Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/100

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84
Some Emotions and a Moral.
 

George reflected on the sweetness of fellow-feeling. "I think Godfrey's a thoroughly good sort, you know," he said suddenly, as a sort of propitiation to his conscience for a lapse he was not quite able, or did not want to explain.

"He has fine qualities," said Grace. And again they were both silent.

Grace had no doubt married for what she considered affection. It was not very deep nor very strong, but it was essentially respectful. Perhaps, too, it was more than half gratitude. Provence was the first man who had ever taken any marked interest in her as an individual; one or two had allowed her to play piano to their fiddle; here and there one had sent her a book "with the author's compliments"; dancing men, who dined at her mother's, usually asked her for a waltz and the Lancers—somewhere at the end of a programme; men who didn't dance talked to her on politics, the theatres, religion, and other grave matters, but not one of them had ever, like Godfrey, talked to her about Herself. Until she met him, she had bowed in humiliation and self-pity to her mother's dictum—"Grace was cut out to be a companion to an elderly lady, in exchange for a comfortable home—the sort of thing one reads in the Morning Post. She will never make a good marriage." He had given wings to a clay bird: as much gratitude as one could expect from clay, she gave in return.

"Yes," she repeated, "Godfrey has fine qualities. But I wish—though, of course, no one is perfect—he would not give way to his moods. It is very difficult sometimes to please him. He doesn't find fault, you know; but just looks—well, that very trying look of