Quotation of the Week: A selfish, cold-hearted Sybarite

Miss Alicia Audley is distinctly unimpressed with her cousin Robert’s sudden interest in her enigmatic new step-mother and isn’t afraid to say so:

“…pray amuse yourself in your own way; loll in an easy-chair all day, with those two absurd dogs asleep on your knees; spoil my lady’s window-curtains with your cigars and annoy everybody in the house with your stupid, inanimate countenance.”

From The Fate of

Poor old Robert looks on helplessly as she continues her tirade:


“The young lady was walking up and down the room, slashing the skirt of her habit with her riding-whip. Her eyes sparkled with an angry flash, and a crimson glow burned under her clear brown skin. The young barrister knew very well, by these diagnostics, that his cousin was in a passion.”

“Yes,” she repeated, “your stupid, inanimate countenance. Do you know, Robert Audley, that with all your mock amiability, you are brimful of conceit and superciliousness. You look down upon our amusements; you lift up your eyebrows, and shrug your shoulders, and throw yourself back in your chair, and wash your hands of us and our pleasures. You are a selfish, cold-hearted Sybarite–“

Chapter 15 of M.E Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret

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