Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/68

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

to believe me as a matter of fact, but I have done what I honestly thought was my duty. I have warned you, and I can do no more. As for this nonsense about the right man, don't make excuses for her on that ground. The right man for her is he who has the most money and the biggest position. She was born for noise, not love. We won't return to this subject again. As I said just now, I have done what I could, and the rest lies with yourself. Naturally you will hate me after this, but I knew what I was bringing upon myself when I started. I will say this," she added, after a pause: "if Cynthia should prove different to what I have said (but she won't), I should be glad for her sake, because I like you, and I think—this is the truth—you are far too good for her. Good-bye." Then she pressed his hand and hurried away.

Cynthia sat at home in the meantime, pondering her aunt's sayings in her heart. Until Lady Theodosia had spoken, she had lived her amusement with Provence from day to day, taking small thought for the morrow, and having still less for the yesterday. Now she felt she ought to prepare in some way for a climax. It was a revelation to her to find that preparation was necessary. She usually left climaxes to the hour, her mood and fate. But she liked Provence; she could not persuade herself that all the climax would be on his side. This was awkward. Apart, however, from any mere personal attraction he may have had for her, he had once told her—after a great deal of ingenious cross-questioning on her part—that the great Dobbs—Dobbs mighty in literature, in Fleet Street, and the New Criticism—had offered