Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/79

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Some Emotions and a Moral.
63
 

could not in reason be expected to marry a man whose career as yet was all promise and no execution: she was not a servant-maid nor a Rachel, to wait for her lover while he served his time: she had, in her love for him and in her anxiety to find some practical basis for their engagement, no doubt urged him to take the vulgar and tangible in preference to the aesthetic and visionary: her error was that she had spoken under the pressure of the moment, without due thought and against her own true instincts; he, being the man and the one whose career was in question, should have stood his ground and refused to be influenced. Then, how she would have respected him! She was thinking all this when the postbag arrived and in it a letter from Provence. This was the letter:—

"I cannot keep the promise I made you. I cannot say yes to Dobbs—I would rather slice ham in a cook- shop. Dearest, dearest, do understand this and give me a little time.—G. P."

She read this, trembled with anger, and was perhaps more truly in love with him than she had ever been in her life. Unfortunately, however, she did not know this, but rushed to Lady Theodosia, who was sitting alone in the drawing-room knitting charity comforters for the poor.

"That is the way he treats me," she said, giving her aunt the letter. "I am tired of him. What does he want me to do? Men are so selfish. I was a fool to listen to him in the beginning."

"Geniuses are never practical," said Lady Theodosia.

"The fact of the matter is this," said Cynthia, "the artistic temperament ought not to marry"