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"But thy rest agen to-morrow's work, my dear."

"I slept sound, last night. I can wake
many nights, when I am put to it. 'Tis thou
who art in need of restso white and tired.
Try to sleep in the chair there, while I watch.
Thou hadst no sleep last night, I can well
believe. To-morrow's work is far harder for
thee than for me."

He heard the thundering and surging out
of doors, and it seemed to him as if his late
angry mood were going about trying to get
at him. She had cast it out; she would
keep it out; he trusted to her to defend him
from himself.

"She don't know me, Stephen; she just
drowsily mutters and stares. I have spoken
to her times and again, but she don't notice!
'Tis as well so. When she comes to her
right mind once more, I shall have done what
I can, and she never the wiser."

"How long, Rachael, is't looked for, that
she'll be so?"

"Doctor said she would haply come to
her mind to-morrow."

His eyes again fell on the bottle, and a
tremble passed over him, causing him 'to
shiver in every limb. She thought he was
chilled with the wet. "No," he said; "it
was not that. He had had a fright."

"A fright?"

"Ay, ay! coming in. When I were walking.
When I were thinking. When I—"
It seized him again; and he stood up,
holding by the mantel-shelf, as he pressed
his dank cold hair down with a hand that
shook as if it were palsied.


She was coming to him, but he stretched
out his arm to stop her.

"No! Don't please; don't! Let me see
thee setten by the bed. Let me see thee,
a' so good, and so forgiving. Let me see thee
as I see thee when I coom in. I can never
see thee better than so. Never, never,

He had a violent fit of trembling, and then
sunk into his chair. After a time he
controuled himself, and. resting with an elbow
on one knee, and his head upon that hand,
could look towards Rachael. Seen across
the dim candle with his moistened eyes, she
looked as if she had a glory shining round
her head. He could have believed she had.
He did believe it, as the noise without shook
the window, rattled at the door below,
and went about the house clamouring and

"When she gets better, Stephen, 'tis to be
hoped she'll leave thee to thyself again, and
do thee no more hurt. Anyways we will hope
so now. And now I shall keep silence, for I
want thee to sleep."

He closed his eyes, more to please her than
to rest his weary head; but, by slow degrees
as he listened to the great noise of the wind,
he ceased to hear it, or it changed into the
working of his loom, or even into the voices
of the day (his own included) saying what
had been really said. Even this imperfect
consciousness faded away at last, and he
dreamed a long, troubled dream.

He thought that he, and some one on whom
his heart had long been setbut she was not
Rachael, and that surprised him, even in the
midst of his imaginary happinessstood in
the church being married. While the ceremony
was performing, and while he recognised
among the witnesses some whom he
knew to be living, and many whom he knew
to be dead, darkness came on, succeeded by
the shining of a tremendous light. It broke
from one line in the table of commandments
at the altar, and illuminated the building with
the words. They were sounded through the
church too, as if there were voices in the fiery
letters. Upon this, the whole appearance
before him and around him changed, and
nothing was left as it had been, but himself
and the clergyman. They stood in the
daylight before a crowd so vast, that if all the
people in the world could have been brought
together into one space, they could not have
looked, he thought, more numerous; and
they all abhorred him, and there was not one
pitying or friendly eye among the millions
that were fastened on his face. He stood on
a raised stage, under his own loom; and, looking
up at the shape the loom took, and hearing
the burial service distinctly read,he knew
that he was there to suffer death. In an
instant what he stood on fell below him, and
he was gone.

Out of what mystery he came back to his
usual life, and to places that he knew, he was
unable to consider; but, he was back in those
places by some means, and with this
condemnation upon him, that he was never, in this
world or the next, through all the unimaginable
ages of eternity, to look on Rachael's face or
hear her voice. Wandering to and fro,
unceasingly, without hope, and in search of he
knew not what (he only knew that he was
doomed to seek it), he was the subject of a
nameless, horrible dread, a mortal fear of one
particular shape which everything took.
Whatsoever he looked at, grew into that form
sooner or later. The object of his miserable
existence was to prevent its recognition by
any one among the various people he
encountered. Hopeless labor! If he led them
out of rooms where it was, if he shut up
drawers and closets where it stood, if he
drew the curious from places where he knew
it to be secreted, and got them out into the
streets, the very chimneys of the mills assumed
that shape, and round them was the printed

The wind was blowing again, the rain was
beating on the housetops, and the larger
spaces through which he had strayed
contracted to the four walls of his room. Saving
that the fire had died out, it was as his eyes
had closed upon it. Rachael seemed to have

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