Page:Twilight.djvu/167

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159
TWILIGHT

She had given herself to a man who could appreciate none of these, who was coarse from his thick lips to his language, from his large spatulate hands to his lascivious small brain. He burned her with his taunts of how she had pursued him, torn him from other women, forced her love upon him. There was just enough truth in it to make her writhe in her desecrated soul and modesties. Of course she thought he had feared to aspire. Now he made it evident he considered it was she who had aspired!!! He told her of duchesses who had sought his songs and his caresses, and gloatingly of unimaginable incidents. He tortured her beyond endurance.

She left him for the shelter of her father's home within a few months of their marriage. There she was nursed back into moral and physical health, welcomed, comforted, pitied, and she slowly emerged from this mud bath of matrimony. Her press, theatrical and lettered friends rallied round her; wealth and foreign travel ameliorated the position. She wrote again and with greater success than before. Suffering had deepened her note, she was still without sentiment, but had acquired something of sympathy.

Years passed. She had almost forgotten the degradation and humiliation of her marriage, when an escapade of her husband's, brazenly public, forced her to take definite steps for legal freedom. She was now sufficiently famous for the papers to treat