Accustomed to study human nature, Dr X–––– had acquired peculiar sagacity in judging of character. Notwithstanding the address, with which lady Delacour concealed the real motives for her apparently thoughtless conduct, he quickly discovered, that the hatred of Mrs Luttridge was her ruling passion. Above nine years of continual warfare had exasperated the tempers of both parties, and no opportunities of manifesting their mutual antipathy were ever neglected. Extravagantly as lady Delacour loved admiration, the highest possible degree of / positive praise was insipid to her taste, if it did not imply some superiority over the woman whom she considered as a perpetual rival.