The Duke of Zamorna, it must be confessed, had a fondness for mirrors.
In preparing a discrete residence in Glasstown for Una De Trois, his lover of the moment, he personally selected all the furnishings, hardware, & etc., with special attention to several antique pier glasses and other large mirrors in heavily carved gilt mahogany frames.
Indeed, it could be said truthfully that he applied the same tireless and imperious exactitude, in planning this decadent boudoir, that he had lately applied to a series of triumphant military campaigns. His fame, at this era, was that of a highly decorated leader and hero, despite his young age. He was the toast of the Kingdom of Angria, witty, charming, and seemingly well-bred, despite his mysterious past.
At last the drapers and gilders, painters and florists, all withdrew. The pastry cook had arranged the gleaming tiers of delicacies — petits fours, fruit glacees, and Turkish delight — that were scattered through the rooms on little tables. All was in readiness for the arrival of the adored voluptuary, Lady De Trois.
Zamorna stood before a full-length mirror in the inner parlor, admiring his own remarkable physique. He was clad in dove-colored deerskin breeches, his fine calves shown to a turn in lavender silk stockings, his medals gleaming on his chest, a crystal goblet of garnet wine in his graceful yet powerful hand.
As he gazed with not-entirely-undeserved complacency upon himself, he noticed something very strange. Viewed in the mirror, the room behind him seemed to have changed. It looked poor, dark, and shabbily furnished, with a bare wood floor and heavy, unfashionable furnishings, upholstered in ancient horsehair of faded puce!
Zamorna’s gaze then moved to the reflected image of his own high-arched foot, which appeared now in the mirror to be shod in a cumbrous and slightly muddy boot. With horror his eye traveled up a leg, shaped as his own, but dressed in a woolen trouser, to a belted waist and peasant’s shirt. Putting his hand to his throat, he felt his silken cravat, and yet the mirror reflected those same manly fingers, touching the rough fabric of a coarse neckcloth!
He was looking at an image that was he and yet not he, a room of the same shape and size but not, it seemed, of the same place and time.