Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/371

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Many hours of pain and several weeks of dangerous illness were the result of Sophia's bite at the Ideal—a result which must not surprise us, since the psychological mystery she tasted is, as all pious souls know, the modern development of the antediluvian apple. But Sophia was young and had much to live for—much, too, to atone for. Tears had washed the dust from her eyes as only tears can, and, as she wept over her own folly, she knew that she was really crying for the first time in her life. Crystal drops shed over our own excellence are nothing in the world. They may, however, have their use in the city that is paved with good intentions.

Wrath watched day and night by the bedside of his wife. Their relationship was no longer concealed, for Nature, who hates false appearances, and is, in fact, a very blab to those who have ears to hear, had made straightforwardness necessary. And Wrath, in spite

of his anxiety, was happier than he had been, even at his happiest moments, since the day of the secret marriage. He held his breath at the shortness of time before him in which to retrieve the two past years of dissimulation, of double-facedness. As all penitents, he longed to be born again, that he might wage a new life with the arts of an old experience. He blamed