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[68] her own destiny than the young man who can try every girl in the room in succession until he finds a partner. But we certainly cannot say that chance entirely controls either sex, in real life, when we consider how many men die unmarried through inability to find or win the woman they want; and when we reflect, on the other hand, that there are probably very few women who do not have first or last an opportunity of marriage, if they were only as easy to satisfy as men sometimes seem. Perhaps nobody will ever frame a philosophical theory of the law that brings together certain men and certain women as lovers. The brilliant author of “Counterparts” tried her hand at it, and while she produced a remarkable novel, she did not establish her theory very firmly after all. But whatever the true philosophy may be, it is pretty certain that the clement of chance is distributed between man and woman, and that a good deal of it exists for both in that formidable practical problem we call marriage.

But why, oh why, if Sir John and his fellow-worldlings are so anxious about a girl's “chances” at all, do they not carry their solicitude far beyond marriage, and make it include the whole life? Up to the wedding-day it is comparatively easy to ward off the storms of fate; indeed, the only serious storm to young people in love consists in the possible

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