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Chapter 13: Sortes Sanctorum--the Valentine (continued)
The book was opened--the leaves, drab with age, being quite worn away at much-read verses by the forefingers of unpractised readers in former days, where they were moved along under the line as an aid to the vision. The special verse in the Book of Ruth was sought out by Bathsheba, and the sublime words met her eye. They slightly thrilled and abashed her. It was Wisdom in the abstract facing Folly in the concrete. Folly in the concrete blushed, persisted in her intention, and placed the key on the book. A rusty patch immediately upon the verse, caused by previous pressure of an iron substance thereon, told that this was not the first time the old volume had been used for the purpose.
"Now keep steady, and be silent," said Bathsheba.
The verse was repeated; the book turned round; Bathsheba blushed guiltily.
"Who did you try?" said Liddy curiously.
"I shall not tell you."
"Did you notice Mr. Boldwood's doings in church this morning, miss?" Liddy continued, adumbrating by the remark the track her thoughts had taken.
"No, indeed," said Bathsheba, with serene indifference.
"His pew is exactly opposite yours, miss."
"I know it."
"And you did not see his goings on!"
"Certainly I did not, I tell you."
Liddy assumed a smaller physiognomy, and shut her lips decisively.
This move was unexpected, and proportionately disconcerting. "What did he do?" Bathsheba said perforce.
"Didn't turn his head to look at you once all the service."
"Why should he?" again demanded her mistress, wearing a nettled look. "I didn't ask him to."
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