Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/99

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

first duties is surely self-effacement. You see, I regard it as a duty—not a virtue at all. I won't say that I fully realized this when I married. In those days I was very unreasonable, and hoped to keep him entirely to myself. I wanted his ideas to be given to me first, and then—well, then I thought there would be plenty of crumbs for the public. Wasn't I selfish? How could I have expected it? Of course, I soon saw how foolish I was. You know how silent he is—particularly about his writing—and then, when he has been working all day and is too tired to read, he likes to sit and think, or perhaps play with the child. If I only thought of myself, I might be tempted to wish he were a trifle more like other men, or one of those barristers who write a little. They are generally very agreeable, and just literary enough to be interesting. But I'm afraid all this sounds like grumbling—whereas I have everything to be thankful for."

"It seems to me you have a pretty dull time of it," said George.

"Well," said Grace, "doing one's duty is not the liveliest thing in life. But it is strengthening—morally if not physically. It is always comforting to feel that one is trying to do right."

"How much more noble women are than men," said George with enthusiasm, and thinking that a certain shade of brown looked awfully well with blonde hair.

"I cannot agree with you there," said Grace.

"Women, I know, have often noble impulses, but they fail in acting up to them. Suppose we put it this way—that women want to be noble, and some men are."