Daniel Deronda HTML version

Chapter 26
He brings white asses laden with the freight
Of Tyrian vessels, purple, gold and balm,
To bribe my will: I'll bid them chase him forth,
Nor let him breathe the taint of his surmise
On my secure resolve. Ay, 'tis secure:
And therefore let him come to spread his freight.
For firmness hath its appetite and craves
The stronger lure, more strongly to resist;
Would know the touch of gold to fling it off;
Scent wine to feel its lip the soberer;
Behold soft byssus, ivory, and plumes
To say, "They're fair, but I will none of them,"
And flout Enticement in the very face.
Mr. Gascoigne one day came to Offendene with what he felt to be the
satisfactory news that Mrs. Mompert had fixed Tuesday in the following week for
her interview with Gwendolen at Wanchester. He said nothing of his having
incidentally heard that Mr. Grandcourt had returned to Diplow; knowing no more
than she did that Leubronn had been the goal of her admirer's journeying, and
feeling that it would be unkind uselessly to revive the memory of a brilliant
prospect under the present reverses. In his secret soul he thought of his niece's
unintelligible caprice with regret, but he vindicated her to himself by considering
that Grandcourt had been the first to behave oddly, in suddenly walking away
when there had the best opportunity for crowning his marked attentions. The
rector's practical judgment told him that his chief duty to his niece now was to
encourage her resolutely to face the change in her lot, since there was no
manifest promise of any event that would avert it.
"You will find an interest in varied experience, my dear, and I have no doubt you
will be a more valuable woman for having sustained such a part as you are called
"I cannot pretend to believe that I shall like it," said Gwendolen, for the first time
showing her uncle some petulance. "But I am quite aware that I am obliged to
bear it."
She remembered having submitted to his admonition on a different occasion
when she was expected to like a very different prospect.
"And your good sense will teach you to behave suitably under it," said Mr.
Gascoigne, with a shade more gravity. "I feel sure that Mrs. Mompert will be