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Ger. The coffee will do well enough. (Exit Col. G.)Is she so beautiful ? (turning to the Psyche)—Is there a likeness ?-I see it.Nonsense! A mere chance confluence of the ideal and the actual.—Even then the chance must mean something. Such a mere chance would indeed be a strange one !


Enter CONSTANCE. Oh, my heart! here she comes ! my Psyche herself !—Well, Constance !

Con. Oh, Arthur, I am so glad I've found you! I want to talk to you about something. I know you don't care much about me now, but I must tell you, for it would be wrong not.

Ger. (aside). How beautiful she is! What can she have to tell me about? It cannot be --it shall not be — Sit down, won't you ? (offering her a chair.)

Con. No. You sit there (pointing to the dais), and I will sit here (placing herself on

you there?

the lower step). It was here I used to sit so often when I was a little girl. Why can't one keep little ? I was always with you then! (Sighs.)

Ger. It is not my fault, Constance.

Con. Oh no! I suppose it can't be. Only I don't see why. Oh, Arthur, where should I be but for you! I saw the old place yesterday. How dreadful and yet how dear it was!

Ger. Who took
Con. Nobody. I went alone.

Ger. It was hardly safe.—I don't like your going out alone, Constance.

Con. Why, Arthur! I used to know every court and alley about Shoreditch better than I know Berkeley Square now! Ger. But what made you go

there? Con. I went to find a dressmaker who has been working for my aunt, and lost my way. And-would you believe it?

I was actually frightened!

Ger. No wonder! There are rough people about there.

Con. I never used to think them rough when I lived among them with my father and mother. There must be just as good people there as anywhere else. Yet I could not help shuddering at the thought of living there again !-How strange it made me feel ! You have been my angel, Arthur. What would have become of me if you hadn't taken me, I dare not think.

Ger. I have had my reward, Constance ; you are happy.

Con. Not quite. There's something I want to tell you.

Ger. Tell on, child.'

Con. Oh, thank you !—that is how you used to talk to me. (Hesitates.)

Ger. (with foreboding) Well, what is it?

Con: (pulling the fingers of her gloves) A gentleman--you know him-has been-calling upon aunt—and me. We have seen a good deal of him.

Ger. Who is he?

Con. Mr. Waterfield. (Keeps her eyes on the floor.)

Ger. Well ?

Con. He says-he-he-he wants me to marry him.-Aunt likes him.

Ger. And you ?

Con. I like him too. I don't think I like him enough–I dare say I shall. It is so good of him to take poor me! He is very rich, they say

Ger. Have you accepted him ?

Con. I am afraid he thinks so.—Ye-e-s. --I hardly know.

Ger. Haven't you-been rather-in a hurry-Constance ?

Con. No, indeed! I haven't been in a hurry at all.

He has been a long time trying to make me like him. I have been too long a burden to Mrs. Clifford.

Ger. So! it is her doing, then!
Con. You were away, you know.

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Ger. (bitterly) Yes; too far-chipping stones and making mud-pies !

Con. I don't know what you mean by that, Arthur.

Ger. Oh--nothing. I mean that-thatOf course if you are engaged to him, then

Con. I'm afraid I've done very wrong, Arthur. If I had thought you would care ! I knew aunt would be pleased !-she wanted me to have him, I knew.-I ought to do what I can to please her,-ought I not? I have no right to--

Ger. Surely, surely. Yes, yes; I understand. It was not your fault. Only you mustn't marry him, if

you-for telling me.

Con. I ought to have told you beforebefore I let him speak to me again. But I didn't think


would care—not much. Ger. Yes, yes.

Con. (looking up with anxiety) Ah! you are vexed with me, Arthur! I see how wrong

Thank you

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