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Parisians, the — Volume 11 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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THE PARISIANS

By Edward Bulwer-Lytton


BOOK XI.


CHAPTER I.

Amoung the frets and checks to the course that "never did run smooth,"
there is one which is sufficiently frequent, for many a reader will
remember the irritation it caused him. You have counted on a meeting
with the beloved one unwitnessed by others, an interchange of confessions
and vows which others may not hear. You have arranged almost the words
in which your innermost heart is to be expressed; pictured to yourself
the very looks by which those words will have their sweetest reply. The
scene you have thus imagined appears to you vivid and distinct, as if
foreshown in a magic glass. And suddenly, after long absence, the
meeting takes place in the midst of a common companionship: nothing that
you wished to say can be said. The scene you pictured is painted out by
the irony of Chance; and groups and backgrounds of which you had never
dreamed start forth from the disappointing canvas. Happy if that be all!
But sometimes, by a strange, subtle intuition, you feel that the person
herself is changed; and sympathetic with that change, a terrible chill
comes over your own heart.

Before Graham had taken his seat at the table beside Isaura, he felt that
she was changed to him. He felt it by her very touch as their hands met
at the first greeting,--by the tone of her voice in the few words that