IN A WINTER CITY. 135
groom model in everything. This is thought an
Lady Hilda laughed.
" The rich Egyptians go to EngUsh universi¬
ties, and take back to the NUe a passion for rat-
himting and brandy, and the most hideous hats
and coats in the univer.'>e; and then think they
have improved on the age of the Pharaohs.
I hope Italy wiU never be infected, but I am
afraid ; you have gasworks, tramways, ^nd mixed
marriages, and your populace has almost en¬
tfrely abandoned costume."
" And in the cities we have lost the instinct
of good taste in the most fatal manner. Per¬
haps it has died out with the old costumes. Who
knows ? Dress is after aU the thermometer of
taste. Modern male attfre is of all others the
most frightful, the most grotesque, the most
gloomy, and, to our climate, the most unsuitable."
" Yes. TaU hats and taU coats appear to me
to be Uke the locusts, wherever they spread they
bear barrenness in thefr train. But the temper
of your people wiU always procure to you some
natural grace, some natural elegance."