Page:A New England Tale.djvu/222

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
211
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

when he comes to a ditch, and is uncertain whether to spring over, to retreat, or to find some other way; but he had too much pride to conceal the fact, and though he feared a little to announce it, yet he was determined to justify it. Jane was still mute, and he went on—"We play cards; sometimes we have played later and higher perhaps than we should if we had all been in the leading-strings of prudence; all been bred Quakers. Our club are men of honour and spirit, high-minded gentlemen; a few disputes, misunderstandings, might arise now and then, as they will among people who do not weigh every word, lest they should chance to have an idle one to account for; but, till the last evening, we have, in the main, spent our time together as whole-souled fellows should, in mirth and jollity. As I said, last evening unfortunately——"

"Tell me nothing more, Mr. Erskine; I have heard enough," interrupted Jane.

"What! you will not listen to friend Lloyd's reproaches; not listen to what most roused his holy indignation?"

"I have no wish to hear any thing further," replied Jane. "I have heard enough to make my path plain before me. I loved you, Edward; I confessed to you that I did."

"And you do not any longer?"

"I cannot; the illusion has vanished. Neither do you love me." Edward would have interrupted her; but she begged him to hear her, with a dignified composure, that convinced him this was