‘Oh, mamma, do not say that!’
’But I do say it. It is hard upon me. I did think that you would try to comfort me after all this trouble with Felix. But you are as bad as he is;—or worse, for you have not been thrown into temptation like that poor boy! And you will break your cousin’s heart. Poor Roger! I feel for him;—he that has been so true to us! But you think nothing of that.’
‘I think very much of my cousin Roger.’
’And how do you show it;—or your love for me? There would have been a home for us all. Now we must starve, I suppose. Hetta, you have been worse to me even than Felix.’ Then Lady Carbury, in her passion, burst out of the room, and took herself to her own chamber.
Up to this period of his life Sir Felix Carbury had probably felt but little of the punishment due to his very numerous shortcomings. He had spent all his fortune; he had lost his commission in the army; he had incurred the contempt of everybody that had known him; he had forfeited the friendship of those who were his natural friends, and had attached to him none others in their place; he had pretty nearly ruined his mother and sister; but, to use his own language, he had always contrived ‘to carry on the game.’ He had eaten and drunk, had gambled, hunted, and diverted himself generally after the fashion considered to be appropriate to young men about town. He had kept up till now. But now there seemed to him to have come an end to all things. When he was lying in bed in his mother’s house he counted up all his wealth. He had a few pounds in ready money, he still had a little roll of Mr Miles Grendall’s notes of hand, amounting perhaps to a couple of hundred pounds,—and Mr Melmotte owed him L600. But where was he to turn, and what was he to do with himself? Gradually he learned the whole story of the journey to Liverpool,—how Marie had gone there and had been sent back by the police, how Marie’s money had been repaid to Mr Melmotte by Mr Broune, and how his failure to make the journey to Liverpool had become known. He was ashamed to go to his club. He could not go to Melmotte’s house. He was ashamed even to show himself in the streets by day.
He was becoming almost afraid even of his mother. Now that the brilliant marriage had broken down, and seemed to be altogether beyond hope, now that he had to depend on her household for all his comforts, he was no longer able to treat her with absolute scorn,—nor was she willing to yield as she had yielded.