鈥淭he hotel is very little, mademoiselle,鈥?replied Bigourdin, 鈥渂ut our hearts are big enough to entertain them.鈥? 鈥淢uch the same as usual,鈥?said Martin. A wild night had set in. It seemed as though all nature had gone mad. The wind struggled with doors and windows for an entrance to the humble home, but only served to intensify the warmth and light and joy within, for it made the great fire roar and crackle the merrier. 福彩3d内幕报 鈥淢uch the same as usual,鈥?said Martin. THERE is six o鈥檆lock striking and those English have not yet arrived.鈥? One morning, as he was returning from a house at the West End where he had bought some clothes from one of the servants, he was struck by a small crowd which had gathered round a space that had been railed off on the grass near one of the paths in the Green Park. 鈥淣ow, what鈥檚 the trouble?鈥? In truth, Martin Overshaw did not emanate efficiency like the eagle-faced men in the illustrated advertisements who undertake to teach you how to become a millionaire in a fortnight. He was of mild and modest demeanour; of somewhat shy and self-depreciatory attitude; a negligible personality in any assemblage of human beings; a man (according to the blasphemous saying) of no account. Of medium height, thin, black-haired, of sallow complexion, he regarded the world unspeculatively out of clear grey eyes, that had grown rather tired. As he brushed his hair before the long strip of wardrobe mirror, it did not occur to him to criticise his reflected image. He made no claims to impeccability of costume. His linen and person were scrupulously clean; his sober suit comparatively new. But his appearance, though he knew it not, suffered from a masculine dowdiness, indefinable, yet obvious. His ill-tied cravat had an inveterate quarrel with his ill-chosen collar and left the collar stud exposed, and innocent of sumptuary crime he allowed his socks to ruck over his ankles. . . . Once he had grown a full black beard, full in the barber鈥檚 sense, but dejectedly straggling to the commonplace eye of a landlady鈥檚 daughter who had goaded him into a tepid flirtation. To please the nymph long since married to a virtuous plumber whom Martin himself had called in to make his bath a going concern, he had divested himself of the offending excrement and contented himself thenceforward with a poor little undistinguished moustache. A very ordinary, unarresting young man was Martin Overshaw. Yet, in his simple, apologetic way鈥攅xempli gratia, when he smiled with deferential confidence on the shabby concierge and the greasy Monsieur Bocardon鈥攈e carried with him an air of good-breeding, a disarming, sensitiveness of manner which commanded the respect, contemptuous though it might have sometimes been, of coarser natures. A long, thin, straight nose with delicate nostrils, the only noticeable feature of his face, may have had something to do with this impression of refinement. Much might be written on noses. The Great Master of Noseology, Lawrence Sterne, did but broach the subject. On account, perhaps, of a long head terminating in a long blunt chin, and a mild patience of expression, he bore at Margett鈥檚 Universal College the traditional sobriquet of 鈥淐ab-horse.鈥? Over and above these drawbacks the house had an ill name, by reason of the fact that the wife of the last occupant had hanged herself in it not very many weeks previously. She had set down a bloater before the fire for her husband鈥檚 tea, and had made him a round of toast. She then left the room as though about to return to it shortly, but instead of doing so she went into the back kitchen and hanged herself without a word. It was this which had kept the house empty so long in spite of its excellent position as a corner shop. The last tenant had left immediately after the inquest, and if the owner had had it done up then people would have got over the tragedy that had been enacted in it, but the combination of bad condition and bad fame had hindered many from taking it, who, like Ellen, could see that it had great business capabilities. Almost anything would have sold there, but it happened also that there was no second-hand clothes shop in close proximity, so that everything combined in its favour, except its filthy state and its reputation. 鈥淲hen I have a bad nightmare,鈥?said Ernest to me, laughing as he showed me this letter, 鈥淚 dream that I have got to stay with Charlotte.鈥? 鈥淲hat can it matter to me,鈥?he says, 鈥渨hether people read my books or not? It may matter to them 鈥?but I have too much money to want more, and if the books have any stuff in them it will work by-and-by. I do not know nor greatly care whether they are good or not. What opinion can any sane man form about his own work? Some people must write stupid books just as there must be juniors ops and third class poll men. Why should I complain of being among the mediocrities? If a man is not absolutely below mediocrity let him be thankful 鈥?besides, the books will have to stand by themselves some day, so the sooner they begin the better.鈥? 鈥淢uch the same as usual,鈥?said Martin. 鈥淪ix,鈥?said Martin. 鈥淚 can鈥檛 help knowing,鈥?he explained, 鈥渟ince I still lodge with her mother.鈥?