8. Chapter VIII.
"May is a darling; I've seen no young girl in New
York so handsome and so intelligent. Are you very
much in love with her?"
Newland Archer reddened and laughed. "As much as
a man can be."
She continued to consider him thoughtfully, as if not
to miss any shade of meaning in what he said, "Do you
think, then, there is a limit?"
"To being in love? If there is, I haven't found it!"
She glowed with sympathy. "Ah--it's really and truly
"The most romantic of romances!"
"How delightful! And you found it all out for
yourselves--it was not in the least arranged for you?"
Archer looked at her incredulously. "Have you
forgotten," he asked with a smile, "that in our country we
don't allow our marriages to be arranged for us?"
A dusky blush rose to her cheek, and he instantly
regretted his words.
"Yes," she answered, "I'd forgotten. You must
forgive me if I sometimes make these mistakes. I don't
always remember that everything here is good that
was--that was bad where I've come from." She looked
down at her Viennese fan of eagle feathers, and he saw
that her lips trembled.
"I'm so sorry," he said impulsively; "but you ARE
among friends here, you know."
"Yes--I know. Wherever I go I have that feeling.
That's why I came home. I want to forget everything
else, to become a complete American again, like the
Mingotts and Wellands, and you and your delightful
mother, and all the other good people here tonight. Ah,
here's May arriving, and you will want to hurry away
to her," she added, but without moving; and her eyes
turned back from the door to rest on the young man's