The Savrola The sagacious founders of the Lauranian Republic had recognised the importance of preserving and promoting the practice of social civilities between the public men of the State, irrespective of party. It had therefore long been the custom for the President to give several official entertainments during the autumn season, to which all the distinguished characters of either side were invited, and which it was considered etiquette to attend. This year feeling ran so high and relations were so strained that Savrola had decided not to accept, and had already formally declined the invitation; he was therefore not a little surprised when he received a second card, and still more when he read Lucile's note which accompanied it.
He saw she had exposed herself to a rebuff with her eyes open, and wondered why she had done so. Of course she counted on her charms. It is hard, if not impossible, to snub a beautiful woman; they remain beautiful and the rebuke recoils. He might indeed have made political capital out of so pressing an invitation sent at such a critical time; but he felt she had judged him well, and knew she was safe at least from that. This pleased him. He was sorry he could not go; but he had made up his mind, and sat down to write and decline. Half way through the letter, he paused; the thought occurred to him, that perhaps she might stand in need of his help. He read the letter again and fancied, though the words did not warrant it, that he detected a note of appeal. And then he began to look for reasons for changing his mind: the old established custom; the necessity of showing his followers that for the present he was in favour of constitutional agitation only; the opportunity of displaying his confidence in the success of his plans; in fact, every argument, but the true one, was arrayed against his determination.
Yes, he would go: the party might object, but he did not care; it was none of their business, and he was strong enough to face their displeasure. These reflections were interrupted by the entrance of Moret, his face glowing with enthusiasm.