out how to correct it, and then moved on to the next day's
They found, however, only her ladyship's self and her sister, Mistress Anne, who, of truth, did not often join her tea-parties, finding them so given up to fashionable chatter and worldly witticisms that she felt herself somewhat out of place. The world knew Mistress Anne but as a dull, plain gentlewoman, whom her more brilliant and fortunate sister gave gracious protection to, and none missed her when she was absent, or observed her greatly when she appeared upon the scene. To-day she was perchance more observed than usual, because her pallor was so great a contrast to her ladyship's splendour of beauty and colour. The contrast between them was ever a great one; but this afternoon Mistress Anne's always pale countenance seemed almost livid, there were rings of pain or illness round her eyes, and her features looked drawn and pinched. My Lady Dunstanwolde, clad in a great rich petticoat of crimson flowered satin, with wondrous yellow Mechlin for her ruffles, and with her glorious hair dressed like a tower, looked taller, more goddess-like and full of splendid fire than ever she had been before beheld, or so her visitors said to her and to each other; though, to tell the truth, this was no new story, she being one of those women having the curious power of inspiring the beholder with the feeling each time he encountered them that he had never before seen them in such beauty and bloom.
When she had come down the staircase from her chamber, Anne, who had been standing at the foot, had indeed started somewhat at the sight of her rich dress and brilliant hues.
"Why do you jump as if I were a ghost, Anne?" she asked. "Do I look like one? My looking-glass did not tell me so."
"No," said Anne; "you--are so--so crimson and splendid--and I--"
Her ladyship came swiftly down the stairs to her.
"You are not crimson and splendid," she said. "'Tis you who are a ghost. What is it?"
Anne let her soft, dull eyes rest upon her for a moment helplessly, and when she replied her voice sounded weak.
"I think--I am ill, sister," she said. "I seem to tremble and feel faint."