"What makes people come in!" she cried, crossly. "Oh! it is you, mother," she interrupted herself, with a preoccupied look.
"Yes, child; it is your mother----"
Something in her tone turned those words into an outpouring of the heart, the cry of some deep inward feeling, only to be described by the word "holy." So thoroughly in truth had she rehabilitated the sacred character of a mother, that her daughter was impressed, and turned towards her, with something of awe, uneasiness, and remorse in her manner. The room was the furthest of a suite, and safe from indiscreet intrusion, for no one could enter it without giving warning of approach through the previous apartments. The Marquise closed the door.
"It is my duty, my child, to warn you in one of the most serious crises in the lives of us women; you have perhaps reached it unconsciously, and I am come to speak to you as a friend rather than as a mother. When you married, you acquired freedom of action; you are only accountable to your husband now; but I asserted my authority so little (perhaps I was wrong), that I think I have a right to expect you to listen to me, for once at least, in a critical position when you must need counsel. Bear in mind, Moina that you are married to a man of high ability, a man of whom you may well be proud, a man who--"
"I know what you are going to say, mother!" Moina broke in pettishly. "I am to be lectured about Alfred--"
"Moina," the Marquise said gravely, as she struggled with her tears, "you would not guess at once if you did not feel--"
"What?" asked Moina, almost haughtily. "Why, really, mother--"
Mme. d'Aiglemont summoned up all her strength. "Moina," she said, "you must attend carefully to this that I ought to tell you--"
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