This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1881. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XVII. HIS WAY OP IT. Well--of all the cold-blooded pieces of cruelty he had ever heard or read of, this was the most atrocious! To come to him whilst the breath announcing her engagement was still warm in the air; to stand there and speak to him as calmly as if he were no more than a respectable man of business who was to be paid for his services! --it was the most deliberate and heartless insult that could be offered to any poor creature. Good God !--what was she made of 'i Could she have any feeling at all? And did she think that he had none--that he was as cold and passionless as herself? Yet she could not be passionless either: he had good reason to know that. But then, her display of passion had been the pitiful outburst of offended vanity, not offended love. Without a doubt she had come there, moved by some vicious curiosity to look once more at the man she had thrown aside so contemptuously, and to prove to him that she was quite indifferent about the past. How calmly she spoke: how calm she looked--and how beautiful! . . . yes: be she what she might, in soul she was still beautiful, and those eyes were to him still full of a soft light which seemed to be the moon-reflection of a glorious sun within. Curse it! Why was this sickening yearning taking possession of him again? Why was all life sinking away from him and he, without her, only a worthless atom floating blindly, aimlessly about in a world of dense fog? But it was unpardonable--her coming there at such a time: coming at the very hour when he was flattering himself that it was possible to accept the dull round of the humdrum existence she had left him. He had been vaguely sensible that he was falling into his dull groove and was beginning to have some glimpses of that peace of mind which is...
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