He had reached the age when it was safe to apply to him that vague term "elderly," and marriage might have been regarded as imperative. But he had remained unmarried and seemed to consider his abstinence entirely his own affair.
Courts and capitals knew him, and his opportunities were such as gave him all ease as an onlooker. He saw closely those who sat with knit brows and cautiously hovering hand at the great chess-board which is formed by the map of Europe.
As a statesman or a diplomat he would have gone far, but he had been too much occupied with Life as an entertainment, too self-indulgent for work of any order. Having, however, been born with a certain type of brain, it observed and recorded in spite of him, thereby adding flavour and interest to existence. But that was all.
Texture and colour gave him almost abnormal pleasure. For this reason, perhaps, he was the most perfectly dressed man in London.