Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/326

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310
"A Study in Temptations".
 

the Academician) was placed in a better light, and Jane was occasionally reminded that although the work in question was an excellent likeness, it did not do the original full justice. "No artist," said the Dowager, "could ever catch his smile!"

"He is certainly very handsome," said Jane. "Grandfather's nephew," she added, after a little pause, "is also handsome. The one, you know, who is so clever and who is now at Oxford. Would you like to see his photograph?"

"I would," said her ladyship, drily. To her horror, Jane unfastened her gown at the throat and displayed a small locket and chain. She opened the locket and handed it, with a blush, to her grandmama.

"Not a bad-looking person—for his kind," said the Dowager, not at all bad-looking. He has a look of Spence" (Spence was the head footman). "I am sure he is most worthy. But I would not wear him in a locket! It might give stupid people the idea that you were in love with him—and there are so many stupid people! Besides, if it came to his ears he might think the same thing. Young men are so conceited."

"Oh!" said Jane, "I should not like him to think that. I—I do not see how he could. He—he isn't conceited, and—and he is not a bit like Spence!"

"My dear," said her ladyship, "what would you say yourself, if you saw a young girl wearing a man's photograph on her neck? It is not maidenly—in fact, with no desire to hurt your feelings, it is immodest. I appreciate your childish and innocent sentiment in the matter—affection and gratitude are always charming, even when sadly misplaced; but you are no longer a little girl running wild in the