Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/366

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A Study in Temptations.

"You used to say she was insipid."

"Ah, that was a schoolboy's verdict."

"And what about that Miss Sophia Jenyns you mentioned in your first letter? She must have been the most interesting of them all."

"Yes, I think one would call her interesting. In the beginning she reminded me—in a very faint degree—of you. But you have really nothing in common."

"I suppose she is very beautiful?" she sighed.

"Grandmama says she is the loveliest actress in Europe."

"She is lovely—for an actress," he said; "there is a glamour about her which some people might find very attractive...But I have nothing to say against her. She is rather uncertain in temper: not a woman one could depend on. She has no feeling. And what is a woman—no matter how pretty she may be—unless she has feeling? I would call Miss Jenyns an egoist; very fascinating, but for all that, an egoist. And egoism is, I think, the eighth deadly sin. It is the special sin of this century. But, Jane, don't let us talk of -Isms and -Ivities. I am sick of them, dearest. One heard of nothing else at The Cloisters. An enervating atmosphere! If I had been there another week I should have lost all ambition. I feel as though I had stepped from a window conservatory into the fresh woods. In God's name, let us be natural; let us drop jargon; let us only remember that we love each other—for nothing else matters."

"Are you sure you won't get tired of me? I am not clever and intellectual. I understand you, dear, but I cannot answer properly. It —it is horrid to feel so ignorant when you find yourself talking to—to