Page:The Wheel of Time, Collaboration, Owen Wingrave (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1893).djvu/83

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75
THE WHEEL OF TIME

for a quarter of a century I've been a fool."

"What would you have wished us to do?" Mrs.Tregent asked, as she gave him another cup of tea.

"Why, to have said, 'Wait, wait—at any price; have patience and hold on!' They ought to have told me, you ought to have told me, that your conditions at that time were a temporary phase, and that you would infallibly break your shell. You ought to have warned me, they ought to have warned me, that there would be wizardry in the case, that you were to be the subject, at a given moment, of a transformation absolutely miraculous. I couldn't know it by inspiration; I measured you by the common law—how could I do anything else? But it wasn't kind to leave me in error."

Maurice Glanvil treated himself without scruple to this fine ironic flight, this sophistry which eased his nerves, because though it brought him nearer than he had yet come to putting his finger, visibly to Mrs. Tregent, on the fact that he had once tried to believe he could marry her and had found her too