Page:The Yellow Book - 01.djvu/277

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By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore

my way, I, too, am something of a philosopher! I married very young, whereas you entered the Diplomatic Service and resolved to remain single: you wished to study women. I have lived with one for five-and-twenty years.[Sighs.]

Soame.Oh, I admit at once that yours is the greater achievement and was the more daring ambition.

Lord Dol.I know all I wish to know about women, but men puzzle me extremely. So I have sent for you. I want your advice. It is Cyril who is the cause of my uneasiness. I am afraid that he is not happy.

Soame.Cyril not happy? What is he unhappy about? You have never refused him anything?

Lord Dol.Never! No man has had a kinder father! When he is unreasonable I merely say "You are a fool, but please your self!" No man has had a kinder father!

Soame.Does he complain?

Lord Dol.He has hinted that his home is uncongenial yet we have an excellent cook! Ah, thank heaven every night and morning, my dear Digby, that you are a bachelor. Praying for sinners and breeding them would seem the whole duty of man. I was no sooner born than my parents were filled with uneasiness lest I should not live to marry and beget an heir of my own. Now I have an heir, his mother will never know peace until she has found him a wife!

Soame.And will you permit Lady Doldrummond to use the same method with Cyril which your mother adopted with such appalling results in your own case?

Lord Dol.It does not seem my place to interfere, and love-affairs are not a fit subject of conversation between father and son!

Soame.But what does Cyril say to the matrimonial prospect?