More from the siege of Exeter
“I pray for you, you know?” Fletcher whispers. “When I can. I ask God to release you from your suffering.”
Strelley’s eyes close, fighting back the tears that this simple revelation bring. “I have abandoned any prayers on my own behalf. You were wrong, you know, in the cathedral. I was asking God to look after you, after Longshawe and de Winter and Pike, and Andrew Shepherd. Elizabeth too, and my sister, and Caroline. Not me.”
“I was not wrong, Edward.”
“I have just told you-”
“That your prayers were for anyone other than yourself. I know. But it is my turn to tell you: you will not turn God to your side no matter how much good you do. You cannot bargain with him. Accept your fate, Edward, and abandon this hope that somehow, one day, you and Elizabeth will be together.” Strelley remains silent at this. “You might choose differently. You might say rather that you will take the gamble, risk everything for yourself and for her, and go to her. But your conscience says that you must not do that. Those are your choices. This, whatever it is, this strategy to win her by your good deeds… there is no third way.”
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When to the sessions of sweet silent thought