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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesGodolphin - Chapter 10. The Education Of Constance's Mind
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Godolphin - Chapter 10. The Education Of Constance's Mind Post by :affiliates9 Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :2551

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Godolphin - Chapter 10. The Education Of Constance's Mind


Meanwhile, Constance Vernon grew up in womanhood and beauty. All around her contributed to feed that stern remembrance which her father's dying words had bequeathed. Naturally proud, quick, susceptible, she felt slights, often merely incidental, with a deep and brooding resentment. The forlorn and dependent girl could not, indeed, fail to meet with many bitter proofs that her situation was not forgotten by a world in which prosperity and station are the cardinal virtues. Many a loud whisper, many an intentional "aside," reached her haughty ear, and coloured her pale cheek. Such accidents increased her early-formed asperity of thought; chilled the gushing flood of her young affections; and sharpened, with a relentless edge, her bitter and caustic hatred to a society she deemed at once insolent and worthless. To a taste intuitively fine and noble the essential vulgarities--the fierceness to-day, the cringing to-morrow; the veneration for power; the indifference to virtue, which characterised the framers and rulers of "society"--could not but bring contempt as well as anger; and amidst the brilliant circles, to which so many aspirers looked up with hopeless ambition, Constance moved only to ridicule, to loathe, to despise.

So strong, so constantly nourished, was this sentiment of contempt, that it lasted with equal bitterness when Constance afterwards became the queen and presider over that great world in which she now shone--to dazzle, but not to rule. What at first might have seemed an exaggerated and insane prayer on the part of her father, grew, as her experience ripened, a natural and laudable command. She was thrown entirely with that party amongst whom were his early friends and his late deserters. She resolved to humble the crested arrogance around her, as much from her own desire, as from the wish to obey and avenge her father. From contempt for rank rose naturally the ambition of rank. The young beauty resolved, to banish love from her heart; to devote herself to one aim and object; to win title and station, that she might be able to give power and permanence to her disdain of those qualities in others; and in the secrecy of night she repeated the vow which had consoled her father's death-bed, and solemnly resolved to crush love within her heart and marry solely for station and for power.

As the daughter of so celebrated a politician, it was natural that Constance should take interest in politics. She lent to every discussion of state events an eager and thirsty ear. She embraced with masculine ardour such sentiments as were then considered the extreme of liberality; and she looked on that career which society limits to man, as the noblest, the loftiest in the world. She regretted that she was a woman, and prevented from personally carrying into effect the sentiments she passionately espoused. Meanwhile, she did not neglect, nor suffer to rust, the bright weapon of a wit which embodied at times all the biting energies of her contempt. To insolence she retorted sarcasm; and, early able to see that society, like virtue, must be trampled upon in order to yield forth its incense, she rose into respect by the hauteur of her manner, the bluntness of her satire, the independence of her mind, far more than by her various accomplishments and her unrivalled beauty.

Of Lady Erpingham she had nothing to complain; kind, easy, and characterless, her protectress sometimes wounded her by carelessness, but never through design; on the contrary, the Countess at once loved and admired her, and was as anxious that her protegee should form a brilliant alliance as if she had been her own daughter. Constance, therefore, loved Lady Erpingham with sincere and earnest warmth, and endeavoured to forget all the commonplaces and littlenesses which made up the mind of her protectress, and which, otherwise, would have been precisely of that nature to which one like Constance would have been the least indulgent.

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Godolphin - Chapter 11. Conversation Between Lady Erpingham And Constance... Godolphin - Chapter 11. Conversation Between Lady Erpingham And Constance...

Godolphin - Chapter 11. Conversation Between Lady Erpingham And Constance...
CHAPTER XI. CONVERSATION BETWEEN LADY ERPINGHAM AND CONSTANCE.--FURTHER PARTICULARS OF GODOLPHIN'S FAMILY, ETCLady Erpingham was a widow; her jointure, for she had been an heiress and a duke's daughter, was large; and the noblest mansion of all the various seats possessed by the wealthy and powerful house of Erpingham had been allotted by her late lord for her widowed residence. Thither she went punctually on the first of every August, and quitted it punctually on the eighth of every January. It was some years after the date of Godolphin's departure from England, and the summer following the spring in which Constance

Godolphin - Chapter 9. The Legacy.--A New Deformity In Saville... Godolphin - Chapter 9. The Legacy.--A New Deformity In Saville...

Godolphin - Chapter 9. The Legacy.--A New Deformity In Saville...
CHAPTER IX. THE LEGACY.--A NEW DEFORMITY IN SAVILLE.--THE NATURE OF WORLDLY LIAISONS.--GODOLPHIN LEAVES ENGLANDBut then, it is not always a sustainer of the stage delusion to be enamoured of an actress: it takes us too much behind the scenes. Godolphin felt this so strongly that he liked those plays least in which Fanny performed. Off the stage her character had so little romance, that he could not deceive himself into the romance of her character before the lamps. Luckily, however, Fanny did not attempt Shakspeare. She was inimitable in vaudeville, in farce, and in the lighter comedy; but she had prudently