Diana of the crossways

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TheProjectGutenbergEtextofDianaoftheCrossways,Complete,byGeorge Meredith#76inourseriesbyGeorgeMeredith Copyrightlawsarechangingallovertheworld Besuretocheckthecopyright lawsforyourcountrybeforedownloadingorredistributingthisoranyother ProjectGutenbergfile Weencourageyoutokeepthisfile,exactlyasitis,onyourowndisk,thereby keepinganelectronicpathopenforfuturereaders Pleasedonotremovethis Thisheadershouldbethefirstthingseenwhenanyonestartstoviewtheetext Donotchangeoredititwithoutwrittenpermission Thewordsarecarefully chosentoprovideuserswiththeinformationtheyneedtounderstandwhatthey mayandmaynotdowiththeetext Toencouragethis,wehavemovedmostof theinformationtotheend,ratherthanhavingitallhereatthebeginning **WelcomeToTheWorldofFreePlainVanillaElectronicTexts** **EtextsReadableByBothHumansandByComputers,Since1971** *****TheseEtextsWerePreparedByThousandsofVolunteers!***** InformationoncontactingProjectGutenbergtogetetexts,andfurther information,isincludedbelow Weneedyourdonations TheProjectGutenbergLiteraryArchiveFoundationisa501(c)(3)organization withEIN[EmployeeIdentificationNumber]64-6221541Findoutabouthowto makeadonationatthebottomofthisfile Title:DianaoftheCrossways,Complete Author:GeorgeMeredith Edition:10 Language:English Charactersetencoding:ASCII ReleaseDate:September,2003[Etext#4470][Yes,wearemorethanoneyear aheadofschedule][ThisfilewasfirstpostedonFebruary12,2002] TheProjectGutenbergEtextofDianaoftheCrossways,Complete,byMeredith ************Thisfileshouldbenamedgm76v10.txtor gm76v10.zip************ CorrectedEDITIONSofouretextsgetanewNUMBER,gm76v11.txt VERSIONSbasedonseparatesourcesgetnewLETTER,gm76v10a.txt ThisetextwasproducedbyDavidWidger ProjectGutenbergEtextsareoftencreatedfromseveralprintededitions,allof whichareconfirmedasPublicDomainintheUSunlessacopyrightnoticeis included Thus,weusuallydonotkeepetextsincompliancewithanyparticular paperedition The“legalsmallprint”andotherinformationaboutthisbookmaynowbefound attheendofthisfile Pleasereadthisimportantinformation,asitgivesyou specificrightsandtellsyouaboutrestrictionsinhowthefilemaybeused [NOTE:Thereisashortlistofbookmarks,orpointers,attheendofthefilefor thosewhomaywishtosampletheauthor’sideasbeforemakinganentiremeal ofthem D.W.] DIANAOFTHECROSSWAYS ByGeorgeMeredith 1897 CONTENTS BOOK1 I OFDIARIESANDDIARISTSTOUCHINGTHEHEROINEII ANIRISHBALLIII THEINTERIOROFMR REDWORTHANDTHE EXTERIOROFMR SULLIVANSMITHIV CONTAININGHINTSOF DIANA’SEXPERIENCESANDOFWHATTHEYLEDTOV CONCERNING THESCRUPULOUSGENTLEMANWHOCAMETOOLATE VI THE COUPLEVII THECRISISVIII INWHICHISEXHIBITEDHOWA PRACTICALMANANDADIVININGWOMANLEARNTORESPECTONE ANOTHER BOOK2 IX SHOWSHOWAPOSITIONOFDELICACYFORALADY ANDGENTLEMANWASMETINSIMPLEFASHIONWITHOUTHURTTO EITHER X THECONFLICTOFTHENIGHTXI RECOUNTSTHE JOURNEYINACHARIOT,WITHACERTAINAMOUNTOFDIALOGUE, ANDASMALLINCIDENTONTHEROADXII BETWEENEMMAAND DIANAXIII TOUCHINGTHEFIRSTDAYSOFHERPROBATIONXIV GIVINGGLIMPSESOFDIANAUNDERHERCLOUDBEFORETHE WORLDANDOFHERFURTHERAPPRENTICESHIPXV INTRODUCES THEHON PERCYDACIERXVI TREATSOFAMIDNIGHTBELL,AND OFASCENEOFEARLYMORNINGXVII THEPRINCESSEGERIA BOOK3 XVIII THEAUTHORESSXIX ADRIVEINSUNLIGHTANDA DRIVEINMOONLIGHTXX DIANA’SNIGHT-WATCHINTHE CHAMBEROFDEATHXXI THEYOUNGMINISTEROFSTATEXXII BETWEENDIANAANDDACIER:THEWINDEASTOVERBLEAK LANDXXIII RECORDSAVISITTODIANAFROMONEOFTHE WORLD’SGOODWOMENXXIV INDICATESASOULPREPAREDFOR DESPERATIONXXV ONCEMORETHECROSSWAYSANDACHANGE OFTURNINGSXXVI INWHICHADISAPPOINTEDLOVERRECEIVESA MULTITUDEOFLESSONS BOOK5 XXXVI ISCONCLUSIVEASTOTHEHEARTLESSNESSOF WOMENWITHBRAINSXXXVII ANEXHIBITIONOFSOME CHAMPIONSOFTHESTRICKENLADYXXXVIII CONVALESCENCEOF AHEALTHYMINDDISTRAUGHTXXXIX OFNATUREWITHONEOF HERCULTIVATEDDAUGHTERSANDASHORTEXCURSIONINANTICLIMAXXL INWHICHWESEENATUREMAKINGOFAWOMANA MAIDAGAIN,ANDATHRICEWHIMSICALXLI CONTAINSA REVELATIONOFTHEORIGINOFTHETIGRESSINDIANAXLII THE PENULTIMATE:SHOWINGAFINALSTRUGGLEFORLIBERTYAND RUNINTOHARNESSXLIII NUPTIALCHAPTER:ANDOFHOWA BARELYWILLINGWOMANWASLEDTOBLOOMWITHNUPTIAL SENTIMENT Aladyofhighdistinctionforwitandbeauty,thedaughterofanillustrious IrishHouse,cameundertheshadowofacalumny Ithaslatterlybeenexamined andexposedasbaseless ThestoryofDianaoftheCrosswaysistobereadas fiction DIANAOFTHECROSSWAYS BYGEORGEMEREDITH 1897 BOOK1 I OFDIARIESANDDIARISTSTOUCHINGTHEHEROINEII ANIRISH BALLIII THEINTERIOROFMR REDWORTHANDTHEEXTERIOROF MR SULLIVANSMITHIV CONTAININGHINTSOFDIANA’S EXPERIENCESANDOFWHATTHEYLEDTOV CONCERNINGTHE SCRUPULOUSGENTLEMANWHOCAMETOOLATEVI THECOUPLE VII THECRISISVIII INWHICHISEXHIBITEDHOWAPRACTICAL MANANDADIVININGWOMANLEARNTORESPECTONEANOTHER CHAPTERI OFDIARIESANDDIARISTSTOUCHINGTHEHEROINE AmongtheDiariesbeginningwiththesecondquarterofourcentury,thereis frequentmentionofaladythenbecomingfamousforherbeautyandherwit:‘an unusualcombination,’inthedeliberatesyllablesofoneofthewriters,whois, however,notdisposedtopersonalironywhenspeakingofher Itisotherwisein hiscaseandageneralflingatthesexwemaydeempardonable,fordoingas littleharmtowomankindasthestoneofanurchincastuponthebosomof motherEarth;thoughmenmustlooksomedaytohaveitreturnedtothem, whichisacertainty;andindeedfullsurelywillouridle-handedyoungstertoo,in hisriperseason;beheardcomplainingofastrangeassaultofwantonmissiles, comingonhimheknowsnotwhence;forweareallofusdistinctlymarkedto getbackwhatwegive,evenfromthethingnamedinanimatenature The‘LEAVESFROMTHEDIARYOFHENRYWILMERS’arestuddedwith examplesofthedinner-tablewitofthetime,notalwaysworthquotationtwice; forsmartremarkshavetheirmeasureddistances,manyrequiringtobeabrule pourpoint,orwithinthrowofthepistol,tomakeithit;inotherwords,the majorityofthemareaddresseddirectlytoourmuscularsystem,andtheyhave noeffectwhenwestandbeyondtherange Onthecontrary,theyreflect sombrelyonthespringsofhilarityinthegenerationprecedingus;withdue reserveofcredit,ofcourse,toananimalvivaciousnessthatseemstohave wantedsosmallanincitement Ouroldyeomanryfarmers—returningtotheir bedsoverfernycommonsunderbrightmoonlightfromaneighbour’sharvesthome,easedtheirbubblingbreastswithareadyroarnotunakintoit Stillthe promptnesstolaughisanexcellentprogenitorialfoundationforthewittocome inapeople;andundoubtedlythediarialrecordofanimputedpieceofwitis witnesstothespoutingoflaughter Thisshouldcomfortuswhileweskimthe sparklingpassagesofthe‘Leaves.’Whenanationhasacknowledgedthatitisas yetbutinthefisticuffstageoftheartofcondensingourpurestsensetogolden sentences,areadierappreciationwillbeextendedtothegift:whichistostrike notthedazzledeyes,theunanticipatingnose,theribs,thesides,andstunus, twirlus,hoodwink,mystify,tickleandtwitch,bydexteritiesoflingualsparring andshuffling,buttostrikerootsinthemind,theHesperidesofgoodthings We shallthensetapriceonthe‘unusualcombination.’Awittywomanisatreasure; awittyBeautyisapower Hassheactualbeauty,actualwit?—notsimplyatidal materialbeautythatpassescurrentanyprettyflippancyorstaggering pretentiousness?Grant thecombination,shewillappearaveritablequeenofher period,fitforhomage;atleastmeritingadispositiontobelievethebestofher,in theteethoffoulrumour;becausethewelloftruewitistruthitself,thegathering ofthepreciousdropsofrightreason,wisdom’slightning;andnosoulpossessing anddispensingitcanjustlybeatargetfortheworld,howeverwellarmedthe worldconfrontingher Ourtemporaryworld,thatOldCredulityandstonehurlingurchininone,supposesitpossibleforawomantobementallyactiveup tothepointofspiritualclarityandalsofleshlyvile;aguidetolifeandabiterat thefruitsofdeath;bothopenmindandhypocrite Ithasnotyetbeentaughtto appreciateaqualitycertifyingtosoundcitizenshipasauthoritativelyasacresof landinfeesimple,orcoffersofbonds,sharesandstocks,andamore imperishableguarantee Themultitudesofevilreportswhichittakesforproof, aremarshalledagainstherwithoutquestionofthenatureofthevictim,her temptressbeautybeingasufficientlypresumptivedelinquent Itdoesnotpretend toknowthewhole,ornakedbodyofthefacts;itknowsenoughforitsfurry dubiousness;andexceptingthesentimentalofmen,arocket-headedhorde,ever attheheelsoffairfacesforignition,andupstarringawayatahintof tearfulness;exceptingfurtherbychanceasolidchampionman,orsome generouswomancapableoffaithinthepeltedsolitaryofhersex,ourtemporary worldblowsdirectEastonhershiveringperson Thescandaliswarrantforthat; thecircumstancesofthescandalemphasizethewarrant Andhowcleversheis! ClevernessisanattributeoftheselectermissionarylieutenantsofSatan We praytobedefendedfromhercleverness:sheflashesbitsofspeechthatcatch menintheirunguardedcorner Thewarystufftheirears,thestolidbidherbest sayingsreboundonherreputation Neverthelesstheworld,asChristian, remembersitsprofessions,andaportionofitjoinstheburlyinmoralsby extendingtoherarougholdcharitablemercifulness;betterthansentimental ointment,buttheheaviestblowshehastobear,toacharacterswimmingforlife Thattheladyinquestionwasmuchquoted,theDiariesandMemoirstestify Hearsayaswellashearingwasatworktoproducetheabundance;anditwasa noveltyinEngland,where(incompany)themenarethepointedtalkers,andthe womenconversationallyfairCircassians Theyare,ortheyknowthatthey shouldbe;itcomestothesame Happilyourcivilizationhasnotprescribedthe veiltothem Themuteshavehereandthereasketchorlabelattachedtotheir names:theyare‘strikinglyhandsome’;theyare‘verygood-looking’; occasionallytheyarenotedas‘extremelyentertaining’:inwhatmanner,is inquiredbyacuriousposterity,thatinsomanymattersisleftunendinglyto jumptheemptyandgapingfigureofinterrogationoveritsownfullstop Great ladiesmusttheybe,atthewebofpolitics,forustohearthemciteddiscoursing HenryWilmersisnotcontenttoquotethebeautifulMrs Warwick,heattemptsa portrait Mrs Warwickis‘quiteGrecian.’Shemight‘poseforastatue.’He presentsherincarpenter’slines,withadabofschool-boxcolours,effectiveto thosewhomtheKeepsakefashioncanstir Shehasastraightnose,redlips, ravenhair,blackeyes,richcomplexion,aremarkablyfinebust,andshewalks well,andhasanagreeablevoice;likewise‘delicateextremities.’Thewriterwas createdforpopularity,hadhechosentobringhisartintoourliterarymarket PerryWilkinsonisnotsoelaborate:hedescribesherinhis‘Recollections’asa splendidbrune,eclipsingalltheblondescomingnearher:and‘whatismore,the beautifulcreaturecantalk.’Hewondered,forshewasyoung,newtosociety Subsequentlyheisratherashamedofhiswonderment,andaccountsforitby ‘nothavingknownshewasIrish.’She‘turnsouttobeDanMerion’sdaughter.’ Wemayassumethathewouldhaveheardifshehadanywhiffofabrogue Her soundingoftheletterRatriflescrupulouslyisnoticedbyLadyPennon:‘And last,notleast,thelovelyMrs Warwick,twentyminutesbehindthedinner-hour, andr-r-reallyfearingshewaslate.’ Afteralludingtothesoftinfluenceofherbeautyandingenuousnessonthe vexedhostess,thekindlyoldmarchionessadds,thatitwasnowondershewas late,‘forjustbeforestartingfromhomeshehadbrokenloosefromherhusband forgood,andsheenteredtheroomabsolutelyhouseless!’Shewasnottheless ‘astonishinglybrilliant.’Herobservationswereoften‘sounexpectedlydrollI laughedtillIcried.’LadyPennonbecameinconsequenceoneofthestanch supportersofMrs Warwick Otherswerenotsoeasilywon PerryWilkinsonholdsabalancewhenitgoes beyondaquestionofherwitandbeauty HenryWilmersputsthecaseaside,and takesherashefindsher Hiscousin,thecleverandcynicalDorsetWilmers, whosemethodofconveyinghisopinionswithoutstatingthemwasfamous, repeatsontwooccasionswhenhernameappearsinhispages,‘handsome,lively, witty’;andthestressedrepetitionofcalculatedbrevitywhileafieryscandalwas abroadconcerningthelady,impliesweightysubstance—thereservationofa constable’struncheon,thatcouldlegallyhaveknockedhercharacterdowntothe pavement Wehavenottoaskwhathejudged ButDorsetWilmerswasa politicalopponentoftheeminentPeerwhoyieldsthesecondnametothe scandal,andpoliticsinhisdayflushedtheconceptionsofmen Hisshort referencesto‘thatWarwick-Dannisburghaffair’arenotverballymalicious He getswindofthetermsofLordDannisburgh’swillandtestament,notingthem withoutcomment Theoddnessoftheinstrumentinonerespectmayhaveserved histurn;wehavenogroundsforthinkinghimmalignant Thedeathofhis enemycloseshisallusionstoMrs Warwick Hewasgrowingancient,andgout narrowedthecirclehewhirledin Hadheknownthis‘handsome,lively,witty’ apparitionasawomanhavingpoliticalandsocialviewsofherown,hewould not,onefancies,havebeensostingless OurEnglandexposesasorryfigurein hisReminiscences Hestruckheavily,roundandabouthim,whereverhemoved; hehadbynatureatarnishingeyethatcastdiscolouration Hisunadornedharsh substantivestatements,excludingtheadjectives,givehisMemoirsthe appearanceofabodyoffacts,attractivetothehistoricMuse,whichhaslearntto esteemthosebrawnysturdygiantsmarchingclubonshoulder,independentof henchman,inpreferencetoyourpanopliedknightswiththeirpuffysquires,once herfavourites,andwind-fillingtohercolumns,ultimatelyfoundindigestible HisexhibitionofhisenemyLordDannisburgh,isoftheclassofnobleportraits weseeswingingoverinn-portals,grosslyunlikeinlikeness Thepossibilityof theman’sdoingorsayingthisandthatadumbratestheimprobability:hehad somethingofthecharactercapableofit,toomuchgoodsenseforthe performance Wewouldthinkso,andstilltheshadowisroundourthoughts LordDannisburghwasamanofministerialtact,officialability,Paganmorality; anexcellentgeneralmanager,ifnogeniusinstatecraft Buthewascarelessof socialopinion,unbuttoned,andalaugher Weknowthathecouldbechivalrous towardwomen,notwithstandingtheperplexitieshebroughtonthem,andthisthe Dorset-Diarydoesnotshow HischronicleislessmischievousasregardsMrs Warwickthantheparagraphs ofPerryWilkinson,agossippresentinganimageofperpetualchatter,likethe waxen-facedstreetadvertizementsoflightandeasydentistry Hehasnobelief, nodisbelief;namesthepro-partyandthecon;recitesthecase,anddiscreetly, over-discreetly;andpicturesthetrial,tellsthelistofwitnesses,recordsthe verdict:sothecasewent,andsomethoughtonething,someanotherthing:only itisreportedforpositivethataminiatureoftheincriminatedladywascleverly smuggledovertothejury,andjuriessittingupontheseeases,eversincetheir bedazzlementbyPhryne,asyouknow… Andthenherelatesananecdoteof thehusband,saidtohavebeennotabadfellowbeforehemarriedhisDiana;and thenamingoftheGoddessremindshimthatthesecondpersonintheindictment isnoweverywherecalled‘Theelderlyshepherd’;—butimmediatelyafterthe bridalbellsthishusbandbecamesourandinsupportable,andeithershehadthe trickofputtinghimpubliclyinthewrong,orhelostallshameinplayingthe churlishdomestictyrant Theinstancesareincredibleofagentleman Perry Wilkinsongivesustwoorthree;oneontheauthorityofapersonalfriendwho witnessedthescene;attheWarwickwhist-table,wherethefairDianawouldlet loosehersilverylaughintheintervals Shewashardlyoutofherteens,and shouldhavebeendancinginsteadoffastenedtoatable Adifferenceoffifteen yearsintheagesoftheweddedpairaccountspoorlyforthehusband’sconduct, howeversolemnabusinessthegameofwhist Wereadthatheburstoutatlast, withbittermimicry,‘yang—yang—yang!’andkilledthebrightlaugh,shotit dead Shehadoutragedthedecorumofthesquare-tableonlywhilethecards weremaking Perhapshertoo-deadensuingsilence,asofonestrivingtobring backthethrobstoaslainbirdinherbosom,allowedthegapbetweenthe weddedpairtobevisible,foritwasdatedbacktoprophecyassoonasthe trumpetproclaimedit Butamultiplicationofsimilarinstances,whichcanservenootherpurposethan thatofanapology,isamiserablevindicationofinnocence Themorewehaveof themthedarkertheinference Indelicatesituationsthechattererisnoxious Mrs Warwickhadnumerousapologists Thosetrustingtoherperfectrectitudewere rarer Thelibertysheallowedherselfinspeechandactionmusthavebeentrying toherdefendersinalandlikeours;forhere,andabletothrowitsshadowonour giddyupper-circle,therigourofthegameoflife,relaxedthoughitmay sometimesappear,wouldsatisfythestaidestwhist-player Shedidnotwishitthe reverse,evenwhenclaimingaspaceforlaughter:‘thebreathofhersoul,’asshe calledit,andasitmaybefeltintheearlyyouthofalivelynature She, especially,withhermultitudeofquickperceptionsandimaginativeavenues,her rapidsummaries,hersenseofthecomic,demandedthisaerialfreedom WehaveitfromPerryWilkinsonthattheunionofthedivergentcouplewas likenedtoanotherunionalwaysinaCourtofLaw Therewasadistinction;most analogieswillfurnishone;andhereweseeEnglandandIrelandchangeingtheir parts,untillater,afterthebreach,whentheEnglishmanandIrishwomanresumed acertainresemblancetotheyokedIslands HenryWilmers,Ihavesaid,dealsexclusivelywiththewitandcharmofthe woman Hetreatsthescandalaswemightdoinlikemannerifherstoryhadnot
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