`If you will be odiously, demnebly, outrigeously jealous, my soul,' said Mr Mantalini, `you will be very miserable-- horrid miserable--demnition miserable.' And then, there was a sound as though Mr Mantalini were sipping his coffee.

`I am miserable,' returned Madame Mantalini, evidently pouting.

`Then you are an ungrateful, unworthy, demd unthankful little fairy,' said Mr Mantalini.

`I am not,' returned Madame, with a sob.

`Do not put itself out of humour,' said Mr Mantalini, breaking an egg. `It is a pretty, bewitching little demd countenance, and it should not be out of humour, for it spoils its loveliness, and makes it cross and gloomy like a frightful, naughty, demd hobgoblin.'

`I am not to be brought round in that way, always,' rejoined Madame, sulkily.

`It shall be brought round in any way it likes best, and not brought round at all if it likes that better,' retorted Mr Mantalini, with his eggspoon in his mouth.

`It's very easy to talk,' said Mrs Mantalini.

`Not so easy when one is eating a demnition egg,' replied Mr Mantalini; `for the yolk runs down the waistcoat, and yolk of egg does not match any waistcoat but a yellow waistcoat, demmit.'

`You were flirting with her during the whole night,' said Madame Mantalini, apparently desirous to lead the conversation back to the point from which it had strayed.

`No, no, my life.'

`You were,' said Madame; `I had my eye upon you all the time.'

`Bless the little winking twinkling eye; was it on me all the time!' cried Mantalini, in a sort of lazy rapture. `Oh, demmit!'

`And I say once more,' resumed Madame, `that you ought not to waltz with anybody but your own wife; and I will not bear it, Mantalini, if I take poison first.'

`She will not take poison and have horrid pains, will she?' said Mantalini; who, by the altered sound of his voice, seemed to have moved his chair, and taken up his position nearer to his wife. `She will not take poison, because she had a demd fine husband who might have married two countesses and a dowager--'

`Two countesses,' interposed Madame. `You told me one before!'

`Two!' cried Mantalini. `Two demd fine women, real countesses and splendid fortunes, demmit.'

`And why didn't you?' asked Madame, playfully.

`Why didn't I!' replied her husband. `Had I not seen, at a morning concert, the demdest little fascinator in all the world, and while that little fascinator is my wife, may not all the countesses and dowagers in England be--'

Mr Mantalini did not finish the sentence, but he gave Madame Mantalini a very loud kiss, which Madame Mantalini returned; after which, there seemed to be some more kissing mixed up with the progress of the breakfast.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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