THE RIVALS
2023-11-21 06:30:2 Author: hackernoon.com(查看原文) 阅读量:2 收藏

Too Long; Didn't Read

During these days the intercourse between Lady Carbury and her daughter was constrained and far from pleasant. Hetta, thinking that she was ill-used, kept herself aloof, and would not speak to her mother of herself or of her troubles. Lady Carbury watching her, but not daring to say much, was at last almost frightened at her girl's silence. She had assured herself, when she found that Hetta was disposed to quarrel with her lover and to send him back his brooch, that "things would come round," that Paul would be forgotten quickly,—or laid aside as though he were forgotten,—and that Hetta would soon perceive it to be her interest to marry her cousin. With such a prospect before her, Lady Carbury thought it to be her duty as a mother to show no tendency to sympathise with her girl's sorrow. Such heart-breakings were occurring daily in the world around them. Who were the happy people that were driven neither by ambition, nor poverty, nor greed, nor the cross purposes of unhappy love, to stifle and trample upon their feelings? She had known no one so blessed. She had never been happy after that fashion. She herself had within the last few weeks refused to join her lot with that of a man she really liked, because her wicked son was so grievous a burden on her shoulders. A woman, she thought, if she were unfortunate enough to be a lady without wealth of her own, must give up everything, her body, her heart,—her very soul if she were that way troubled,—to the procuring of a fitting maintenance for herself. Why should Hetta hope to be more fortunate than others? And then the position which chance now offered to her was fortunate. This cousin of hers, who was so devoted to her, was in all respects good. He would not torture her by harsh restraint and cruel temper. He would not drink. He would not spend his money foolishly. He would allow her all the belongings of a fair, free life. Lady Carbury reiterated to herself the assertion that she was manifestly doing a mother's duty by her endeavours to constrain her girl to marry such a man. With a settled purpose she was severe and hard. But when she found how harsh her daughter could be in response to this,—how gloomy, how silent, and how severe in retaliation,—she was almost frightened at what she herself was doing. She had not known how stern and how enduring her daughter could be. "Hetta," she said, "why don't you speak to me?" On this very day it was Hetta's purpose to visit Mrs. Hurtle at Islington. She had said no word of her intention to any one. She had chosen the Friday because on that day she knew her mother would go in the afternoon to her publisher. There should be no deceit. Immediately on her return she would tell her mother what she had done. But she considered herself to be emancipated from control. Among them they had robbed her of her lover. She had submitted to the robbery, but she would submit to nothing else. "Hetta, why don't you speak to me?" said Lady Carbury.


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