Vanity Fair HTML version

Chapter 15
In Which Rebecca's Husband Appears for a Short Time
Every reader of a sentimental turn (and we desire no other) must have been pleased with
the tableau with which the last act of our little drama concluded; for what can be prettier
than an image of Love on his knees before Beauty?
But when Love heard that awful confession from Beauty that she was married already, he
bounced up from his attitude of humility on the carpet, uttering exclamations which
caused poor little Beauty to be more frightened than she was when she made her avowal.
"Married; you're joking," the Baronet cried, after the first explosion of rage and wonder.
"You're making vun of me, Becky. Who'd ever go to marry you without a shilling to your
"Married! married!" Rebecca said, in an agony of tears--her voice choking with emotion,
her handkerchief up to her ready eyes, fainting against the mantelpiece a figure of woe fit
to melt the most obdurate heart. "O Sir Pitt, dear Sir Pitt, do not think me ungrateful for
all your goodness to me. It is only your generosity that has extorted my secret."
"Generosity be hanged!" Sir Pitt roared out. "Who is it tu, then, you're married? Where
was it?"
"Let me come back with you to the country, sir! Let me watch over you as faithfully as
ever! Don't, don't separate me from dear Queen's Crawley!"
"The feller has left you, has he?" the Baronet said, beginning, as he fancied, to
comprehend. "Well, Becky--come back if you like. You can't eat your cake and have it.
Any ways I made you a vair offer. Coom back as governess--you shall have it all your
own way." She held out one hand. She cried fit to break her heart; her ringlets fell over
her face, and over the marble mantelpiece where she laid it.
"So the rascal ran off, eh?" Sir Pitt said, with a hideous attempt at consolation. "Never
mind, Becky, I'LL take care of 'ee."
"Oh, sir! it would be the pride of my life to go back to Queen's Crawley, and take care of
the children, and of you as formerly, when you said you were pleased with the services of
your little Rebecca. When I think of what you have just offered me, my heart fills with
gratitude indeed it does. I can't be your wife, sir; let me--let me be your daughter." Saying
which, Rebecca went down on HER knees in a most tragical way, and, taking Sir Pitt's
horny black hand between her own two (which were very pretty and white, and as soft as
satin), looked up in his face with an expression of exquisite pathos and confidence, when-
-when the door opened, and Miss Crawley sailed in.