"Why did you choose to keep the tryst in answer to my message?" he replied to her.
At this she lifted her great shining eyes and fixed them full upon him.
"I wished," she said, "to hear what you would say--but more to SEE you than to hear."
She held up her white hand with a long-stemmed rose in it--as though a queen should lift a sceptre.
"You came," she answered, "more to see ME than to hear. You made that blunder."
"You choose to bear yourself like a goddess, and disdain me from Olympian heights," he said. "I had the wit to guess it would be so."
She shook her royal head, faintly and most strangely smiling.
"That you had not," was her clear-worded answer. "That is a later thought sprung up since you have seen my face. 'Twas quick--for you--but not quick enough." And the smile in her eyes was maddening. "You thought to see a woman crushed and weeping, her beauty bent before you, her locks dishevelled, her streaming eyes lifted to Heaven--and you--with prayers, swearing that not Heaven could help her so much as your deigning magnanimity. You have seen women do this before, you would have seen ME do it--at your feet-- crying out that I was lost--lost for ever. THAT you expected! 'Tis not here."