Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/119

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Some Emotions and a Moral.
103
 

done for. I must say I always thought there was none of that nonsense about you."

"I never thought so either," said Cynthia; "that's the delightful part of it all. You know the story of the Sleeping Princess."

"If I remember the story," said Lady Theodosia, "for one Princess asleep there was a palace full of snoring bores. And that just illustrates what I'm driving at. It is only now and then that a woman has a soul, and she generally happens in poetry and is always improper. Look at Haīdee."

"You make Don Juan your gospel! How could a creature with any self-respect—quite apart from a soul—care for a Don Juan?"

"My dear Cynthia, it does not matter in the least what a man is—everything depends on what a woman thinks him to be."

"I am not mistaken in Godfrey," said Cynthia, quickly.

"Did I say you were? I should say he was far more likely to be mistaken in you."

"Don't you think there is anything decent about me?" said Cynthia, passionately. "Is he the one human being in the world who has faith in me?"

"And you jilted him!" said Lady Theodosia.

"I did—I did. And to think that in spite of that, he can still call me honest—do you suppose that makes me care for him less? If I am worthless—if you are all right and he is all wrong—what then? Shall I not love him better for the mistake? After all, my love is real enough: there is no mistake about that."

" You have been a long time finding it out."