The Bishop's Apron: A study in the origins of a great family
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The world takes people very willingly at the estimate in which they hold themselves. With a fashionable bias for expression in a foreign tongue it calls modesty mauvaise honte; and the impudent are thought merely to have a proper opinion of their merit. But Ponsonby was really an imposing personage. His movements were measured and noiseless; and he wore the sombre garb of a gentleman’s butler with impressive dignity. He was a large man, flabby and corpulent, with a loose, smooth skin. His face, undisturbed by the rapid play of expression, which he would have thought indecorous, had a look of placid respectability; his eyes, with their puffy lower lids, rested on surrounding objects heavily; and his earnest, obsequious voice gave an impression of such overwhelming piety that your glance, involuntarily, fell to his rotund calves for the gaiters episcopal.
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