Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/58

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42
Some Emotions and a Moral.
 

"That Provence is a very decent fellow," said the Rector, when the Cargills had departed, Provence had been shown to his room, and Lady Theodosia had retired to her bed; "he is a great improvement on his father." Agatha opened her china-blue eyes and wondered whether she ought not to mention the French poodle and the bishop.

"I don't think I like him," said Cynthia ; "he has a way of speaking meekly and looking aggressive. I wonder if he is conceited."

"My dear," said the Rector, " I never saw a man—a man, that is to say, of his ability—who was less of the egoist."

"At all events," said Cynthia, "you must own he is hard to get at. I believe he has a pasha-like contempt for women."

"That never struck me," said Agatha. "I should say he was much too apathetic to have a contempt for anything."

"Apathetic! I should never call you a good judge of faces, Agatha. He probably feels too much— not too little. There is a feminine sensitiveness about his mouth."

"I understood you to say his mouth was weak, when we were talking after dinner." Cynthia was certainly provoking.

"Is not feminine sensitiveness something like weakness in a man?" said Cynthia. "I don't see that I have contradicted myself."

It was not until she found herself in the solitude of her own bedroom that the uncomfortable consciousness seized her of not having been pleasant. She was a long time undressing, and tried to make peace with