Page:The Yellow Book - 01.djvu/280

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The Fool's Hour

responsibility, Lady Doldrummond. Who knows what eloquence, what decision, what energy he might display, if you did not possess these gifts in so pre-eminent a degree as to make any exertion on his part unnecessary, and perhaps disrespectful.

Lady Dol.Ah! mothers are going out of fashion. Even Cyril occasionally shows a certain impatience when I venture to correct him. As if I would hurt any one's feelings unless from a sense of duty! And pray, where is the pleasure of having a son if you may not direct his life?

Lord Dol.Cyril might ask, where is the pleasure of having parents if you may not disobey them.

Lady Dol.[To Soame.]When Herbert is alone with me he never makes flippant remarks of this kind.[To Lord Doldrummond.]I wonder that you like to give your friends such a wrong impression of your character.[Turning to Sir Digby.]But I think I see your drift, Sir Digby. You wish to remind me that Cyril is now at an age when I must naturally desire to see him established in a home of his own.

Soame.You have caught my meaning. As he is now two-and-twenty, I think he should be allowed more freedom than may have been expedient when he was—say, six months old.

Lady Dol.I quite agree with you, and I trust you will convince Herbert that women understand young men far better than their fathers ever could. I have found the very wife for Cyril, and I hope I may soon have the pleasure of welcoming her as a daughter.

Soame.A wife! Good heavens! I was suggesting that the boy had more liberty. Marriage is the prison of all emotions, and I should be very sorry to ask any young girl to be a man's gaol-keeper.

Lord Dol.Sir Digby is right.