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and looked out at the door; but the night
was still dark and windy, and the rain did
not cease to fall. I came back again, and this
time, walking up behind her, where she sat
before the fire, I leaned upon her chair,
and looked over her shoulder, and said, "I
have many things to say to you, Alice,to-
night, before I go." "Hush!" she said,
lifting her finger, and mocking my tone,
"something very serious?"

Even then, before I knew what she would
say, I felt angry with her. The blood rushed
to my face, and I spoke with a thick and
hurried voice. I was prepared for her
refusal. I pictured in that moment to myself
the ridicule with which she would meet my
words; but I was resolved to know the worst
that night, and I had settled in my mind the
course that I would take. I told her, briefly,
that I loved her, and asked her, almost
abruptly, whether she would see me any
more. She answered me, as I knew she
would, with laughtersaid she was
disappointed in methought she had found a man
more rational than his fellows, and finally
told me not to see her any more till I repented
of my folly. I waited till she had done, with
my eye fixed steadfastly upon her. I would
not trust myself to speak, lest I should raise
my voice, and be overheard; but I felt how
the love that I had borne her turned to hatred
in that moment. All the history of our
acquaintance ran through my mind in an
instant. I saw plainly now, I thought, how
light and vain she was; how she abused the
gifts of intellect and beauty to mock and trifle
with a deeper and more earnest nature. I
held my hand out once, and said, "farewell,"
and turning, left her abruptly.

I passed through the gate in the darkness,
in the wind and rain, unmindful of everything
but my anger. Yet once, before I had gone
many steps, I thought I heard a voice of
some one calling. Could it be Alice? I felt
even tempted to return and see; but I thought
I might be mistaken, and my pride witheld
me. I listened, and not hearing it any more,
I hurried on, thinking I had coined a fancy
from a secret wish, and blamed myself for
wavering in my purpose. I repeated her
words to myself as I went, that my indignation
might not lessen. I was filled with
self-contempt for the weakness I had shown.
I remembered how my whole nature seemed
to have changed for a while under the influence
of my passion; how I had vainly glorified
myself for the effeminacy into which I had
fallen, while thinking I had become a better
man. Now I felt ashamed of all these things,
and would fain have forgotten them, and
become again the selfish being that I was.

My aunt opened the door to me. She
held a lamp in her hands, and saw me looking
wild, and my clothes saturated with the rain.
She asked me where I had been, but I
answered her sharply, and went up into the
workshop. I found my great hammer, and
went down the stairs again, and out into the
street. The storm was abating; the clouds
were broken up, and the moon moved with
me as I hurried down the street. The cathedral
yard was silent. I passed under the
trees, and looked in at the window where my
statue stood, and saw it there. My intention
was to get inside, but how, I knew not, unless
I could find my entrance by the scaffolding.
I climbed up, and found that the masons had
removed the window altogether, and boarded
up the place. I tried the boards, and found
one looser than the rest. I pushed it, and it
gave way, and fell back with a noise on the
platform inside. I was afraid that it had
been heard, and drew back awhile, but the
only house near was the verger's, at some
distance across the yard, and I saw no lights
there, at any of the windows. After that I
got through and replaced the board behind me.

I knew not how the thought arose to
destroy my statue, except that I was driven
wild with passion, and scarcely knew what I
was doing. I did not wait a moment to look
at the work which had so rejoiced me in the
carvingthat had filled me full of hope when
I saw it finishedthe first token I had won
of future honour in the art that I had chosen
but grasped my hammer firmly in my
hand, and with blind fury struck it,
unmindful of the noise I made, though every
blow rang twice upon the roof. I shattered
first the wings, and after a while the whole
figure fell beneath my blows upon the pavement.
I cast my hammer down, and climbed
the platform again. The perspiration trickled
down my face from the exertion; but I had
no fear; I did not even reflect whether my
noise had been heard; but as I issued by the
window, and the moon was darkened, some
large bird that I had startled struck me in
the face, and made me start. I replaced the
board again, and glided down the scaffolding.
The yard was still silent and deserted, though
it was not late.

I had not been absent more than half an
hour when I knocked again. My aunt
opened the door, and saw me looking wilder
than before. I followed her into the parlour,
and told her to get ready to leave the city
with me that night, by the coach that passed
through there at eleven o'clock, on its way to
London. She was terrified. She looked at
me earnestly, and then bursting into tears,
entreated me to tell her what had happened.
I assured her that there was no cause for her
alarm; but she asked me what I had done
with the hammer I had taken out with me.
I refused to tell her; and her suspicions were
increased. "God only, and yourself," said
she, "know into what trouble your violence
has led you this night!" I assured her,
again and again, that I had done no harm to
any one; but her fears remained, and she
packed up, tremblingly, a few things in a
trunk, and fetched a porter to carry it to the
coach, while I fastened all the doors and

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