`Ah, true! I know she is an angel, and I am a presumptuous dog to dream of possessing such a treasure; but, nevertheless, I would sooner die than relinquish her in favour of the bat man that ever went to heaven-- and as for her happiness, I would sacrifice my body and soul--'
`Body and soul, Mr Huntingdon--sacrifice your soul?'
`Well, I would lay down life--'
`You would not be required to lay it down.'
`I would spend it, then--devote my life--and all its powers to tile promotion and preservation--'
`Another time, sir, we will talk of this--aid I should have felt disposed to judge more favourably of your pretensions, if you too had chosen another time and place, and--let me add--another manner for your declaration.'
`Why, you see, Mrs Maxwell,' he began--
`Pardon me, sir,' said she, with dignity--`The company are enquiring for you in the other room.' And she turned to me.
`Then you must plead for me, Helen,' said he, and at length withdrew.
`You had better retire to your room, Helen,' said my aunt, gravely. `I will discuss this matter with you, too, to-morrow.'
`Don't be angry, aunt,' said I.
`My dear, I am not angry,' she replied: `I am surprised. If it is true that you told him you could not accept his offer without our consent--'
`It is true,' interrupted I.
`Then how could you permit--'
`I couldn't help it, aunt,' I cried, bursting into tears. They were lot altogether the tears of sorrow, or of fear for her displeasure, ut rather the outbreak of the general tumultuous excitement of ny feelings. But my good aunt was touched at my agitation. In a softer tone, she repeated her recommendation to retire, and gently kissing my forehead, bade me good night, and put her candle in my hand; and I went;--but my brain worked so, I could not think of sleeping. I feel calmer now that I have written all this; and I will go to bed, and try to win tired nature's sweet restorer.
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