`I want a humble heart; and a chastened mind; and I have never had them yet!'
`You have been fearless, both as a thinker and as a feeler, and you deserved more admiration than I gave. I was too full of narrow dogmas at that time to see it.'
`Don't say that, Jude! I wish my every fearless word and thought could be rooted out of my history. Self- renunciation - that's everything! I cannot humiliate myself too much. I should like to prick myself all over with pins and bleed out the badness that's in me!'
`Hush!' he said, pressing her little face against his breast as if she were an infant. `It is bereavement that has brought you to this! Such remorse is not for you, my sensitive plant, but for the wicked ones of the earth - who never feel it!'
`I ought not to stay like this,' she murmured, when she had remained in the position a long while.
`It is indulgence.'
`Still on the same tack! But is there anything better on earth than that we should love one another?'
`Yes. It depends on the sort of love; and yours - ours is the wrong.'
`I won't have it, Sue! Come, when do you wish our marriage to be signed in a vestry?'
She paused, and looked up uneasily. `Never,' she whispered.
Not knowing the whole of her meaning he took the objection serenely, and said nothing. Several minutes elapsed, and he thought she had fallen asleep; but he spoke softly, and found that she was wide awake all the time. She sat upright and sighed.
`There is a strange, indescribable perfume or atmosphere about you to-night, Sue,' he said. `I mean not only mentally, but about your clothes, also. A sort of vegetable scent, which I seem to know, yet cannot remember.'
`It is incense.'
`I have been to the service at St. Silas', and I was in the fumes of it.'
`Oh - St. Silas'.'
`Yes. I go there sometimes.'
`Indeed. You go there!'
`You see, Jude, it is lonely here in the weekday mornings, when you are at work, and I think and think of - of my - ` She stopped till she could control the lumpiness of her throat. `And I have taken to go in there, as it is so near.'
`Oh well - of course, I say nothing against it. Only it is odd, for you. They little think what sort of chiel is amang them!'
`What do you mean, Jude?'
`Well - a sceptic, to be plain.'
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