“It was a meagre enough life, on the grim edge of poverty, with scant margin for possibilities of sickness or mischance, but it had the frail audacious permanence of a bird's nest built on the edge of a cliff—a mere wisp of leaves and straw, yet so put together that the lives entrusted to it may hang safely over the abyss.
Yes—but it had taken two to build the nest; the man's faith as well as the woman's courage. Lily remembered Nettie's words: I KNEW HE KNEW ABOUT ME. Her husband's faith in her had made her renewal possible—it is so easy for a woman to become what the man she loves believes her to be!
Well—Selden had twice been ready to stake his faith on Lily Bart; but the third trial had been too severe for his endurance. The very quality of his love had made it the more impossible to recall to life.”