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    Book 6 - Chapter 13

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    Chapter 52
    Previous Chapter
    Borne Along by the Tide

    In less than a week Maggie was at St. Ogg's again,--outwardly in much
    the same position as when her visit there had just begun. It was easy
    for her to fill her mornings apart from Lucy without any obvious
    effort; for she had her promised visits to pay to her aunt Glegg, and
    it was natural that she should give her mother more than usual of her
    companionship in these last weeks, especially as there were
    preparations to be thought of for Tom's housekeeping. But Lucy would
    hear of no pretext for her remaining away in the evenings; she must
    always come from aunt Glegg's before dinner,--"else what shall I have
    of you?" said Lucy, with a tearful pout that could not be resisted.

    And Mr. Stephen Guest had unaccountably taken to dining at Mr. Deane's
    as often as possible, instead of avoiding that, as he used to do. At
    first he began his mornings with a resolution that he would not dine
    there, not even go in the evening, till Maggie was away. He had even
    devised a plan of starting off on a journey in this agreeable June
    weather; the headaches which he had constantly been alleging as a
    ground for stupidity and silence were a sufficient ostensible motive.
    But the journey was not taken, and by the fourth morning no distinct
    resolution was formed about the evenings; they were only foreseen as
    times when Maggie would still be present for a little while,--when one
    more touch, one more glance, might be snatched. For why not? There was
    nothing to conceal between them; they knew, they had confessed their
    love, and they had renounced each other; they were going to part.
    Honor and conscience were going to divide them; Maggie, with that
    appeal from her inmost soul, had decided it; but surely they might
    cast a lingering look at each other across the gulf, before they
    turned away never to look again till that strange light had forever
    faded out of their eyes.

    Maggie, all this time, moved about with a quiescence and even torpor
    of manner, so contrasted with her usual fitful brightness and ardor,
    that Lucy would have had to seek some other cause for such a change,
    if she had not been convinced that the position in which Maggie stood
    between Philip and her brother, and the prospect of her self-imposed
    wearisome banishment, were quite enough to account for a large amount
    of depression. But under this torpor there was a fierce battle of
    emotions, such as Maggie in all her life of struggle had never known
    or foreboded; it seemed to her as if all the worst evil in her had
    lain in ambush till now, and had suddenly started up full-armed, with
    hideous, overpowering strength! There were moments in which a cruel
    selfishness seemed to be getting possession of her; why should not
    Lucy, why should not Philip, suffer? _She_ had had to suffer through
    many years of her life; and who had renounced anything for her? And
    when something like that fulness of existence--love, wealth, ease,
    refinement, all that her nature craved--was brought within her reach,
    why was she to forego it, that another might have it,--another, who
    perhaps needed it less? But amidst all this new passionate tumult
    there were the old voices making themselves heard with rising power,
    till, from time to time, the tumult seemed quelled. _Was_ that
    existence which tempted her the full existence she dreamed? Where,
    then, would be all the memories of early striving; all the deep pity
    for another's pain, which had been nurtured in her through years of
    affection and hardship; all the divine presentiment of something
    higher than mere personal enjoyment, which had made the sacredness of
    life? She might as well hope to enjoy walking by maiming her feet, as
    hope to enjoy an existence in which she set out by maiming the faith
    and sympathy that were the best organs of her soul. And then, if pain
    were so hard to _her_, what was it to others? "Ah, God! preserve me
    from inflicting--give me strength to bear it." How had she sunk into
    this struggle with a temptation that she would once have thought
    herself as secure from as from deliberate crime? When was that first
    hateful moment in which she had been conscious of a feeling that
    clashed with her truth, affection, and gratitude, and had not shaken
    it from her with horror, as if it had been a loathsome thing? And yet,
    since this strange, sweet, subduing influence did not, should not,
    conquer her,--since it was to remain simply her own suffering,--her
    mind was meeting Stephen's in that thought of his, that they might
    still snatch moments of mute confession before the parting came. For
    was not he suffering too? She saw it daily--saw it in the sickened
    look of fatigue with which, as soon as he was not compelled to exert
    himself, he relapsed into indifference toward everything but the
    possibility of watching her. Could she refuse sometimes to answer that
    beseeching look which she felt to be following her like a low murmur
    of love and pain? She refused it less and less, till at last the
    evening for them both was sometimes made of a moment's mutual gaze;
    they thought of it till it came, and when it had come, they thought of
    nothing else.

    One other thing Stephen seemed now and then to care for, and that was
    to sing; it was a way of speaking to Maggie. Perhaps he was not
    distinctly conscious that he was impelled to it by a secret
    longing--running counter to all his self-confessed resolves--to deepen
    the hold he had on her. Watch your own speech, and notice how it is
    guided by your less conscious purposes, and you will understand that
    contradiction in Stephen.

    Philip Wakem was a less frequent visitor, but he came occasionally in
    the evening, and it happened that he was there when Lucy said, as they
    sat out on the lawn, near sunset,--

    "Now Maggie's tale of visits to aunt Glegg is completed, I mean that
    we shall go out boating every day until she goes. She has not had half
    enough boating because of these tiresome visits, and she likes it
    better than anything. Don't you, Maggie?"

    "Better than any sort of locomotion, I hope you mean," said Philip,
    smiling at Maggie, who was lolling backward in a low garden-chair;
    "else she will be selling her soul to that ghostly boatman who haunts
    the Floss, only for the sake of being drifted in a boat forever."

    "Should you like to be her boatman?" said Lucy. "Because, if you
    would, you can come with us and take an oar. If the Floss were but a
    quiet lake instead of a river, we should be independent of any
    gentleman, for Maggie can row splendidly. As it is, we are reduced to
    ask services of knights and squires, who do not seem to offer them
    with great alacrity."

    She looked playful reproach at Stephen, who was sauntering up and
    down, and was just singing in pianissimo falsetto,--

    "The thirst that from the soul doth rise
    Doth ask a drink divine."

    He took no notice, but still kept aloof; he had done so frequently
    during Philip's recent visits.

    "You don't seem inclined for boating," said Lucy, when he came to sit
    down by her on the bench. "Doesn't rowing suit you now?"

    "Oh, I hate a large party in a boat," he said, almost irritably. "I'll
    come when you have no one else."

    Lucy colored, fearing that Philip would be hurt; it was quite a new
    thing for Stephen to speak in that way; but he had certainly not been
    well of late. Philip colored too, but less from a feeling of personal
    offence than from a vague suspicion that Stephen's moodiness had some
    relation to Maggie, who had started up from her chair as he spoke, and
    had walked toward the hedge of laurels to look at the descending
    sunlight on the river.

    "As Miss Deane didn't know she was excluding others by inviting me,"
    said Philip, "I am bound to resign."

    "No, indeed, you shall not," said Lucy, much vexed. "I particularly
    wish for your company to-morrow. The tide will suit at half-past ten;
    it will be a delicious time for a couple of hours to row to Luckreth
    and walk back, before the sun gets too hot. And how can you object to
    four people in a boat?" she added, looking at Stephen.

    "I don't object to the people, but the number," said Stephen, who had
    recovered himself, and was rather ashamed of his rudeness. "If I voted
    for a fourth at all, of course it would be you, Phil. But we won't
    divide the pleasure of escorting the ladies; we'll take it
    alternately. I'll go the next day."

    This incident had the effect of drawing Philip's attention with
    freshened solicitude toward Stephen and Maggie; but when they
    re-entered the house, music was proposed, and Mrs. Tulliver and Mr.
    Deane being occupied with cribbage, Maggie sat apart near the table
    where the books and work were placed, doing nothing, however, but
    listening abstractedly to the music. Stephen presently turned to a
    duet which he insisted that Lucy and Philip should sing; he had often
    done the same thing before; but this evening Philip thought he divined
    some double intention in every word and look of Stephen's, and watched
    him keenly, angry with himself all the while for this clinging
    suspicion. For had not Maggie virtually denied any ground for his
    doubts on her side? And she was truth itself; it was impossible not to
    believe her word and glance when they had last spoken together in the
    garden. Stephen might be strongly fascinated by her (what was more
    natural?), but Philip felt himself rather base for intruding on what
    must be his friend's painful secret. Still he watched. Stephen, moving
    away from the piano, sauntered slowly toward the table near which
    Maggie sat, and turned over the newspapers, apparently in mere
    idleness. Then he seated himself with his back to the piano, dragging
    a newspaper under his elbow, and thrusting his hand through his hair,
    as if he had been attracted by some bit of local news in the "Laceham
    Courier." He was in reality looking at Maggie who had not taken the
    slightest notice of his approach. She had always additional strength
    of resistance when Philip was present, just as we can restrain our
    speech better in a spot that we feel to be hallowed. But at last she
    heard the word "dearest" uttered in the softest tone of pained
    entreaty, like that of a patient who asks for something that ought to
    have been given without asking. She had never heard that word since
    the moments in the lane at Basset, when it had come from Stephen again
    and again, almost as involuntarily as if it had been an inarticulate
    cry. Philip could hear no word, but he had moved to the opposite side
    of the piano, and could see Maggie start and blush, raise her eyes an
    instant toward Stephen's face, but immediately look apprehensively
    toward himself. It was not evident to her that Philip had observed
    her; but a pang of shame, under the sense of this concealment, made
    her move from her chair and walk to her mother's side to watch the
    game at cribbage.

    Philip went home soon after in a state of hideous doubt mingled with
    wretched certainty. It was impossible for him now to resist the
    conviction that there was some mutual consciousness between Stephen
    and Maggie; and for half the night his irritable, susceptible nerves
    were pressed upon almost to frenzy by that one wretched fact; he could
    attempt no explanation that would reconcile it with her words and
    actions. When, at last, the need for belief in Maggie rose to its
    habitual predominance, he was not long in imagining the truth,--she
    was struggling, she was banishing herself; this was the clue to all he
    had seen since his return. But athwart that belief there came other
    possibilities that would not be driven out of sight. His imagination
    wrought out the whole story; Stephen was madly in love with her; he
    must have told her so; she had rejected him, and was hurrying away.
    But would he give her up, knowing--Philip felt the fact with
    heart-crushing despair--that she was made half helpless by her feeling
    toward him?

    When the morning came, Philip was too ill to think of keeping his
    engagement to go in the boat. In his present agitation he could decide
    on nothing; he could only alternate between contradictory intentions.
    First, he thought he must have an interview with Maggie, and entreat
    her to confide in him; then, again, he distrusted his own
    interference. Had he not been thrusting himself on Maggie all along?
    She had uttered words long ago in her young ignorance; it was enough
    to make her hate him that these should be continually present with her
    as a bond. And had he any right to ask her for a revelation of
    feelings which she had evidently intended to withhold from him? He
    would not trust himself to see her, till he had assured himself that
    he could act from pure anxiety for her, and not from egoistic
    irritation. He wrote a brief note to Stephen, and sent it early by the
    servant, saying that he was not well enough to fulfil his engagement
    to Miss Deane. Would Stephen take his excuse, and fill his place?

    Lucy had arranged a charming plan, which had made her quite content
    with Stephen's refusal to go in the boat. She discovered that her
    father was to drive to Lindum this morning at ten; Lindum was the very
    place she wanted to go to, to make purchases,--important purchases,
    which must by no means be put off to another opportunity; and aunt
    Tulliver must go too, because she was concerned in some of the
    purchases.

    "You will have your row in the boat just the same, you know," she said
    to Maggie when they went out of the breakfast-room and upstairs
    together; "Philip will be here it half-past ten, and it is a delicious
    morning. Now don't say a word against it, you dear dolorous thing.
    What is the use of my being a fairy godmother, if you set your face
    against all the wonders I work for you? Don't think of awful cousin
    Tom; you may disobey him a little."

    Maggie did not persist in objecting. She was almost glad of the plan,
    for perhaps it would bring her some strength and calmness to be alone
    with Philip again; it was like revisiting the scene of a quieter life,
    in which the very struggles were repose, compared with the daily
    tumult of the present. She prepared herself for the boat and at
    half-past ten sat waiting in the drawing-room.

    The ring of the door-bell was punctual, and she was thinking with
    half-sad, affectionate pleasure of the surprise Philip would have in
    finding that he was to be with her alone, when she distinguished a
    firm, rapid step across the hall, that was certainly not Philip's; the
    door opened, and Stephen Guest entered.

    In the first moment they were both too much agitated to speak; for
    Stephen had learned from the servant that the others were gone out.
    Maggie had started up and sat down again, with her heart beating
    violently; and Stephen, throwing down his cap and gloves, came and sat
    by her in silence. She thought Philip would be coming soon; and with
    great effort--for she trembled visibly--she rose to go to a distant
    chair.

    "He is not coming," said Stephen, in a low tone. "I am going in the
    boat."

    "Oh, we can't go," said Maggie, sinking into her chair again. "Lucy
    did not expect--she would be hurt. Why is not Philip come?"

    "He is not well; he asked me to come instead."

    "Lucy is gone to Lindum," said Maggie, taking off her bonnet with
    hurried, trembling fingers. "We must not go."

    "Very well," said Stephen, dreamily, looking at her, as he rested his
    arm on the back of his chair. "Then we'll stay here."

    He was looking into her deep, deep eyes, far off and mysterious at the
    starlit blackness, and yet very near, and timidly loving. Maggie sat
    perfectly still--perhaps for moments, perhaps for minutes--until the
    helpless trembling had ceased, and there was a warm glow on her check.

    "The man is waiting; he has taken the cushions," she said. "Will you
    go and tell him?"

    "What shall I tell him?" said Stephen, almost in a whisper. He was
    looking at the lips now.

    Maggie made no answer.

    "Let us go," Stephen murmured entreatingly, rising, and taking her
    hand to raise her too. "We shall not be long together."

    And they went. Maggie felt that she was being led down the garden
    among the roses, being helped with firm, tender care into the boat,
    having the cushion and cloak arranged for her feet, and her parasol
    opened for her (which she had forgotten), all by this stronger
    presence that seemed to bear her along without any act of her own
    will, like the added self which comes with the sudden exalting
    influence of a strong tonic, and she felt nothing else. Memory was
    excluded.

    They glided rapidly along, Stephen rowing, helped by the
    backward-flowing tide, past the Tofton trees and houses; on between
    the silent sunny fields and pastures, which seemed filled with a
    natural joy that had no reproach for theirs. The breath of the young,
    unwearied day, the delicious rhythmic dip of the oars, the fragmentary
    song of a passing bird heard now and then, as if it were only the
    overflowing of brimful gladness, the sweet solitude of a twofold
    consciousness that was mingled into one by that grave, untiring gaze
    which need not be averted,--what else could there be in their minds
    for the first hour? Some low, subdued, languid exclamation of love
    came from Stephen from time to time, as he went on rowing idly, half
    automatically; otherwise they spoke no word; for what could words have
    been but an inlet to thought? and thought did not belong to that
    enchanted haze in which they were enveloped,--it belonged to the past
    and the future that lay outside the haze. Maggie was only dimly
    conscious of the banks, as they passed them, and dwelt with no
    recognition on the villages; she knew there were several to be passed
    before they reached Luckreth, where they always stopped and left the
    boat. At all times she was so liable to fits of absence, that she was
    likely enough to let her waymarks pass unnoticed.

    But at last Stephen, who had been rowing more and more idly, ceased to
    row, laid down the oars, folded his arms, and looked down on the water
    as if watching the pace at which the boat glided without his help.
    This sudden change roused Maggie. She looked at the far-stretching
    fields, at the banks close by, and felt that they were entirely
    strange to her. A terrible alarm took possession of her.

    "Oh, have we passed Luckreth, where we were to stop?" she exclaimed,
    looking back to see if the place were out of sight. No village was to
    be seen. She turned around again, with a look of distressed
    questioning at Stephen.

    He went on watching the water, and said, in a strange, dreamy, absent
    tone, "Yes, a long way."

    "Oh, what shall I do?" cried Maggie, in an agony. "We shall not get
    home for hours, and Lucy? O God, help me!"

    She clasped her hands and broke into a sob, like a frightened child;
    she thought of nothing but of meeting Lucy, and seeing her look of
    pained surprise and doubt, perhaps of just upbraiding.

    Stephen moved and sat near her, and gently drew down the clasped
    hands.

    "Maggie," he said, in a deep tone of slow decision, "let us never go
    home again, till no one can part us,--till we are married."

    The unusual tone, the startling words, arrested Maggie's sob, and she
    sat quite still, wondering; as if Stephen might have seen some
    possibilities that would alter everything, and annul the wretched
    facts.

    "See, Maggie, how everything has come without our seeking,--in spite
    of all our efforts. We never thought of being alone together again; it
    has all been done by others. See how the tide is carrying us out, away
    from all those unnatural bonds that we have been trying to make faster
    round us, and trying in vain. It will carry us on to Torby, and we can
    land there, and get some carriage, and hurry on to York and then to
    Scotland,--and never pause a moment till we are bound to each other,
    so that only death can part us. It is the only right thing, dearest;
    it is the only way of escaping from this wretched entanglement.
    Everything has concurred to point it out to us. We have contrived
    nothing, we have thought of nothing ourselves."

    Stephen spoke with deep, earnest pleading. Maggie listened, passing
    from her startled wonderment to the yearning after that belief that
    the tide was doing it all, that she might glide along with the swift,
    silent stream, and not struggle any more. But across that stealing
    influence came the terrible shadow of past thoughts; and the sudden
    horror lest now, at last, the moment of fatal intoxication was close
    upon her, called up feelings of angry resistance toward Stephen.

    "Let me go!" she said, in an agitated tone, flashing an indignant look
    at him, and trying to get her hands free. "You have wanted to deprive
    me of any choice. You knew we were come too far; you have dared to
    take advantage of my thoughtlessness. It is unmanly to bring me into
    such a position."

    Stung by this reproach, he released her hands, moved back to his
    former place, and folded his arms, in a sort of desperation at the
    difficulty Maggie's words had made present to him. If she would not
    consent to go on, he must curse himself for the embarrassment he had
    led her into. But the reproach was the unendurable thing; the one
    thing worse than parting with her was, that she should feel he had
    acted unworthily toward her. At last he said, in a tone of suppressed
    rage,--

    "I didn't notice that we had passed Luckreth till we had got to the
    next village; and then it came into my mind that we would go on. I
    can't justify it; I ought to have told you. It is enough to make you
    hate me, since you don't love me well enough to make everything else
    indifferent to you, as I do you. Shall I stop the boat and try to get
    you out here? I'll tell Lucy that I was mad, and that you hate me; and
    you shall be clear of me forever. No one can blame you, because I have
    behaved unpardonably to you."

    Maggie was paralyzed; it was easier to resist Stephen's pleading than
    this picture he had called up of himself suffering while she was
    vindicated; easier even to turn away from his look of tenderness than
    from this look of angry misery, that seemed to place her in selfish
    isolation from him. He had called up a state of feeling in which the
    reasons which had acted on her conscience seemed to be transmitted
    into mere self-regard. The indignant fire in her eyes was quenched,
    and she began to look at him with timid distress. She had reproached
    him for being hurried into irrevocable trespass,--she, who had been so
    weak herself.

    "As if I shouldn't feel what happened to you--just the same," she
    said, with reproach of another kind,--the reproach of love, asking for
    more trust. This yielding to the idea of Stephen's suffering was more
    fatal than the other yielding, because it was less distinguishable
    from that sense of others' claims which was the moral basis of her
    resistance.

    He felt all the relenting in her look and tone; it was heaven opening
    again. He moved to her side, and took her hand, leaning his elbow on
    the back of the boat, and saying nothing. He dreaded to utter another
    word, he dreaded to make another movement, that might provoke another
    reproach or denial from her. Life hung on her consent; everything else
    was hopeless, confused, sickening misery. They glided along in this
    way, both resting in that silence as in a haven, both dreading lest
    their feelings should be divided again,--till they became aware that
    the clouds had gathered, and that the slightest perceptible freshening
    of the breeze was growing and growing, so that the whole character of
    the day was altered.

    "You will be chill, Maggie, in this thin dress. Let me raise the cloak
    over your shoulders. Get up an instant, dearest."

    Maggie obeyed; there was an unspeakable charm in being told what to
    do, and having everything decided for her. She sat down again covered
    with the cloak, and Stephen took to his oars again, making haste; for
    they must try to get to Torby as fast as they could. Maggie was hardly
    conscious of having said or done anything decisive. All yielding is
    attended with a less vivid consciousness than resistance; it is the
    partial sleep of thought; it is the submergence of our own personality
    by another. Every influence tended to lull her into acquiescence. That
    dreamy gliding in the boat which had lasted for four hours, and had
    brought some weariness and exhaustion; the recoil of her fatigued
    sensations from the impracticable difficulty of getting out of the
    boat at this unknown distance from home, and walking for long
    miles,--all helped to bring her into more complete subjection to that
    strong, mysterious charm which made a last parting from Stephen seem
    the death of all joy, and made the thought of wounding him like the
    first touch of the torturing iron before which resolution shrank. And
    then there was the present happiness of being with him, which was
    enough to absorb all her languid energy.

    Presently Stephen observed a vessel coming after them. Several
    vessels, among them the steamer to Mudport, had passed them with the
    early tide, but for the last hour they had seen none. He looked more
    and more eagerly at this vessel, as if a new thought had come into his
    mind along with it, and then he looked at Maggie hesitatingly.

    "Maggie, dearest," he said at last, "if this vessel should be going to
    Mudport, or to any convenient place on the coast northward, it would
    be our best plan to get them to take us on board. You are fatigued,
    and it may soon rain; it may be a wretched business, getting to Torby
    in this boat. It's only a trading vessel, but I dare say you can be
    made tolerably comfortable. We'll take the cushions out of the boat.
    It is really our best plan. They'll be glad enough to take us. I've
    got plenty of money about me. I can pay them well."

    Maggie's heart began to beat with reawakened alarm at this new
    proposition; but she was silent,--one course seemed as difficult as
    another.

    Stephen hailed the vessel. It was a Dutch vessel going to Mudport, the
    English mate informed him, and, if this wind held, would be there in
    less than two days.

    "We had got out too far with our boat," said Stephen. "I was trying to
    make for Torby. But I'm afraid of the weather; and this lady--my
    wife--will be exhausted with fatigue and hunger. Take us on
    board--will you?--and haul up the boat. I'll pay you well."

    Maggie, now really faint and trembling with fear, was t aken on board,
    making an interesting object of contemplation to admiring Dutchmen.
    The mate feared the lady would have a poor time of it on board, for
    they had no accommodation for such entirely unlooked-for
    passengers,--no private cabin larger than an old-fashioned church-pew.
    But at least they had Dutch cleanliness, which makes all other
    inconveniences tolerable; and the boat cushions were spread into a
    couch for Maggie on the poop with all alacrity. But to pace up and
    down the deck leaning on Stephen--being upheld by his strength--was
    the first change that she needed; then came food, and then quiet
    reclining on the cushions, with the sense that no new resolution
    _could_ be taken that day. Everything must wait till to-morrow.
    Stephen sat beside her with her hand in his; they could only speak to
    each other in low tones; only look at each other now and then, for it
    would take a long while to dull the curiosity of the five men on
    board, and reduce these handsome young strangers to that minor degree
    of interest which belongs, in a sailor's regard, to all objects nearer
    than the horizon. But Stephen was triumphantly happy. Every other
    thought or care was thrown into unmarked perspective by the certainty
    that Maggie must be his. The leap had been taken now; he had been
    tortured by scruples, he had fought fiercely with overmastering
    inclination, he had hesitated; but repentance was impossible. He
    murmured forth in fragmentary sentences his happiness, his adoration,
    his tenderness, his belief that their life together must be heaven,
    that her presence with him would give rapture to every common day;
    that to satisfy her lightest wish was dearer to him than all other
    bliss; that everything was easy for her sake, except to part with her;
    and now they never _would_ part; he would belong to her forever, and
    all that was his was hers,--had no value for him except as it was
    hers. Such things, uttered in low, broken tones by the one voice that
    has first stirred the fibre of young passion, have only a feeble
    effect--on experienced minds at a distance from them. To poor Maggie
    they were very near; they were like nectar held close to thirsty lips;
    there was, there _must_ be, then, a life for mortals here below which
    was not hard and chill,--in which affection would no longer be
    self-sacrifice. Stephen's passionate words made the vision of such a
    life more fully present to her than it had ever been before; and the
    vision for the time excluded all realities,--all except the returning
    sun-gleams which broke out on the waters as the evening approached,
    and mingled with the visionary sunlight of promised happiness; all
    except the hand that pressed hers, and the voice that spoke to her,
    and the eyes that looked at her with grave, unspeakable love.

    There was to be no rain, after all; the clouds rolled off to the
    horizon again, making the great purple rampart and long purple isles
    of that wondrous land which reveals itself to us when the sun goes
    down,--the land that the evening star watches over. Maggie was to
    sleep all night on the poop; it was better than going below; and she
    was covered with the warmest wrappings the ship could furnish. It was
    still early, when the fatigues of the day brought on a drowsy longing
    for perfect rest, and she laid down her head, looking at the faint,
    dying flush in the west, where the one golden lamp was getting
    brighter and brighter. Then she looked up at Stephen, who was still
    seated by her, hanging over her as he leaned his arm against the
    vessel's side. Behind all the delicious visions of these last hours,
    which had flowed over her like a soft stream, and made her entirely
    passive, there was the dim consciousness that the condition was a
    transient one, and that the morrow must bring back the old life of
    struggle; that there were thoughts which would presently avenge
    themselves for this oblivion. But now nothing was distinct to her; she
    was being lulled to sleep with that soft stream still flowing over
    her, with those delicious visions melting and fading like the wondrous
    aerial land of the west.
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