Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Poundbury (The Gap In The Curtain)

"I had been in two minds about accepting Sally Flambard's invitation.  She is my very good friend but her parties are rather like a table d'hote.  Her interests are multitudinous, and all are reflected in her hospitality, so that a procession goes through her house which looks like a rehearsal for the Judgement Day.

        'Who's the dark fellow opposite George Lamington?'

          Her face brightened into interest. 'That's my new discovery.  A country neighbor, no less -- but a new breed altogether.  His name is Goodeve.  Sir Robert Goodeve.  He has just succeeded to the place and title.'

Of course I knew Goodeve, that wonderful moated house in the lap of the Downs, but I had never met one of the race.  I had a notion that it had died out.  The Goodeves are one of those families about which geneaologists write monographs, a specimen of that unennobled gentry which is the oldest stock in England.  They had been going on in their undistinguished way since Edward the Confessor.

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