Our Friend Manso

By Benito Pérez Galdós; Robert Russell | Go to book overview

XLIV
MY REVENGE

WHEN MANUEL PRESENTED HIMSELF before me, he seemed very eager to ask me, he

"Have you talked with Mamma?"

"Yes, your mamma is furious. She cannot get it into her head that you're actually going to marry Irene; and she has every reason for feeling that way. Now that it looks as if you're going to live like aristocrats, a good marriage would be more suitable. You must realize that poor Irene . . ."

"Yes, she's poor and humble . . . and I love her."

The cat jumped up on my lap. What a joy to pet it! And in synchronized rhythm with those strokes down the nervous animal's back, how many thoughts flowered inside me, all luminous and heavy with rationality! I traced a plan and put it immediately into practice.

"Tell me frankly what you're thinking . . . But don't hold anything back. I want the truth, the unadulterated truth."

"I need your advice."

"Advice? Let's hear first what you feel, what you want . . ."

"Well, my dear maestro, if you're asking me about my feelings, I'll just tell you with complete frankness that I'm bursting with love and high hopes. But if you're asking me about my intentions regarding marriage I'll tell you with equal frankness that I haven't been able yet to come to any settled ideas about it. It's a serious matter. Everywhere you go all you hear is diatribes against matrimony. And then we're both so young . . . One must think it through and weigh it carefully, Manso my friend . . ."

"Do you have any fears," I asked, making a supreme effort to appear calm, "that Irene, as your wife, might not measure up to your high hopes and your present enthusiasm about her?"

"No, no fears at all . . . Maybe because I love her so much my passion blinds me, or because she is among the most perfect creatures in existence, I feel that I would have a happy life with her . . ."

-232-

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