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The Princess Priscilla's Fortnight by Elizabeth von Arnim
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Her Grand Ducal Highness the Princess Priscilla of Lothen-Kunitz was
up to the age of twenty-one a most promising young lady. She was not
only poetic in appearance beyond the habit of princesses but she was
also of graceful and appropriate behaviour. She did what she was told;
or, more valuable, she did what was expected of her without being
told. Her father, in his youth and middle age a fiery man, now an
irritable old gentleman who liked good food and insisted on strictest
etiquette, was proud of her on those occasions when she happened to
cross his mind. Her mother, by birth an English princess of an
originality uncomfortable and unexpected in a royal lady that
continued to the end of her life to crop up at disconcerting moments,
died when Priscilla was sixteen. Her sisters, one older and one
younger than herself, were both far less pleasing to look upon than
she was, and much more difficult to manage; yet each married a
suitable prince and each became a credit to her House, while as for
Priscilla,--well, as for Priscilla, I propose to describe her dreadful

But first her appearance. She was well above the average height of
woman; a desirable thing in a princess, who, before everything, must
impress the public with her dignity. She had a long pointed chin, and
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