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Meanwhile, Madame de Treymes being engaged with a venerable Duchess in a black shawl- all the older ladies present had the sloping shoulders of a generation of shawl- wearers- her American visitor, left in the isolation of his unimportance, was using it as a shelter for a rapid survey of the scene. - "Madame de Treymes", Edith Wharton.
And amid all the tragedy of his heart, and all his apprehensions concerning hollow, worldly success, little thoughts of absurd unimportance kept running about like clockwork mice in his head. - "The Card, A Story Of Adventure In The Five Towns", Arnold Bennett.