Vendetta: a story of one forgotten eBook

Marie Corelli
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 420 pages of information about Vendetta.
of the nuns who mortify their flesh, fast, pray and weep?  No lesson at all—­nothing save mockery and contempt.  To a girl in the heyday of youth and beauty the life of a religieuse seems ridiculous.  “The poor nuns!” she says, with a laugh; “they are so ignorant.  Their time is over—­mine has not yet begun.”  Few, very few, among the thousands of young women who leave the scene of their quiet schooldays for the social whirligig of the world, ever learn to take life in earnest, love in earnest, sorrow in earnest.  To most of them life is a large dressmaking and millinery establishment; love a question of money and diamonds; sorrow a solemn calculacalculation as to how much or how little mourning is considered becoming or fashionable.  And for creatures such as these we men work—­work till our hairs are gray and our backs bent with toil—­work till all the joy and zest of living has gone from us, and our reward is—­what?  Happiness?—­seldom.  Infidelity?—­often.  Ridicule?  Truly we ought to be glad if we are only ridiculed and thrust back to occupy the second place in our own houses; our lady-wives call that “kind treatment.”  Is there a married woman living who does not now and then throw a small stone of insolent satire at her husband when his back is turned?  What, madame?  You, who read these words—­you say with indignation:  “Certainly there is, and I am that woman!” Ah, truly?  I salute you profoundly!—­you are, no doubt, the one exception!

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Avellino is one of those dreamy, quiet and picturesque towns which have not as yet been desecrated by the Vandal tourist.  Persons holding “through tickets” from Messrs. Cook or Gaze do not stop there—­there are no “sights” save the old sanctuary called Monte Virgine standing aloft on its rugged hill, with all the memories of its ancient days clinging to it like a wizard’s cloak, and wrapping it in a sort of mysterious meditative silence.  It can look back through a vista of eventful years to the eleventh century, when it was erected, so the people say, on the ruins of a temple of Cybele.  But what do the sheep and geese that are whipped abroad in herds by the drovers Cook and Gaze know of Monte Virgine or Cybele?  Nothing—­ and they care less; and quiet Avellino escapes from their depredations, thankful that it is not marked on the business map of the drovers’ “Runs.”  Shut in by the lofty Apennines, built on the slope of the hill that winds gently down into a green and fruitful valley through which the river Sabato rushes and gleams white against cleft rocks that look like war-worn and deserted castles, a drowsy peace encircles it, and a sort of stateliness, which, compared with the riotous fun and folly of Naples only thirty miles away, is as though the statue of a nude Egeria were placed in rivalry with the painted waxen image of a half-dressed ballet-dancer.  Few lovelier sights are to be seen in nature than a sunset from one of

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