Page:The Yellow Book - 01.djvu/281

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259
By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore

Lady Dol.The presence of a third person has the strangest effect on Herbert's moral vision. As I have trained my son with a care and tenderness rarely bestowed nowadays even on a girl, I think I may show some resentment when I am asked to believe him a being with the instincts of a ruffian and the philosophy of a middle-aged bachelor. No, Sir Digby, Cyril is not my child if he does not make his home and his family the happiest in the world!

Soame.Yes?

Lady Dol.He has no taste for cards, horses, brandy, or actresses. We read together, walk together, and drive together. In the evening, if he is too tired to engage in conversation, I play the piano while he dozes. Lately he has taken a particular interest in Mozart's classic light opera. Any interest of that kind is so elevating, and I know of nothing more agreeable than a musical husband.

Lord Dol.You see she is resolved on his marriage, and she has had Julia de Trappe on a visit with us for the last five weeks in the hope of bringing matters to a crisis.

Lady Dol.And why not? Our marriage was arranged for us, and what idle fancies of our own could have led to such perfect contentment?

[Lord Doldrummond avoids her eyes.]

Soame.Julia de Trappe? She must be the daughter of that Mrs. Howard de Trappe who gives large At Homes in a smal house, and who spends her time hunting for old lovers and new servants.

Lady Dol.I own that dear Julia has been allowed to meet men and women who are not fit companions for a young girl, no matter how interesting they may be to the general public. Only

yesterday