faith in a tender and sublime mission. Forthwith he was，
"How sweet it is in the grave! Are we not fortunate to be dead?"
During my convalescence Edmee was much more reserved, but no less attentive. I told her my dreams and learnt from her how far my recollections were of real events. Without her testimony I should always have believed that I had dreamt everything. I implored her to let me keep the ring, and she consented. I ought to have added, to show my gratitude for all her goodness, that I should keep it as a pledge of friendship, and not as a sign of our engagement; but such a renunciation was beyond me.
One day I asked for news of M. de la Marche. It was only to Patience that I dared to put this question.
"What! Gone?" I replied. "For long?"
"Forever, please God! I don't know anything about it, for I ask no questions; but I happened to be in the garden when he took leave of her, and it was all as cold as a December night. Still, /au revoir/ was said on both sides, but though Edmee's manner was kind and honest as it always is, the other had the face of a farmer when he sees frosts in April. Mauprat, Mauprat, they tell me that you have become a great student and a genuine good fellow. Remember what I told you; when you are old there will probably no longer be any titles or estate. Perhaps you will be called 'Father' Mauprat, as I am called 'Father' Patience, though I have never been either a priest or a father of a family."
"Well, what are you driving at?"
"Remember what I once told you," he repeated. "There are many ways of being a sorcerer, and one may read the future without being a servant of the devil. For my part, I give my consent to your marriage with your cousin. Continue to behave decently. You are a wise man now, and can read fluently from any book set before you. What more do you want? There are so many books here that the sweat runs from my brow at the very sight of them; it seems as if I were again starting the old torment of not being able to learn to read. But you have soon cured yourself. If M. Hubert were willing to take my advice, he would fix the wedding for the next Martinmas."
"That is enough, Patience!" I said. "This is a painful subject with me; my cousin does not love me."
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