8 A Mental Strujjie.
and past aspiring nobodies, with her small haughty head
well in the air.
Time, serving rather to increase than lessen this pri-le
(this one great fault in a sweet natitre), leaves her some¬
what open to comment, and teaches those who are not
exactly up to the mark, according to her standard of what
constitutes good blood, to both dislike and fear her. She
is never rud'e (she could not be that, if she tried), but there
is something in the very gentle iciness of her smile that
checks the vivacity of those brought into contact with her
against her will, and prevents them from ever seeking to
renew their acquaintance with her.
'•It was her look, my dear, her looJc,'' says old 3Ir3.
Hatton, Avhose uooil man has amassed his honest million by
means of starch. "It was worse than words, I tell you.
She looked my Jane straight down, she did—a proud con¬
ceited minx !"
All this wretchcil nonsense Imogen inherited more from
the mother's than the father's side. Not that dear Lady
Olivia possessed a single atom of it, beyond what her posi¬
tion alisolutely reqtth-ed ; but still it had shown itself very
au'ure-.-ively in several memlier.^ of the Tulloch family.
There was old Laily Edi^erton, Lady (lli\ia's armt, who it
was well known had talon to her bed f(jr three days after
a dinner-party given by Lord Pilworth, in consequence of
having been sent (hiwii to dinner with a man wlio.se ijreat-
i;reat-i,n-,-indfather had dealt in cial. He was a charmincr
man, handsome, intelleetual, and irreproachably attired;
but in Lady Ivlgerton's e\-es he was not attired at all, and
was simply be-rimed and covca'cd with .soot; and, by her
at least, Lord I'ilworth was ne\er forgiven.
In l«'twten LnoLTeii and the ,i:-ayer Patricia there cor.;es
fi youth of temler years and slender proportions, yclept
Sandie. His real name is ^Vlexander—a dignified appella¬
tion bt'longing to his maternal grandfather, and full of
proud associations culled from a pagan past. But it had
proved utterly unsuited to this possessor of it. " Alex "
even they had tried, but it was of no use. There was no
sense of dignity about the boy ; so he sank by lower and
lower degrees, until he arrived at Sandie, when it was felt