Leonard had not expected to find so much practical acuteness in a man who, however accomplished, usually seemed indifferent, dreamy, and abstracted to the ordinary things of life. But Harley L'Estrange was one of those whose powers lie dormant till circumstance applies to them all they need for activity, the stimulant of a motive.
There is no sensitive soul but is moved and revolts at the recital alone of the torments which the greatest criminal endures; but cruelty merits the greater indignation when we consider it gratuitous or without motive.
"I think I understand, mamma. A masterly anatomy of human motives which is in itself a motive of human sleep. No; I won't borrow your novel just now. I don't want to go to sleep; I am thinking of Herbert in London." Mrs. Presty consulted her watch. "Your husband is no longer in London," she announced; "he has begun his journey home.
"You are mistaken, sir, I am entirely sincere; and if I have given you any motive for anger, I am, and must remain, ignorant of it. Be good enough to tell me what I have done." "Nothing, for I have no right to complain." "Yes, you have; you have a right, the same that I have myself; the right which good society grants to every one of its members. Speak, and shew yourself as sincere as I am."
"Spit it out, ye little divil, an' never agin do that. If ye do that three times before ye're twenty-one, ye'll make a spell that will break you, an' ye'll never lick Tom Ford." Thus, with no high motive, Kenna was in many ways, the guardian of the child.
Harold sat still; he knew that such man would not, could not, speak in such a way without a strong motive; and to learn that motive he waited.
"I can hardly remember now," she replied "it is so long since. I think my chief motive was dread lest my darling should be taken from me. I thought that, if strangers opened the box and found out who she was, they would take her away from me, and I should never see her again. I knew that the box held all the papers relating to her, so I took it deliberately."
At length, with a violent effort, she contrived to disengage it from the sheath, around which Ellen had closely clasped both her hands; but, with the quickness of thought, the latter were again clenched round the naked blade, and without any other evident motive than what originated in the obstinacy of her madness, the unfortunate woman fiercely attempted to wrest it away.
X. The motive which gave rise to all these wars was the opinion he entertained that both his honour and interest were concerned in revenging the murder of his uncle, and maintaining the state of affairs he had established.
"You might respect yourself, then," said the girl. "Or perhaps that wouldn't be so easy, either." "No, it wouldn't. I like to have you say these things to me," said Beaton, impartially. "Well, I like to say them," Alma returned. "They do me good." "Oh, I don't know that that was my motive." "There is no one like you no one," said Beaton, as if apostrophizing her in her absence.