Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/73

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

I made to you last night—and before I have suggested any compromise?"

"I despise a man who breaks his word and makes explanations afterwards."

"I thought you were just."

"Do not talk to me of justice! Have I not loved you? was I not, am I not still, ambitious for you? And you have failed me. If I did not know that you had ability I would say nothing—I would not have cared for you in the first place. It is because I see you so indolent, so satisfied to grovel among the nobodies whose only metier is to grovel, that I am heartsick. I admit I like to see brains in a man or a woman: it may be weakness on my part."

"Will you not give me time to prove what I can do?"

"You have been all your life proving, and this offer from Dobbs seems to be the proof. It is the only thing I pin my faith to."

"That is to say," said Provence, "you believe in me because Dobbs does."

"You may attribute any meanness to me you please."

"Do you wish me to close with him?"

"My wishes can have no interest for you—now."

"You know your wishes are everything to me."

"You think more of your unfinished novel! And—you would not do it if I did wish it."

"But do you ?"

"Am I not crying my eyes out—because you won't."

"Then you do wish it, after all I have said?"

"This is childish. Well—yes—I suppose I do."