The House of Mirth
She smiled up at him frankly. "But I don't think you dislike me – and you can't possibly think I want to marry you."
"No – I absolve you of that," he agreed.
"Well, then – – ?" (1.1.57-9)
It had always seemed to Selden that experience offered a great deal besides the sentimental adventure, yet he could vividly conceive of a love which should broaden and deepen till it became the central fact of life. (1.14.9)
But she is dangerous – and if I ever saw her up to mischief it's now. I can tell by poor George's manner. That man is a perfect barometer – he always knows when Bertha is going to – – "
"To fall?" Miss Bart suggested.
"Don't be shocking! You know he believes in her still. And of course I don't say there's any real harm in Bertha. Only she delights in making people miserable, and especially poor George."
"Well, he seems cut out for the part – I don't wonder she likes more cheerful companionship."
"Oh, George is not as dismal as you think. If Bertha did worry him he would be quite different. Or if she'd leave him alone, and let him arrange his life as he pleases. But she doesn't dare lose her hold of him on account of the money, and so when HE isn't jealous she pretends to be." (1.4.42-6)