And there were other difficulties still more important which the helpless little pair could not have got through without her. Pandolfini, who was always so busy, whose occupations continued to increase as his marriage drew nearer (?which, of course, was very natural,? Mrs. Norton said, with a certain chill of doubt in her confidence, while Sophy loudly complained of it, though without any doubting), never got into the familiar intimacy which generally characterises such moments of preface and beginning, and was accordingly of no more help to them than if he had been still merely their acquaintance, Mr. Hunstanton?s friend?much less, indeed, for Mr. Hunstanton?s friend had always been friendly and serviceable, and full of genial help, in those cheerful days when he was not overpowered by business. This gleamed across Mrs. Norton?s mind dimly by times, affording her a half-revelation?a momentary unwilling perception of differences which she ???? did not wish to fathom. But, so far as any one knew, these perceptions were not shared by Sophy, who went on her way, with occasional grumblings, it is true, but with too much thought of herself to think very much of Pandolfini. Naturally, is it not the bride who is the most interesting? She has her clothes to think of, and her approaching promotion{255} to the dignity of a married lady?a dignity which it was very fine to attain at so early an age. And there were all her new duties, as her aunt called them,?the management of her house, which she must learn to do in the Italian fashion, and her servants. It troubled Sophy that she did not know how many servants she was to have, and that she had never been asked to go and see the house, or to choose new carpets or curtains, as other brides had to do; but then, on the other hand, it delighted her to find that she might call herself Contessa, and would be elevated quite into the nobility by her marriage. In Italy she might only be Signora, but in England she would certainly be My Lady, Sophy reflected?and her whole being thrilled with the thought. This was a discovery, for Pandolfini had not cared for the bare and insignificant title, and all his Italian friends called him by his Christian name, according to the custom of the country. Sophy called him Pandolfo, too, though seldom when addressing himself. It was not a pretty name. If he had been Alonzo, or Vincenzo, or even Antonio; but Pandolfo!?Pandolfo Pandolfini! It was like Robert Roberts, or John Jones?not a pretty name; but then, to be a Countess! That would sweeten any name, so that it would smell as sweet as any rose.