Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/67

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

"You are not being sincere with yourself," said Lady Theodosia. "Cynthia has given you every encouragement—you must feel it—whether you admit it is another matter. You are too modest—a sure sign you are very much in love. It is just because Cynthia has led you to believe in every possible way that she cares for your society quite as much as you care for hers, that I am here to-day. Don't contradict me and say she hasn't: I am a woman of the world and know what I am talking about. Now when Cynthia takes it into her head to flirt, she is absolutely without principle; she forgets everything—except herself. Let me entreat you to leave this place—you are only making misery for yourself by staying. She will never love you: it isn't in her to love any one. I am fond of her; I know her fascination—she fascinates me: but she is made of granite. You may like her, you may admire her to your heart's content, but you must not love her."

"Lady Theodosia," he said, "I know you mean to be kind; I know you believe every word you say: but as you have been straightforward with me I will be perfectly plain with you. I cannot think as you do with regard to—Miss Heathcote. She would not be granite to the right man. That I do not happen to be that man is not at all extraordinary. You know," he added, "every man cannot be Mark Anthony, that a Cleopatra should love him—it is enough for an ordinary mortal that he may have the inestimable privilege of breaking his heart for a Cleopatra."

"You are a fool," said Lady Theodosia, "and of course I like you better for it. I did not expect you