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Frankly, I don’t want to appear as qualified to judge

2023-12-01 21:51:59 source:A Spring Dream Netauthor: love click:114Second-rate

A visit from M. de la Marche stirred my ideas to still wilder disorder. He displayed the deepest interest in me, shook me by the hand again and again, and implored my friendship, vowed a dozen times that he would lay down his life for me, and made I don't know how many other protestations which I scarcely heard, for his voice was like a raging torrent in my ears, and if I had had my hunting-knife I believe I should have thrown myself upon him. My rough manners and sullen looks astonished him very much; but, the abbe having explained that my mind was disturbed by the terrible events which had happened in my family, he renewed his protestations, and took leave of me in the most affectionate and courteous manner.

Frankly, I don’t want to appear as qualified to judge

This politeness which I found common to everybody, from the master of the house to the meanest of his servants, though it struck me with admiration, yet made me feel strangely ill at ease; for, even if it had not been inspired by good-will towards me, I could never have brought myself to understand that it might be something very different from real goodness. It bore so little resemblance to the facetious braggadocio of the Mauprats, that it seemed to me like an entirely new language, which I understood but could not speak.

Frankly, I don’t want to appear as qualified to judge

However, I recovered the power of speech when the abbe announced that he was to have charge of my education, and began questioning me about my attainments. My ignorance was so far beyond anything he could have imagined that I was getting ashamed to lay it all bare; and, my savage pride getting the upper hand, I declared that I was a gentleman, and had no desire to become a clerk. His only answer was a burst of laughter, which offended me greatly. He tapped me quickly on the shoulder, with a good-natured smile, saying that I should change my mind in time, but that I was certainly a funny fellow. I was purple with rage when the chevalier entered. The abbe told him of our conversation and of my little speech. M. Hubert suppressed a smile.

Frankly, I don’t want to appear as qualified to judge

"My boy," he said, in a kind tone, "I trust I may never do anything to annoy you, even from affection. Let us talk no more about work to-day. Before conceiving a taste for it you must first realize its necessity. Since you have a noble heart you can not but have a sound mind; the desire for knowledge will come to you of itself. And now to supper. I expect you are hungry. Do you like wine?"

"Much better than Latin," I replied.

"Come, abbe," he continued laughingly, "as a punishment for having played the pedant you must drink with us. Edmee is now quite out of danger. The doctor has said that Bernard can get up and walk a few steps. We will have supper served in this room."

The supper and wine were so good, indeed, that I was not long in getting tipsy, according to the Roche-Mauprat custom. I even saw they aided and abetted, in order to make me talk, and show at once what species of boor they had to deal with. My lack of education surpassed anything they had anticipated; but I suppose they augured well from my native powers; for, instead of giving me up, they laboured at the rough block with a zeal which showed at least that they were not without hope. As soon as I was able to leave my room I lost the feeling of /ennui/. The abbe was my inseparable companion through the whole first day. The length of the second was diminished by the hope they gave me of seeing Edmee on the morrow, and by the kindness I experienced from every one. I began to feel the charm of these gentle manners in proportion as I ceased to be astonished at them. The never- failing goodness of the chevalier could not but overcome my boorishness; nay, more, it rapidly won my heart. This was the first affection of my life. It took up its abode in me side by side with a violent love for his daughter, nor did I even dream of pitting one of these feelings against the other. I was all yearning, all instinct, all desire. I had the passions of a man in the soul of a child.

At last, one morning after breakfast, Mr. Hubert took me to see his daughter. When the door of her room was opened I felt almost suffocated by the warm-scented air which met me. The room itself was charming in its simplicity; the curtains and coverings of chintz, with a white ground. Large china vases filled with flowers exhaled a delicate perfume. African birds were sporting in a gilded cage, and singing their sweet little love songs. The carpet was softer to the feet than is the moss of the woods in the month of March. I was in such a state of agitation that my eyes grew more and more dim every moment. My feet caught in one another most awkwardly, and I kept stumbling against the furniture without being able to advance. Edmee was lying on a long white chair, carelessly fingering a mother-of- pearl fan. She seemed to me even more beautiful than before, yet so changed that a feeling of apprehension chilled me in the middle of my ecstasy. She held out her hand to me; I did not like to kiss it in the presence of her father. I could not hear what she was saying to me--I believe her words were full of affection. Then, as if overcome with fatigue, she let her head fall back on the pillow and closed her eyes.

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