The Well - Beloved
'Too Like The Lightning'
They lived on at the hotel some days longer, eyed curiously by the chambermaids, and
burst in upon every now and then by the waiters as if accidentally. When they were
walking together, mostly in back streets for fear of being recognized, Marcia was often
silent, and her imperious face looked gloomy.
'Dummy!' he said playfully, on one of these occasions.
'I am vexed that by your admissions at Doctors' Commons you prevented them giving
you the licence at once! It is not nice, my living on with you like this!'
'But we are going to marry, dear!'
'Yes,' she murmured, and fell into reverie again. 'What a sudden resolve it was of ours!'
she continued. 'I wish I could get my father and mother's consent to our marriage. . . . As
we can't complete it for another day or two, a letter might be sent to them and their
answer received? I have a mind to write.'
Pierston expressed his doubts of the wisdom of this course, which seemed to make her
desire it the more, and the result was a tiff between them. 'Since we are obliged to delay
it, I won't marry without their consent!' she cried at last passionately.
'Very well then, dear. Write,' he said.
When they were again indoors, she sat down to a note, but after a while threw aside her
pen despairingly. 'No: I cannot do it!' she said. 'I can't bend my pride to such a job. Will
YOU write for me, Jocelyn?'
'I? I don't see why I should be the one, particularly as I think it premature.'
'But you have not quarrelled with my father as I have done.'
'Well no. But there is a long-standing antagonism, which would make it odd in me to be
the writer. Wait till we are married, and then I will write. Not till then.'
'Then I suppose I must. You don't know my father. He might forgive me marrying into
any other family without his knowledge, but he thinks yours such a mean one, and so
resents the trade rivalry, that he would never pardon till the day of his death my
becoming a Pierston secretly. I didn't see it at first.'
This remark caused an unpleasant jar on the mind of Pierston. Despite his independent
artistic position in London, he was staunch to the simple old parent who had stubbornly