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which was now being built. And his Grace had sufficient

2023-12-04 02:24:02 source:Lawless netauthor: person click:851Second-rate

It was as though years had passed since their first meeting. Upon her return to London had followed such long periods of hopelessness. Yet whenever they encountered each other he had look and speech for her with which surely he did not greet every woman. From the first his way of regarding her had shown frank interest. And at length had come the confession of his 'respect,' his desire to be something more to her than a mere acquaintance. It was scarcely possible that he should speak as he several times had of late if he did not wish to draw her towards him.

which was now being built. And his Grace had sufficient

That was the hopeful side of her thoughts. It was easy to forget for a time those words of his which one might think were spoken as distinct warning; but they crept into the memory, unwelcome, importunate, as soon as imagination had built its palace of joy. Why did he always recur to the subject of money? 'I shall allow nothing to come in my way;' he once said that as if meaning, 'certainly not a love affair with a girl who is penniless.' He emphasised the word 'friend,' as if to explain that he offered and asked nothing more than friendship.

which was now being built. And his Grace had sufficient

But it only meant that he would not be in haste to. declare himself. Of a certainty there was conflict between his ambition and his love, but she recognised her power over him and exulted in it. She had observed his hesitancy this evening, before he rose to accompany her from the house; her heart laughed within her as the desire drew him. And henceforth such meetings would be frequent, with each one her influence would increase. How kindly fate had dealt with her in bringing Maud and Dora to London!

which was now being built. And his Grace had sufficient

It was within his reach to marry a woman who would bring him wealth. He had that in mind; she understood it too well. But not one moment's advantage would she relinquish. He must choose her in her poverty, and be content with what his talents could earn for him. Her love gave her the right to demand this sacrifice; let him ask for her love, and the sacrifice would no longer seem one, so passionately would she reward him.

He would ask it. To-night she was full of a rich confidence, partly, no doubt, the result of reaction from her miseries. He had said at parting that her character was so well suited to his; that he liked her. And then he had pressed her hand so warmly. Before long he would ask her love.

The unhoped was all but granted her. She could labour on in the valley of the shadow of books, for a ray of dazzling sunshine might at any moment strike into its musty gloom.

The past twelve months had added several years to Edwin Reardon's seeming age; at thirty-three he would generally have been taken for forty. His bearing, his personal habits, were no longer those of a young man; he walked with a stoop and pressed noticeably on the stick he carried; it was rare for him to show the countenance which tells of present cheerfulness or glad onward-looking; there was no spring in his step; his voice had fallen to a lower key, and often he spoke with that hesitation in choice of words which may be noticed in persons whom defeat has made self-distrustful. Ceaseless perplexity and dread gave a wandering, sometimes a wild, expression to his eyes.

He seldom slept, in the proper sense of the word; as a rule he was conscious all through the night of 'a kind of fighting' between physical weariness and wakeful toil of the mind. It often happened that some wholly imaginary obstacle in the story he was writing kept him under a sense of effort throughout the dark hours; now and again he woke, reasoned with himself, and remembered clearly that the torment was without cause, but the short relief thus afforded soon passed in the recollection of real distress. In his unsoothing slumber he talked aloud, frequently wakening Amy; generally he seemed to be holding a dialogue with someone who had imposed an intolerable task upon him; he protested passionately, appealed, argued in the strangest way about the injustice of what was demanded. Once Amy heard him begging for money--positively begging, like some poor wretch in the street; it was horrible, and made her shed tears; when he asked what he had been saying, she could not bring herself to tell him.

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