Page:"A modern Hercules", the tale of a sculptress (IA amodernherculest00wins).pdf/92

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A MODERN HERCULES.

"Welcome to you both," said Ouida, "and you especially, Olivia, for you are one of the only two women in New York whose hand I clasp in friendship."

"This is indeed good of both of you," said Horatio.

"And I offer you both my complete attachment," said Mr. Connors.

"In affluence," said Ouida, "we would not have prided ourselves in the devotion of kings. Today, when stripped of all, save humiliation, your proffer is a consolation preciously dear."

"Would to heaven, my dear Ouida," fervently said Olivia, "that I could impregnate you with some of the bubbling pleasures of my life."

"Too late," said Nugent, "we ourselves have spun a web of fate, that fast imprisons us. We cannot break the chain."

"You must not say that," said Connors. "There is no mistake beyond retrieving."

"Pardon me," said Ouida, with a slight impatience, "I have no faith in such a sentiment. You, who have won the fight, forget the weary rounds of ambition's ladder."

"Yes," said Nugent, in echo of Ouida's thought, "we do not bare our souls to the insane multitude, but to you, dear friends, we say, that we feel that further effort to rise from out the pit, is vain."

"May I change the subject?" said Olivia.

"You certainly have my permission," said Ouida.

"I met young Wald, the sculptor, a few days ago, and he inquired as to your whereabouts. I evaded him, but he strongly hinted that discovery of you by him would be to your advantage."

"The dishonest wretch!" exclaimed Ouida, angrily, "what do you think he would have had me do?"