Vendetta: a story of one forgotten eBook

Marie Corelli
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 420 pages of information about Vendetta.

Obediently Vincenzo lifted the basket and bore it out of the room.  I was relieved when its fragrance and color had vanished.  I, to receive as a gift, the product of my own garden!  Half vexed, half sore at heart, I threw myself into an easychair—­anon I laughed aloud!  So!  Madame commences the game early, I thought.  Already paying these marked attentions to a man she knows nothing of beyond that he is reported to be fabulously wealthy.  Gold, gold forever!  What will it not do!  It will bring the proud to their knees, it will force the obstinate to servile compliance, it will conquer aversion and prejudice.  The world is a slave to its yellow glitter, and the love of woman, that perishable article of commerce, is ever at its command.  Would you obtain a kiss from a pair of ripe-red lips that seem the very abode of honeyed sweetness?  Pay for it then with a lustrous diamond; the larger the gem the longer the kiss!  The more diamonds you give, the more caresses you will get.  The jeunesse doree who ruin themselves and their ancestral homes for the sake of the newest and prettiest female puppet on the stage know this well enough.  I smiled bitterly as I thought of the languid witching look my wife had given me when she said, “You do not seem to be old!” I knew the meaning of her eyes; I had not studied their liquid lights and shadows so long for nothing.  My road to revenge was a straight and perfectly smooth line—­almost too smooth.  I could have wished for some difficulty, some obstruction; but there was none—­ absolutely none.  The traitors walked deliberately into the trap set for them.  Over and over again I asked myself quietly and in cold blood—­was there any reason why I should have pity on them?  Had they shown one redeeming point in their characters?  Was there any nobleness, any honesty, any real sterling good quality in either of them to justify my consideration?  And always the answer came, no!  Hollow to the heart’s core, hypocrites both, liars both—­even the guilty passion they cherished for one another had no real earnestness in it save the pursuit of present pleasure; for she, Nina, in that fatal interview in the avenue where I had been a tortured listener, had hinted at the possibility of tiring of her lover, and he had frankly declared to me that very day that it was absurd to suppose a man could be true to one woman all his life.  In brief, they deserved their approaching fate.  Such men as Guido and such women as my wife, are, I know, common enough in all classes of society, but they are not the less pernicious animals, meriting extermination as much, if not more, than the less harmful beasts of prey.  The poor beasts at any rate tell no lies, and after death their skins are of some value; but who shall measure the mischief done by a false tongue—­and of what use is the corpse of a liar save to infect the air with pestilence?  I used to wonder at the superiority of men over the rest of the animal creation, but I see now that it is chiefly gained by excess

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