Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/74

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58
Some Emotions and a Moral.
 

"You are sure? You do not care how ashamed I may be afterwards?"

"That is an absurd way of putting it. I do not consider you a competent judge of your own work."

"That may or may not be. But would you care for me—even a little—if I did this to please you?"

"I could not care for you—a little."

"Cynthia! Do you mean that?"

"Yes, I mean it. Women are weak, and after all I am only a woman. Why do you try me so and make me say things—in anger? Do you think I enjoy saying them?"

"But—dearest—I cannot say yes to Dobbs."

"Are you trying an experiment with me to see how long my patience will last! When it fails I think you will be sorry—at least, if you love me as you pretend to do."

"You are using hard words."

"Not too hard. Is it a noble amusement, to torment a woman who loves you?"

"I would die for you—but I cannot say yes to Dobbs."

"I thought only women were obstinate."

"It is not a question of obstinacy, but of right."

"That implies I am urging you to do wrong."

"No—but you do not understand."

"Then I am a fool? I prefer, on the whole, to be a knave. I must decline to squabble like this. It is not only wearying, but vulgar. So far as I am concerned the subject shall drop for ever. Say no to Dobbs, by all means."

"Cynthia, you will see that I am right—some day."

"Possibly. When I do see it I will own I was