’I am taking nobody’s part. You wrong your wife, and you especially wrong Miss Rowley.’
‘If you please, Stanbury, we will say nothing more about it.’ This Trevelyan said holding the door of the room half open in his hand, so that the other was obliged to pass out through it.
‘Good evening,’ said Stanbury, with much anger.
‘Good evening,’ said Trevelyan, with an assumption of indifference.
Stanbury went away in absolute wrath, though the trouble which he had had in the interview was much less than he had anticipated, and the result quite as favourable. He had known that no good would come of his visit. And yet he was now full of anger against Trevelyan, and had become a partisan in the matter which was exactly that which he had resolutely determined that he would not become. ’I believe that no woman on earth could live with him,’ he said to himself as he walked away. ’It was always the same with him—a desire for mastery, which he did not know how to use when he had obtained it. If it were Nora, instead of the other sister, he would break her sweet heart within a month.’
Trevelyan dined at his club, and hardly spoke a word to any one during the evening. At about eleven he started to walk home, but went by no means straight thither, taking a long turn through St. James’s Park, and by Pimlico. It was necessary that he should make up his mind as to what he would do. He had sternly refused the interference of a friend, and he must be prepared to act on his own responsibility. He knew well that he could not begin again with his wife on the next day as though nothing had happened. Stanbury’s visit to him, if it had done nothing else, had made this impossible. He determined that he would not go to her room to-night, but would see her as early as possible in the morning and would then talk to her with all the wisdom of which he was master.
How many husbands have come to the same resolution; and how few of them have found the words of wisdom to be efficacious!
It is to be feared that men in general do not regret as they should do any temporary ill-feeling, or irritating jealousy between husbands and wives, of which they themselves have been the cause. The author is not speaking now of actual love-makings, of intrigues and devilish villany, either perpetrated or imagined; but rather of those passing gusts of short-lived and unfounded suspicion to which, as to other accidents, very well-regulated families may occasionally be liable. When such suspicion rises in the bosom of a wife, some woman intervening or being believed to intervene between her and the man who is her own, that woman who has intervened or been supposed to intervene, will either glory in her position or bewail it bitterly, according to the circumstances of the case. We will charitably suppose that, in a great majority