She nursed him, she read to him, she anticipated his wants, and was solicitous about his feelings; but there had entered into the husband’s mind the certainty that she judged him, and that her wifely devotedness was like a penitential expiation of unbelieving thoughts—was accompanied with a power of comparison by which himself and his doings were seen too luminously as a part of things in general.
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She knows she can’t expiate her sins, but hopes to heal some of the wounds.
And when there is also a feeling of guilt to be overcome, and, maybe, expiated,