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45. CHAPTER XLV: THE STANHOPES AT HOME (continued)
Eleanor half whispered that she would, and then without uttering another word, crept out of the room, and down the stairs, opened the front door for herself without hearing or seeing any one, and found herself in the close.
It would be difficult to analyse Eleanor's feelings as she walked home. She was nearly stupefied by the things that had been said to her. She felt sore that her heart should have been so searched and riddled by a comparative stranger, by a woman whom she had never liked and never could like. She was mortified that the man whom she owned to herself that she loved should have concealed his love from her and shown it to another. There was much to vex her proud spirit. But there was, nevertheless, an under-stratum of joy in all this which buoyed her up wondrously. She tried if she could disbelieve what Madame Neroni had said to her; but she found that she could not. It was true; it must be true. She could not, would not, did not doubt it.
On one point she fully resolved to follow the advice given her. If it should ever please Mr Arabin to put such a question to her as suggested, her 'yea' should be 'yea'. Would not all her miseries be at an end, if she could talk of them to him openly, with her hand resting on his shoulder?
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