Vain Fortune eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Vain Fortune.

’I hope I do.  But, as I have explained, it is the only solution.  The romantic attachments of young girls, unless nipped in the bud, often end fatally.  Do you not see how ill she is looking?  She is wearing her life away.  We shall be acting in her best interests.  Besides, she is not the only person to be considered.  Do I not love you?  Are you not the very woman whose influence, whose guidance, is necessary, so that I should succeed?  Without your help I shall never write my play.  A woman’s influence is necessary to every undertaking.  The greatest writers owe their best inspiration to——­’

‘Her heart is as closely set upon you as yours is upon your play.’

‘But,’ cried Hubert, ’I do not love her!  Under no circumstances would I marry her.  That I swear to you.  If she and I were alone on a desert island——­’

Julia looked at him one moment doubtingly, inquiringly.  Then she said—­

’Hers is no evanescent fancy, but a passion that goes to the very roots of her nature, and will kill her if it be not satisfied.’

‘Or cut out in time.’

‘I must leave.’

‘That will not mend matters.’

’My departure will, at all events, remove all cause for jealousy; and when I am gone you may learn to love her.’

‘No; that I swear is impossible!’

’You very likely think so now; but I’m bound to give her every chance of winning you.’

’I say again that that is impossible!  I have never seen a woman except yourself I could marry.  I tell you so:  believe me as you like....  In this matter you are acting like a woman,—­you allow your emotions and not your intellect to lead you.  By acting thus, you are certainly sacrificing two lives—­hers and mine.  Of your own I do not speak, not knowing what is passing in your heart; but if by any chance you should care for me, you are adding your own happiness to the general holocaust.’  Neither spoke again for some time.

‘Why should you not marry her?’ Julia said, at the end of a long silence.  ‘Some people think her quite a pretty girl.’

The lovers looked at each other and smiled sadly.  And then, in pathetic phrases, Hubert tried to explain why he could never love Emily.  He spoke of his age, and of difference of tastes,—­he liked clever women.  The conversation fell.  At the end of a long silence, Julia said—­

‘There is nothing for it but my departure, and the sooner the better.’

‘You are not in earnest?  You are surely not in earnest?’

‘Yes, indeed I am.’

’Then, if you go, you must take her with you.  She cannot remain here alone with me.  And even if she could, I could not live with her.  Her folly has destroyed any liking I may have ever had for her.  You’ll have to take her with you.’

‘She would not come with me.  I spoke to her once of a trip abroad.’

‘And she refused?’

‘She said she only wanted things to go on just as they are.’

Project Gutenberg
Vain Fortune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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