Poor Jemima little thought of the four sharp eyes that watched her daily course while she sat alone, as she fancied, with her secret in her own room. For, in a passionate fit of grieving, at the impatient, hasty temper which had made her so seriously displease Mr. Farquhar that he had gone away without remonstrance, without more leave-taking than a distant bow, she had begun to suspect that, rather than not be noticed at all by him, rather than be an object of indifference to him--oh! far rather would she be an object of anger and upbraiding; and the thoughts that followed this confession to herself stunned and bewildered her; and for once that they made her dizzy with hope, ten times they made her sick with fear. For an instant she planned to become and to be all he could wish her; to change her very nature for him. And then a great gush of pride came over her, and she set her teeth tight together, and determined that he should either love her as she was or not at all. Unless he could take her with all her faults, she would not care for his regard; "love" was too noble a word to call such cold, calculating feeling as his must be, who went about with a pattern idea in his mind, trying to find a wife to match. Besides, there was something degrading, Jemima thought, in trying to alter herself to gain the love of any human creature. And yet, if he did not care for her, if this late indifference were to last, what a great shroud was drawn over life! Could she bear it?
From the agony she dared not look at, but which she was going to risk encountering, she was aroused by the presence of her mother.
"Jemima! your father wants to speak to you in the dining-room."
"Oh! he is fidgeted by something Mr. Farquhar said to me and which I repeated. I am sure I thought there was no harm in it, and your father always likes me to tell him what everybody says in his absence."
Jemima went with a heavy heart into her father's presence.
He was walking up and down the room, and did not see her at first.
"O Jemima! is that you? Has your mother told you what I want to speak to you about?"
"No!" said Jemima. "Not exactly."
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