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[1045] great glee, a plan, one evening, which was to be carried into execution next day at dinner.

Among Mariana's irregularities was a great aversion to the meal-time ceremonial,—so long, so tiresome, she found it, to be seated at a certain moment, and to wait while each one was served, at so large a table, where there was scarcely any conversation; and from day to day it became more heavy to sit there, or go there at all; often as possible she excused herself on the everconvenient plea of headache, and was hardly ever ready when the dinner-bell rang.

To-day the summons found her on the balcony, but gazing on the beautiful prospect. I have heard her say afterwards, that she had scarcely in her life been so happy,—and she was one with whom happiness was a still rapture. It was one of the most blessed summer days; the shadows of great white clouds empurpled the distant hills for a few moments, only to leave them more golden; the tall grass of the wide fields waved in the softest breeze. Pure blue were the heavens, and the same hue of pure contentment was in the heart of Mariana.

Suddenly on her bright mood jarred the dinner-bell. At first rose her usual thought, I will not, cannot go; and then the must, which daily life can always enforce, even upon the butterflies and birds, came, and she walked reluctantly to her room. She merely changed her dress, and never thought of adding the artificial rose to her cheek.

When she took her seat in the dining-hall, and was asked if she would be helped, raising her eyes, she saw the person who asked her was deeply rouged, with a bright glaring spot, perfectly round, on either cheek

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