Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 669 pages of information about Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest.

CHAPTER LVII

Nervous look—­The bookseller’s wife—­The last stake—­Terms—­God forbid!—­Will you come to tea?—­A light heart.

On arriving at the bookseller’s shop, I cast a nervous look at the window, for the purpose of observing whether the paper had been removed or not.  To my great delight the paper was in its place; with a beating heart I entered, there was nobody in the shop; as I stood at the counter, however, deliberating whether or not I should call out, the door of what seemed to be a back-parlour opened, and out came a well-dressed lady-like female, of about thirty, with a good-looking and intelligent countenance.  ‘What is your business, young man?’ said she to me, after I had made her a polite bow.  ‘I wish to speak to the gentleman of the house,’ said I.  ‘My husband is not within at present,’ she replied; ’what is your business?’ ‘I have merely brought something to show him,’ said I, ’but I will call again.’  ’If you are the young gentleman who has been here before,’ said the lady, ’with poems and ballads, as, indeed, I know you are,’ she added, smiling, ’for I have seen you through the glass door, I am afraid it will be useless; that is,’ she added with another smile, ’if you bring us nothing else.’  ’I have not brought you poems and ballads now,’ said I, ’but something widely different; I saw your advertisement for a tale or a novel, and have written something which I think will suit; and here it is,’ I added, showing the roll of paper which I held in my hand.  ‘Well,’ said the bookseller’s wife, ’you may leave it, though I cannot promise you much chance of its being accepted.  My husband has already had several offered to him; however, you may leave it; give it me.  Are you afraid to intrust it to me?’ she demanded somewhat hastily, observing that I hesitated.  ‘Excuse me,’ said I, ’but it is all I have to depend upon in the world; I am chiefly apprehensive that it will not be read.’  ‘On that point I can reassure you,’ said the good lady, smiling, and there was now something sweet in her smile.  ’I give you my word that it shall be read; come again to-morrow morning at eleven, when, if not approved, it shall be returned to you.’

I returned to my lodging, and forthwith betook myself to bed, notwithstanding the earliness of the hour.  I felt tolerably tranquil; I had now cast my last stake, and was prepared to abide by the result.  Whatever that result might be, I could have nothing to reproach myself with; I had strained all the energies which nature had given me in order to rescue myself from the difficulties which surrounded me.  I presently sank into a sleep, which endured during the remainder of the day, and the whole of the succeeding night.  I awoke about nine on the morrow, and spent my last threepence on a breakfast somewhat more luxurious than the immediately preceding ones, for one penny of the sum was expended on the purchase of milk.

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Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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