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and generals — in fact, the history of all humanity as

2023-12-01 21:30:00 source:A Spring Dream Netauthor: library click:566Second-rate

"Don't drink any more," she said; "think seriously of what you are saying. Is what you tell me true? Will you answer for it on your honour, on the soul of your mother?"

and generals — in fact, the history of all humanity as

"Every word is true; I swear it by your pretty rosy lips," I replied, trying to kiss her again.

and generals — in fact, the history of all humanity as

"Oh, mon Dieu!" she exclaimed, "he is drunk! Bernard! Bernard! remember what you promised; do not break your word. You have not forgotten, have you, that I am your kinswoman, your sister?"

and generals — in fact, the history of all humanity as

"You are my mistress or my wife," I answered, still pursuing her.

"You are a contemptible creature!" she rejoined, repulsing me with her riding whip. "What have you done that I should be aught to you? Have you helped my father?"

"I swore to help him; and I would have helped him if he had been there; it is just the same, therefore, as if I really had. But, had he been there, and had I tried to save him and failed, do you know that for this treachery Roche-Mauprat could not have provided any instrument of torture cruel enough and slow enough to drag the life out of me inch by inch? For all I know, they may actually have heard my vow; I proclaimed it loudly enough. But what do I care? I set little store by a couple of days more or less of life. But I do set some store by your favour, my beauty. I don't want to be the languishing knight that every one laughs at. Come, now, love me at once; or, my word, I will return to the fight, and if I am killed, so much the worse for you. You will no longer have a knight to help you, and you will still have seven Mauprats to keep at bay. I'm afraid you are not strong enough for that rough work, my pretty little love- bird."

These words, which I threw out at random, merely to distract her attention so that I might seize her hands or her waist, made a deep impression on her. She fled to the other end of the hall, and tried to force open the window; but her little hands could not even move the heavy leaden sash in the rusty ironwork. Her efforts made me laugh. She clasped her hands in terror, and remained motionless. Then all at once the expression of her face changed. She seemed to have resolved how to act, and came toward me smiling and with outstretched hand. So beautiful was she thus that a mist came over my eyes and for a moment I saw her not.

Ah, gentlemen, forgive my childishness. I must tell you how she was dressed. After that weird night she never wore that costume again, and yet I can remember it so exactly. It is a long, long time ago. But were I to live as long as I have already lived again, I should not forget a single detail, so much was I struck by it amid the tumult that was raging within me and without; amid the din of shots striking the ramparts, the lightning flashes ripping the sky, and the violent palpitations which sent my blood surging from my heart to my brain, and from my head to my breast.

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