questions about it, but I am sure it will be better for you to remain here for a few weeks. We will make you happy if we can, and you can learn to think over what has passed without emotion.Thus it was decided that Ayala should prolong her visit into the middle new balance 501 of March. She could not understand her own conduct when she again found herself alone. Why had she ejaculated that sudden “No,when Lady Albury had suggested to her the possibility of changing her purpose? She knew that she would fain change it if it were possible; and yet when the idea was presented to her she replied with a sudden denial of its possibility. But still there was hope, even though the hope was faintWhether he may bring himself to try again I do not know.So it was that Lady Albury had spoken of him, and of what Lady Albury said to her she now believed every wordWhether he could bring himself!Surely such a one as he would not condescend so far as that. But if he did one word should be sufficient. By no one else would she allow it to be thought, for an instant, that she would wish to reverse her decision. It must still be No to any other person from whom such suggestion might come. But should he give her the chance she would tell him instantly the truth of everythingCan I love you! Oh, my love, it is impossible that I should not love you!It would be thus that the answer should be given to him, should he allow her the chance of making it. Chapter 52 “I call it folly.Three weeks passed by, and new balance 420 Ayala was still at Stalham. Colonel Stubbs had not yet appeared, and very little had been said about him. Sir Henry would sometimes suggest that if he meant to see any more hunting he had better come at once, but this was not addressed to Ayala. She made up her mind that he would not come, and was sure that she was keeping him away by her presence. He could not“bring himself to try over again,as Lady Albury had put it! Why should he“bring himself’to do anything on behalf of one who had treated him so badly? It had been settled that she should remain to the 25th of March, when the month should be up from the time in which Lady Albury had decided upon that as the period of her visit. Of her secret she had given no slightest hint. If he ever did come again it should not be because she had asked for his coming. As far as she knew how to carry out such a purpose, she concealed from Lady Albury anything like a feeling of regret. And she was so far successful that Lady Albury thought it expedient to bring in other assistance to help her causeas will be seen by a letter which Ayala received when the three weeks had passed by. In the meantime there had been at first dismay, then wonder, and lastly, some amusement, at the condition of Captain Batsby. When Captain Batsby had first learned at Merle Park that Ayala and Jonathan Stubbs were both at Stalham, he wrote very angrily to Lady Albury. In answer to this his sister-in-law had pleaded guiltybut still defending herself. How could she make herself responsible for the young ladywho did not indeed seem ready to bestow her affections on any of her suitors? But still she acknowledged that a little favour was being shown to Colonel Stubbswishing to train the man to the idea that, in this special matter, Colonel Stubbs must be recognised as the Stalham favourite. Then no further letters were received from the Captain, but there came tidings that he was staying at Merle Park. Ayala heard continually from her sister, and Lucy sent some revelations as to the Captain. He seemed to be very much at home at Merle Park, said Lucy; and then, at last, she expressed her own opinion that Captain Batsby and Gertrude were becoming very fond of each other. And yet the whole story of Gertrude and Mr Houston was known, of course, to Lucy, and through Lucy to Ayala. To Ayala these new balance outlet uk sudden changes were very amusing, as she certainly did not wish to retain her own hold on the Captain, and was not specially attached to her cousin Gertrude. From Ayala the tidings went to Lady Albury, and in this way the fears which had been entertained as to the Captain’s displeasure were turned to wonder and amusement. But up to this period nothing had been heard of the projected trip to Ostend. Then came the letter to Ayala, to which allusion has been made, a letter from her old friend the Marchesa, who was now at Rome. It was ostensibly in answer to a letter from Ayala herself, but was written in great part in compliance with instructions received from Lady Albury. It was as follows: I was glad to get your letter about Nina. She is very happy, and Lord George is here. Indeed, to tell the truth, they arrived togetherwhich was not at all proper; but everything will be made proper on Tuesday, 8th April, which is the day at last fixed for the wedding. I wish you could have been here to be one of the bridesmaids. Nina says that you will have it that the Pope is to marry her. Instead of that it is going to be done by Lord George’s uncle, the Dean of Dorchester, who is coming for this purpose. Then they are going up to a villa they have taken on Como, where we shall join them some time before the spring is over. After that they seem to have no plansexcept plans of connubial bliss, which is never to know any interruption. Now that I have come to connubial bliss, and feel so satisfied as to Nina’s prospects, I have a word or two to say about the bliss of somebody else. Nina is my own child, and of course comes first. But one Jonathan Stubbs is my nephew, and is also very near to my heart. From all that I hear, I fancy that he has set his mind also on connubial bliss. Have you not heard that it is so? A bird has whispered to me that you have not been kind to him. Why should it be so? Nobody knows better than I do that a young lady is entitled to the custody of her own heart, and that she should not be compelled, or even persuaded, to give her hand in opposition to her own feelings. If your feelings and your heart are altogether opposed to the poor fellow, of course there must be an end of it. But I had thought that from the time you first met him he had been a favourite of yoursso much so that there was a moment in which I feared that you might think too much of the attentions of a man who has ever been a favourite with all who have known him. But I have found that in this I was altogether mistaken. When he came that evening to see the last of you at the theatre, taking, as I knew he did, considerable trouble to release himself from other engagements, I was pretty sure how it was going to be. He is not a man to be in love with a girl for a month and then to be in love with another the next month. When once he allowed himself to think that he was in love, the thing was done and fixed either for his great delightor else to his great trouble. I knew how it was to be, and so it has been. new balance outlet Am I not right in saying that on two occasions, at considerable intervals, he has come to you and made distinct offers of his hand? I fear, though I do not actually know it, that you have just as distinctly rejected those offers. I do not know it, because none but you and he can know the exact words with which you received from him the tender of all that he had to give you. I can easily believe that he, with all his intelligence, might be deceived by the feminine reserve and coyness of such a girl as you. If it be so, I do pray that no folly may be allowed to interfere with his happiness and with yours. I call it folly, not because I am adverse to feminine reserve, not because I am prone to quarrel even with what I call coyness; but because I know his nature so well, and feel that he would not bear rebuffs of which many another man would think nothing; that he would not bring himself to ask again, perhaps even for a seventh time, as they might do. And, if it be that by some frequent asking his happiness and yours could be ensured, would it not be folly that such happiness should be marred by childish disinclination on your part to tell the truth
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