“They like and admire you—they want to help you."
She shook her head and sighed. "Oh, I know—I know! But on condition that they don't hear anything unpleasant. Aunt Welland put it in those very words when I tried…. Does no one want to know the truth here, Mr. Archer? The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend!"
She lifted her hands to her face, and he saw her thin shoulders shaken by a sob.
"Madame Olenska!—Oh, don't, Ellen," he cried, starting up and bending over her. He drew down one of her hands, clasping and chafing it like a child's while he murmured reassuring words; but in a moment she freed herself, and looked up at him with wet lashes.”