“I will do right,” she cried out loud to them in answer, “Only trust me. I am so tired and it is all so difficult to believe and to understand. But I am trying to understand. I shall understand, if you will give me time and not hurry me. And, when I understand, indeed, indeed, you may trust me, whatever it costs, to do right.”
Just then Mary opened the door, entering quickly, and behind her came Dr. McCabe, to find Damaris talking, talking wildly, sitting up, parched and vivid with fever, in the disordered bed.
TELLING HOW TWO PERSONS, OF VERY DIFFERENT MORAL CALIBRE, WERE COMPELLED TO WEAR THE FLOWER OF HUMILIATION IN THEIR RESPECTIVE BUTTONHOLES
Cross-country connections by rail were not easy to make, with the consequence that Sir Charles Verity,—Hordle, gun-cases, bags and portmanteaux, in attendance—did not reach The Hard until close upon midnight.
Hearing the brougham at last drive up, Theresa Bilson felt rapturously fluttered. Her course had been notably empty of situations and of adventure; drama, as in the case of so many ladies of her profession—the pages of fiction notwithstanding—conspicuously cold-shouldering and giving her the go-by. Now, drama, and that of richest quality might perhaps—for she admitted the existence of awkward conjunctions—be said to batter at her door. She thought of the Miss Minetts, her ever-willing audience. She thought also—as so frequently during the last, in some respects, extremely unsatisfactory twenty-four hours—of Mr. Rochester and of Jane Eyre. Not that she ranged herself with Jane socially or as to scholastic attainments. In both these, as in natural refinement, propriety and niceness of ideas, she reckoned herself easily to surpass that much canvassed heroine. The flavour of the evangelical charity-school adhered—incontestably it adhered, and that to Jane’s disadvantage. No extravagance of Protestantism or of applied philanthropy, thank heaven, clouded Theresa’s early record. The genius of Tractarianism had rocked her cradle, and subsequently ruled her studies with a narrowly complacent pedantry all its own. Nevertheless in moments of expansion, such as the present, she felt the parallel between her own case and that of Jane did, in certain directions, romantically hold. Fortified by thought of the Miss Minetts’ agitated interest in all which might befall her, she indulged in imaginary conversations with that great proconsul, her employer—the theme of which, purged of lyrical redundancies, reduced itself to the somewhat crude announcement that “your daughter, yes, may, alas, not impossibly be taken from you; but I, Theresa, still remain.”