Sandra Belloni — Volume 7 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 85 pages of information about Sandra Belloni Volume 7.
waters, without compass.  Why did he not speak tenderly?  Before Georgiana had revealed his love for her, she had been strong to see Wilfrid.  Now, the idea smote her softened heart that Wilfrid’s passion might engulf her if she had no word of sustainment from Merthyr.  She turned and flung herself at his feet, murmuring, “Say something to me.”  Merthyr divined this emotion to be a sort of foresight of remorse on her part:  he clasped the interwoven fingers of her hands, letting his eyes dwell upon hers.  The marvel of their not wavering or softening meaningly kept her speechless.  She rose with a strength not her own:  not comforted, and no longer speculating.  It was as if she had been eyeing a golden door shut fast, that might some day open, but was in itself precious to behold.  She arose with deep humbleness, which awakened new ideas of the nature of worth in her bosom.  She felt herself so low before this man who would not be played upon as an obsequious instrument—­who would not leap into ardour for her beauty!  Before that man upstairs how would she feel?  The question did not come to her.  She entered the room where he was, without a blush.  Her step was firm, and her face expressed a quiet gladness.  Georgiana stayed through the first commonplaces:  then they were alone.

CHAPTER LI

Commonplaces continued to be Wilfrid’s refuge, for sentiment was surging mightily within him.  The commonplaces concerning father, sisters, health, weather, sickened him when uttered, so much that for a time he was unobservant of Emilia’s ready exchange of them.  To a compliment on her appearance, she said:  “You like this dress?  I will tell you the history of it.  I call it the Branciani dress.  Mr. Powys designed it for me.  The Countess Branciani was his friend.  She used always to dress in this colour; just in this style.  She also was dark.  And she imagined that her husband favoured the Austrians.  She believed he was an Austrian spy.  It was impossible for her not to hate him—­”

“Her husband!” quoth Wilfrid.  The unexpected richness that had come upon her beauty and the coolness of her prattle at such an interview amazed and mortified him.

“She supposed him to be an Austrian spy!”

“Still he was her husband!”

Emilia gave her features a moment’s play, but she had not full command of them, and the spark of scorn they emitted was very slight.

“Ah!” his tone had fallen into a depth, “how I thank you for the honour you have done me in desiring to see me once before you leave England!  I know that I have not merited it.”

More he said on this theme, blaming himself emphatically, until, startled by the commonplaces he was uttering, he stopped short; and the stopping was effective, if the speech was not.  Where was the tongue of his passion?  He almost asked it of himself.  Where was Hippogriff?  He who had burned to see her, he saw her now, fair as a vision, and yet in the flesh!  Why was he as good as tongue-tied in her presence when he had such fires to pour forth?

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Sandra Belloni — Volume 7 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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