IN A WINTER CITY 193
The Due laid his hat aside; his delicate fea¬
tures were puckered, weary, and troubled.
"Mais, Madame, pardon!—mais vous avez
toutes dit les choses les plus affreuses !------"
" Women always do, Due, when they are in a
passion," said Lady Hilda. " There is nothing
Uke a scene for discovering our real opinions of
one another. Why ! you look actually—worried!
I thought nothing ever ruffled you by any chance
" Madame," said M. de St. Louis, stretching
himself, with a sigh, in a low chair beside her and
the fire, "I have always sedulously cultivated
serenity. I believe serenity to be the whole
secret of human health, happiness, longevity, good
taste, sound judgment, everything iu point of fact
that is desfrable in the life of a human being.
But, alas ! we are aU mortal, and our best plans
are but finite. In an evil moment, when Pan¬
dora's box was packed, there was put in with it
by the malice of Mercury a detonating powder,
called Amateur Eivalry. When all tlie other
discords were dispersed, this shot itself into the
loveUest forms and the gentlest bosoms; and