Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/235

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“You belong to this work of yours, which must needs be interrupted or abandoned if you take her. Whatever is not mortgaged to your work is mortgaged to me. For the strange thing in all this is that you and I love one another—and have no power to do otherwise. In spite of all this.

“You have nothing to give her but stolen goods,” said the shadow of Martin. “You have nothing to give anyone personally any more....

“Think of the love that she desires and think of this love that you can give....

“Is there any new thing in you that you can give her that you haven’t given me? You and I know each other very well; perhaps I know you too well. Haven’t you loved me as much as you can love anyone? Think of all that there has been between us that you are ready now, eager now to set aside and forget as though it had never been. For four days you have kept me out of your mind in order to worship her. Yet you have known I was there—for all you would not know. No one else will ever be so intimate with you as I am. We have quarrelled together, wept together, jested happily and jested bitterly. You have spared me not at all. Pitiless and cruel you have been to me. You have reckoned up all my faults against me as though they were sins. You have treated me at times unlovingly—never was lover treated so unlovingly as you have sometimes treated me. And yet I have your love—as no other woman can ever