Isola wandered up the hill-path, past the little shrine where the way divided, the point at which she had seen her husband and his party vanish in the sunny morning. She felt a sudden sense of loneliness now the sun was gone; a childish longing for the return of her friends, for evening and lamplight, and the things that make for cheerfulness.[Pg 243] She was cold and dull, and out of spirits. She had left the house while the sun was shining, and she had come without shawl or wrap of any kind, and the mistral made her shiver. Yet she had no idea of hurrying home. The loneliness of the house had become oppressive before she left it; and she knew there would be some hours to wait for the return of the excursionists. So she mounted the steep mule-path, slowly and painfully, till she had gone two-thirds of the way to Colla; and then she sat down to rest on the low stone wall which enclosed a little garden in a break of the wood, from which point there was a far-stretching view seaward.Martin Disney made a point of giving way to her will in all small things. She might be capricious, she might have morbid fancies. That was no business of his. It was his part to indulge her every whim, and to make her in love with life. All that he asked of Heaven was to spin out that attenuated thread. All that he desired was to hold her and keep her for his own against Death himself. 狭长 "Oh no; not more to me than to others," Isola answered quickly. "He danced a good many times—twice or three times—with Belinda Crowther. Everybody noticed them as the handsomest couple in the room; not that he is handsome, of course—only tall and distinguished-looking." Those reflections were not altogether bitter. Mr. Crowther felt assured that he had sown the seeds of future misery. He did not believe in the colonel's assertion that there were no secrets between him and his wife. He had cherished the knowledge of that mysterious journey from London on the last day of the year. He had warned his confidential friend and solicitor to mention the fact to no one else. He had pried and questioned, and by various crooked ways had found out that Isola had been absent from the Angler's Nest for some days after the Hunt Ball, and he had told himself that she was a false wife, and that Martin Disney was a fool to trust her.
They walked slowly back to the spot where they had left their companions. A pair of oxen, with an empty cart, were standing in the road below the tomb, their driver lounging across the rough vehicle—man and beasts motionless as marble. Allegra sat on a hillock opposite, sketching the group. She had bribed the man to draw up for a brief halt while she made her sketch. The massive heads were drooping under the afternoon sun; the tawny and cream-hued coats were stained with dust and purpled with the sweat of patient labour. The creatures looked as gracious and as wise as if they had been gods in disguise. 震荡 "He took down my gates, but I think I have given him something to think about that will spoil his rest for many a night, before he has thought it out," mused Mr. Crowther. "What did he say?"
许多 They went in to dinner presently, Captain Hulbert and Isola, Mr. Colfox and Allegra. Tho table was a small oval, at which five people made a snug little party. There was a central mass of white chrysanthemums, a cheerful glow of coloured Venetian glass, delicatest pink and jade-green, under the light of a hanging lamp. John Hulbert looked round him with a pleased expression, taking in the flowers, the glass, the cream-white china, the lamplight, everything; and then the two fair young faces, one pale and pensive, the other aglow with the delight of life, eagerly expectant of new ideas. "That's easily explained, sir. I'm getting old, and I was tired of service. Mrs. Disney was very well able to spare me. Perhaps she didn't set the same value on me as you did. Young people like young faces about them."
化而 All was finished. Neither Church nor law could do anything more towards making the lovers man and wife. The law might undo the bond for them in the time to come, but the part of the Church was done for ever. In the eye of the Church their union was indissoluble. "Is there a change?" ”
What fever-fraught vision was it that those hands tried to shut out from her burning eyes? So little had happened—so little—only half an hour's quiet walk along the towpath, where the leafless willows had a grim, uncanny look, like those trees whose old grey branches seemed the arms of the Erlking's daughters, beckoning the child as he nestled in his father's arms, riding through the night. So little—so little—and yet it meant the lifting of a veil—the passage from happy innocence to the full consciousness of an unholy love. It meant what one kiss on trembling lips meant for Paolo and Francesca. It meant the plunge into a gulf of dark despair—unless she had strength to draw back, seeing the abyss at her feet, warned of her danger. 世界 "Oh, your partners are all in the supper-room, I dare say. The dancing men go in last. Hark! it's the Myosotis. Just one turn—only one." "Oh, it was only a passing fancy. I thought it just possible that if I were to die while we are in Italy, Martin might think to honour me by having me laid in this splendid cemetery. He seemed so struck by the grandeur and beauty of the monuments, just now, when we were in those colonnades down yonder." [Pg 64]”