"Alfred, you are a high-minded Heathen, and talk Morality. Morality is a snare. What I pray to be is a Christian, as your dear sister was, and to deny myself; and you make it, oh so difficult."
"So I suppose it will end in turning out your heathen and then taking your curate. Your mother would consent to that directly."
"Alfred," said Julia with dignity, "these words are harsh, and--forgive me for saying so--they are coarse. Such words would separate us two, without my mother, if I were to hear many of them; for they take the bloom off affection, and that mutual reverence, without which no gentleman and lady could be blessed in holy wedlock."
Alfred was staggered and mortified too: they walked on in silence now.
"Alfred," said Julia at last, "do not think me behind you in affection, but wiser, for once, and our best friend. I do think we had better see less of one another for a time, my poor Alfred."
"And why for a time? Why not for ever?"
"If your heart draws no distinction, why not indeed?"
"So be it then: for I will be no woman's slave. There's my hand, Julia: let us part friends."