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16. CHAPTER XVI (continued)
Looking now and then at the sky, she went through the list of her cousins' names: Eleanor, Humphrey, Marmaduke, Silvia, Henry, Cassandra, Gilbert, and Mostyn--Henry, the cousin who taught the young ladies of Bungay to play upon the violin, was the only one in whom she could confide, and as she walked up and down beneath the hoops of the pergola, she did begin a little speech to him, which ran something like this:
"To begin with, I'm very fond of William. You can't deny that. I know him better than any one, almost. But why I'm marrying him is, partly, I admit--I'm being quite honest with you, and you mustn't tell any one--partly because I want to get married. I want to have a house of my own. It isn't possible at home. It's all very well for you, Henry; you can go your own way. I have to be there always. Besides, you know what our house is. You wouldn't be happy either, if you didn't do something. It isn't that I haven't the time at home--it's the atmosphere." Here, presumably, she imagined that her cousin, who had listened with his usual intelligent sympathy, raised his eyebrows a little, and interposed:
"Well, but what do you want to do?"
Even in this purely imaginary dialogue, Katharine found it difficult to confide her ambition to an imaginary companion.
"I should like," she began, and hesitated quite a long time before she forced herself to add, with a change of voice, "to study mathematics--to know about the stars."
Henry was clearly amazed, but too kind to express all his doubts; he only said something about the difficulties of mathematics, and remarked that very little was known about the stars.
Katharine thereupon went on with the statement of her case.
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