repared. It's in shocking taste to wear colours when one pays a visit of condolence, or a last year's dress when there are reports that one's husband is on the wrong side of the market; and so it is with conversation. All I ask is that I should know beforehand what is to be talked about; then I feel sure of being able to say the proper thing."
"I quite agree with you," Mrs. Ballinger assented; "but--"
And at that instant, heralded by the fluttered parlourmaid, Osric Dane appeared upon the threshold.
Mrs. Leveret told her sister afterward that she had known at a glance what was coming. She saw that Osric Dane was not going to meet them half way. That distinguished personage had indeed entered with an air of compulsion not calculated to promote the easy exercise of hospitality. She looked as though she were about to be photographed for a new edition of her books.
The desire to propitiate a divinity is generally in inverse ratio to its responsiveness, and the sense of discouragement p