Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/292

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VII.

SHOWING HOW SOME VERY NECESSARY INFORMATION MAY SEEM LIKE A DIGRESSION.

It is an obvious truism that love in all human relations is, in the very nature of things, selfish; those who love unselfishly only do so by living in a state of constant warfare with their meaner instincts. The natural desire is to absorb every thought and moment of the loved being; to begrudge every interest, and dislike all things and anything which would seem to distract the You from incessant dependence on the Me. This is the undisciplined, raw desire: many conquer it—Wrath, for instance; more, like Sophia, do not.

Yet she was not an exacting woman—the self-repression was by no means all on his side; she suffered her husband's interest in his pictures with silent heroism; she oftened remained away from his studio lest she should interrupt his work; she concealed many of her professional worries for fear of causing him needless anxiety—for a creature so wayward and naturally heedless of others, her thoughtfulness where he was concerned was even pathetic. But it is only one more paradox from that nest of paradoxes—the human heart—that only love is strong enough to subdue love, and affection had worked its great miracle in Sophia's wilful nature. When Wrath was

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