wrong in the constitution or condition of Lord Montfort, and recommended occupation and society. At present he shrank with some disgust at the prospect of returning to France, and he had taken it into his head that the climate of Montfort did not agree with him. nike free run 2 He was convinced that he must live in the south of England. One of the most beautiful and considerable estates in that favoured part of our country was virtually in the market, and Lord Montfort, at the cost of half a million, became the proprietor of Princedown. And here he announced that he should dwell and die. This state of affairs was a bitter trial to the proudest woman in England, but Lady Montfort was also one of the most able. She resisted nothing, sympathised with all his projects, and watched her opportunity when she could extract from his unconscious good-nature some reasonable modification of them. And she ultimately succeeded in establishing a modus vivendi. He was to live and die at Princedown; that was settled; but if he ever came to town, to consult his physicians, for example, he was always to inhabit Montfort House, and if she occasionally required a whiff of southern air, she was to have her rooms always ready for her at Princedown. She would not interfere with him in the least; he need not even see her, if he were too unwell. Then as to the general principle of his life, it was quite clear that he was not interested in anything, and never would be interested in anything; but there was no reason that he should not be amused. This distinction between interest and amusement rather pleased, and seemed to nike air max 90 satisfy Lord Montfort—but then it was difficult to amuse him. The only thing that ever amused him, he said, were his wife’s letters, and as he was the most selfish as well as the most polite of men, he requested her to write to him every day. Great personages, who are selfish and whimsical, are generally surrounded by parasites and buffoons, but this would not suit Lord Montfort; he sincerely detested flattery, and he wearied in eight-and-forty hours of the most successful mountebank in society. What he seemed inclined to was the society of men of science, of travellers in rare parts, and of clever artists; in short, of all persons who had what he calledidiosyncrasy.Civil engineering was then beginning to attract general attention, and Lord Montfort liked the society of civil engineers; but what he liked most were self-formed men, and to learn the secret of their success, and how they made their fortune. After the first fit of Princedown was over, Lord Montfort found that it was impossible, even with all its fascination, to secure a constant, or sufficient, presence of civil engineers in such distant parts, and so he got into the habit of coming up to Montfort House, that he might find companions and be amused. Lady Montfort took great pains that he should not be disappointed, and catered for him with all the skill of an accomplished chef. Then, when the occasion served, she went down to Princedown herself with welcome guests—and so it turned out, that circumstances, which treated by an ordinary mind must have led to a social scandal, were so adroitly manipulated, that the world little apprehended the real and somewhat mortifying state of affairs. With the utmost license of ill-nature, they could not suppose that Lord and Lady Montfort, living under the same roof, might scarcely see each other for weeks, and that his communications with her, and indeed generally, were always made in writing. Lady Monfort never could agree with her husband in the cardinal assumption of his philosophy. One of his reasons for never doing anything was, that there was nothing for him to attain. He had got everything. Here they at once separated in their conclusions. Lady Montfort maintained they had got nothingWhat,she would sayare rank and wealth to us? We were born to them. We want something that we were not born to. You reason like a parvenu. nike air max 90 Of course, if you had created your rank and your riches, you might rest on your oars, and find excitement in the recollection of what you had achieved. A man of your position ought to govern the country, and it always was so in the old days. Your family were prime ministers; why not you, with as much talent, and much more knowledgeYou would make a very good prime minister, BerengariaAh! you always jest, I am seriousAnd so am I. If I ever am to work, I would sooner be a civil engineer than a prime minister.Nothing but the indomitable spirit of Lady Montfort could fight successfully against such obstacles to her schemes of power as were presented by the peculiar disposition of her lord. Her receptions every Saturday night during the season were the most important of social gatherings, but she held them alone. It was by consummate skill that she had prevailed upon her lord occasionally appearing at the preceding banquets, and when they were over, he flitted for an instant and disappeared. At first, he altogether refused, but then Lady Montfort would introduce Royalty, always kind, to condescend to express a wish to dine at Montfort House, and that was a gracious intimation it was impossible not to act upon, and then, as Lady Montfort would sayI trust much to the periodical visits of that dear Queen of Mesopotamia. He must entertain her, for his father was her lover.In this wonderful mystification, by which Lord Montfort was made to appear as living in a society which he scarcely ever entered, his wife was a little assisted by his visits to Newmarket, which he even frequently attended. He never made a bet or a new acquaintance, but he seemed to like meeting men with whom he had been at school. There is certainly a magic in the memory of school-boy friendships; it softens the heart, and even affects the nervous system of those who have no hearts. Lord Montfort at Newmarket would ask half a dozen men who had been at school with him, and were now members of the Jockey Club, to be his guests, and the next day all over the heath, and after the heath, all over Mayfair and Belgravia, you heard only one speechI dined yesterday,orthe other day,as the case might bewith Montfort; out and out the best dinner I ever had, and such an agreeable fellow; the wittiest, the most amusing, certainly the most charming fellow that ever lived; out and out! It is a pity he does not show a little more.And society thought the same; they thought it a pity, and a great one, that this fascinating being of whom they rarely caught a glimpse, and who to them took the form of a wasted and unsympathising phantom, should not show a little more and delight them. But the most curious thing was, that however rapturous were his guests, the feelings of their host after they had left him, were by no means reciprocal. On the contrary, he would remark to himselfHave I heard a single thing worth remembering? Not one.Chapter 53 Endymion was a little agitated when he arrived at the door of Montfort House, a huge family mansion, situate in a court-yard and looking into the Green Park. When the door was opened he found himself in a large hall with many servants, and he was ushered through several rooms on the ground floor, into a capacious chamber dimly lighted, where there were several gentlemen, but not his hostess. His name was announced, and then a young man came up to him and mentioned that Lord and Lady Montfort would soon be present, and then talked to him about the weather. The Count of Ferroll arrived after Endymion, and then nike air max 1 another gentleman whose name he could not catch. Then while he was making some original observations on the east wind, and, to confess the truth, feeling anything but at his ease, the folding doors of a further chamber brilliantly lighted were thrown open, and almost at the same moment Lady Montfort entered, and, taking the Count of Ferroll’s arm, walked into the dining-room. It was a round table, and Endymion was told by the same gentleman who had already addressed him, that he was to sit by Lady MontfortLord Montfort is a little late today,she saidbut he wished me not to wait for him. And how are you after our parliamentary banquet?she said, turning to Endymion;I will introduce you to the Count of Ferroll.The Count of Ferroll was a young man, and yet inclined to be bald. He was chief of a not inconsiderable mission at our court. Though not to be described as a handsome man, his countenance was striking; a brow of much intellectual development, and a massive jaw. He was tall, broad-shouldered, with a slender waist. He greeted Endymion with a penetrating glance, and then with a winning smile.