`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.

`Why not?'

`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.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.