Halfway House: A Comedy of Degrees

By Maurice Hewlett | Go to book overview
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CRANYLUS WITH MARINA: THE INCREDIBLE WORD

UPON the day designed by highest Heaven -- as we are led to suppose -- they took the way of Misperton Park, the enamoured gentleman and the lady. They sat under the famous Royal Oak -- a shade with which she was, we know, familiar -- Cratylus talked, Marina sat modestly listening. If he saw her the spirit of the tree -- the peering Dryad Mero caught and held to his words, it's all one. Her simple allure, her dainty reserves had ravished his senses; the tinge of sunburn in her ckeeks, the glint of conscious pride in her eyes, beat back like blown flame upon his blood. That fired his brain. In a word, he loved, therefore he believed.

He spoke of himself to-day, of his youth and marriage. Lady Diana was not named, but her knife under the cloak was implied. Sadly, yet without complaint, he related the ossifying of all his generous hopes. "This," he said, "was long ago, but the dead cannot all at once be hidden under the turf. I have been ten years long at a burying, and now have done. What remain to me of years, I know not truly; but they will be the more precious if they are

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