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252 THE PORTRAIT.
+ -A^ Ghaptek V. It Lias "Been Affirmed ...
Cleveland , took up one after another of the smaller objects which layon the table , and pretended to examine them minutely , but his
embarrassment could not be disguised , and I knew he scarcely saw those the things clouds he that held interpose in his hand at times . How between strange two , yet _j ) ersons how real without , are
any apparent cause , and how difficult it is to dispel them when once thereWhshould I not have spoken openly and freely to Mr .
Cleveland . and y why should he have been so confused and embarrassed if he , had nothing to conceal or be ashamed of ?
There I satand there close beside me stood Mr . Cleveland , liftingfrom the table , one small article after anotherand putting them
of up again a museum in their and places the with table as a much cabinet care of as precious . if he had , curiosities been the . curator
At length , as if starting from a reverie , he abruptly asked when I had seen Mrs . Bethune . Thankful that the awkward silence was
at last brokenI answered " Not since I left London , a year ago . " " Indeed ! " was , the sole comment , madeand again he began to
handle small vases and cracked jars . How , I longed to upset the table and scatter its contents on the floor . I could not endure the
tantalizing scene an instant longer , so I resolved to put an end to it . I cleared my throat , and managed to say , " Mr . Cleveland , I
regret that I had not the pleasure of seeing you before I left Paris , as I owed you perhaps an explanation . "
"Do not speak of the past , " said Cleveland , hurriedly interrupting me " Forget the astand tell me how your drawing gets on . "
compressed He . spoke in . a I forced felt p angry , hard , and tone annoyed , and his that lips he were thus waived again firml aside y
all allusion to our life in Paris . I called in the aid of pride , and made an attempt to speak of indifferent matters . Cleveland seemed
absent ; he either made no answer to what I said , or , when he did , it was far from the point .
He still lingered at the table , and still his altered manner conlame tinued attempts . Mr . Mart at yn keep rej ing oined up us a , conversation and I was enabled in which to I abandon had all my to
do myself . I glided out of my corner and mingled with the crowd ; shortlafterwards I saw Cleveland leave the roomwithout even
y , coming to wish me good night . And this was the interview so ai * deiitly wished for !
in . nine Every cases one who out has of ten had the any rending experience 1 of friendl of social y ties life is knows caused that by
some trivial circumstance in the first instance ; and misunderstanding following upon misunderstanding , the feelings become wounded
and embittered by supposed injuries , till resentment takes possession of the mindand reconcilement becomes difficult . So it was
with me . Pondering , over the conduct of Mr . Cleveland during the darksilent hours of nihtI came to the conclusion that his
embarrassment , _aroise from g a , desire to cancel the past , which _,
having still perhaps , some feelings left for me , he found rather
252 The Portrait.
252 THE PORTRAIT .
English Woman’s Journal (1858-1864), June 1, 1861, page 252, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/ewj/issues/ewj_01061861/page/36/