Page:Gaskell - North and South, vol. I, 1855.djvu/320

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CHAPTER XXV.

FREDERICK.

"Revenge may have her own ; Roused discipline aloud proclaims their cause, And injured navies urge their broken laws." Byron.

Margaret began to wonder whether all offers were as unexpected beforehand, — as distressing at the time of their occurrence, as the two she had had. An involuntary comparison between Mr. Lennox and Mr. Thornton arose in her mind. She had been sorry, that an expression of any other feeling than friendship had been lured out by circumstances from Henry Lennox. That regret was the predominant feehng, on the first occasion of her receiving a pro- posal. She had not felt so stunned — so impressed as she did now, when echoes of Mr. Thornton's voice yet lingered about the room. In Lennox's case, he seemed for a moment to have slid over the boundary between friendship and love ; and, the instant after- wards, to regret it nearly as much as she did, although for different reasons. In Mr. Thornton's case, as far as Margaret knew, there was no intervening stage of friendship. Their intercourse had been one continued series of opposition. Their opinions