BOOK THE SECOND: BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Chapter 16: An Anniversary Occasion (continued)
Twemlow, in a stunned condition, feigns to compare the portrait in
his hand with the original looking towards him from his
'Very well indeed!' are at length the words which Twemlow with
great difficulty extracts from himself.
'I am glad you think so. On the whole, I myself consider it the
best. The others are so dark. Now here, for instance, is another
of Mr Lammle--'
'But I don't understand; I don't see my way,' Twemlow stammers,
as he falters over the book with his glass at his eye. 'How warn
her father, and not tell him? Tell him how much? Tell him how
little? I--I--am getting lost.'
'Tell him I am a match-maker; tell him I am an artful and
designing woman; tell him you are sure his daughter is best out of
my house and my company. Tell him any such things of me; they
will all be true. You know what a puffed-up man he is, and how
easily you can cause his vanity to take the alarm. Tell him as
much as will give him the alarm and make him careful of her, and
spare me the rest. Mr Twemlow, I feel my sudden degradation in
your eyes; familiar as I am with my degradation in my own eyes, I
keenly feel the change that must have come upon me in yours, in
these last few moments. But I trust to your good faith with me as
implicitly as when I began. If you knew how often I have tried to
speak to you to-day, you would almost pity me. I want no new
promise from you on my own account, for I am satisfied, and I
always shall be satisfied, with the promise you have given me. I
can venture to say no more, for I see that I am watched. If you
would set my mind at rest with the assurance that you will
interpose with the father and save this harmless girl, close that
book before you return it to me, and I shall know what you mean,
and deeply thank you in my heart.--Alfred, Mr Twemlow thinks
the last one the best, and quite agrees with you and me.'