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WHAT WILL LIE DO WITH IT? 503
professional line. He has humor. Humor — strength's rich su- perfluity."
" I like your definition," said the Colonel. " And humor in Vance, though fantastic, is not without subtlety. There was much real kindness in his obvious design to quiz Lionel out of that silly enthusiasm for — "
" For a pretty child, reared up to be a strolling player," in- terrupted Darrell. " Don't call it silly enthusiasm. I call it chivalrous compassion. Were it other than compassion, it would not be enthusiasm, it would be degradation. But do you believe, then, that Vance's confession of first love, and its cure, was but a whimsical invention ? "
Colonel Morley. " Not so. Many a grave truth is spoken jestingly. I have no doubt that, allowing for the pardonable exaggeration of a raconteur, Vance was narrating an episode in his own life."
Darrell. " Do you think that a grown man, who has ever really felt love, can make a jest of it, and to mere acquaint- ances "i "
Colonel Morley. " Yes ; if he be so thoroughly cured that he has made a jest of it himself. And the more lightly he speaks of it, perhaps the more solemnly at one time he felt it. Levity is his revenge on the passion that fooled him."
Darrell. "You are evidently an experienced i^hilosopher in the lore of such folly. ' Consultns insapicntis sapiefitm.' Yet I can scarcely believe that you have ever been in love."
" Yes, I have," said the Colonel, bluntly, " and very often ! Every body at my age has — except yourself. So like a man's observation, that,'" continued the Colonel, with much tartness. ".No man ever thinks another man capable of a profound and romantic sentiment ! "
Darrell. " True ; I own my shallow fault, and beg you ten thousand pardons. So then you really believe, from your own experience, that there is much in Vance's theory and your own very happy illustration ? Could we, after many years, turn back to the romance at the page at which we left off, we should — "
Colonel Morley. " Not care a straw to read on ! Cer- tainly, half the peculiar charm of a person beloved must be as- cribed to locality and circumstance."
Darrell. " I don't quite understand you."
Colonel Morley. " Then, as you liked my former illustra- tion, I will explain myself by another one, more homely. In a room to which you are accustomed, there is a piece of furniture, or an ornament, which so exactly suits the place, that you say —