He trembled lest he had offended her.
"I beseech you," he began.
But she went on in a voice vibrating with emotion,"I am not of those who basely deny their past. Your dream willnever be realized. Those things are only seen on the stage. Ifit did realize itself, however, if the carriage with thecoat-of-arms did come to the door, the companion of the evil days,the friend who offered me his month's salary to pay my debt, wouldhave a seat by my side."That was more happiness than Maxence would have dared to hope for.
He tried, in order to express his gratitude, to find some of thosewords which always seem to be lacking at the most critical moments.
Tips, opportunities to make money：Make money on the Internet 5 to find a lord ringBut he was suffocating; and the tears, accumulated by so manysuccessive emotions, were rising to his eyes.
Tips, opportunities to make money：Write a good review to other people's stores online?With a passionate impulse, he seized Mlle. Lucienne's hand, and,taking it to his lips, he covered it with kisses. Gently butresolutely she withdrew her hand, and, fixing upon him her beautifulclear gaze,"Friends," she uttered.
Her accent alone would have been sufficient to dissipate thepresumptuous illusions of Maxence, had he had any. But he had none.
"Friends only," he replied, "until the day when you shall be my wife.
You cannot forbid me to hope. You love no one?""No one.""Well since we are going to tread the path of life, let me thinkthat we may find love at some turn of the road."She made no answer. And thus was sealed between them a treaty offriendship, to which they were to remain so strictly faithful, thatthe word "love" never once rose to their lips.
In appearance there was no change in their mode of life.
Every morning, at seven o'clock, Mlle. Lucienne went to M. VanKlopen's, and an hour later Maxence started for his office. Theyreturned home at night, and spent their evenings together by thefireside.
But what was easy to foresee now took place.
Weak and undecided by nature, Maxence began very soon to feel theinfluence of the obstinate and energetic character of the girl.
She infused, as it were, in his veins, a warmer and more generousblood. Gradually she imbued him with her ideas, and from her ownwill gave him one.
He had told her in all sincerity his history, the miseries of hishome, M. Favoral's parsimony and exaggerated severity, his mother'sresigned timidity, and Mlle. Gilberte's resolute nature.
He had concealed nothing of his past life, of his errors and hisfollies, confessing even the worst of his actions; as, for instance,having abused his mother's and sister's affection to extort fromthem all the money they earned.
He had admitted to her that it was only with great reluctance andunder pressure of necessity, that he worked at all; that he was farfrom being rich; that although he took his dinner with his parents,his salary barely sufficed for his wants; and that he had debts.
He hoped, however, he added, that it would not be always thus, andthat, sooner or later, he would see the termination of all thismisery and privation; for his father had at least fifty thousandfrancs a year and some day he must be rich.
Far from smiling, Mlle. Lucienne frowned at such a prospect.