Do notdo not pass!stay with me awhile; let us exchange a few quiet words. It is three days since I spoke to you alone; such changes are cruel.
I have no wish to be cruel, she responded, softly enough; indeed, there was softness in her whole deportment in her face, in her voice; but there was also reserve, and an air fleeting, evanishing, intangible.
You certainly give me pain, said I. It is hardly a week since you called me your future husband, and treated me as such, now I am once more the tutor for you; I am addressed as Mr. Moore, and Sir: your lips have forgotten Louis.
No, Louis, no: it is an easy, liquid name; not soon forgotten.
Be cordial to Louis, then, approach himlet him approach.
I am cordial, said she, hovering aloof like a white shadow.
Your voice is very sweet and very low, I answered, quietly advancing: you seem subdued, but still startled.
Noquite calm, and afraid of nothing, she assured me.
Of nothing but your votary.
I bent a knee to the flags at her feet.
You see I am in a new world, Mr. Moore. I dont know myselfI dont know you; but rise: when you do so, I feel troubled and disturbed.
I obeyed; it would not have suited me to retain that attitude long. I courted serenity and confidence for her, and not vainly; she trusted, and clung to me again.
Now, Shirley, I said, you can conceive I am far from happy in my present uncertain, unsettled state.
Oh yes, you are happy, she cried hastily; you dont know how happy you are; any change will be for the worse.
Happy or not, I cannot bear to go on so much longer; you are too generous to require it.
Be reasonable, Louis; be patient. I like you because you are patient.
Like me no longer, thenlove me instead; fix our marriage-day. Think of it to-night, and decide.
She breathed a murmur, inarticulate, yet expressive, darted or melted from my arms, and I lost her.
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