Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/163

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The Sinner's Comedy.

He shook his head. There was a small shop near—it was so much more convenient; he could not say what they charged him; it would be on the bill, no doubt, but when he was in a hurry———

"That is not the sort of thing one is ever likely to want in a hurry," said Eleanor; "if you send a postcard to the Stores———"

He was, it may be, a little quick-tempered. "I could never order anything—connected with my work—in the same list with soap and Gregory powder and beef-extract. It may be ridiculous, but that is my feeling. Nothing will change it."

But all this happened when Sacheverell was a young man, as the world counts youth, when his dream was to write Masses on Mount Athos. Now he was a Dean, and visited country-houses. "I have made him what he is," Mrs. Molle told her friends; "no wife could have done more for him!"

Men heap together the mistakes of their lives and create a monster which they call Destiny. Some take a mournful joy in contemplating the ugliness of the idol. These are called Stoics. Others build it a temple like Solomon's, and worship the temple. These are called Epicureans. The Dean of Tenchester was a Stoic.

"You have never told us," repeated Vallence, "what you think of Mrs. Prentice."

"I suppose," said Sacheverell, "she would be called pretty."

"I have seen her look pretty sometimes," said his sister, at once. "She varies very much. Her hats don't always suit her."