IN A WINTER CITY. 126
"At aU events I am not so vain as you are,
HUda," retorted the Comtesse. " You approve of
yourself eternaUy, whether aU the world hates
you or not. I remember CharUe Barrington say¬
ing of you once—* I wonder why that womaa
keeps straight—why should she ? She don't care
a hang what anybody says of her.'"
'■ How discerning of Lord Barrington ! If
people only 'keep straight' for the sake of what
other people say of them, I think they may just
as well ' go off the rails' in any manner they Uke.
Certainly, what I chose to do, I should do, with¬
out reference to the approbation of the mob—
either of the streets or of the drawing-rooms."
"Exactly what Barrington said," returned
Madame Mila ; " but then why do you—I mean,
why don't you—amuse yourself ? "
The Lady HUda laughed.
"My dear! the Gommeux and the Poisseux
would not amuse me. I am not so happUy con¬
stituted as you are."
Madame MUa coloured.
" That's aU very fine talk, but you know it