228 IN A WINTER CITY.
nation; since that clever but idle young gentleman,
having been pi'e-paid half the sum agreed on for
the fresco-painting, had been spending it joyously
after the tastes of yoxmg artists, assisted by a
pretty brown actress of the Folies Mai-igny, and
had not at that moment even begun to touch
the waUs and the ceUing of the baU-room con¬
fided to his genius.
" But you had better begin, though she is not
coming back," said the good Hubert, sm'veying
the blank waste of prepared plaster. " Miladi is
not often out of temper, but when she is, ouf! I
would as soon serve a Eussian. Better begin;
paint your best, because she knows — Miladi
knows, and she is hard to please in those things.
Not but what I dare say, as soon as you have
done it all, she will take it into her head that it
looks too cold, or looks too warm, or wiU not
compose well, or something or other, and wiU
cover it all up with silk and satin. But that will
not matter to you."
"Not at all," said Monsieur CamUle, who,
though he had been a pupU of Flandrin, htid
learned notiung of that trua master's conscien-