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a provision of Nature; a decoy to secure mothers for the race. And
Nature takes no account of moral consequences, of arbitrary
conditions which we create, and which we feel obliged to maintain
at any cost."

"Yes," she said. "The years that are gone seem like
dreams--if one might go on sleeping and dreaming--but to wake up and
find--oh! well! perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to
suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life."

"It seems to me, my dear child," said the Doctor at parting,
holding her hand, "you seem to me to be in trouble. I am not going
to ask for your confidence. I will only say that if ever you feel
moved to give it to me, perhaps I might help you. I know I would
understand, And I tell you there are not many who would--not many,
my dear."

"Some way I don't feel moved to speak of things that trouble
me. Don't think I am ungrateful or that I don't appreciate your
sympathy. There are periods of despondency and suffering which
take possession of me. But I don't want anything but my own way.
That is wanting a good deal, of course, when you have to trample
upon the lives, the hearts, the prejudices of others--but no
matter-still, I shouldn't want to trample upon the little lives.

Oh! I don't know what I'm saying, Doctor. Good night. Don't blame
me for anything."

"Yes, I will blame you if you don't come and see me soon.
We will talk of things you never have dreamt of talking
about before. It will do us both good. I don't want you
to blame yourself, whatever comes. Good night, my child."

She let herself in at the gate, but instead of entering she
sat upon the step of the porch. The night was quiet and soothing.
All the tearing emotion of the last few hours seemed to fall away
from her like a somber, uncomfortable garment, which she had but to
loosen to be rid of. She went back to that hour before Adele had
sent for her; and her senses kindled afresh in thinking of Robert's
words, the pressure of his arms, and the feeling of his lips upon
her own. She could picture at that moment no greater bliss on
earth than possession of the beloved one. His expression of love
had already given him to her in part. When she thought that he was
there at hand, waiting for her, she grew numb with the intoxication
of expectancy. It was so late; he would be asleep perhaps. She
would awaken him with a kiss. She hoped he would be asleep that
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