“To take any advantage of her misfortune—to make her feel it in my conduct—to give her a place in my household on other terms than her equals—to show her less consideration or courtesy than one would give to a girl as beautiful as yourself—yes, Eunane! To my eyes, your friend is pleasant and pretty; but if not, would you have liked to feel that she was of less account here than yourself, because she has not such splendid beauty as yours?”
Eunane was too frank to conceal her gratification in this first acknowledgment of her charms, as she had shown her mortification while it was withheld—not, certainly, because undeserved. Her eyes brightened and her colour deepened in manifest pleasure. But she was equally frank in her answer to the implied compliment to her generosity, of whose justice she was not so well assured.
“I am afraid I should half have liked it, a year ago. Now, after I have lived so long with you and Eveena, I should be shamed by it! But, Clasfempta, the things ‘a man cannot do’ are the things men do every day;—and women every hour!”
CHAPTER XXIV — WINTER.
Hitherto I had experienced only the tropical climate of Mars, with the exception of the short time spent in the northern temperate zone about the height of its summer. I was anxious, of course, to see something also of its winter, and an opportunity presented itself. No institution was more obviously worth a visit than the great University or principal place of highest education in this world, and I was invited thither in the middle of the local winter. To this University many of the most promising youths, especially those intended for any of the Martial professions—architects, artists, rulers, lawyers, physicians, and so forth—are often sent directly from the schools, or after a short period of training in the higher colleges. It is situate far within the north temperate zone on the shore of one of the longest and narrowest of the great Martial gulfs, which extends from north-eastward to south-west, and stretches from 43 deg. N. to 10 deg. S. latitude. The University in question is situate nearly at the extremity of the northern branch of this gulf, which splits into two about 300 miles from its end, a canal of course connecting it with the nearest sea-belt. I chose to perform this journey by land, following the line of the great road from Amacasfe to Qualveskinta for about 800 miles, and then turning directly northward. I did not suppose that I should find a willing companion on this journey, and was myself wishful to be alone, since I dared not, in her present state of health, expose Eveena to the fatigue and hardship of prolonged winter travelling by land. To my surprise, however, all the rest, when aware that I had declined to take her, were eager to accompany me. Chiefly to take her out of the way, and certainly with no idea of finding pleasure in her society, I selected Enva; next to Leenoo