afford, but a wretchedly straitened space. A most unconventional，
"The crime would be that hitherto you have lied in telling me that you did not love him."
"Hitherto is saying a good deal," she rejoined, looking at me fixedly; "we have not discussed the matter since last year. At that time it was possible that I did not love Adhemar very much, and at present it might be possible that I loved him more than you. If I compare the conduct of both to-day I see on the one hand a man without proper pride and without delicacy, presuming upon a promise which my heart perhaps has never ratified; on the other I see an admirable friend whose sublime devotion is ready to brave all prejudices; who-- believing that I bear the smirch of an indelible shame--is none the less prepared to cover the blot with his protection."
"What! this wretch believes that I have done violence to you, and yet does not challenge me to a duel?"
"That is not what he believes, Bernard. He knows that you rescued me from Roche-Mauprat; but he thinks that you helped me too late, and that I was the victim of the other brigands."
"And he wants to marry you, Edmee? Either the man's devotion is sublime, as you say, or he is deeper in debt than you think."
"How dare you say that?" said Edmee angrily. "Such an odious explanation of generous conduct can proceed only from an unfeeling soul or a perverse mind. Be silent, unless you wish me to hate you."
"Say that you hate me, Edmee; say so without fear; I know it."
"Without fear! You should know likewise that I have not yet done you the honour to fear you. However, tell me this: without inquiring into what I intend to do, can you understand that you ought to give me my liberty, and abandon your barbarous rights?"
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