URSULA AND GUDRUN Brangwen sat one morning in the window-bay of their father's house in Beldover, working and talking. Ursula was stitching a piece of brightly-coloured embroidery, and Gudrun was drawing upon a board which she held on her knee. They were mostly silent, talking as their thoughts strayed through their minds.
`Ursula,' said Gudrun, `don't you really want to get married?' Ursula laid her embroidery in her lap and looked up. Her face was calm and considerate.
`I don't know,' she replied. `It depends how you mean.'
Gudrun was slightly taken aback. She watched her sister for some moments.
`Well,' she said, ironically, `it usually means one thing! But don't you think anyhow, you'd be --' she darkened slightly -- `in a better position than you are in now.'
A shadow came over Ursula's face.
`I might,' she said. `But I'm not sure.'
Again Gudrun paused, slightly irritated. She wanted to be quite definite.
`You don't think one needs the experience of having been married?' she asked.
`Do you think it need be an experience?' replied Ursula.
`Bound to be, in some way or other,' said Gudrun, coolly. `Possibly undesirable, but bound to be an experience of some sort.'
`Not really,' said Ursula. `More likely to be the end of experience.'
Gudrun sat very still, to attend to this.
`Of course,' she said, `there's that to consider.' This brought the conversation to a close. Gudrun, almost angrily, took up her rubber and began to rub out part of her drawing. Ursula stitched absorbedly.
`You wouldn't consider a good offer?' asked Gudrun.
`I think I've rejected several,' said Ursula.
`Really!' Gudrun flushed dark -- `But anything really worth while? Have you really?'
`A thousand a year, and an awfully nice man. I liked him awfully,' said Ursula.
`Really! But weren't you fearfully tempted?'
`In the abstract but not in the concrete,' said Ursula. `When it comes to the point, one isn't even tempted -- oh, if I were tempted, I'd marry like a shot. I'm only tempted not to.' The faces of both sisters suddenly lit up with amusement.
`Isn't it an amazing thing,' cried Gudrun, `how strong the temptation is, not to!' They both laughed, looking at each other. In their hearts they were frightened.
There was a long pause, whilst Ursula stitched and Gudrun went on with her sketch. The sisters were women, Ursula twenty-six, and Gudrun twenty-five. But both had the remote, virgin look of modern girls, sisters of Artemis rather than of Hebe. Gudrun was very beautiful, passive, soft-skinned, soft-limbed. She wore a dress of dark-blue silky stuff, with ruches of blue and green linen lace in the neck and sleeves; and she had emerald-green stockings. Her look of confidence and diffidence contrasted with Ursula's sensitive
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