Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/297

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Oliver Twist.

idle thing to do so much, by the utterance of a few brief words, for one who loves us beyond all else. Oh, Rose, in the name of my ardent and enduring attachment,—in the name of all I have suffered for you, and all you doom me to undergo,—answer me that one question."

"Then if your lot had been differently cast," rejoined Rose; "if you had been even a little, but not so far above me; if I could have been a help and comfort to you in some humble scene of peace and retirement, and not a blot and drawback in ambitious and distinguished crowds; I should have been spared this trial. I have every reason to be happy, very happy, now; but then, Harry, I own I should have been happier."

Busy recollections of old hopes, cherished as a girl long ago, crowded into the mind of Rose while making this avowal; but they brought tears with them, as old hopes will when they come back withered, and they relieved her.

"I cannot help this weakness, and it makes my purpose stronger," said Rose extending her hand. "I must leave you now, indeed."