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mine to you, since you explained that for reasons of your own you did
not wish to speak of these matters before my cousin Margaret, and could
not wed me until she and her father and her lover were gone from
Granada. So I bade them farewell, and stayed here alone for love of you,
as I fled from London for love of you, and last night we were united, as
all your household know, for but now I have eaten with them and received
their good wishes. And now you dare--you dare to tell me, that I, your
wife--I, who have sacrificed everything for you, I, the Marchioness of
Morella, am _not_ your wife. Well, go, say it outside this chamber, and
hear your very slaves cry 'Shame' upon you. Go, say it to your king and
your bishops, aye, and to his Holiness the Pope himself, and listen to
their answer. Why, great as you are, and rich as you are, they will
hale you to a mad-house or a prison."
Morella listened, rocking himself to and fro upon the bed, then with an
oath sprang towards her, to be met by a dagger-point glinting in
"Hear me again," she said as he shrank back from that cold steel. "I am
no slave and no weakling; you shall not murder me or thrust me away. I
am your wife and your equal, aye, and stronger than you in body and in
mind, and I will have my rights in the face of God and man."
"Certainly," he said with a kind of unwilling admiration--"certainly you
are no weakling. Certainly, also, you have paid back all you owe me with
a Jew's interest. Or, mayhap, you are not so clever as I think, but just
a strong-minded fool, and it is that accursed Inez who has settled her
debts. Oh! to think of it," and he shook his fist in the air, "to think
that I believed myself married to the Dona Margaret, and find you in her
"Be silent," she said, "you man without shame, who first fly at the
throat of your new-wedded wife and then insult her by saying that you
wish you were wedded to another woman. Be silent, or I will unlock the
door and call your own people and repeat your monstrous talk to them."
And she drew herself to her full height and stood over him on the bed.
Morella, his first rage spent, looked at her reflectively, and not
without a certain measure of homage.
"I think," he remarked, "that if he did not happen to be in love with
another woman and to believe that he had married her, you, my good
Betty, would make a useful wife to any man who wished to get on in the
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