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[p. 164] sphere where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage.

He tells her at one time: ‘ “My fortune is small; if I go to India promotion may follow.” I would have gone with him to the ends of the earth; this I felt, but told him not; some adverse power restrained my tongue.’ Might not some of the ‘adverse power’ come from the simple fact that Ethelwald forgot to ask her? He says he will bring her his picture. ‘Have you got it?’ I ask with emotion; but something invisible restrained me, and I claimed not his promise in words. ‘Was not this the crisis of my destiny, and did not my evil fate prevail?’ Ethelwald writes to Idomen, but ‘came no more like a god of Grecian mythology to diffuse light and summer through my lone and wintry habitation.’ Finally she sends back to him music, papers, gloves, and every little proof of kindness that the beautiful Ethelwald had brought. Ere a day had passed came an answer from Ethelwald: ‘With a feeling, haply, like that of the savage warrior of the woods, whose death-song is composed, I broke the seal of this paper, traced by the hand of one far dearer and more charming to me than life to the hunter of the forest. After telling me his absence had been entirely the result of unavoidable circumstances, “How could you for a moment,” he continues, believe a report which would prove me, if true, a false friend, base in feeling and in character? Ought you not first to have considered? Everything once mine you have returned! Have I deserved this at your hands? You say, let us not meet again. I will not visit you if you desire it not, but if we meet by accident, I cannot be so inconsistent as not to continue to evince for you the regard I have felt and expressed.’ To the unprejudiced reader this seems the letter of an indifferent friend, a lukewarm lover—not quite free, even, from that conceited self-love which poses as a martyr, instead of welcoming the burden of the responsibility.

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