A MENTAL STRUGGLE.
•' Care, when it once is entered in the breast.
Will have the whole possession ere it rest."
" Debt haunts the mind 1"
Outside the window can be heard the cawing of innu¬
merable rooks in the old ivied tower; inside, the crackling
of the glorious fire, as the pine logs roar madly up the wide
chimney. There is a suspicion of frost in the air, no more.
Autumn is still crying aloud for remembrance, though
death has claimed her.
" If you wish so very much to have these people here,
of course they must be asked," says Lady Olivia, gazing
somewhat plaintively at her husband. The younger mem¬
bers of the family have just quitted the breakfast-table, so
it seems to her a rather good opportunity of learning Sir
Hugh's final decision on the matter, without the interven¬
tion of Imogen's rather vehement opinions. " It will be a
little trying if they come," she says, " and I don't suppose
they will be the nicest people in the world for the girls to
know; but if you see no vray out of it, there is nothing
more to be said."
" Nothing. It can't be helped now, at all events," re
turns Sir Hugh, with a suspicion of embarrassment. As
he speaks, he glances at the letter in his hand—a long
letter, rich in friendly adjectives. "Schoolfellows are an
institution, you know," he goes on with a little shrug, half