Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/72

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

induce him to take up journalism, and the editor's work for "The Present Age" would mean journalism in its most aggravated form. He cared nothing for income and hated notoriety. Cynthia liked him for appearing a little obstinate: it would add lustre to her triumph. For she scented triumph in the distance; patience, a few more smiles, once or twice the suspicion of a tear, sometimes the mere worldly wisdom of "What shall we live on?", the pressure of her cheek against his shoulder—"To please me, Godfrey." There was never a Samson so strong but he met his Delilah: it is only by the mercy of God that Delilah has occasionally a conscience. Provence surrendered one evening. The next morning, however, he told her he had thought better of it: he renounced Dobbs and all his works for ever.

"Very well," said Cynthia, quietly. "When I have made a mistake I am generally strong enough to own it. I have made a mistake in you. It does not console me to remember that women are usually mistaken—in men."

"Have I ever tried to give you a false impression of me?"

"I don't know. But I will own, if you like, that it did not require much trying. I was only too willing to be deceived. That is a humiliating confession—not that I ought to mind humiliation— now."

"Cynthia! What are you saying? "

"You have disappointed me. That I feel the disappointment so much is perhaps amusing—for you. It is only an additional bitterness to me."

"Is this because I have broken a foolish promise