The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer Someone was climbing out of a second-storey window of one of the prim houses on the opposite side of the street. Sir Richard stood still, and blinked at this unexpected sight. His divine detachment still clung to him; he was interested in what he saw, but by no means concerned with it. His somewhat sleepy gaze discovered that whoever was escaping from the prim house was proposing to do so by means of a knotted sheets, which fell disastrously short of the ground. By the time he had reached the opposite kerbstone, the mysterious fugitive had arrived, somewhat fortuitously, at the end of his improvised rope, and was dangling precariously above the shallow area, trying with one desperate foot to find some kind of resting-place on the wall of the house.
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Printed and bound in the United States of America. I mean, no use going in, my love, is there? George, Lord Trevor, was uneasily aware of a handkerchief, clutched in one thin, gloved hand, and put forward no further objection to entering the house in the wake of the two ladies. No, indeed! I wish I had not come. She was a handsome woman, with a great deal of decision in her face, and a leavening gleam of humour. Since she had a very good figure, the prevailing mode for high-waisted dresses, with low-cut bodices, and tiny puff-sleeves, became her very well: much better, in fact, than skin-tight pantaloons, and a long-tailed coat became her husband.
Fashion was not kind to George. He looked his best in buckskin breeches and top-boots, but he was unfortunately addicted to dandyism, and pained his friends and relatives by adopting every extravagance of dress, spending as much time over the arrangement of his cravat as Mr Brummell himself, and squeezing his girth into tight stays which had a way of creaking whenever he moved unwarily.
The third member of the party, reclining limply on the satin sofa, was a lady with quite as much determination as her daughter, and a far more subtle way of getting her wishes attended to.
The merest hint of opposition was too much for the delicate state of her nerves; and anyone, observing her handkerchief, her vinaigrette, and the hartshorn which she usually kept by her, would have had to be stupid indeed to have failed to appreciate their sinister message.
In youth, she had been a beauty; in middle age, everything about her seemed to have faded: hair, cheeks, eyes, and even her voice, which was plaintive, and so gentle that it was a wonder it ever made itself heard. Like her daughter, Lady Wyndham had excellent taste in dress, and since she was fortunate enough to possess a very ample jointure she was able to indulge her liking for the most expensive fal-lals of fashion without in any way curtailing her other expenses.
The jointure, her friends deduced hazily, was the veriest pittance. It was not, as might have been supposed from the look of pain she always cast upon it, a family domicile, but had been acquired by her son only a couple of years before. Except that he must have been thinking of marriage when he bought it.
Would you not say so, George? Louisa was displeased. Sophia has spots, too. Melissa is an extremely handsome creature. No one can deny that! They say his father did the same. Lord, no, I never thought of such a thing! It has been understood since both were children that she and Richard would make a match of it, and she knows that as well as we do.
And here is Richard, behaving in the most odious way! I am out of all patience with him! Lady Wyndham took up the tale of woe. It quite shocks me to see him so impervious to every feminine charm!
It is a great piece of nonsense for him to dislike the opposite sex, but one thing is certain: dislike females he may, but he owes a duty to the name, and marry he must! I am sure I have been at pains to introduce him to every eligible young woman in town, for I am by no means set on his marrying Melissa Brandon.
He would not look twice at any of them, so if that is the mind he is in, Melissa will suit him very well. What has that to say to anything, pray? I imagine you do not mean to tell me that Richard is romantic!
Really, I say! Yes, I do, and I do not care who hears me say so! He cares for nothing but the set of his cravat, the polish on his boots, and the blending of his snuff!
Very well! Let us admit him to be a famous whip! He beat Sir John Lade in their race to Brighton! A fine achievement indeed! I do not! He is at a dangerous age, and I live from day to day in dread of what he may do! The door opened; a Corinthian stood upon the threshold, cynically observing his relatives.
Louisa, yours! My poor George! Ah — was I expecting you? Who made it? She held out her hand to him, and he bowed over it with languid grace, just brushing it with his lips. George is in the most urgent need of — er — stimulant.
Yes, Jeffries, I rang. The Madeira — oh, ah! Her bosom swelled. The smile grew, allowing her a glimpse of excellent white teeth. A quelling glance was directed upon him. Possibly he took it as his due. He was a very notable Corinthian. From his Wind-swept hair most difficult of all styles to achieve , to the toes of his gleaming Hessians, he might have posed as an advertisement for the Man of Fashion. His air proclaimed his unutterable boredom, but no tailoring, no amount of studied nonchalance, could conceal the muscle in his thighs, or the strength of his shoulders.
Jeffries came back into the room with a tray, and set it upon a table. I never wanted to come at all!
Plot summary[ edit ] Sir Richard Wyndham, an accomplished Corinthian, is being forced into marriage by his family, who want him to have an heir. Depressed by the life laid out before him, he nevertheless agrees to this course. She is a very wealthy orphan who is running away from her own distasteful marriage plans. Brown — At twenty-nine he is extremely wealthy, a leader of the ton , and an accomplished sportsman, living in St. His cravat is tied to his own design — the Wyndham Fall — a style much emulated by his admirers. He has remained unmarried because he is convinced that prospective brides are only interested in his money.
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