Milly came down after dinner, half a dozen friends--objects of interest mainly, it appeared, to the ladies of Lancaster Gate--having by that time arrived; and with this call on her attention, the further call of her musicians ushered by Eugenio, but personally and separately welcomed, and the supreme opportunity offered in the arrival of the great doctor, who came last of all, he felt her diffuse in wide warm waves the spell of a
general, a beatific mildness. There was a deeper depth of it, doubtless, for some than for others; what he in particular knew of it was that he seemed to stand in it up to his neck. He moved about in it and it made no plash;
he floated, he noiselessly swam in it, and they were all together, for that matter, like fishes in a crystal pool. The effect of the place, the beauty of the scene, had probably much to do with it; the golden grace of the high rooms, chambers of art in themselves, took care, as an influence, of the general manner, and made people bland without making them solemn. They were only people, as Mrs. Stringham had said, staying for the week or two at the inns, people who during the day had fingered their Baedekers, gaped at their frescoes and differed, over fractions of francs, with their gondoliers. But Milly, let loose among them in a wonderful white dress, brought them somehow into relation with something that made them more finely genial; so that if the Veronese picture of which he had talked with Mrs. Stringham was not quite constituted, the comparative prose of the previous hours, the traces of insensibility qualified by "beating down," were at last almost nobly disowned. There was perhaps
something for him in the accident of his seeing her for the first time in white, but she hadn't yet had occasion--circulating with a clearness (214) intensified--to strike him as so happily pervasive. She was different,
younger, fairer, with the colour of her braided hair more than ever a not altogether lucky challenge to attention; yet he was loth wholly to explain it by her having quitted this once, for some obscure yet doubtless charming
reason, her almost monastic, her hitherto inveterate black. Much as the change did for the value of her presence, she had never yet, when all was said, made it for HIM; and he was not to fail of the further amusement of judging her determined in the matter by Sir Luke Strett's visit. If he could in this connexion have felt jealous of Sir Luke Strett, whose strong face and type, less assimilated by the scene perhaps than any others, he was anon to study from the other side of the saloon, that would doubtless have been most amusing of all. But he couldn't be invidious, even to profit by so high a tide; he felt himself too much "in" it, as he might have said: a moment's
reflexion put him more in than any one. The way Milly neglected him for other cares while Kate and Mrs. Lowder, without so much as the attenuation of a joke, introduced him to English ladies--that was itself a proof; for nothing really of so close a communion had up to this time passed between them as the single bright look and the three gay words (all ostensibly of the last lightness) with which her confessed consciousness brushed by him.
She was acquitting herself to-night as hostess, he could see, under some supreme idea, an inspiration which was half her nerves and half an inevitable harmony; but what he especially recognised was the character that had already several times broken out in her and that she so oddly appeared able, by choice or by instinctive affinity, to keep down or to display. She was the American girl as he had originally found her--found her at certain moments, it was true, in New York, more than at certain others; she was the American girl as, still more than then, he had seen her on the day of her meeting him in London and in Kate's company. It affected him as a large though queer social resource in her--such as a man, for instance, to his diminution, would never in the world be able to command; and he wouldn't have known whether to see it in an extension or a contraction of "personality," taking it as he did most directly for a confounding extension of surface. Clearly too it was the right thing this evening all round: that came out for him in a word from Kate as she approached him to wreak on him a second introduction. He had under cover of the music melted away from the lady toward whom she had first
pushed him; and there was something in her to affect him as telling evasively a tale of their talk in the Piazza. To what did she want to coerce him as a form of penalty for what he had done to her there? It was thus in contact uppermost for him that he had done something; not only caused her perfect intelligence to act in his interest, but left her unable to get away, by any mere private effort, from his inattackable logic. With him thus in presence, and near him--and it had been as unmistakeable through dinner--there was no getting away for her at all, there was less of it than ever: so she could only either deal with the question straight, either frankly  yield or ineffectually struggle or insincerely argue, or else merely express herself by following up the advantage she did possess. It was part of that advantage for the hour--a brief fallacious makeweight to his pressure--that there were plenty of things left in which he must feel her will. They only told him, these indications, how much she was, in such close quarters, feeling his; and it was enough for him again that her very aspect, as great a variation in its way as Milly's own, gave him back the sense of his action. It had never yet in life been granted him to know, almost materially to taste, as he could do in these minutes, the state of what was vulgarly called conquest. He had lived long enough to have been on occasion "liked," but it had never begun to be allowed him to be liked to any such tune in any such quarter. It was a liking greater than Milly's--or it would be: he felt it in him to answer for that. So at all events he read the case while he noted that Kate was somehow--for Kate--wanting in lustre. As a
striking young presence she was practically superseded; of the mildness that Milly diffused she had assimilated all her share; she might fairly have been dressed tonight in the little black frock, superficially indistinguishable, that Milly had laid aside. This represented, he perceived, the opposite pole from such an effect as that of her wonderful entrance, under her aunt's eyes--he had never forgotten it--the day of their younger friend's failure at
Lancaster Gate. She was, in her accepted effacement--it was actually her acceptance that made the beauty and repaired the damage--under her aunt's eyes now; but whose eyes were not (217) effectually preoccupied? It struck him none the less certainly that almost the first thing she said to him showed an exquisite attempt to appear if not unconvinced at least self-possessed.
"Don't you think her good enough NOW?"
Almost heedless of the danger of overt freedoms, she eyed Milly from where they stood, noted her in renewed talk, over her further wishes, with the members of her little orchestra, who had approached her with
demonstrations of deference enlivened by native humours--things quite in the line of old Venetian comedy. The girl's idea of music had been happy--a real solvent of shyness, yet not drastic; thanks to the intermissions,
discretions, a general habit of mercy to gathered barbarians, that reflected the good manners of its interpreters, representatives though these might be but of the order in which taste was natural and melody rank. It was easy at all events to answer Kate. "Ah my dear, you know how good I think her!"
"But she's TOO nice," Kate returned with appreciation. "Everything suits her so--especially her pearls. They go so with her old lace. I'll trouble you really to look at them." Densher, though aware he had seen them before, had perhaps not "really" looked at them, and had thus not done justice to the embodied poetry--his mind, for Milly's aspects, kept coming back to that--which owed them part of its style. Kate's face, as she considered them, struck him: the long, priceless chain, wound twice round the neck, hung, heavy and pure, down the front of the wearer's breast--so far down that Milly's (218) trick, evidently unconscious, of holding and vaguely fingering and entwining a part of it, conduced presumably to convenience. "She's a dove," Kate went on, "and one somehow doesn't think of doves as bejewelled. Yet they suit her down to the ground."
"Yes--down to the ground is the word." Densher saw now how they suited her, but was perhaps still more aware of something intense in his companion's feeling about them. Milly was indeed a dove; this was the figure, though it most applied to her spirit. Yet he knew in a moment that Kate was just now, for reasons hidden from him, exceptionally under the impression of that element of wealth in her which was a power, which was a great power, and which was dove-like only so far as one remembered that doves have wings and wondrous flights, have them as well as tender tints and soft sounds. It even came to him dimly that such wings could in a given case--HAD, truly, in the case with which he was concerned--spread themselves for protection. Hadn't they, for that matter, lately taken an inordinate reach, and weren't Kate and Mrs. Lowder, weren't Susan Shepherd and he, wasn't HE in particular, nestling under them to a great increase of immediate case?
The passage above clearly displayes one of James' most noticiable traits, like all Victorian writers he pays exqusite attention to detail.  He also uses alot of symbolism in his work, as shown by Kate comparing Milly to a dove, and then by taking it a step further and having Densher show that Milly was covering them all with her wings.  He says that you must remember that there is more to a dove than "tender tints and soft sounds", this is how Milly is shown throughout the book, as being a tender and gentle soul who just wants everyone to love her, much as she loves them.  She is, however, also shown as wanting to get the fullest out of life since she knows that she does not have much more of it to live.  And so she also has "wings and wondrous flights" as she tries to make the the most of what little time she has left.  This passage also marks the begining of when Densher truely begins to care for Milly as a person.  Before he was just spending time with her because Kate wanted him to, but he now begins to realize just how special Milly truely is.  This passage also shows just how deep Kates jealousy goes, especially as she also realizes that Densher is begining to see Milly as the wonderful, kind person that she is.  She is so desperate for Milly's money that she allows the charade to continue, though she realizes that she could lose Densher if she takes this chance.  At this point though she doesn't really care.  James' careful writing of these passages allows many of the points of the story to shine through in just a few short paragraphs, displaying the true greatness of his writing.
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