He generously ignores the selfish fear of sea-sickness, of personal suffering, which had occupied the fore-front of my mind.
“It will be much, much better, and a far more sensible plan for both of us,” he continues, cheerfully. “Where would be the use of exposing you to the discomfort and misery of what you hate most on earth for no possible profit? I shall not be long away, shall be back almost before you realize that I am gone, and meanwhile I should be far happier thinking of you merry, and enjoying yourself with your brothers and sisters at Tempest, than I should be seeing you bored and suffering, with no one but me to amuse you—you know, dear—” (smiling pensively); “do not be angry with me, it was no fault of yours; but you did grow rather tired of me at Dresden.”
“I did not! I did not!” cry I, bursting into a passion of tears, and asseverating all the more violently because I feel, with a sting of remorse, that there is a tiny grain of truth—not so large a one as he thinks, but still a grain in his accusations. “It seemed rather quiet at first—I had always been used to such a noisy house, and I missed the boys’ chatter a little, perhaps; but indeed, INDEED, that was all!”
“Was it? I dare say! I dare say!” he says, soothingly.
“You shall not leave me behind,” say I, still weeping with stormy bitterness. “I will not be left behind! What business have you to go without me? Am I to be only a fair-weather wife to you? to go shares in all your pleasant things, and then—when any thing hard or disagreeable comes—to be left out. I tell you” (looking up at him with streaming eyes) “that I will not! I WILL NOT!”
“My darling!” he says, looking most thoroughly concerned, I do not fancy that crying women have formed a large part of his life-experience—“you misunderstand me! I will own to you, that five minutes ago I did you an injustice; but now I know, I am thoroughly convinced, that you would follow me without a murmur or a sulky look to the world’s end—and” (laughing) “be frightfully sea-sick all the way; but” (kindly patting my heaving shoulder) “do you think that I want to be hampered with a little invalid? and, supposing that I took you with me, whom should I have to look after things at Tempest, and keep them straight for me against I come home?”
“I know what it is,” I cry, passionately clinging round his neck, “you think I do not like you! I see it! twenty times a day, in a hundred things that you do and leave undone! but indeed, indeed, you never were more mistaken in all your life! I will own to you that I did not care very much about you at first. I thought you good, and kind, and excellent, but I was not fond of you; but now, every day, every hour that I live, I like you better! Ask Barbara, ask the boys if I do not! I like you ten thousand times better than I did the day I married you!”