Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/120

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

"You mean it has stood the test of time."

"Ah! You see, you didn't marry Godfrey."

"How can I expect you to understand my feelings?"

"I understand too well, and fear."

"Fear!" said Cynthia, scornfully. "What is fear? Fear is for cowards."

"And for lookers on," said Lady Theodosia.

"If people talked, what could they say?" said Cynthia, after a very long silence. "Surely he can call here sometimes. There is no harm in that."

"It isn't as though you were his wife's most intimate friend," said Lady Theodosia.

"What vile minds people must have! Let them say what they like about me."

"May they say what they like about him? Do you want to see him pointed at? I dare say you are right and they won't be able to say much—but it will be enough. You must remember he is a well-known man. Any little bit of gossip about literary people and artists and all that set is always pounced on and exaggerated. It makes them more interesting, in a low sense. You may tell me that love is stronger than death—than destruction—than the world. You will soon see that it is not stronger than scandal. Your love will bring him nothing but evil. You will be his stumbling-block."

"If I thought that, I would kill myself," said Cynthia.

Lady Theodosia waved her hand impatiently. " I thought you prided yourself on your courage. Meet your folly and conquer it. You will tell me that Godfrey is a man not easily influenced; that he of