[Pg 215] She must have gone mad! A lodging-house must be harder work than anything she had to do here. People who were familiar with the Talbot Hotel, Lostwithiel, in its everyday aspect would hardly have recognized the old-fashioned hostelry to-night, under the transforming hand of the Hunt Club, with Lord Lostwithiel and Vansittart Crowther on the committee. The entrance hall, usually remarkable only for various cases of stuffed birds, and a monster salmon鈥攃aught in the Lerrin river in some remote period of history鈥攚as now a bower of crimson cloth and white azaleas. In the ball-room and ante-room, tea-room and supper-room, were more flowers, and more crimson cloth, while on every side brushes and vizards against the crimson and white panelling testified to the occasion. The dancing-room was very full when Mrs. Baynham's party made their entrance, the matron in her historical black velvet鈥攚hich had formed part of her trousseau thirteen years before, when she left the family residence in the chief street of Truro, and all those privileges which appertained to her as the only daughter of a provincial banker, to grace Dr. Baynham's lowlier dwelling. The black velvet gown had been "let out" from time to time, as youth expanded into maturity: and there had been a new bodice and a real Maltese lace flounce within the last three years, which constituted a second incarnation; and Mrs. Baynham walked into the Talbot ball-room with the serene demeanour that goes with a contented mind. She was satisfied with herself, and she was proud of her party, the two fresh, rosy-cheeked girls in sky-blue tulle, Isola, looking like a Mary lily in her white satin raiment, and the village surgeon, who always looked his best in his dress clothes, newly-shaven, and, as it were, pulled together in honour of the occasion. AV天堂網 Yes, it was true that Mr. Crowther had stood for Lostwithiel on three separate occasions, and with equal unsuccess on each. This may have embittered him. If the anger of slighted beauty is a furious thing, no less bitter is the sting of wounded vanity in the rejected candidate. What is now to be told so closely concerns our hero, that it must be given at some length. 7 Now, therefore, strengthen your heart; and when sorrow comes over you, make Me an offering, and I will be favorable to you."