Brady glanced at it, sweating despite the cool antechamber of their secret communications point.
Everyone sitting in this antechamber experienced the same feeling of respect and even fear when the enormously high study door opened and showed the figure of a rather small old man, with powdered wig, small withered hands, and bushy gray eyebrows which, when he frowned, sometimes hid the gleam of his shrewd, youthfully glittering eyes.
On the morning of the day that the young couple were to arrive, Princess Mary entered the antechamber as usual at the time appointed for the morning greeting, crossing herself with trepidation and repeating a silent prayer.
Queen Isabella reigned from 1843 to 1868, and that period was one long succession of palace intrigues, back-stairs and antechamber influences, barrack conspiracies, military pronunciamientos to further the ends of the political parties - Moderados, who ruled from 1846 to 1854, Progressists from 1854 to 1856, Union Liberal from 1856 to 1863; Moderados and Union Liberal quickly succeeding each other and keeping out the Progressists so steadily that the seeds were sown which budded into the revolution of 1868.
Although he was in retirement and had now no influence in political affairs, every high official appointed to the province in which the prince's estate lay considered it his duty to visit him and waited in the lofty antechamber just as the architect, gardener, or Princess Mary did, till the prince appeared punctually to the appointed hour.