Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
added the force of contrast; and this I am sure he did not by malice,
but on principle.
The night before he left home, happening to see him walking in the
garden about sunset, and remembering, as I looked at him, that
this man, alienated as he now was, had once saved my life, and
that we were near relations, I was moved to make a last attempt to
regain his friendship. I went out and approached him as he stood
leaning over the little gate; I spoke to the point at once.
‘St. John, I am unhappy because you are still angry with me. Let us
‘I hope we are friends,’ was the unmoved reply; while he still
watched the rising of the moon, which he had been contemplating
as I approached.
‘No, St. John, we are not friends as we were. You know that.’ ‘Are
we not? That is wrong. For my part, I wish you no ill and all good.’
‘I believe you, St. John; for I am sure you are incapable of wishing
any one ill; but, as I am your kinswoman, I should desire
somewhat more of affection than that sort of general philanthropy
you extend to mere strangers.’ ‘Of course,’ he said. ‘Your wish is
reasonable, and I am far from regarding you as a stranger.’ This,
spoken in a cool, tranquil tone, was mortifying and baffling
Had I attended to the suggestions of pride and ire, I should
immediately have left him; but something worked within me more
strongly than those feelings could. I deeply venerated my cousin’s
talent and principle. His friendship was of value to me: to lose it
tried me severely. I would not so soon relinquish the attempt to
‘Must we part in this way, St. John? And when you go to India,
will you leave me so, without a kinder word than you have yet
spoken?’ He now turned quite from the moon and faced me.
‘When I go to India, Jane, will I leave you! What! do you not go to
India?’ ‘You said I could not unless I married you.’
‘And you will not marry me! You adhere to that resolution?’
Reader, do you know, as I do, what terror those cold people can
put into the ice of their questions? How much of the fall of the
avalanche is in their anger? of the breaking up of the frozen sea in
their displeasure? ‘No, St. John, I will not marry you. I adhere to
my resolution.’ The avalanche had shaken and slid a little forward,
but it did not yet crash down.
‘Once more, why this refusal?’ he asked.
‘Formerly,’ I answered, ‘because you did not love me; now, I reply,
because you almost hate me. If I were to marry you, you would kill