One, two, three鈥攁nything you like鈥攗p to a million. Has the letter gone out of your possession? Oh, but pray do! Why should you shut yourself from all the pleasures of this world, and live like a nun, always? You might surely make just one exception for such a grand event as the Hunt Ball. You have no idea how much we all think of it hereabouts. Remember, it will be the first public[Pg 48] dance we have had at Lostwithiel for ever so many years. You will see family diamonds enough to make you fancy you are at St. James's. Do you think Major Disney would dislike your having just one evening's dissipation? 七星彩开奖结果走势图综合版 Has the letter gone out of your possession? and my portrait for a frontispiece with, `Very truly yours, Judy Abbott,' Before starting to America I had completed Orley Farm, a novel which appeared in shilling numbers 鈥?after the manner in which Pickwick, Nicholas Nickleby, and many others had been published. Most of those among my friends who talk to me now about my novels, and are competent to form an opinion on the subject, say that this is the best I have written. In this opinion I do not coincide. I think that the highest merit which a novel can have consists in perfect delineation of character, rather than in plot, or humour, or pathos, and I shall before long mention a subsequent work in which I think the main character of the story is so well developed as to justify me in asserting its claim above the others. The plot of Orley Farm is probably the best I have ever made; but it has the fault of declaring itself, and thus coming to an end too early in the book. When Lady Mason tells her ancient lover that she did forge the will, the plot of Orley Farm has unravelled itself 鈥?and this she does in the middle of the tale. Independently, however, of this the novel is good. Sir Peregrine Orme, his grandson, Madeline Stavely, Mr. Furnival, Mr. Chaffanbrass, and the commercial gentlemen, are all good. The hunting is good. The lawyer鈥檚 talk is good. Mr. Moulder carves his turkey admirably, and Mr. Kantwise sells his tables and chairs with spirit. I do not know that there is a dull page in the book. I am fond of Orley Farm 鈥?and am especially fond of its illustrations by Millais, which are the best I have seen in any novel in any language. CHAPTER VIII. A DANGEROUS LETTER. Martin Disney and his wife and sister came up when a little crowd of men, women, and children, numbering about thirty, had assembled round the gate, all in their Sunday best. We saw the Jasmine tower from a corner of the garden in the glow of sunset. With its gilt cupola blazing in the low beams, its amber-hued walls as transparent as melting wax, and its pierced screen-work, it looked so diaphanous, so fragile, that it might be carried away by the evening breeze. And beyond the pavilion, above the ramparts carved with huge elephants, lies the old Hindoo palace, deserted by Jehangir for his house of pale marbles鈥攁n endless palace, a labyrinth of red buildings loaded to the top with an agglomeration of ornament supporting flat roofs. And pagodas that have lost their doors, a work of destruction begun by Aurungzeeb. One court is still intact, overhung by seventy-two balconies, where the zenana could look on at the dancing of bayad猫res. Perfect, too, is the queen's private apartment, with two walls between which an army kept guard by day and by night. False and treacherous! she exclaimed bitterly. "Why was I ever mad enough to marry him?" Mrs. Larkins鈥?resignation hardly chimed in with Herbert鈥檚 impetuous mood. Has the letter gone out of your possession? out at her doorstep some night will she have a room ready for him?