Some further gems from the pen of Mrs Amanda McKittrick Ros – “Hope sinks a world of imagination. It in almost every instance never fails to arm the opponents of justice with weapons of friendly defence, and gains their final fight with peaceful submission. Life is too often stripped of its pleasantness by the steps of false assumption, marring the true path of life-long happiness which should be pebbled with principle, piety, purity, and peace.” Wow! (She left out poetry or poesy). This lady really was the Florence Foster Jenkins of the literary world. I am amazed it was deemed fit to publish her. Maybe it was vanity publishing.
‘Swayed society’s circle with the sceptre of nobleness’ –‘ insult and poverty, the thoughts of pleasant days piled themselves with parched power’ – ‘the man she brought with head of bowed and battered bruises and blasted untruths,’ etcetera.
I can’t leave it though without finally forcing you to feel the fierce, fearful, and frightful final finger of fate as, kneeling beside the grave of her late husband, her handsome upstanding and son of noble mien approaches and on discovering who she is…
“Mighty Heavens!” exclaimed Sir Hugh Dunfern, “are you the vagrant who ruined the very existence of him whom you now profess to have loved? You, the wretch of wicked and wilful treachery, and formally the wife of him before whose very bones you falsely kneel! Are you the confirmed traitoress of the trust reposed in you by my late lamented, dearest and most noble of fathers? Are you aware of the hypocrisy you manifested once has been handed down to me as an heirloom of polluted possession, and stored within this breast of mine, an indelible stain for life, or, I might say, during your known and hated existence! False woman! Wicked wife! Detested mother! Bereft widow! How darest thou set foot on the premises your chastity should have protected and secured! What kind of transparent touch must have blown its blasts of boldest bravery around your poisoned person and guided you within miles of the mansion I proudly own? What spirit but that of evil used its influence upon you to dare to bend footsteps of foreign tread towards the door through which they once stole unknown? Ah woman of sin and stray companion of tutorism* arise, I demand you, and strike across the grassy centre as quickly as you can, and never more make your hated face appear within these mighty walls; I cannot extend the assistance your poor, poverty-stricken attire of false don(?) silently requests; I can never call you mother; neither can I ever meet you on this side of the grave before which you so pityingly kneel.”
What pathos, what melodrama! If it was a play and the actor playing Sir Hugh, instead of ranting, said these lines very quietly, can you just imagine the violin playing? The audiences weeping into their handkerchiefs.
*She left her husband to run off with her tutor who she was madly in love with and bigamously married in America. She just had to come to a sticky end and, as we come to the last few words, morality is deemed to be satisfied.
The author has also forgotten they’re out in the cemetery not ‘within these mighty walls!’ Poetic license no doubt.