The Return of the Native eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 545 pages of information about The Return of the Native.

There was that in his tone which implied distrust of his position as a solicitous lover, a doubt if he were acting fairly towards one whose tastes touched his own only at rare and infrequent points.  She saw his meaning, and whispered, in a low, full accent of eager assurance “Don’t mistake me, Clym:  though I should like Paris, I love you for yourself alone.  To be your wife and live in Paris would be heaven to me; but I would rather live with you in a hermitage here than not be yours at all.  It is gain to me either way, and very great gain.  There’s my too candid confession.”

“Spoken like a woman.  And now I must soon leave you.  I’ll walk with you towards your house.”

“But must you go home yet?” she asked.  “Yes, the sand has nearly slipped away, I see, and the eclipse is creeping on more and more.  Don’t go yet!  Stop till the hour has run itself out; then I will not press you any more.  You will go home and sleep well; I keep sighing in my sleep!  Do you ever dream of me?”

“I cannot recollect a clear dream of you.”

“I see your face in every scene of my dreams, and hear your voice in every sound.  I wish I did not.  It is too much what I feel.  They say such love never lasts.  But it must!  And yet once, I remember, I saw an officer of the Hussars ride down the street at Budmouth, and though he was a total stranger and never spoke to me, I loved him till I thought I should really die of love—­but I didn’t die, and at last I left off caring for him.  How terrible it would be if a time should come when I could not love you, my Clym!”

“Please don’t say such reckless things.  When we see such a time at hand we will say, ‘I have outlived my faith and purpose,’ and die.  There, the hour has expired:  now let us walk on.”

Hand in hand they went along the path towards Mistover.  When they were near the house he said, “It is too late for me to see your grandfather tonight.  Do you think he will object to it?”

“I will speak to him.  I am so accustomed to be my own mistress that it did not occur to me that we should have to ask him.”

Then they lingeringly separated, and Clym descended towards Blooms-End.

And as he walked further and further from the charmed atmosphere of his Olympian girl his face grew sad with a new sort of sadness.  A perception of the dilemma in which his love had placed him came back in full force.  In spite of Eustacia’s apparent willingness to wait through the period of an unpromising engagement, till he should be established in his new pursuit, he could not but perceive at moments that she loved him rather as a visitant from a gay world to which she rightly belonged than as a man with a purpose opposed to that recent past of his which so interested her.  Often at their meetings a word or a sigh escaped her.  It meant that, though she made no conditions as to his return to the French capital, this was what she secretly longed for in

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The Return of the Native from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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