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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 560 pages of information about Dawn.

“I must, then, choose between this knowledge and my love?”

“Yes; and you will do well if you choose the knowledge; for, before you die—­if, indeed, you do not in the end, for a certain period, overcome even death—­you will be more of an angel than a woman.  On the one hand, then, this proud and dizzy destiny awaits you; on the other, every-day joys and sorrows shared by all the world, and an ordinary attachment to a man against whom I have, indeed, nothing to say, but who is not your equal, and who is, at the best, full of weaknesses that you should despise.”

“But, Lady Bellamy, his weaknesses are a part of himself, and I love him all, just as he is; weakness needs love more than what is strong.”

“Perhaps; but, in return for your love, I offer you no empty cup.  I do not ask you to follow fantastic theories—­of that I will soon convince you.  Shall I show you the semblance of your Arthur and Mrs. Carr as they are at this moment?”

“No, Lady Bellamy, no, I have chosen.  You offer, after years of devotion, to make me almost like an angel.  The temptation is very great, and it fascinates me.  But I hope, if I can succeed in living a good life, to become altogether an angel when I die.  Why, then, should I attempt to filch fragments of a knowledge that will one day be all my own?—­if, indeed, it is right to do so.  Whilst I am here, Arthur’s love is more to me than such knowledge can ever be.  If he is married, I may learn to think differently, and try to soothe my mind by forcing it to run in these hidden grooves.  Till then, I choose Arthur and my petty hopes and fears; for, after all, they are the natural heritage of my humanity.”

Lady Bellamy thought for awhile, and answered,

“I begin to think that the Great Power who made us has mixed even His most perfect works with an element of weakness, lest they should soar too high, and see too far.  The prick of a pin will bring a balloon to earth, and an earthly passion, Angela, will prevent you from soaring to the clouds.  So be it.  You have had your chance.  It is only one more disappointment.”

CHAPTER LXX

Angela went home very thoughtful.  The next three days she spent in writing.  First, she wrote a clear and methodical account of all the events that had happened since Arthur’s first departure, more than a year ago, and attached to it copies of the various documents that had passed between herself and George, including one of the undertaking that her husband had signed before the marriage.  This account was in the form of a statement, which she signed, and, taking it to Mr. Fraser, read it to him, and got him to sign it too.  It took her two whole days to write, and, when it was done, she labelled it “to be read first.”  On the third day she wrote the following letter to go with the statement: 

“For the first time in my life, Arthur, I take up my pen to write to you, and in truth the difficulty of the task before me, as well as my own want of skill, tends to bewilder me, and, though I have much upon my mind to say, I scarcely know if it will reach you—­if, indeed, this letter is ever destined to lie open in your hands—­in an intelligible form.

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