enough to do that. But I'll give her good advice - an' she must be humble." It's wonderful o' Jane - for I'm sure she used to throw everything I did wrong at me - if it was the raisin wine as turned out bad, or the pies too hot - or whativer it was.'

`O mother,' said poor Maggie, shrinking from the thought of all the contact her bruised mind would have to bear. `Tell her I'm very grateful - I'll go to see her as soon as I can; but I can't see any one just yet, except Dr Kenn. I've been to him - he will advise me and help me to get some occupation. I can't live with any one, or be dependent on them, tell aunt Glegg; I must get my own bread. But did you hear nothing to Philip - Philip Wakem? Have you never seen any one that has mentioned him?'

`No, my dear: but I've been to Lucy's, and I saw your uncle, and he says, they got her to listen to the letter, and she took notice o' Miss Guest, and asked questions, and the doctor thinks she's on the turn to be better. What a world this is - what trouble, O dear! The law was the first beginning, an' it's gone from bad to worse all of a sudden, just when the luck seemed on the turn.' This was the first lamentation that Mrs Tulliver had let slip to Maggie, but old habit had been revived by the interview with sister Glegg.

`My poor, poor mother!' Maggie burst out, cut to the heart with pity and compunction, and throwing her arms round her mother's neck, `I was always naughty and troublesome to you. And now you might have been happy, if it hadn't been for me.'

`Eh, my dear,' said Mrs Tulliver, leaning towards the warm young cheek, `I must put up wi' my children - I shall never have no more. And if they bring me bad luck, I must be fond on it - there's nothing else much to be fond on, for my furnitur' went long ago. And you'd got to be very good once - I can't think how it's turned out the wrong way so!'

Still two or three more days passed, and Maggie heard nothing of Philip: anxiety about him was becoming her predominant trouble, and she summoned courage at last to inquire about him of Dr Kenn, on his next visit to her. He did not even know if Philip was at home: the elder Wakem was made moody by an accumulation of annoyance: the disappointment in this young Jetsome, to whom apparently he was a good deal attached, had been followed close by the catastrophe to his son's hopes after he had conceded his feelings to them, and incautiously mentioned this concession in St Ogg's; and he was almost fierce in his brusqueness when any one asked him a question about his son. But Philip could hardly have been ill or it would have been known through the calling-in of the medical man: it was probable that he was gone out of the town for a little while. Maggie sickened under this suspense, and her imagination began to live more and more persistently in what Philip was enduring. What did he believe about her?

At last, Bob brought her a letter without a postmark - directed in a hand which she knew familiarly in the letters of her own name: a hand in which her name had been written long ago in a pocket Shakespeare which she possessed. Her mother was in the room, and Maggie, in violent agitation, hurried upstairs, that she might read the letter in solitude. She read it with a throbbing brow.

MAGGIE, - I believe in you - I know you never meant to deceive me - I know you tried to keep faith to me, and to all. I believed this before I had any other evidence of it than your own nature. The night after I last parted from you I suffered torments. I had seen what convinced me that you were not free - that there was another whose presence had a power over you which mine never possessed; but through all the suggestions - almost murderous suggestions - of rage and jealousy, my mind made its way to belief in your truthfulness. I was sure that you meant to cleave to me, as you had said; that you had rejected him; that you struggled to renounce him, for Lucy's sake and for mine. But I could see no issue that was not fatal for you, and that dread shut out the very thought of resignation. I foresaw that he would not relinquish you, and I believed then, as I believe now, that the strong attraction which drew you together proceeded only from one side of your characters, and belonged to that partial, divided action of our nature which makes half the tragedy of the human lot. I have felt the vibration of chords in your nature that I have continually felt the want of in his. But perhaps I am wrong; perhaps I feel about you as the artist does about the scene over which his soul has brooded with love; he would tremble to see it

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