It was in the way the autumn day looked into the high windows as it waned; in the way the red light, breaking at the close from under a low, sombre sky, reached out in a long shaft and played over old wainscots, old tapestry, old gold, old colour. It was most of all perhaps in the way she came to him as if, since she had been turned on to deal with the simpler sort, he might, should he choose to keep the whole thing down, just take her mild attention for a part of her general business.
Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle, ” in Major Stories & Essays (New York: Library of America, 1999), 447.
Notes: I just love the way these two characters are introduced to each other. The way he is immediately transfixed by her and the attitude that she gives back in return; like he’s just a part of her daily routine. And the imagery that’s conjured when her glance is described as fading autumn sunlight is absolutely beautiful.