beginning and really made us difficult to compete with.
"Yes, yes," he said, "as you have conquered all--as you have conquered me--and did from the first hour. But God forbid that you should make me suffer so again."
"Your Grace," she said, faltering, "I--I will not!"
"Forgive me for the tempest of my passion," he said. "'Twas not thus I had thought to come to make my suit. 'Tis scarcely fitting that it should be so; but I was almost mad when I first heard this rumour, knowing my duty would not loose me to come to you at once-- and knowing you so well, that only if your heart had melted to the one who besought you, you would give up."
"I--give up," she answered; "I give up."
"I worship you," he said; "I worship you." And their meeting eyes were drowned in each other's tenderness.
They galloped side by side, and the watchers looked on, exchanging words and glances, seeing in her beauteous, glowing face, in his joyous one, the final answer to the question they had so often asked each other. 'Twas his Grace of Osmonde who was the happy man, he and no other. That was a thing plain indeed to be seen, for they were too high above the common world to feel that they must play the paltry part of outward trifling to deceive it; and as the sun pierces through clouds and is stronger than they, so their love shone like the light of day itself through poor conventions. They did not know the people gazed and whispered, and if they had known it, the thing would have counted for naught with them.
"See!" said my lady, patting her Devil's neck--"see, he knows that you have come, and frets no more."
They rode homeward together, the great beauty and the great duke, and all the town beheld; and after they had passed him where he stood, John Oxon mounted his own horse and galloped away, white- lipped and with mad eyes.