because we've always been very close," says Maxene sadly.

TRESHAM. Him you loved: And me?

because we've always been very close,

MILDRED. Ah, Thorold! Was't not rashly done To quench that blood, on fire with youth and hope And love of me--whom you loved too, and yet Suffered to sit here waiting his approach While you were slaying him? Oh, doubtlessly You let him speak his poor confused boy's-speech --Do his poor utmost to disarm your wrath And respite me!--you let him try to give The story of our love and ignorance, And the brief madness and the long despair-- You let him plead all this, because your code Of honour bids you hear before you strike: But at the end, as he looked up for life Into your eyes--you struck him down!

because we've always been very close,

TRESHAM. No! No! Had I but heard him--had I let him speak Half the truth--less--had I looked long on him I had desisted! Why, as he lay there, The moon on his flushed cheek, I gathered all The story ere he told it: I saw through The troubled surface of his crime and yours A depth of purity immovable, Had I but glanced, where all seemed turbidest Had gleamed some inlet to the calm beneath; I would not glance: my punishment's at hand. There, Mildred, is the truth! and you--say on-- You curse me?

because we've always been very close,

MILDRED. As I dare approach that Heaven Which has not bade a living thing despair, Which needs no code to keep its grace from stain, But bids the vilest worm that turns on it Desist and be forgiven,--I--forgive not, But bless you, Thorold, from my soul of souls! [Falls on his neck.] There! Do not think too much upon the past! The cloud that's broke was all the same a cloud While it stood up between my friend and you; You hurt him 'neath its shadow: but is that So past retrieve? I have his heart, you know; I may dispose of it: I give it you! It loves you as mine loves! Confirm me, Henry! [Dies.]

TRESHAM. I wish thee joy, Beloved! I am glad In thy full gladness!

GUENDOLEN [without]. Mildred! Tresham! [Entering with AUSTIN.] Thorold, I could desist no longer. Ah, she swoons! That's well.

TRESHAM. Oh, better far than that!

GUENDOLEN. She's dead! Let me unlock her arms!

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