240 'airy fairy Lilian.'
think the cuckoo tuneless and unmusical, and that I
find no transcendent pleasure in the cooing of the
fondest dove that ever mourned over its mate. These
beauties of nature are thrown away upon me. Wood¬
land groves and leafy dells are to me suggestive of
suicide, and make me sigh for the " sweet, shady side
of Pall Mall." The country, in fact, is lonely, and my
own society makes me shudder. I Hke noise and ex¬
citement, and the babel of tongues.'
' You forget the flowers,' says LiHan, triumphantly.
' No, my dear; experience has taught me I can
purchase them cheaper and far flner than I can grow
them for myself. I am a sceptic, I know,' smiling.
' I will not try to convert you to my opinion.'
' Certainly I see advantages to be gained from a
to-wn Hfe,' says Lilian, thoughtfully, leaning her elbow
on a small table near her, and letting her chin sink
into her little pink palm. ' One has a larger cfrcle of
acquaintances. Here everything is narrowed. One
lives in the house with a certain number of persons
and whether one likes them or the reverse, one must
put up with them. There is no escape. Yes '—with
an audible and thoroughly meant sigh—' that is very
This little ungracious speech, though uttered in
the most innocent tone, goes home (as is intended) to
Guy's heart. He conceals, however, all chagrin, and
pulls the ears of the sleepy snowball he is caressing
with an air of the calmest unconcern,
'You mention a fact,' says Mrs, Steyne, the
faintest inflection of surprise in her manner. ' But
you, at least, can know nothing of such misery, Chet¬
woode is famous for its agreeable people, and you—you
appear first favourite here. For the last hour I have
been listening, and I have heard only " Lilian, look at
this," or " Lilian, listen to that," or " LiHan child,
what was it you told me yesterday ? " You seem a^
great pet with everyone here.'