Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/167

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The Sinner's Comedy.
151
 

of peril. From which it would seem that men and Deans have very much in common.... Their second meeting, too, three days later, when she called again, and was pleased to admire his drawings (in the style of Dürer) illustrative of certain passages in Lucretius. He hastened to explain, however, that the philosophy of that poet was unconvincing. "What is his philosophy?" said Emily.... Then, when he had dined at Hurst Place, how they had disagreed on several points, misunderstood each other with a certain deliberateness, said good-bye coldly. How, the next morning, feeling restless, he had walked on the high-road for no other reason than because it was dusty, unpicturesque, and apparently leading no-whither—suggestive to the Thinking Mind of man's existence; how She had driven past with her mother, bedecked and smiling, disquieting alike to metaphysic and the sober contemplation of telegraph poles. Then at the Tableaux in aid of the New Hospital, when Emily as "Vivien"—under lime-light—had gazed with real sisterly affection on the round and impassive countenance of the Honourable Robert as "Merlin." Sacheverell had felt with some impatience the incompatibility of such trifling with a true appreciation of the seriousness of life; it showed him that Emily was frivolous, also that her hair fell below her waist. Both discoveries were soul-plaguing: the first because it jarred so horribly, the second because he shared it with assembled Mertfordshire. After the performance he had been the last to come forward: the only one who did not offer some tribute (more or less disguised) to her beauty. "I am afraid," she had said, when she