Tales Of A Traveller, By Washington Irving

 -  My benefactor was fond of
bringing me forward; and partly, perhaps, through my actual skill, and
partly by his partial - Page 80
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My Benefactor Was Fond Of Bringing Me Forward; And Partly, Perhaps, Through My Actual Skill, And Partly By His Partial Praises, I Began To Be Noted For The Expression Of My Countenances.

Among the various works which he had undertaken, was an historical piece for one of the palaces of Genoa, in which were to be introduced the likenesses of several of the family.

Among these was one entrusted to my pencil. It was that of a young girl, who as yet was in a convent for her education. She came out for the purpose of sitting for the picture. I first saw her in an apartment of one of the sumptuous palaces of Genoa. She stood before a casement that looked out upon the bay, a stream of vernal sunshine fell upon her, and shed a kind of glory round her as it lit up the rich crimson chamber. She was but sixteen years of age - and oh, how lovely! The scene broke upon me like a mere vision of spring and youth and beauty. I could have fallen down and worshipped her. She was like one of those fictions of poets and painters, when they would express the beau ideal that haunts their minds with shapes of indescribable perfection.

I was permitted to sketch her countenance in various positions, and I Fondly protracted the study that was undoing me. The more I gazed on her the more I became enamoured; there was something almost painful in my intense admiration.

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