BOOK VIII. SUNSET AND SUNRISE.
78. CHAPTER LXXVIII.
"Would it were yesterday and I i' the grave,
With her sweet faith above for monument "
Rosamond and Will stood motionless--they did not know how long--
he looking towards the spot where Dorothea had stood, and she looking
towards him with doubt. It seemed an endless time to Rosamond,
in whose inmost soul there was hardly so much annoyance as
gratification from what had just happened. Shallow natures dream
of an easy sway over the emotions of others, trusting implicitly
in their own petty magic to turn the deepest streams, and confident,
by pretty gestures and remarks, of making the thing that is not
as though it were. She knew that Will had received a severe blow,
but she had been little used to imagining other people's states
of mind except as a material cut into shape by her own wishes;
and she believed in her own power to soothe or subdue. Even Tertius,
that most perverse of men, was always subdued in the long-run:
events had been obstinate, but still Rosamond would have said now,
as she did before her marriage, that she never gave up what she had set
her mind on.
She put out her arm and laid the tips of her fingers on Will's
"Don't touch me!" he said, with an utterance like the cut of a lash,
darting from her, and changing from pink to white and back again,
as if his whole frame were tingling with the pain of the sting.
He wheeled round to the other side of the room and stood opposite to her,
with the tips of his fingers in his pockets and his head thrown back,
looking fiercely not at Rosamond but at a point a few inches away
She was keenly offended, but the Signs she made of this were such
as only Lydgate was used to interpret. She became suddenly quiet
and seated herself, untying her hanging bonnet and laying it down with
her shawl. Her little hands which she folded before her were very cold.