By watching her husband's departure he managed to have several brief visits, and at length became so infatuated with her that he tried to coax her to run away with him. "When she heard this she was very angry, for, with all her foolishness, she had only acted as she did because of her vanity and love of flattery.
Besides, we had been bosom friends in childhood. My wonder at the growth of the rose I had left but an insignificant thorny shoot was exquisite natural flattery, sweet reason, to which she could not say nonsense. At each step we trod on souvenirs, innocent in themselves, had they recurred to childish minds.
It had amused her brother very much, and he teased her about being a little rebel and said he should take her to England to cure her of such folly and that she should be presented at Court. For certainly the Continentals could not hold out when all the principal cities were taken and trade stopped. He was proud of her beauty, and his flattery might have turned the head of almost any child.
You need not be anxious; there is no possible plea on which she can escape you now. If you will take my advice you will not draw the chain too tightly; let her feel that she is free." Allan took her advice. He did not persecute her with letters; he wrote, and filled his pages with love and flattery so sweet it could not tease her.
Really, Evelyn, you are indeed beautiful!" and Caroline gazed with honest but not unenvious admiration at the fairy form so rounded and yet so delicate, and the face that seemed to blush at its own charms. "I am sure I can return the flattery," said Evelyn, laughing bashfully. "Oh, as for me, I am well enough in my way: and hereafter, I dare say, we may be rival beauties.
A woman can forgive passion and ruin, and worse, if the man loves her, and she can forgive herself, remembering that to her who loved much, much was forgiven. But out of wilful idleness, the mere flattery of the senses, a vampire feeding upon the spirits and souls of others, for nothing save emotion for emotion's sake that was shameless, it was the last humiliation of a woman.
She knew also that her head was easily poised on her neck; and that her figure was reasonably good; but all this was unconfirmed knowledge, quickly shadowed by the doubt. As the sun is wanted to glorify the right features of a landscape, this girl thirsted for a dose of golden flattery.
Fox laughed long and loud at this cruel joke, and Bumper winced; but he was playing for time to think of a plan to escape. Evidently Mr. Fox was not to be outwitted by flattery, and he determined upon another ruse. There was a fallen tree near him, but to reach it he would have to advance a few feet straight toward the fox.
Evidently the residence at the ministry had only brought her ready-made relations, depressingly inevitable visitors who resembled office-seekers or clients. These official receptions filled her with sadness. The conversation always took the same hackneyed tone, disgusting in its flattery or disquieting by reason of its allusions.
She swept him her most courtly reverence. "Adieu! Thou art a man indeed like many another to let a woman outwit thee and befool thee so that even now thou knowest not within thy soul if she hath spoken truth, or flattery to beguile thee; or 'mad dreaming' for which, perforce, she 'may be forgiven, and render thanks!