When they met, each was so sore that no approach to terms was made by them.
‘If I am to be treated in that way, I would rather not live with you,’ said the wife. ’It is impossible to live with a husband who is jealous.’
’All I ask of you is that you shall promise me to have no further communication with this man.’
‘I will make no promise that implies my own disgrace.’
’Then we must part; and if that be so, this house will be given up. You may live where you please in the country, not in London; but I shall take steps that Colonel Osborne does not see you.’
‘I will not remain in the room with you to be insulted thus,’ said Mrs Trevelyan. And she did not remain, but left the chamber, slamming the door after her as she went.
‘It will be better that she should go,’ said Trevelyan, when he found himself alone. And so it came to pass that that blessing of a rich marriage, which had as it were fallen upon them at the Mandarins from out of heaven, had become, after an interval of but two short years, anything but an unmixed blessing.
MISS STANBURY’S GENEROSITY
On one Wednesday morning early in June, great preparations were being made at the brick house in the Close at Exeter for an event which can hardly be said to have required any preparation at all. Mrs Stanbury and her elder daughter were coming into Exeter from Nuncombe Putney to visit Dorothy. The reader may perhaps remember that when Miss Stanbury’s invitation was sent to her niece, she was pleased to promise that such visits should be permitted on a Wednesday morning. Such a visit was now to be made, and old Miss Stanbury was quite moved by the occasion. ‘I shall not see them, you know, Martha,’ she had said, on the afternoon of the preceding day.
‘I suppose not, ma’am.’
‘Certainly not. Why should I? It would do no good.’
‘It is not for me to say, ma’am, of course.’
’No, Martha, it is not. And I am sure that I am right. It’s no good going back and undoing in ten minutes what twenty years have done. She’s a poor harmless creature, I believe.’
‘The most harmless in the world, ma’am.’
’But she was as bad as poison to me when she was young, and what’s the good of trying to change it now? If I was to tell her that I loved her, I should only be lying.’
‘Then, ma’am, I would not say it.’
‘And I don’t mean. But you’ll take in some wine and cake, you know.’