This dress is my mother’s. This painter is a friend of my father. The dress I know. Recalling an ancient and mysterious happiness, my mother would draw it from the closet, usually in spring, and my sisters and I would be allowed to pretend to wear it, hardly filling its volume and lost within its folds. Earlier today came a moment when the dress was produced and presented, and I was the last to understand what all had realized: I could wear the dress now. The painter I do not know. I perceive enough to appreciate that to call him my father’s friend is both a shorthand and a falsehood. A constellation of interests connects us all and explains this sitting. Somehow, the right parties are to be pleased if Father is pleased to have this painter try my portrait. And so my lot today is to wait, the slowness of my duty paced by the audible breathing of this lanky man who is ... someone’s son? Someone’s discovery? I wonder. I resist mentioning to the painter that, when reading these books he has scattered, I sat in the chair with them rather than going to the floor in this way. But Father and I are strong. When this painting is done, when he sees in it my performance and my endurance, he will realize I might join him in the firmament, and that he and I have places in that constellation together.

Alfred J. Lambart; Juliet, Daughter of Richard H. Fox of Surrey; 1931