’Wickfield’s plans,’ said the Doctor, stroking his face, and looking penitently at his adviser.
Penitence, humiliation, shame, pride, love, and trustfulness — I see them all; and in them all, I see that horror of I don’t know what.
The surprise and its consequences would have been much less disagreeable to me if he had not been penitent.
As to the washerwoman pawning the clothes, and coming in a state of penitent intoxication to apologize, I suppose that might have happened several times to anybody.
But he was very penitent indeed, and in a peculiar way — not in the lump, but by instalments.
’Oh dear, yes, sir!’ cried this hopeful penitent.
I found as prevalent a fashion in the form of the penitence, as I had left outside in the forms of the coats and waistcoats in the windows of the tailors’ shops.
What an evening, when Mrs. Crupp, coming in to take away the broth-basin, produced one kidney on a cheese-plate as the entire remains of yesterday’s feast, and I was really inclined to fall upon her nankeen breast and say, in heartfelt penitence, ’Oh, Mrs. Crupp, Mrs. Crupp, never mind the broken meats!
This, at the time I write, has been proved, I believe, to be the case; but, as it would have been flat blasphemy against the system to have hinted such a doubt then, I looked out for the penitence as diligently as I could.
’On the commission he is, at any rate,’ said I. ’And he writes to me here, that he will be glad to show me, in operation, the only true system of prison discipline; the only unchallengeable way of making sincere and lasting converts and penitents — which, you know, is by solitary confinement.
CHAPTER 61 I AM SHOWN TWO INTERESTING PENITENTS For a time — at all events until my book should be completed, which would be the work of several months — I took up my abode in my aunt’s house at Dover; and there, sitting in the window from which I had looked out at the moon upon the sea, when that roof first gave me shelter, I quietly pursued my task.