IC A Mental Strugcjh.
to the hearthrug, and placing one little dainty foot upon
the high brass fender, " I can tell you all about tint. The
old man wdll be the Aic-<tinii'e of a Yorkshire farmer—only
worse, because he will have a strong dash of jManchester
mixed ujj with his turnips ; and he will be always usnig
horribly obsolete words, and he will be very attentive to
you, and will probably call you ' ^Ma'ani,' or even perhaps
' Mum.' Bear this well in mind, lest at any time you
should be tempted to forget he is your guest and not your
" My dear girl, it can't be so altogether bad ! " exclaims
poor Lady Olivia, aghast.
" Mrs. Brown," goes on Imogen, ignoring the interrup¬
tion, "will be large and red and fat, like cook, and will
Avear white gloves at dinner, many sizes too large for her.
Miss Brown will be a mincing, silly school-girl, ready to
die with laughter at everything Patricia may choose to
say; and the son—will be a boor, pur et sii)>]ile."
"What irill the county say?" ejaculates Lady Olivia,
looking really miserable, as she takes to heart her daughter's
graphic, if strictly imaginary, description of the coming
" All it can of the most unpleasant. Be prepared for
that. But you needn't bo prepared for (piito such ]ioople
as I have doseribod. They will be bad, no doubt; but I
dare say not so unendui'able as I have led you to believe.
And, after all, it can't last for e^•er.''
" True. And yet four weeks can contain much misery,"
sighs Lady Olivia wearily.
But the die being cast, and these objectionable people
waiting for an invitation, she subdues herself, and writes
them quite a cordial note, full of a warm desire to make
their acquaintance, that when finished smites her with
remorse as being distinctly hypocritical. Even as she
closes it she hesitates, and there is quite a leu'i-thencd
skirmish with conscience as she decorates it with a penny
stamp. But it goes to the post for all that; and when
the next Friday arrives, it brings with it the unwelcomo
It is a somewhat late train that brin<js them, so that