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in Adele; but I believed in the existence of other and more vivid
kinds of goodness, and what I believed in I wished to behold.

Who blames me? Many, no doubt; and I shall be called
discontented. I could not help it: the restlessness was in my nature;
it agitated me to pain sometimes.

Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third
storey, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of
the spot, and allow my mind’s eye to dwell on whatever bright
visions rose before it-and, certainly, they were many and glowing;
to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while
it swelled it in trouble, expanded it with life; and, best of all, to
open my inward ear to a tale that was never ended-a tale my
imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all
of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my
actual existence.

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with
tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they
cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine,
and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows
how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the
masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very
calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise
for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their
brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a
stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrowminded
in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to
confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to
playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to
condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn
more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

When thus alone, I not unfrequently heard Grace Poole’s laugh: the
same peal, the same low, slow ha! ha! which, when first heard, had
thrilled me: I heard, too, her eccentric murmurs; stranger than her
laugh. There were days when she was quite silent; but there were
others when I could not account for the sounds she made.
Sometimes I saw her: she would come out of her room with a
basin, or a plate, or a tray in her hand, go down to the kitchen and
shortly return, generally (oh, romantic reader, forgive me for
telling the plain truth!) bearing a pot of porter. Her appearance
always acted as a damper to the curiosity raised by her oral
oddities: hard-featured and staid, she had no point to which
interest could attach. I made some attempts to draw her into
conversation, but she seemed a person of few words: a
monosyllabic reply usually cut short every effort of that sort.
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