It was certainly not I, at any rate.
But good heavens, who could have dreamt that everything would have altered so terribly at home here? And in so short a time, too! Why, it is only just four years since I went away—–
Since you were married, yes.
Married? What has that to do with the matter?
[Continuing.] —since you became the Frau Professor, and found yourself mistress of a charming home—I beg your pardon—a very handsome house, I ought to say. And a villa on the Lake of Taunitz, just at the point that has become most fashionable, too—. In fact it is all very handsome and distinguished, Maia, there’s no denying that. And spacious too. We need not always be getting in each other’s way—–
[Lightly.] No, no, no—there’s certainly no lack of house-room, and that sort of thing—–
Remember, too, that you have been living in altogether more spacious and distinguished surroundings—in more polished society than you were accustomed to at home.
[Looking at him.] Ah, so you think it is I that have changed?
Indeed I do, Maia.
I alone? Not the people here?
Oh yes, they too—a little, perhaps. And not at all in the direction of amiability. That I readily admit.
I should think you must admit it, indeed.
[Changing the subject.] Do you know how it affects me when I look at the life of the people around us here?
No. Tell me.
It makes me think of that night we spent in the train, when we were coming up here—–
Why, you were sound asleep all the time.
Not quite. I noticed how silent it became at all the little roadside stations. I heard the silence—like you, Maia—–