that is weak in the faith, but not to doubtful disputations.”

Five spines and six beasts netdata2023-12-02 09:31:10 3397 4

He handed me a morsel of paper with writing on it in pencil:--

that is weak in the faith, but not to doubtful disputations.”

"Forgive me, dear friend and partner, for leaving you without saying good-bye; also for burdening you with the direction of business, before you are perhaps strong enough to accept the charge. My mind is in such a state of confusion that I should be worse than useless in the office. While I write this, my poor weak head burns as if there was fire in it. I cannot face _her,_ I cannot face _you_--I must go, before I lose all control over myself. Don't attempt to trace me. If change and absence restore me to myself I will return. If not, a man at my age and in my state of mind is willing to die. Please tell Madame Fontaine that I ask her pardon with all my heart. Good-bye--and God bless and prosper you."

that is weak in the faith, but not to doubtful disputations.”

I was unaffectedly distressed. There was something terrible in this sudden break-up of poor Engelman's harmless life--something cruel and shocking in the passion of love fixing its relentless hold on an innocent old man, fast nearing the end of his days. There are hundreds of examples of this deplorable anomaly in real life; and yet, when we meet with it in our own experience, we are always taken by surprise, and always ready to express doubt or derision when we hear of it in the experience of others.

that is weak in the faith, but not to doubtful disputations.”

Madame Fontaine behaved admirably. She sat down on the window-seat at the end of the landing, and wrung her hands with a gesture of despair.

"Oh!" she said, "if he had asked me for anything else! If I could have made any other sacrifice to him! God knows I never dreamed of it; I never gave him the smallest encouragement. We might have all been so happy together here--and I, who would have gone to the world's end to serve Mr. Keller and Mr. Engelman, I am the unhappy creature who has broken up the household!"

Mr. Keller was deeply affected. He sat down on the window-seat by Madame Fontaine.

"My dear, dear lady," he said, "you are entirely blameless in this matter. Even my unfortunate partner feels it, and asks your pardon. If inquiries can discover him, they shall be set on foot immediately. In the meantime, let me entreat you to compose yourself. Engelman has perhaps done wisely, to leave us for a time. He will get over his delusion, and all may be well yet."

I went downstairs, not caring to hear more. All my sympathies, I confess, were with Mr. Engelman--though he _was_ a fat simple old man. Mr. Keller seemed to me (here is more of the "old head on young shoulders!") to have gone from one extreme to the other. He had begun by treating the widow with unbecoming injustice; and he was now flattering her with unreasonable partiality.



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