So farre they walked, and held on this kinde of discoursing, asevery Lady and Gentlewoman, waxing weary of too long a continuedargument, began to separate her selfe with such an associate as sheebest liked, and as in such walking women are wont to doe; so thatMadam Catulla having few females left with her, stayed behind withMinutolo, who sodainly shot forth a word concerning her husbandPhilipello, and of his loving another woman beside her selfe. She thatwas overmuch jealous before, became so sodainely set on fire to knowwhat shee was of whom Minutolo spake, as she sat silent a longwhile, til being able to containe no longer, shee entreatedRicciardo even for the Ladies sake, whose love he had so devoutlyembraced, to resolve her certainly in this strange alteration of herhusband; whereunto thus he answered.
On reaching home D'Artagnan found Kitty waiting for him. Amonth of fever could not have changed her more than this onenight of sleeplessness and sorrow.
"How, then, did you know of it?"
The young couple came to live in the neighborhood in which I was then established in practice. I was present at the wedding, and was rather surprised to find that Arthur was singularly reserved with me, both before and after his marriage, on the subject of the young lady’s prior engagement. He only referred to it once when we were alone, merely telling me, on that occasion, that his wife had done all that honor and duty required of her in the matter, and that the engagement had been broken off with the full approval of her parents. I never heard more from him than this. For three years he and his wife lived together happily. At the expiration of that time the symptoms of a serious illness first declared themselves in Mrs. Arthur Holliday. It turned out to be a long, lingering, hopeless malady. I attended her throughout. We had been great friends when she was well, and we became more attached to each other than ever when she was ill. I had many long and interesting conversations with her in the intervals when she suffered least. The result of one of those conversations I may briefly relate, leaving you to draw any inferences from it that you please.