CHAPTER LV.

I did think of it, and scandalous consequences followed. Philip came to us and lived in our house.

Let me hasten to add that the protest of Propriety was duly entered, on the day before my promised husband arrived. Standing in the doorway--nothing would induce her to take a chair, or even to enter the room-- Miss Jillgall delivered an harangue. Mrs. Tenbruggen reported it in her pocket-book, as if she was representing a newspaper at a public meeting. Here it is, copied from her notes:

"Miss Helena Gracedieu, my first impulse under the present disgusting circumstances was to leave the house, and earn a bare crust in the cheapest garret I could find in the town. But my grateful heart remembers Mr. Gracedieu. My poor afflicted cousin was good to me when I was helpless. I cannot forsake him when he is helpless. At whatever sacrifice of my own self-respect, I remain under this roof so dear to me for the Minister's sake. I notice, Miss, that you smile. I see my once dear Elizabeth, the friend who has so bitterly disappointed me--" She stopped and put her handkerchief to her eyes, and went on again--" the friend who has so bitterly disappointed me, taking satirical notes of what I say. I am not ashamed of what I say. The virtue which will not stretch a little, where the motive is good, is feeble virtue indeed. I shall stay in the house, and witness horrors, [and rise superior to them. Good-morning, Miss Gracedieu. Good-morning Elizabeth." She performed a magnificent curtsey, and (as Mrs. Tenbruggen's experience of the stage informed me) made a very creditable exit.

A week has passed, and I have not opened my diary.

My days have glided away in one delicious flow of happiness. Philip has been delightfully devoted to me. His fervent courtship, far exceeding any similar attentions which he may once have paid to Eunice, has shown such variety and such steadfastness of worship, that I despair of describing it. My enjoyment of my new life is to be felt--not to be coldly considered, and reduced to an imperfect statement in words.

-252-

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The Legacy of Cain
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • First Period: 1858-1859. - Events in the Prison, Related by the Governor. 3
  • Chapter II 4
  • Chapter IV 7
  • Chapter VI 14
  • Chapter VIII 22
  • Chapter IX 26
  • Chapter X 30
  • Second Period: 1875. - The Girls and the Journals--Helena's Diary. 40
  • Chapter XIII - Eunice's Diary 46
  • Chapter XIV - Helena's Diary 59
  • Chapter XV - Helena's Diary 66
  • Chapter XVII 72
  • Chapter XVII - Eunice's Diary. 76
  • Chapter XIX 80
  • Chapter XX 84
  • Chapter XXI - Helena's Diary 89
  • Chapter XXII - Eunice's Diary. 93
  • Chapter XXIII 97
  • Chapter XXIV 100
  • Chapter XXV - Helena's Diary 104
  • Chapter XXVI 108
  • Chapter XXVIII - Helena's Diary 115
  • Chapter XXIX 121
  • Chapter XXX - Eunice's Diary. 127
  • Chapter XXXII - Events in the Family, Related by the Governor. 135
  • Chapter XXXIII - Related by the Governor 140
  • Chapter XXXIV 145
  • Chapter XXXV 151
  • Chapter XXXVI - Related by the Governor. 155
  • Chapter XXXVII 160
  • Chapter XXXVIII - Related by the Governor. 165
  • Chapter XXXIX 174
  • Chapter XLI - Related by the Governor. 182
  • Chapter XLII 188
  • Chapter XLIII 197
  • Chapter XLV 206
  • Chapter XLVI 213
  • Chapter XLVIII 217
  • Chapter XLIX 227
  • Chapter LI 233
  • Chapter LIII 240
  • Chapter LIV 248
  • Chapter LV 252
  • Chapter LVII 258
  • Chapter LVIII 262
  • Chapter LX 272
  • Chapter LXI 276
  • Last Period. 282
  • Chapter LXIII 289
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