Virginia Woolf: Night and Day

29. CHAPTER XXIX (continued)

"It's not that"--Cassandra tried to enlighten him--"it's understanding."

"Have I never understood you, Katharine? Have I been very selfish?"

"Yes," Cassandra interposed. "You've asked her for sympathy, and she's not sympathetic; you've wanted her to be practical, and she's not practical. You've been selfish; you've been exacting--and so has Katharine--but it wasn't anybody's fault."

Katharine had listened to this attempt at analysis with keen attention. Cassandra's words seemed to rub the old blurred image of life and freshen it so marvelously that it looked new again. She turned to William.

"It's quite true," she said. "It was nobody's fault."

"There are many things that he'll always come to you for," Cassandra continued, still reading from her invisible book. "I accept that, Katharine. I shall never dispute it. I want to be generous as you've been generous. But being in love makes it more difficult for me."

They were silent. At length William broke the silence.

"One thing I beg of you both, he said, and the old nervousness of manner returned as he glanced at Katharine. "We will never discuss these matters again. It's not that I'm timid and conventional, as you think, Katharine. It's that it spoils things to discuss them; it unsettles people's minds; and now we're all so happy--"

Cassandra ratified this conclusion so far as she was concerned, and William, after receiving the exquisite pleasure of her glance, with its absolute affection and trust, looked anxiously at Katharine.

"Yes, I'm happy," she assured him. "And I agree. We will never talk about it again."

"Oh, Katharine, Katharine!" Cassandra cried, holding out her arms while the tears ran down her cheeks.

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