Vendetta: a story of one forgotten eBook

Marie Corelli
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 542 pages of information about Vendetta.
him.  An admirable arrangement no doubt—­but one that would not suit me.  Chacun a son gout!  It would be curious to know in matters of this kind whether divorced persons are really satisfied when they have got their divorce—­whether the amount of red tape and parchment expended in their interest has done them good and really relieved their feelings.  Whether, for instance, the betrayed husband is glad to have got rid of his unfaithful wife by throwing her (with the full authority and permission of the law) into his rival’s arms?  I almost doubt it!  I heard of a strange case in England once.  A man, moving in good society, having more than suspicions of his wife’s fidelity, divorced her—­the law pronounced her guilty.  Some years afterward, he being free, met her again, fell in love with her for the second time and remarried her.  She was (naturally!) delighted at his making such a fool of himself—­for henceforth, whatever she chose to do, he could not reasonably complain without running the risk of being laughed at.  So now the number and variety of her lovers is notorious in the particular social circle where she moves—­while he, poor wretch, is perforce tongue-tied, and dare not consider himself wronged.  There is no more pitiable object in the world than such a man—­secretly derided and jeered at by his fellows, he occupies an almost worse position than that of a galley slave, while in his own esteem he has sunk so low that he dare not, even in secret, try to fathom the depth to which he has fallen.  Some may assert that to be divorced is a social stigma.  It used to be so perhaps, but society has grown very lenient nowadays.  Divorced women hold their own in the best and most brilliant circles, and what is strange is that they are very generally petted and pitied.

“Poor thing!” says society, putting up its eyeglass to scan admiringly the beautiful heroine of the latest aristocratic scandal--"she had such a brute of a husband!  No wonder she liked that dear Lord So-and-So!  Very wrong of her, of course, but she is so young!  She was married at sixteen—­quite a child!—­could not have known her own mind!”

The husband alluded to might have been the best and most chivalrous of men—­anything but a “brute”—­yet he always figures as such somehow, and gets no sympathy.  And, by the way, it is rather a notable fact that all the beautiful, famous, or notorious women were “married at sixteen.”  How is this managed?  I can account for it in southern climates, where girls are full-grown at sixteen and old at thirty—­but I cannot understand its being the case in England, where a “miss” of sixteen is a most objectionable and awkward ingenue, without any of the “charms wherewith to charm,” and whose conversation is always vapid and silly to the point of absolute exhaustion on the part of those who are forced to listen to it.  These sixteen-year-old marriages are, however, the only explanation frisky English matrons can give for having such alarmingly prolific families

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Vendetta: a story of one forgotten from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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