I wound up by laying my hand upon his shoulder, and saying, "I can’t help confiding in you, though I know it must be troublesome to you; but that is your fault, in having ever brought me here."
Mrs. Whimple confides to me that he is certainly going.
That the secret must be confided to Herbert as a matter of unavoidable necessity, even if I could have put the immense relief I should derive from sharing it with him out of the question, was plain to me.
Fearful of having it confirmed, though it was all but a conviction, I avoided the newspapers, and begged Herbert (to whom I had confided the circumstances of our last interview) never to speak of her to me.
It was understood that nothing of a tender nature could possibly be confided to old Barley, by reason of his being totally unequal to the consideration of any subject more psychological than Gout, Rum, and Purser’s stores.
"Not personally," said I. The truth was, that she had objected to me as an expensive companion who did Herbert no good, and that, when Herbert had first proposed to present me to her, she had received the proposal with such very moderate warmth, that Herbert had felt himself obliged to confide the state of the case to me, with a view to the lapse of a little time before I made her acquaintance.
Herbert had told me on former occasions, and now reminded me, that he first knew Miss Clara Barley when she was completing her education at an establishment at Hammersmith, and that on her being recalled home to nurse her father, he and she had confided their affection to the motherly Mrs. Whimple, by whom it had been fostered and regulated with equal kindness and discretion, ever since.
There was something so natural and winning in Clara’s resigned way of looking at these stores in detail, as Herbert pointed them out; and something so confiding, loving, and innocent in her modest manner of yielding herself to Herbert’s embracing arm; and something so gentle in her, so much needing protection on Mill Pond Bank, by Chinks’s Basin, and the Old Green Copper Ropewalk, with Old Barley growling in the beam,—that I would not have undone the engagement between her and Herbertů