None could deny the assertion. The rich and elegant black velvet robes worn by her ladyship displayed the beautiful transparency and form of her snowy arms and shoulders. Flashing jewels lent a glow to the lovely face, reflecting their purity and priceless worth.
In the midst of her greatest triumphs Lady Rosamond felt her misery the most unendurable. Then she experienced the cruel mockeries of the world; then she felt pangs that the glare and display of wealth must cover—that the tribute of homage vainly sought to satisfy. At those moments a picture of never-fading reality would flit before her mental vision in mocking array—a picture in which her ladyship knelt with expressive and silent gaze at the feet of the stern monitress, Duty, whose defiant scowl denies appeal from the speaking depths of the mournful dark eyes. Two forms are discerned in the background; the foremost reveals the features of Gerald Bereford casting fond glances towards the kneeling figure in the foreground. Duty wears a smile as she beckons his approach with tokens of deep appreciation. There still lingers another form. Whose can it be? Can we not recognize that face, though indistinct, in the dim outline? Duty steps between and intercepts our view. This is the picture from which Lady Rosamond vainly tried to withdraw her thoughts, repeating the consoling words with saddened emphasis: “Everything is ordered for the best.”
While Lady Rosamond received the homage of a thousand hearts and plunged into the ceaseless round of busy life, her husband was engaged as a fierce combatant in earnest conflicts in the political arena within the limits of Parliament. Enclosed by vast and wondrous piles of stately architecture, the champions fight for their respective boroughs with untiring energy and vehement fiery ardour. The ministry, headed by the Duke of Wellington, stood much in need of all the force which it could bring to bear upon the rallying strength of the opposing element. Among the latter was arrayed Mr. Bereford. His penetrating judgment and shrewd activity were considered an important acquisition to the ranks of his colleagues. His masterly and eloquent harangues never failed to force deep conviction and prove the justice of his principles. Even Lady Rosamond felt a secret pride in listening to those earnest appeals which disclosed the honest motives by which they were actuated. Though not gifted with the brilliant powers displayed in the conversational genius of those women who had evidently devoted much attention to the study of politics, her ladyship tried to feel an interest in the measures for which her husband had devoted many of his waking hours, his superior intellectual powers, his fond ambition. In this source she seemed to find a sense of relief. She never flinched when any exaction was required. If she could make some recompense