THE PORTER'S SON 929
George was well spoken of in the cellar, he was well spoken of on the first floor ; even the old Count condescended to do so.
It was the pictures from his childhood days which gave occasion for it. But why were they mentioned ? They were talking about Russia, and about Moscow, and so of course they came to the Kremlin, which little George had once drawn for little Emily ; he had drawn so many pictures! but one in particular, the Count remembered: 1 little Emily's castle,' where she slept, where she danced, and played at ' receiving visitors '. The Professor had much ability; he would certainly die an old Privy-Councillor, it was not impossible, and before that he might have built a castle for the young lady ; why not ?
1 That was a curious flight of fancy ! ' observed her ladyship, when the Count had departed. The General shook his head thoughtfully, rode out with his groom at a respectful distance, and sat more proudly than ever on his high horse.
It was little Emily's birthday ; flowers and books, letters and cards, were brought; her ladyship kissed her on the mouth, the General on the forehead ; they were affectionate parents, and both she and they had distinguished visitors— two of the Princes. There was talk about balls and theatres, about diplomatic embassies, the government of kingdoms and countries. There was talk of talent, native talent, and with that, the young Professor was brought into the conversation—Mr. George, the architect.
1 He builds for immortality ! ' it was said, ' he will certainly build himself into one of the first families, too ! '
1 One of the first families ? ' repeated the General to his lady afterwards ; ' which one of our first families ? '
* I know which was meant,' said her ladyship, * but I will say nothing about it! I will not even think it 1 God ordains ! but I will be astonished ! '
i Let me also be astonished 1' said the General, ' I have not an idea in my head,' and he sank into a reverie.
There is a power, an unspeakable power, in the fountain of favour from above, the favour of the court, or the favour of God ;—and all that gracious favour little George had. But we forget the birthday.
ANPEBSKX JJ \x