I was a bit torn here as far as the genre is concerned. This is is, in fact, a romancey thriller or something.
Borrowdean dropped his eyeglass, and swung it deliberately by its black ribbon. He looked steadily at Berenice, but his eyes seemed to travel past her.
"My dear Duchess," he said, quietly, "the game of life is a great one to play, and we who would keep our hands upon the board must of necessity make sacrifices. It is your duty to disregard in this instance your feelings towards Mannering. You must consider only his feelings towards you. They are such, I believe, as to give you a hold over him. You must make use of that hold for the sake of a great cause."
Berenice raised her eyebrows.
"Indeed! You seem to forget, Sir Leslie, that my share in this game, as you call it, must always be a passive one. I have no office to gain, no rewards to reap. Why should I commit myself to an unpleasant task for the sake of you and your friends?"
"It is your party," he protested. "Your party as much as ours."
"Granted," she answered. "Yet who are the responsible members of it? You know my opinion of Mannering as a politician. I would sooner follow him blindfold than all the others with my eyes open. Whatever he may lack, he is the most honest and right-seeing politician who ever entered the House."
"He lacks but one thing," Borrowdean said, "the mechanical adjustment of the born politician to party matters. There was never a time when absolute unity and absolute force were so necessary. If he is going to play the intelligent inquirer, if he falters for one moment in his wholesale condemnation of this scheme, he loses the day for himself and for us. The one thing which the political public never forgives is the man who stops to think."
"What do you want me to do?" Berenice asked.
"To go to him and find out what he means, what influences have been at work, what is underneath it all. Warn him of the danger of even appearing doubtful, or for a moment lukewarm. The one person whom the public will not have in politics is the trifler. Think how many there have been, brilliant men, too, who have lost their places through a single false step, a single year, a month of dilettantism. Remind him of them. The man who moves in a great cause may move slowly, if you will, but he must move all the time. Remind him, too, that he is risking the one great chance of his life!"
Original cover on this one! Richly illustrated.
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