Henrietta was silent a little; there was a chance he was not sincere. ‘I’ve had hardly any appetite since I’ve been here,’ she went on at last; ‘so it doesn’t much matter. I don’t approve of you, you know; I feel as if I ought to tell you that.’

‘Don’t approve of me?’

‘Yes; I don’t suppose any one ever said such a thing to you before, did they? I don’t approve of lords as an institution. I think the world has got beyond them—far beyond.’

‘Oh, so do I. I don’t approve of myself in the least. Sometimes it comes over me—how I should object to myself if I were not myself, don’t you know? But that’s rather good, by the way—not to be vain-glorious.’

‘Why don’t you give it up then?’ Miss Stackpole enquired.

‘Give up—a—?’ asked Lord Warburton, meeting her harsh inflexion with a very mellow one.

‘Give up being a lord.’

‘Oh, I’m so little of one! One would really forget all about it if you wretched Americans were not constantly reminding one. However, I do think of giving it up, the little there is left of it, one of these days.’

‘I should like to see you do it!’ Henrietta exclaimed rather grimly.

‘I’ll invite you to the ceremony; we’ll have a supper and a dance.’

‘Well,’ said Miss Stackpole, ‘I like to see all sides. I don’t approve of a privileged class, but I like to hear what they have to say for themselves.’

‘Mightly little, as you see!’

‘I should like to draw you out a little more,’ Henrietta continued. ‘But you’re always looking away. You’re afraid of meeting my eye. I see you want to escape me.’

‘No, I’m only looking for those despised potatoes.’

‘Please explain about that young lady—your sister—then. I don’t understand about her. Is she a Lady?’

‘She’s a capital good girl.’

‘I don’t like the way you say that—as if you wanted to change the subject. Is her position inferior to yours?’

‘We neither of us have any position to speak of; but she’s better off than I, because she has none of the bother.’

‘Yes, she doesn’t look as if she had much bother. I wish I had as little bother as that. You do produce quiet people over here, whatever else you may do.’

‘Ah, you see one takes life easily, on the whole,’ said Lord Warburton. ‘And then you know we’re very dull. Ah, we can be dull when we try!’

‘I should advise you to try something else. I shouldn’t know what to talk to your sister about; she looks so different. Is that silver cross a badge?’

‘A badge?’

‘A sign of rank.’

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