Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/424

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A Bundle of Life.

"Well," said Felicia, "you see I am not yet engaged to Mr. Wiche. If he could only be made not to propose, everything would come right. Dear Lady Mallinger, if you would only distract his attention: you are so much prettier than I am, and I am sure he would be far more influenced by you than he ever could be by me. Oh, please promise me that you will try."

This suggestion was rot without its charm. Lilian had a certain liking for Wiche: he appealed to her head rather than to her imagination, to her sympathies rather than to her senses: and, though he did not inspire her with poetic thoughts, he made the prose of her existence seem less like prose.

"Perhaps there would be no harm," she said, "and yet——"

"Oh, do promise," said Felicia, "my life and soul are bound up in it."

"One can tie a great many knots in one's life and soul," said Lady Mallinger.

"But love is so mysterious—so wonderful. It is the music of the world."

"It is a pity that it goes so often out of tune!" said Lilian. "Oh," she added suddenly, "our life is on so small a scale: everything seems so petty. Are women only born to fall in love with men like Saville Rookes? Why do we do these things?"

"Because there is nothing else for us to do, I suppose," said Felicia.

"But think of all these clever women who paint pictures, and make speeches, and write for the papers, and sing, and act, and play. Ah, how grand it must be to have something serious to think of!"