5. The Events Of One Day
1. AUGUST THE EIGHTH. MORNING AND AFTERNOON
At post-time on that following Monday morning, Cytherea watched so anxiously
for the postman, that as the time which must bring him narrowed less and less
her vivid expectation had only a degree less tangibility than his presence itself. In
another second his form came into view. He brought two letters for Cytherea.
One from Miss Aldclyffe, simply stating that she wished Cytherea to come on
trial: that she would require her to be at Knapwater House by Monday evening.
The other was from Edward Springrove. He told her that she was the bright spot
of his life: that her existence was far dearer to him than his own: that he had
never known what it was to love till he had met her. True, he had felt passing
attachments to other faces from time to time; but they all had been weak
inclinations towards those faces as they then appeared. He loved her past and
future, as well as her present. He pictured her as a child: he loved her. He
pictured her of sage years: he loved her. He pictured her in trouble; he loved her.
Homely friendship entered into his love for her, without which all love was
He would make one depressing statement. Uncontrollable circumstances (a long
history, with which it was impossible to acquaint her at present) operated to a
certain extent as a drag upon his wishes. He had felt this more strongly at the
time of their parting than he did now--and it was the cause of his abrupt
behaviour, for which he begged her to forgive him. He saw now an honourable
way of freeing himself, and the perception had prompted him to write. In the
meantime might he indulge in the hope of possessing her on some bright future
day, when by hard labour generated from her own encouraging words, he had
placed himself in a position she would think worthy to be shared with him?
Dear little letter; she huddled it up. So much more important a love-letter seems
to a girl than to a man. Springrove was unconsciously clever in his letters, and a
man with a talent of that kind may write himself up to a hero in the mind of a
young woman who loves him without knowing much about him. Springrove
already stood a cubit higher in her imagination than he did in his shoes.
During the day she flitted about the room in an ecstasy of pleasure, packing the
things and thinking of an answer which should be worthy of the tender tone of the
question, her love bubbling from her involuntarily, like prophesyings from a
In the afternoon Owen went with her to the railway-station, and put her in the
train for Carriford Road, the station nearest to Knapwater House.
Half-an-hour later she stepped out upon the platform, and found nobody there to
receive her--though a pony-carriage was waiting outside. In two minutes she saw
a melancholy man in cheerful livery running towards her from a public-house
close adjoining, who proved to be the servant sent to fetch her. There are two
ways of getting rid of sorrows: one by living them down, the other by drowning
them. The coachman drowned his.