Brief but severe was the struggle in Edna's heart. Probably no woman's literary vanity and ambition has ever been more fully gratified than was hers, by this most unexpected offer of marriage from one whom she had been taught to regard as the noblest ornament of the profession she had selected. Thinking of the hour when she sat alone, shedding tears of mortification and bitter disappointment over his curt letter rejecting her MS., she glanced at the stately form beside her, the mysteriously calm, commanding face, the large white, finely moulded hands, waiting to clasp hers for all time, and her triumph seemed complete. To rule the destiny of that strong man, whose intellect was so influential in the world of letters, was a conquest of which, until this hour, she had never dreamed; and the blacksmith's darling was, after all, a mere woman, and the honor dazzled her.
To one of her peculiar temperament wealth offered no
temptation; but Douglass Manning had climbed to a grand eminence, and,
looking up at it, she knew that any woman might well be proud to share
He filled her ideal, he came fully up to her lofty moral and
mental standard. She knew that his superior she could never hope to
meet, and her confidence in his nobility of character was boundless.