Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/297

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VIII.

SHOWING HOW TRAGEDY IS NOT ALWAYS IN FIVE ACTS.

MISS ELIZA BELLARMINE, all this time, was sitting in front of the looking-glass in her bedroom, wondering whether her eyes showed the effects of weeping. She wept so seldom that when she did, her face for some time afterwards would be irresistibly suggestive of the beach after a storm.

"It is hard," she said, staring at herself, "that one woman should have so much, and another, nothing. Who could blame Wrath?"

From which the intelligent reader will at once gather, that the learned and austere Miss Bellarmine had bestowed her heart on one who had never sought it: on one who she had just learnt was the husband—and the devoted husband—of another woman. So strange is the feminine mind, that while she had quailed under the gossip which associated Wrath and Sophia in a more than charitable alliance, her position did not seem quite desperate. He would arise one day, assert his higher self, and cast about him for chaste society, coupled with moderate charms. But now—O heavy fate!—this could not be: he had married the daughter of Heth.

Eliza had not the temperament of those who consume with idleness and call it hopeless passion;

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