The pride of punctuality brought Sir Purcell to that appointed seat in the gardens about a minute in advance of Emilia. She came hurrying up to him with three fingers over her lips. The morning was cold; frost edged the flat brown chestnut and beech leaves lying about on rimy grass; so at first he made no remark on her evident unwillingness to open her mouth, but a feverish look of her eyes touched him with some kindly alarm for her.
“You should not have come out, if you think you are in any danger,” he said.
“Not if we walk fast,” she replied, in a visibly-controlled excitement. “It will be over in an hour. This way.”
She led the marvelling gentleman toward the row, and across it under the big black elms, begging him to walk faster. To accommodate her, he suggested, that if they had any distance to go, they might ride, and after a short calculating hesitation, she consented, letting him know that she would tell him on what expedition she was bound whilst they were riding. The accompaniment of the wheels, however, necessitated a higher pitch of her voice, which apparently caused her to suffer from a contraction of the throat, for she remained silent, with a discouraged aspect, her full brown eyes showing as in a sombre meditation beneath the thick brows. The direction had been given to the City. On they went with the torrent, and were presently engulfed in fog. The roar grew muffled, phantoms poured along the pavement, yellow beamless lights were in the shop-windows, all the vehicles went at a slow march.
“It looks as if Business were attending its own obsequies,” said Sir Purcell, whose spirits were enlivened by an atmosphere that confirmed his impression of things.
Emilia cried twice: “Oh! what cruel weather!” Her eyelids blinked, either with anger or in misery.
They were set down a little beyond the Bank, and when they turned from the cabman, Sir Purcell was warm in his offer of his arm to her, for he had seen her wistfully touching what money she had in her pocket, and approved her natural good breeding in allowing it to pass unmentioned.
“Now,” he said, “I must know what you want to do.”
“A quiet place! there is no quiet place in this City,” said Emilia fretfully.
A gentleman passing took off his hat, saying, with City politeness, “Pardon me: you are close to a quiet place. Through that door, and the hall, you will find a garden, where you will hear London as if it sounded fifty miles off.”
He bowed and retired, and the two (Emilia thankful, Sir Purcell tending to anger), following his indication, soon found themselves in a most perfect retreat, the solitude of which they had the misfortune, however, of destroying for another, and a scared, couple.
Here Emilia said: “I have determined to go to Italy at once. Mr. Pericles has offered to pay for me. It’s my father’s wish. And—and I cannot wait and feel like a beggar. I must go. I shall always love England—don’t fear that!”