kissed me once, all day—this day of days!" and I bent down and laid my cheek against his. He kissed me; but said: "You, women are always kissing—I'll be up soon!" Forced to be content with that I went upstairs, undressed and got into bed: he hadn't even kissed me of his own accord, the whole day!
"A little later he came up, undressed and got into bed beside me. I expected him to take me in his arms and kiss and caress me.
'"Nothing of the sort, he lay there, jiggling like', ("I guessed what she meant", said Quain, "the poor devil in a blue funk was frigging himself to get a cock-stand.") 'I thought for some time', Mrs. Carlyle went on, 'one moment I wanted to kiss and caress him; the next moment I felt indignant. Suddenly it occurred to me that in all my hopes and imaginings of a first night, I had never got near the reality: silent, the man lay there jiggling, jiggling. Suddenly I burst out laughing: it was all too wretched! too absurd!'
"'At once he got out of bed with the one scornful word 'Woman!' and went into the next room: he never came back to my bed.
"'Yet he's one of the best and noblest men in the world and if he had been more expansive and told me oftener that he loved me, I could easily have forgiven him any bodily weakness; silence is love's worst enemy and after all he never really made me jealous save for a short time with Lady Ashburnham. I suppose I've been as happy with him as I could have been with anyone yet—'
"That's my story", said Quain in conclusion, "and I make you a present of it: even in the Elysian Fields I shall be content to be in the Carlyles' company. They were a great pair!"