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manner, and thus displaying to advantage a diamond ring, the gift
of Madame Mantalini before her marriage. There was, however,
the sound of voices in conversation in the next room; and as the
conversation was loud and the partition thin, Kate could not help
discovering that they belonged to Mr and Mrs Mantalini.

‘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

‘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 egg-spoon 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

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