178 IN A WINTER CITY.
"Plus on est fou, plus on rit," said DeUa
Eocca, sketching arabesques with his pen. " Nay,
that is too impoUte in me to charming Madame
MUa. But, Uke aU old proverbs, it is more true
" Do you know, Madame," he continued, with
a little hesitation, " I have often ventured to think
that, despite your brilliancy, and your position,
and aU your enviable fate, you are not alto¬
gether— quite happy ? Am I right ? Or have I
committed too great an impertinence to be
"No impertinence whatever," said the Lady
HUda, a Uttle wearUy. " You may be right; I
don't know; I am not imhappy certainly; I have
nothing to be unhappy about; but— most things
seem very stupid to me. I confess MUa's endless
diversions and excitements are quite beyond me.
There is such a terrible sameness in everything,"
" Because you have no deeper interests," ha
answered her. He stiU sat near her at her
writing-table beside the fu'e, and was playing with
the Uttle jeweUed boy who held her pen-wiper.
She did not answer him; and he continued