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With about two weeks to go, the congressman finally got

source:Cashier's Netedit:governmenttime:2023-12-04 11:34:53

"I am quite sure he does," said Imogene.

With about two weeks to go, the congressman finally got

"Very well. Do you leave him alone; stay down here, and see what will come of it. I quite agree that such a banishment, as you call it, is not a happy prospect for you -- but it is happier than that of a marriage with Frank Houston. Give that up, and then you can go back to London and begin the world again."

With about two weeks to go, the congressman finally got

Begin the world again! She knew what that meant. She was to throw herself into the market, and look for such other husband as Providence might send her. She had tried that before, and had convinced herself that Providence could never send her any that could be acceptable. The one man had taken possession of her, and there never could be a second. She had not known her own strength -- or her own weakness as the case might be -- when she had agreed to surrender the man she loved because there had been an alteration in their prospects of an income. She had struggled with herself, had attempted to amuse herself with the world, had told herself that somebody would come who would banish that image from her thoughts and heart. She had bade herself to submit to the separation for his welfare. Then she had endeavoured to quiet herself by declaring to herself that the man was no hero -- was unworthy of so much thinking. But it had all been of no avail. Gertrude Tringle had been a festering sore to her. Frank, whether a hero or only a commonplace man, was -- as she owned to herself -- hero enough for her. Then came the opening for a renewal of the engagement. Frank had been candid with her, and had told her everything. The Tringle money would not be forthcoming on his behalf. Then -- not resolving to entice him back again -- she had done so. The word was odious to her, and was rejected with disdain when used against her by her brother -- but, when alone, she acknowledged to herself that it was true. She had enticed her lover back again -- to his great detriment. Yes; she certainly had enticed him back. She certainly was about to sacrifice him because of her love. "If I could only die, and there be an end of it!" she exclaimed to herself.

With about two weeks to go, the congressman finally got

Though Tregothnan Hall, as the Docimers' house was called, was not open to Frank Houston, there was the post running always. He had written to her half a dozen times since she had been in Cornwall, and had always spoken of their engagement as an affair at last irrevocably fixed. She, too, had written little notes, tender and loving, but still tinged by that tone of despondency which had become common to her. "As for naming a day," she said once, "suppose we fix the first of January, ten years hence. Mudbury's opposition will be worn out by old age, and you will have become thoroughly sick of the pleasures of London." But joined to this there would be a few jokes and then some little word of warmest, most enduring, most trusting love. "Don't believe me if I say that I am not happy in knowing that I am altogether your own." Then there would come a simple "I" as a signature, and after that some further badinage respecting her "Cerberus", as she called her brother.

But after that word, that odious word, "enticed," there went another letter up to London of altogether another nature.

I have changed my mind again [she said] and have become aware that, though I should die in doing it -- though we should both die if it were possible -- there should be an end of everything between you and me. Yes, Frank; there! I send you back your troth, and demand my own in return. After all why should not one die -- hang oneself if it be necessary? To be self-denying is all that is necessary -- at any rate to a woman. Hanging or lying down and dying, or lingering on and saying one's prayers and knitting stockings, is altogether immaterial. I have sometimes thought Mudbury to be brutal to me, but I have never known him to be untrue -- or even, as I believe, mistaken. He sees clearly and knows what will happen. He tells me that I have enticed you back. I am not true as he is. So I threw him back the word in his teeth -- though its truth at the moment was going like a dagger through my heart. I know myself to have been selfish, unfeeling, unfeminine, when I induced you to surrender yourself to a mode of life which will make you miserable. I have sometimes been proud of myself because I have loved you so truly; but now I hate myself and despise myself because I have been incapable of the first effort which love should make. Love should at any rate be unselfish.

He tells me that you will be miserable and that the misery will be on my head -- and I believe him. There shall be an end of it. I want no promise from you. There may, perhaps, be a time in which Imogene Docimer as a sturdy old maid shall be respected and serene of mind. As a wife who had enticed her husband to his misery she would be respected neither by him nor by herself -- and as for serenity it would be quite out of the question. I have been unfortunate. That is all -- but not half so unfortunate as others that I see around me.

Pray, pray, PRAY, take this as final, and thus save me from renewed trouble and renewed agony.

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