Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/288

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A Study in Temptations.

of marrying again. It was her only consolation to think, that for at least six months after Sir Benjamin's death she had not been in her perfect mind: chaos was come and the reign of irresponsibility. "It wanted a Shakespeare," she thought, "to make the Lady Ann accept Richard III. over her husband's coffin: it must have been then or never!"

"Do not remind me," she said again.

"Is it only men who should have the burden of remembering?" said Wrath, surprised at his unusual power of repartee, and deciding that it was inspired by the twilight.

"I remember too well too many errors," she sighed.

"Ah!" said he, "women only confess the sins they have left undone!"

"It was a man who prayed for a talent of forgetting!"

"He prayed in vain," said Wrath, now thoroughly exhausted and wishing to Goodness that Sophia would come in and "do the talking." Half-unconsciously he turned an ivory button in the wall, and lo! the room was illuminated by the discerning beams of the electric light.

"What a useful invention!" he exclaimed.

"Most useful!" said her ladyship, no less heartily.

"By the bye," he said, "Sophia has retracted her promise that I might announce our marriage. She is sublime! As she is suffering from neuralgia," he went on, "I did not tell her——"

"I will be as silent as the grave," said Margaret, divining his whole difficulty at a guess.

He could only gaze his gratitude, admiration, and