astonishing how agreeable she made herself to her victims when she had fairly entrapped them. Bertha hesitated a little before accepting her offer of a seat at her side, but once seated she found herself oddly amused. When Madame de Castro chose to rake the embers of her seventy years, many a lively coal discovered itself among the ashes.
Seeing the two women together, Edmondstone shuddered in fastidious protest.
"How could you laugh at that detestable old woman?" he exclaimed on encountering Bertha later in the evening. "I wonder that M. Villefort would permit her to talk to you. She is a wicked, cynical creature, who has the hardihood to laugh at her sins instead of repenting of them."
"Perhaps that is the reason she is so amusing," said Bertha.
Edmondstone answered her with gentle mournfulness.
"What!" he said. "Have you begun to say such things? You too, Bertha"--
The laugh with which she stopped him was both light and hard.
"Where is M. Villefort?" she as
One of the hardest things about reading 19th-century literature is getting into the moral mindset of the period. This story about a lovely young woman; her ugly, older husband; and her handsome, talented, male cousin could not be transferred into modern times. That makes the unhappy characters seem less sympathetic than they likely were to readers of its day.
I find this story slow and somewhat confusing. Not enough explanation of why the characters did what they did and meaning of terms. Notenough meaning as why they felt what they did.