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The Beautiful Lady by Booth Tarkington
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The Beautiful Lady

Booth Tarkington

Chapter One

Nothing could have been more painful to my sensitiveness than to
occupy myself, confused with blushes, at the center of the whole
world as a living advertisement of the least amusing ballet in

To be the day's sensation of the boulevards one must possess an
eccentricity of appearance conceived by nothing short of genius;
and my misfortunes had reduced me to present such to all eyes
seeking mirth. It was not that I was one of those people in
uniform who carry placards and strange figures upon their backs,
nor that my coat was of rags; on the contrary, my whole costume
was delicately rich and well chosen, of soft grey and fine linen
(such as you see worn by a marquis in the pe'sage at Auteuil)
according well with my usual air and countenance, sometimes
esteemed to resemble my father's, which were not wanting in

To add to this my duties were not exhausting to the body. I was
required only to sit without a hat from ten of the morning to
midday, and from four until seven in the afternoon, at one of
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