George Eliot's Zionist Novel - 1876
Daniel Deronda - George Eliot's Zionist Novel - 1876
"No, it can't," said Hans, impetuously, throwing down his tools, thrusting his hands into his coat-pockets, and turning round to face Deronda, who drew back a little and looked at him with amazement. Hans went on in the same tone--
"Our friendship--my friendship--can't bear the strain of behaving to you like an ungrateful dastard and grudging you your happiness. For you are the happiest dog in the world. If Mirah loves anybody better than her brother, you are the man."
Hans turned on his heel and threw himself into his chair, looking up at Deronda with an expression the reverse of tender. Something like a shock passed through Deronda, and, after an instant, he said--
"It is a good-natured fiction of yours, Hans."
"I am not in a good-natured mood. I assure you I found the fact disagreeable when it was thrust on me--all the more, or perhaps all the less, because I believed then that your heart was pledged to the duchess. But now, confound you! you turn out to be in love in the right place--a Jew--and everything eligible."
"Tell me what convinced you--there's a good fellow," said Deronda, distrusting a delight that he was unused to.
"Don't ask. Little mother was witness. The upshot is, that Mirah is jealous of the duchess, and the sooner you relieve your mind the better. There! I've cleared off a score or two, and may be allowed to swear at you for getting what you deserve--which is just the very best luck I know of."
"God bless you, Hans!" said Deronda, putting out his hand, which the other took and wrung in silence.
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