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explanation--playing and trifling are completely banished out of
my mind; and I can’t dance attendance on your affectations now!”

“My affectations!” he murmured; “what are they? For heaven’s
sake, Catherine, don’t look so angry! Despise me as much as you
please; I am a worthless, cowardly wretch--I can’t be scorned
enough! but I’m too mean for your anger--hate my father, and
spare me for contempt.”

“Nonsense!” cried Catherine, in a passion. “Foolish, silly boy!
And there! he trembles, as if I were really going to touch him! You
needn’t bespeak contempt, Linton; anybody will have it
spontaneously, at your service. Get off! I shall return home--it is
folly dragging you from the hearthstone, and pretending--what do
we pretend? Let go my frock! If I pitied you for crying and looking
so very frightened, you should spurn such pity. Ellen, tell him how
disgraceful this conduct is. Rise, and don’t degrade yourself into
an abject reptile--don’t!”

With streaming face and an expression of agony, Linton had
thrown his nerveless frame along the ground: he seemed
convulsed with exquisite terror.

“Oh!” he sobbed, “I cannot bear it! Catherine, Catherine, I’m a
traitor too, and I dare not tell you! But leave me, and I shall be
killed! Dear Catherine, my life is in your hands: and you have said
you loved me, and if you did, it wouldn’t harm you. You’ll not go,
then? kind, sweet, good Catherine! And perhaps you will
consent--and he’ll let me die with you!”

My young lady, on witnessing his intense anguish, stooped to
raise him. The old feeling of indulgent tenderness overcame her
vexation, and she grew thoroughly moved and alarmed.

“Consent to what?” she asked. “To stay? Tell me the meaning

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