Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/313

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

X.

IN WHICH A YOUNG GENTLEMAN DEFINES DUTY AND OTHER UNCERTAINTIES.

GIVEN two young people, idleness, and a week, and the sum total is Folly; add the artistic temperament and a pretty gift for philosophic discussion, and you get Sympathy; multiply by a sound knowledge of the Classic amorists, and the result is Romance.

De Boys had been at The Cloisters one week when he received tidings of Jane's altered position. He felt at once that whatever hopes he had formed with regard to their marriage, would now be idle, nay, more—presumptuous. Such instant surrender, it may be, showed modesty and good taste, but for a lover he was, perhaps, resigned too soon. Resignation is an heroic virtue, but it best displays its spirit after a sharp tussle with despair. In this instance, however, it seemed as though the two giants had merely yawned at each other. Mauden had not the smallest doubt of his great love for Jane, notwithstanding he wrote so seldom and a cold tone had crept into her replies—all that sort of thing could be put right in a single interview, when the time came for a serious understanding,—or, at least, it might have been put right, if she had not inherited this beastly money—and the beastlier title. He had already made up his mind not to enter

297