Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. II, 1872.djvu/275

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
265
BOOK IV.—THREE LOVE PROBLEMS.

and of having to suggest this opposition to Will. If is face was not turned towards her, and this made it easier to say—

"But my opinion is of little consequence on such a subject. I think you should be guided by Mr Casaubon. I spoke without thinking of anything else than my own feeling, which has nothing to do with the real question. But it now occurs to me—perhaps Mr Casaubon might see that the proposal was not wise. Can you not wait now and mention it to him?"

"I can't wait to-day," said Will, inwardly seared by the possibility that Mr Casaubon would enter. "The rain is quite over now. I told Mr Brooke not to call for me: I would rather walk the five miles. I shall strike across Halsell Common, and see the gleams on the wet grass. I like that."

He approached her to shake hands quite hurriedly, longing but not daring to say, "Don't mention the subject to Mr Casaubon." No, he dared not, could not say it. To ask her to be less simple and direct would be like breathing on the crystal that you want to see the light through. And there was always the other great dread—of himself becoming dimmed and forever ray-shorn in her eyes.