Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/42

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

pen with immense energy into the ink-pot. "But Aunt Theodosia has asked me to tell you that she has heard from Lady Cargill, and they are all coming."

"What on earth shall I wear?" said Cynthia. "I wonder whether I can make something between now and seven."

"Your clothes are always in such sad need of repair," said Agatha. "If you remember, I begged you to get a new dinner-dress weeks ago. I think, though, we need not trouble papa with these small matters."

The Rector blamed himself for wishing that Agatha were a shade less respectful and considerate. He could scarcely admit to his own conscience—much less confide the melancholy truth to his eldest daughter—that he was more in the mood for discussing gowns than writing a sermon. But such indeed was the case. He dimly felt that there were disadvantages in living with a creature who had too keen a sense of duty and the fitness of things.

"I am glad for your sake, papa, that they can come," said Agatha, sweetly; "it will be such a complete change for you after your hard morning."

The Hon. and Rev. gentleman glanced nervously at the blank sheet before him and the "It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing."

"Yes," he said, "it will be pleasant, certainly."

Agatha moved to the door and held it open for a few seconds, hoping that Cynthia would accept the hint and leave the Rector in peace. But Cynthia never stirred.

"Are you coming, dear?" said Agatha, with the merest touch of reproach in her voice.