Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/83

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Some Emotions and a Moral.
67
 

the same would apply to a character. Browning doesn't express it quite that way," he added, "but that is what it comes to. I got a fellow to explain it to me."

"I should have hated that husband," said Cynthia.

"How I should respect a man who had the strength of character to say, 'Cynthia, if there is anything in your style, I don't admire it. You are too tall, and I don't like the colour of your hair. However—' and so on. That would be treating me like a rational being."

"My experience of women is—" said Edward; and then he blushed. "I mean," he said, "all women like to be appreciated. Anyhow," he added, desperately, "if a woman is awfully beautiful, I don't see any harm in telling her so."

"If she is—awfully beautiful—perhaps not. You see, she would probably know it."

"I don't believe you know how beautiful you are."

"How you take one's breath away! I know I am—not exactly repulsive."

"You are lovely."

"These compliments are very noisy, and—and you have no right to say them."

"No right! When you know I love the very ground under your feet."

"Well! I don't know anything of the kind, and—I wish you wouldn't."

"I can't help it."

"I should think you would have more self-respect."

"Damn my self-respect."

"Do you mistake me for your brown mare?"