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Madame Von Bruyin grew very fond of Lilith and would have had her new favorite with her every day, or even had her to come and live at the hotel.
But Lilith pleaded that she wished to stay with her kind landlady1 as much as possible during the short interval2 that would intervene before their sailing for Europe.
The baroness4 admitted the excuse and did not insist on Lilith’s entering upon her duties of companionship before the stipulated5 time—June 1st.
But whenever Aunt Sophie was out on business, or very much occupied with her household duties, Lilith would slip away to pay a flying visit to the baroness, 117to whom she was now, at all hours, a most welcome guest.
One evening it happened that Aunt Sophie had gone to a protracted6 meeting at her church, and Lilith availed herself of that opportunity to go and see the baroness.
It was the first occasion on which she had ever ventured to call on that lady in the evening.
She found Madame Von Bruyin alone in her apartments, more lonely and depressed7 than usual, and more than ever pleased to see her unexpected but most welcome visitor.
She received Lilith with a warm embrace, and made her lay aside her bonnet8 and mantle9, and sit down in the most comfortable chair in that luxurious10 room.
The gas had been turned down low, so that the whole room was in a subdued11 cathedral light very favorable for meditation12 or for confidential13 conversation.
How it was that Madame Von Bruyin glided14 into speaking of her own life neither she nor her companion ever knew.
It was in answer to some remark of Lilith’s, however, that the baroness answered:
“Yes, I know. Of course there are many people who envy me, and I suppose that I may be considered in a very enviable position; but that is only the external view. Within myself I am not enviable. There are few women in this world less happy than I am.”
“I am very sorry,” said Lilith, in true sympathy. But she was much too modest to preach to this great lady, this spoiled beauty, and to tell her of the vast power her wealth furnished of doing good and finding her happiness in the happiness of others.
“Child!” continued the baroness, “the truth is that I do not know what to do with my life. If I were not in deep mourning I should take a plunge15 into 118society and in its maddest excitements forget myself. But as I cannot do that, I go to Europe, to make a tour of the continent. But I ask myself, to what purpose? I have seen it all before. It will have no novelty for me.”
“Not the beaten track—the great cities, the great centres of art, science and learning, the monuments of antiquity—you have seen all those; not the highways of travel, but the by-ways, madame—the remote villages, the country people of each country. It seems to me that these also might be very interesting,” Lilith modestly suggested.
“Possibly,” wearily replied the lady; “but nothing interests me, child—except yourself—nothing. With every appliance of material good—with youth and health and wealth—I have no interest in life, no enjoyment16 of anything.”
“Oh, madame! what has brought you into such a state as this?” exclaimed Lilith, speaking from the irrepressible impulse of her great sympathy, and then stopping short and blushing at the thought of having asked the baroness an impertinent question.
But Madame Von Bruyin did not seem to perceive any impropriety in Lilith’s words. She felt only their deep sympathy.
“I must tell you something about myself and my spoiled life, and then you will understand. Come nearer to me, child.”
Lilith left her easy-chair, drew a hassock after her, and sat down on it at the feet of the baroness.
The lady bent17 her stately head until the golden tresses touched the ebon ringlets of the girl. And after this caress18 she laid her hand on Lilith’s head and whispered:
“I have been so wilful19 all my life. I can never remember the time when my will was crossed—until 119about six months ago. How full the last six months have been of changes for me!”
The lady paused thoughtfully. Lilith might have added: “And for me!” but she did not. The baroness continued:
“I am an American, my dear, as you might know by my speech; and I was born and married in America, though my father and my husband were both subjects of the Emperor William. I was the only child of my widowed father, who had married very late in life and who lost his wife in the same hour that gave him his child. He never married a second time, but devoted20 himself to me. In time I became the idol21 of my father and of his dearest friend and inseparable companion, Mr. Nicholas Bruyin—who became Baron3 Von Bruyin later, you understand.”
“Yes, madame,” said Lilith.
“I was never sent to school, but had teachers at home, who taught me no more than I chose to learn; masters and governesses who never mastered or governed me, but who had to submit to my will or leave my service. And in all my self-will I was upheld by the two fondly doting22 old gentlemen who held my destiny in their hands. I learned music and dancing because I liked to do so; but I do not think I should have learned anything else if it had not been for the advent23 of Monsieur le Professeur Le Grange, my present private secretary, whom you have seen.”
“Yes, madame.”
“He was engaged to teach me languages when I was about thirteen years old, and more ignorant than any girl of my own age and rank. Well, Professeur Le Grange certainly found out the road to my conscience and affections, convinced me of my pitiable ignorance and became my teacher not only of languages, but of science, history and general literature. I became very appreciative24 of his character 120and abilities, and tried to profit by them. I think I have shown my gratitude25 for his services by attaching him to my household. He will never leave.”
“He seems sincerely devoted to you, madame,” said Lilith.
“I think he is. There are spiritual fathers in the church. Professeur Le Grange may be called my intellectual father. When I was but fifteen years of age I went to Europe with these three old men—my father, my friend and my teacher, and with no female companion except my old nurse and my maid. You have never seen those two faithful women, dear?”
“No, madame.”
“Yet they are still in my service. We made an unusually extensive tour of Europe, and the professor, who, in addition to his other acquirements, was a learned archæologist and antiquarian, was my most valuable guide and mentor26. Perhaps I derived27 more benefit than most persons from my travels. If so, I owe that benefit to the professor. He is to go with us when we sail, as I suppose you know.”
“Yes, madame.”
“We returned at the end of three years, and I was, soon after our arrival, introduced into society. Two years of fashionable seasons, in the winter spent in New York or Washington, in the summer at Newport or at some other fashionable resort. I was nineteen years old when my father was attacked by what he believed to be a temporary though very sharp illness. But the physician who was called in warned him of its real significance. Then my father grew anxious to settle up all his worldly affairs, and very anxious to see me married. I know not how it happened, or who first suggested the plan—whether it was my father or Mr. Bruyin—but the issue was that I became the betrothed28 bride of Nicholas Bruyin before I knew that I had a heart in my bosom29. Mr. 121Bruyin, though older than my father, was really a healthier and a stronger man, with the promise of a longer life. This betrothal30 took place just before I went to Washington last summer. Ah! if it had been delayed but a few weeks longer what a difference it would have made in my life; for there, in the beginning of that season in Washington, I was destined31 to meet the only man whom I could ever love; a man of whom you have probably heard, for his fame has gone abroad all over the country, the brilliant orator32 and rising statesman, Tudor Hereward.”
Lilith uttered a low cry, so low that it escaped the notice of Madame Von Bruyin, who continued:
“I became so much interested in this gentleman that, unconscious of the danger into which I was running, I allowed myself to enjoy the heaven of his society and conversation, for it was heaven to me. One night—it was at the masquerade ball given by Senator and Mrs. S——, at their splendid mansion33, on New Year’s Eve—Mr. Hereward sought me out and proposed for my hand. Oh! not until that hour did I realize how much I loved him. But I had to explain that a betrothal scarcely less sacred than marriage bound me to Mr. Bruyin. He, my lover, Tudor Hereward, bitterly, bitterly reproached me for misleading him, and trifling34 with his affections. And we parted in wrath35.”
The baroness bowed her face on Lilith’s curly black head and wept. The girl, unable to trust her voice to speak, took one of the lady’s hands and fondled and kissed it in sympathy. The baroness recovered her self possession, and continued:
“The next day I missed Hereward from all his usual places. And before the night came, my betrothed arrived from New York. He was shocked to see how changed I was. Child, it was my first sorrow, and I had no power to conceal36 it. The good old man, 122who loved me with a totally unselfish love, won my secret from me, at once released me from my engagement and left me free to marry the lover of my choice. Then I watched for Hereward’s return, and when he arrived—child, I went to him, I humbled37 myself before him; I told him that I was free, and I offered him my hand. He replied in icy tones that he was married. Yes, married, within two days after having been rejected by me. He had married a young girl, a child who knew no better than to take a man at a moment’s notice. The news was a thunderbolt to me; yet even through that nervous shock how I pitied that young wife.”
“Oh, Heaven, yes. How much she was to be pitied!” cried Lilith, in a tone of sharp pain.
“As for my miserable38 self, the kind guardian39 of my peace and welfare saw that there had been no happy meeting between me and my lover. Again he won my secret from me. This time it was the secret of my disappointment and humiliation40. Then taking my hand, he said to me:
“‘My dear, the world knows nothing of this. The world still believes us to be a betrothed pair. Let things go on as they were arranged. You know me. We will be married at the time appointed. I will then take you abroad to the court of Berlin. Your dear father will go with us for his health. You are so young yet that you will outlive and forget this trouble.’
“Well, I consented. I was so confused and depressed between grief and mortification41, that I was easily led. Only a few days later we were married in the cathedral in this city, and sailed in the Kaiser Wilhelm for Germany. We had planned out a very fine tour. But ah! while we were still at the court of Berlin, and only a few days after Mr. Bruyin had received his patent of nobility and become the Baron 123Von Bruyin, he had a stroke of apoplexy that terminated his earthly existence. We laid him in the cemetery42 of the city that he loved so well, and then set out to return home. My father never reached these shores alive. His mortal remains43 repose44 in Woodlawn. There, my child, I have unburdened my mind to you.”


1 landlady t2ZxE     
  • I heard my landlady creeping stealthily up to my door.我听到我的女房东偷偷地来到我的门前。
  • The landlady came over to serve me.女店主过来接待我。
2 interval 85kxY     
  • The interval between the two trees measures 40 feet.这两棵树的间隔是40英尺。
  • There was a long interval before he anwsered the telephone.隔了好久他才回了电话。
3 baron XdSyp     
  • Henry Ford was an automobile baron.亨利·福特是一位汽车业巨头。
  • The baron lived in a strong castle.男爵住在一座坚固的城堡中。
4 baroness 2yjzAa     
  • I'm sure the Baroness will be able to make things fine for you.我相信男爵夫人能够把家里的事替你安排妥当的。
  • The baroness,who had signed,returned the pen to the notary.男爵夫人这时已签过字,把笔交回给律师。
5 stipulated 5203a115be4ee8baf068f04729d1e207     
vt.& vi.规定;约定adj.[法]合同规定的
  • A delivery date is stipulated in the contract. 合同中规定了交货日期。
  • Yes, I think that's what we stipulated. 对呀,我想那是我们所订定的。 来自辞典例句
6 protracted 7bbc2aee17180561523728a246b7f16b     
  • The war was protracted for four years. 战争拖延了四年。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • We won victory through protracted struggle. 经过长期的斗争,我们取得了胜利。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 depressed xu8zp9     
  • When he was depressed,he felt utterly divorced from reality.他心情沮丧时就感到完全脱离了现实。
  • His mother was depressed by the sad news.这个坏消息使他的母亲意志消沉。
8 bonnet AtSzQ     
  • The baby's bonnet keeps the sun out of her eyes.婴孩的帽子遮住阳光,使之不刺眼。
  • She wore a faded black bonnet garnished with faded artificial flowers.她戴着一顶褪了色的黑色无边帽,帽上缀着褪了色的假花。
9 mantle Y7tzs     
  • The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green.大地披上了苍翠欲滴的绿色斗篷。
  • The mountain was covered with a mantle of snow.山上覆盖着一层雪。
10 luxurious S2pyv     
  • This is a luxurious car complete with air conditioning and telephone.这是一辆附有空调设备和电话的豪华轿车。
  • The rich man lives in luxurious surroundings.这位富人生活在奢侈的环境中。
11 subdued 76419335ce506a486af8913f13b8981d     
adj. 屈服的,柔和的,减弱的 动词subdue的过去式和过去分词
  • He seemed a bit subdued to me. 我觉得他当时有点闷闷不乐。
  • I felt strangely subdued when it was all over. 一切都结束的时候,我却有一种奇怪的压抑感。
12 meditation yjXyr     
  • This peaceful garden lends itself to meditation.这个恬静的花园适于冥想。
  • I'm sorry to interrupt your meditation.很抱歉,我打断了你的沉思。
13 confidential MOKzA     
  • He refused to allow his secretary to handle confidential letters.他不让秘书处理机密文件。
  • We have a confidential exchange of views.我们推心置腹地交换意见。
14 glided dc24e51e27cfc17f7f45752acf858ed1     
v.滑动( glide的过去式和过去分词 );掠过;(鸟或飞机 ) 滑翔
  • The President's motorcade glided by. 总统的车队一溜烟开了过去。
  • They glided along the wall until they were out of sight. 他们沿着墙壁溜得无影无踪。 来自《简明英汉词典》
15 plunge 228zO     
  • Test pool's water temperature before you plunge in.在你跳入之前你应该测试水温。
  • That would plunge them in the broil of the two countries.那将会使他们陷入这两国的争斗之中。
16 enjoyment opaxV     
  • Your company adds to the enjoyment of our visit. 有您的陪同,我们这次访问更加愉快了。
  • After each joke the old man cackled his enjoyment.每逢讲完一个笑话,这老人就呵呵笑着表示他的高兴。
17 bent QQ8yD     
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
18 caress crczs     
  • She gave the child a loving caress.她疼爱地抚摸着孩子。
  • She feasted on the caress of the hot spring.她尽情享受着温泉的抚爱。
19 wilful xItyq     
  • A wilful fault has no excuse and deserves no pardon.不能宽恕故意犯下的错误。
  • He later accused reporters of wilful distortion and bias.他后来指责记者有意歪曲事实并带有偏见。
20 devoted xu9zka     
  • He devoted his life to the educational cause of the motherland.他为祖国的教育事业贡献了一生。
  • We devoted a lengthy and full discussion to this topic.我们对这个题目进行了长时间的充分讨论。
21 idol Z4zyo     
  • As an only child he was the idol of his parents.作为独子,他是父母的宠儿。
  • Blind worship of this idol must be ended.对这个偶像的盲目崇拜应该结束了。
22 doting xuczEv     
  • His doting parents bought him his first racing bike at 13.宠爱他的父母在他13岁时就给他买了第一辆竞速自行车。
  • The doting husband catered to his wife's every wish.这位宠爱妻子的丈夫总是高度满足太太的各项要求。
23 advent iKKyo     
  • Swallows come by groups at the advent of spring. 春天来临时燕子成群飞来。
  • The advent of the Euro will redefine Europe.欧元的出现将重新定义欧洲。
24 appreciative 9vDzr     
  • She was deeply appreciative of your help.她对你的帮助深表感激。
  • We are very appreciative of their support in this respect.我们十分感谢他们在这方面的支持。
25 gratitude p6wyS     
  • I have expressed the depth of my gratitude to him.我向他表示了深切的谢意。
  • She could not help her tears of gratitude rolling down her face.她感激的泪珠禁不住沿着面颊流了下来。
26 mentor s78z0     
  • He fed on the great ideas of his mentor.他以他导师的伟大思想为支撑。
  • He had mentored scores of younger doctors.他指导过许多更年轻的医生。
27 derived 6cddb7353e699051a384686b6b3ff1e2     
vi.起源;由来;衍生;导出v.得到( derive的过去式和过去分词 );(从…中)得到获得;源于;(从…中)提取
  • Many English words are derived from Latin and Greek. 英语很多词源出于拉丁文和希腊文。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He derived his enthusiasm for literature from his father. 他对文学的爱好是受他父亲的影响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
28 betrothed betrothed     
n. 已订婚者 动词betroth的过去式和过去分词
  • She is betrothed to John. 她同约翰订了婚。
  • His daughter was betrothed to a teacher. 他的女儿同一个教师订了婚。
29 bosom Lt9zW     
  • She drew a little book from her bosom.她从怀里取出一本小册子。
  • A dark jealousy stirred in his bosom.他内心生出一阵恶毒的嫉妒。
30 betrothal betrothal     
n. 婚约, 订婚
  • Their betrothal took place with great pomp and rejoicings. 他们举行了盛大而又欢乐的订婚仪式。
  • "On the happy occasion of the announcement of your betrothal," he finished, bending over her hand. "在宣布你们订婚的喜庆日。" 他补充说,同时低下头来吻她的手。
31 destined Dunznz     
  • It was destined that they would marry.他们结婚是缘分。
  • The shipment is destined for America.这批货物将运往美国。
32 orator hJwxv     
  • He was so eloquent that he cut down the finest orator.他能言善辩,胜过最好的演说家。
  • The orator gestured vigorously while speaking.这位演讲者讲话时用力地做手势。
33 mansion 8BYxn     
  • The old mansion was built in 1850.这座古宅建于1850年。
  • The mansion has extensive grounds.这大厦四周的庭园广阔。
34 trifling SJwzX     
  • They quarreled over a trifling matter.他们为这种微不足道的事情争吵。
  • So far Europe has no doubt, gained a real conveniency,though surely a very trifling one.直到现在为止,欧洲无疑地已经获得了实在的便利,不过那确是一种微不足道的便利。
35 wrath nVNzv     
  • His silence marked his wrath. 他的沉默表明了他的愤怒。
  • The wrath of the people is now aroused. 人们被激怒了。
36 conceal DpYzt     
  • He had to conceal his identity to escape the police.为了躲避警方,他只好隐瞒身份。
  • He could hardly conceal his joy at his departure.他几乎掩饰不住临行时的喜悦。
37 humbled 601d364ccd70fb8e885e7d73c3873aca     
adj. 卑下的,谦逊的,粗陋的 vt. 使 ... 卑下,贬低
  • The examination results humbled him. 考试成绩挫了他的傲气。
  • I am sure millions of viewers were humbled by this story. 我相信数百万观众看了这个故事后都会感到自己的渺小。
38 miserable g18yk     
  • It was miserable of you to make fun of him.你取笑他,这是可耻的。
  • Her past life was miserable.她过去的生活很苦。
39 guardian 8ekxv     
  • The form must be signed by the child's parents or guardian. 这张表格须由孩子的家长或监护人签字。
  • The press is a guardian of the public weal. 报刊是公共福利的卫护者。
40 humiliation Jd3zW     
  • He suffered the humiliation of being forced to ask for his cards.他蒙受了被迫要求辞职的羞辱。
  • He will wish to revenge his humiliation in last Season's Final.他会为在上个季度的决赛中所受的耻辱而报复的。
41 mortification mwIyN     
  • To my mortification, my manuscript was rejected. 使我感到失面子的是:我的稿件被退了回来。
  • The chairman tried to disguise his mortification. 主席试图掩饰自己的窘迫。
42 cemetery ur9z7     
  • He was buried in the cemetery.他被葬在公墓。
  • His remains were interred in the cemetery.他的遗体葬在墓地。
43 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
44 repose KVGxQ     
  • Don't disturb her repose.不要打扰她休息。
  • Her mouth seemed always to be smiling,even in repose.她的嘴角似乎总是挂着微笑,即使在睡眠时也是这样。


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