such a to-do about lier young man—an attorney's clerk, indeed, that went about with a bag!
So that, at about two o'clock in the afternoon—the Bolton family having concluded their dinner (and Mr. B-, who besides his place of porter of the Inn, was in the employ of Messrs. Tressler, the eminent undertakers of the Strand, being absent in the country with the Countess of Estrich's hearse), when a gentleman in a white hat and white trousers made his appearance under the Inn archway, and stopped at the porter's wicket, Fanny was not in the least surprised, only delighted, only happy, and blushing beyond all measure. She knew it could be no other than He. She knew He'd come. There he was; there was his Royal Highness beaming upon her from