We exchanged our greetings, I perhaps with less than my usual sang-froid for I was both struck by the beauty of our visitor, still apparent despite her obvious upset, and her hand upon the arm of my Mr Wallace.
sang-froid: composure or coolness, sometimes excessive; literally “cold bloodedness”
‘I come because Mr Jenkins, a man I know, is now party to a duel because he defended my … well, it is embarrassing to say.’
‘It happened that Mr Jenkins knew that Miss Bassett should be shopping; and he suggested to us that if we might proceed to Bath Street we could observe her and this gentleman would be forced to admit that she is “the most beautiful woman that anyone had ever seen.”’
I shook my head. ‘If you propose a visit to the Assembly rooms or the Pump Room or any of our myriad sources of gossip, I remind you that I am engaged at our mantua maker to-day.’
mantua maker: dressmaker