'I cannot help it,' said Filmore Durand quietly. 'I paint what I see. If you are not pleased with the likeness, I shall be only too happy to keep it.' The Marchesa protested. It was only a very small matter, she said, a something in the eyes, or in the angle of the left eyebrow, or in the turn of the throat; she could not tell where it was, but it gave her niece a little air of religious ecstasy that was not natural to her. If the master would only condescend to modify the expression the least bit, all would be satisfactory. Instead of condescending, Filmore Durand smiled rather indifferently and gave his pallet and brushes to his man, who was already waiting at his elbow to receive them. For the famous American portrait-painter detested all sorts of litter, such as a painting-table, brush-jars, and the like, as much as his great predecessor Lenbach ever did, and when he was at work his old servant brought him a brush, a tube of colour, a knife, or a pencil, as each was needed, from a curtained recess where everything was kept ready and in order. 'I like it as it is,' said Giovanni Severi, resting his hands on the hilt of his sabre, as he sat looking thoughtfully from the portrait to the original.
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Francis Marion Crawford (August 2, 1854 – April 9, 1909) was an American writer noted for his many novels, especially those set in Italy, and for his classic weird and fantastic stories.
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