I am all you say, yet in your judgment remember mercy, and believe that at twenty-five there is still hope for the noble but neglected nature, still time to repair the faults of birth, education, and orphanhood. You say, I have a daring will, a love of conquest. Can I not will to overcome myself and do it? Can I not learn to be the woman I have seemed?
If all had gone well and prosperously with Madame de Ribaumont, probably she would have surrendered an infant born in purple and in pall to the ordinary lot of its contemporaries; but the exertions and suffering she had undergone on behalf of her child, its orphanhood, her own loneliness, and even the general disappointment in its sex, had given it a hold on her vehement, determined heart, that intensified to the utmost the instincts of motherhood; and she listened as if to an angle's voice as Maitre Gardon replied to Nanon
Thus it happened that an unexpected visit from Fred's mother, among those that she received in her first days of orphanhood, was particularly agreeable to her. Madame d'Argy, on hearing of the death and of the ruin of M. de Nailles, was divided by two contradictory feelings.
The city herself shares in the education of the children, desiring as far as it is possible that their orphanhood may not be felt by them; while they are children she is a parent to them, and when they have arrived at man's estate she sends them to their several duties, in full armour clad; and bringing freshly to their minds the ways of their fathers, she places in their hands the instruments of their fathers' virtues; for the sake of the omen, she would have them from the first begin to rule over their own houses arrayed in the strength and arms of their fathers.
The only ray to illumine the black desert of Ostermore's existence was the affection of his ward, Hortensia Winthrop, because in that one instance he had sunk his egotism a little, sparing a crumb of pity for once in his life for the child's orphanhood. Had Ostermore been other than the man he was, his existence must have proved a burden beyond his strength.
She belonged to the Petherick lot; and, living with her aunt at North Ride Cottage, she came every day to the Abbey to do some light and delicate work in Mr. Barradine's model dairy. The fact that she had lost both her parents interested and pleased Dale: orphanhood seemed to contain the embryonic germs of a mutual sympathy. He used to speak to her now whenever he saw her.
The image of her father seemed to take another shape, and gradually to assume the form and features of the one man of the world whom she hated, converting itself little by little into Benoni. She hid her face in her hands and terror staunched the tears that had flown afresh at the thought of orphanhood. A knock at the door. She hastily concealed the crumpled letter.
His heart was as heavy as that of his parents, for he well knew that the day which doomed him to a seven years' absence would also condemn him to orphanhood.
'Twas in vain she spoke of her orphanhood and poverty, and told him he should look higher; and at last she had to speak sharply, and say, however she might esteem the honour he would do her, wife of his she would never be; 'so quit that unbecoming posture at my feet, she added; on which he rose indeed, but said half-frantically,
A husband and a home, and haply a troop of little rogues and wenches at her knees will soon comfort her orphanhood, eh, John?" "I know not, sir I doth she know of this compact betwixt her father and you?" "Come, now, thou 'rt not my father confessor, lad, nor yet my general," replied Standish with peremptory good humor.