By Trenton W. Batson, Eugene Bergman
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Additional resources for Angels and Outcasts: An Anthology of Deaf Characters in Literature
Madame des Arcis had only made a prudent marriage; love had come and was reciprocated. Suddenly a terrible obstacle came between them, and this obstacle was precisely the very thing that should have been their sacred bond. What caused this sudden and tacit separation, more terrible than a divorce, more cruel than a slow death, was that the mother, in spite of the misfortune, loved her child passionately, while the chevalier, whatever he may have wished to do, in spite of his patience and goodness, could Page 14 not conquer the horror that was inspired in him by this malediction of God that had fallen upon him.
Alone and apart, leaning against a seat, she stood and followed the measure, balancing her pretty head, without attempting to mix with the company, but sad and gentle enough to inspire pity. One of the hardest tasks this unfortunate soul attempted was to try to count with a little neighbor who was learning arithmetic. It was a very easy and short sum. Her companion was struggling with several numbers, somewhat mixed. The total did not amount to more than twelve or fifteen units. The neighbor counted on her fingers.
Madame des Arcis wished to have Camille attend. She desired to see the effect that her daughter's beauty would produce upon her husband and the world. She had spent sleepless nights thinking of how she would dress her; she cherished the fondest hopes on this subject. "He shall be proud of her, and the others must be jealous of that poor little girl, once for all," she would say to herself. " As soon as the chevalier noticed his wife coming toward him, he went to meet her, and took her by the hand, which he respectfully kissed with a gallantry which he had acquired at Versailles and which he had never forgotten, in spite of his natural good humor.
Angels and Outcasts: An Anthology of Deaf Characters in Literature by Trenton W. Batson, Eugene Bergman