It is hoped that the reader need hardly be informed that Hetta Carbury was a very miserable young woman as soon as she decided that duty compelled her to divide herself altogether from Paul Montague. I think that she was irrational; but to her it seemed that the offence against herself,—the offence against her own dignity as a woman,—was too great to be forgiven. There can be no doubt that it would all have been forgiven with the greatest ease had Paul told the story before it had reached her ears from any other source. Had he said to her,—when her heart was softest towards him,—I once loved another woman, and that woman is here now in London, a trouble to me, persecuting me, and her history is so and so, and the history of my love for her was after this fashion, and the history of my declining love is after that fashion, and of this at any rate you may be sure, that this woman has never been near my heart from the first moment in which I saw you;—had he told it to her thus, there would not have been an opening for anger. And he doubtless would have so told it, had not Hetta’s brother interfered too quickly. He was then forced to exculpate himself, to confess rather than to tell his own story,—and to admit facts which wore the air of having been concealed, and which had already been conceived to be altogether damning if true. It was that journey to Lowestoft, not yet a month old, which did the mischief,—a journey as to which Hetta was not slow in understanding all that Roger Carbury had thought about it, though Roger would say nothing of it to herself. Paul had been staying at the seaside with this woman in amicable intimacy,—this horrid woman,—in intimacy worse than amicable, and had been visiting her daily at Islington! Hetta felt quite sure that he had never passed a day without going there since the arrival of the woman; and everybody would know what that meant. And during this very hour he had been,—well, perhaps not exactly making love to herself, but looking at her and talking to her, and behaving to her in a manner such as could not but make her understand that he intended to make love to her. Of course they had really understood it, since they had met at Madame Melmotte’s first ball, when she had made a plea that she could not allow herself to dance with him more than,—say half-a-dozen times. Of course she had not intended him then to know that she would receive his love with favour, but equally of course she had known that he must so feel it. She had not only told herself, but had told her mother, that her heart was given away to this man; and yet the man during this very time was spending his hours with a—woman, with a strange American woman, to whom he acknowledged that he had been once engaged. How could she not quarrel with him? How could she refrain from telling him that everything must be over between them?