- Jul 2018
Being restless and miserable, and having no particular room to go to, I took a turn on the terrace, and thought it over in peace and quietness by myself. It doesn’t much matter what my thoughts were. I felt wretchedly old, and worn out, and unfit for my place–and began to wonder, for the first time in my life, when it would please God to take me. With all this, I held firm, notwithstanding, to my belief in Miss Rachel. If Sergeant Cuff had been Solomon in all his glory, and had told me that my young lady had mixed herself up in a mean and guilty plot, I should have had but one answer for Solomon, wise as he was, “You don’t know her; and I do.”
The twists and turns in the investigation had exhausted Mr.Betteredge, but hadn't worn out his faith in Miss Rachel. Despite his awfully miserable feeling at Miss Rachel's being suspected, his belief in Miss Rachel never wavered. It's interesting how Betteredge's acquaintance with the suspect varied his viewpoint. Was his belief blinded by his familiarity with Miss Rachel? Was it a "human infirmity" that Mr.Betteredge tended to protect Miss Rachel? It appears necessary to analyze Betteredge's attitudes towards Miss Rachel to evaluate his statement of Miss Rachel's innocence here.
I began to feel a little uneasy. There was something in the way Penelope put it which silenced my superior sense. I called to mind, now my thoughts were directed that way, what had passed between Mr. Franklin and Rosanna overnight. She looked cut to the heart on that occasion; and now, as ill-luck would have it, she had been unavoidably stung again, poor soul, on the tender place. Sad! sad!–all the more sad because the girl had no reason to justify her, and no right to feel it.
Betteredge's demonstrative narrative here appeals to me. All along the way, the old man had been high up above, examining Rosanna's affections towards Mr.Franklin from behind the veils. However, the quiet stolidity of Rosanna described by his daughter "silenced" his "superiority sense". Not only that Rosanna had been stung in the tenderest chamber of her heart, but also her lack of justification of her feelings, had aroused the melancholy sense. I would be intrigued to analyze the turn of Betteredge's feelings towards Rosanna, as revealed here for an instance. Additionally, the old man's stereotypes towards Rosanna might be linked to class prejudice, since she was a mere servant in the house.