Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/115

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

possible, he did not think it a pity that Cynthia was so extremely unlike her. Lady Theodosia was very much struck by her niece's altered appearance at dinner that evening. Her cheeks were red, and her eyes seemed lit by a hundred fires, and all of them blazing. Following her invariable policy, Lady Theodosia asked no questions, but talked soberly and appropriately of solicitors, travelling-bags, and quinine. Her discretion, however, was not rewarded until she announced her intention, after a very slow evening, of going to bed.

"Don't go yet," said Cynthia. "I've got something to tell you."

"I know," said Lady Theodosia, "you've seen him."

"How did you guess?"

"You look as though you had," said her aunt, drily.

"He is just the same," said Cynthia; "there is no one like him."

"My dear! Surely his wife isn't dead."

"Don't speak of her, she's detestable."

"Wives always are detestable," murmured Lady Theodosia. "'Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch's wife, he would have written sonnets all his life?' Byron said that, and he was a married man. But wives and cats have nine lives."

"I don't want anything to happen to the creature," said Cynthia. "I only want to ignore her. Oh, what a mistake—what a fatal mistake he made when he married, and what a designing thing she must have been!"

"Did he say so?"