Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
My Lady Ludlow Elizabeth Gaskell

Chapter VII.

Page 3 of 7

Table Of Contents: My Lady Ludlow

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"'Wait a moment, my lad,' and going to the one small drawer in the inner apartment, which held all her few possessions, she brought back a little ring--a ring just with one ruby in it--which she had worn in the days when she cared to wear jewels. 'Take this,' said she, 'and run with it to a jeweller's. It is but a poor, valueless thing, but it will bring you in your five francs, at any rate. Go! I desire you.'

"'But I cannot,' said the boy, hesitating; some dim sense of honour flitting through his misty morals.

"'Yes, you must!' she continued, urging him with her hand to the door. 'Run! if it brings in more than five francs, you shall return the surplus to me.'

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"Thus tempted by her urgency, and, I suppose, reasoning with himself to the effect that he might as well have the money, and then see whether he thought it right to act as a spy upon her or not--the one action did not pledge him to the other, nor yet did she make any conditions with her gift--Pierre went off with her ring; and, after repaying himself his five francs, he was enabled to bring Virginie back two more, so well had he managed his affairs. But, although the whole transaction did not leave him bound, in any way, to discover or forward Virginie's wishes, it did leave him pledged, according to his code, to act according to her advantage, and he considered himself the judge of the best course to be pursued to this end. And, moreover, this little kindness attached him to her personally. He began to think how pleasant it would be to have so kind and generous a person for a relation; how easily his troubles might be borne if he had always such a ready helper at hand; how much he should like to make her like him, and come to him for the protection of his masculine power! First of all his duties, as her self-appointed squire, came the necessity of finding out who her strange new acquaintance was. Thus, you see, he arrived at the same end, via supposed duty, that he was previously pledged to via interest. I fancy a good number of us, when any line of action will promote our own interest, can make ourselves believe that reasons exist which compel us to it as a duty.

"In the course of a very few days, Pierre had so circumvented Virginie as to have discovered that her new friend was no other than the Norman farmer in a different dress. This was a great piece of knowledge to impart to Morin. But Pierre was not prepared for the immediate physical effect it had on his cousin. Morin sat suddenly down on one of the seats in the Boulevards--it was there Pierre had met with him accidentally--when he heard who it was that Virginie met. I do not suppose the man had the faintest idea of any relationship or even previous acquaintanceship between Clement and Virginie. If he thought of anything beyond the mere fact presented to him, that his idol was in communication with another, younger, handsomer man than himself, it must have been that the Norman farmer had seen her at the conciergerie, and had been attracted by her, and, as was but natural, had tried to make her acquaintance, and had succeeded. But, from what Pierre told me, I should not think that even this much thought passed through Morin's mind. He seems to have been a man of rare and concentrated attachments; violent, though restrained and undemonstrative passions; and, above all, a capability of jealousy, of which his dark oriental complexion must have been a type. I could fancy that if he had married Virginie, he would have coined his life-blood for luxuries to make her happy; would have watched over and petted her, at every sacrifice to himself, as long as she would have been content to live with him alone. But, as Pierre expressed it to me: 'When I saw what my cousin was, when I learned his nature too late, I perceived that he would have strangled a bird if she whom he loved was attracted by it from him.'

Page 3 of 7 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
My Lady Ludlow
Elizabeth Gaskell

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004