"Because this visit will be my last, Andre."
"The last?" stammered the painter. "In what way have I so offended you, that you should inflict so terrible a punishment on me?"
"I do not wish to punish you. You asked for my portrait, and I yielded to your request; but let us talk reasonably. Do you not know that I am risking my reputation by coming here day after day?"
Andre made no reply, for this unexpected blow had almost stunned him.
"Besides," continued Mademoiselle de Mussidan, "what is to be done with the portrait? It must be hidden away, as if it were something we were ashamed of. Remember, on your success hangs our marriage."
"Hasten then to gain all honor and distinction, for the world must agree with me in saying that my choice has been a wise one."
"I fully believe you, dear Andre, and remember what I said to you a year ago. Achieve a name, then go to my father and ask for my hand. If he refuses, if my supplications do not move him, I will quit his roof forever."
"You are right," answered Andre. "I should indeed by a fool if I sacrificed a future happy life for a few hours of present enjoyment, and I will implicitly--"