She went to Mrs. Goddard’s accordingly the very next day, to undergo the necessary penance of communication; and a severe one it was.
With the fortitude of a devoted novitiate, she had resolved at one-and-twenty to complete the sacrifice, and retire from all the pleasures of life, of rational intercourse, equal society, peace and hope, to penance and mortification for ever.
Here, she must be leading a life of privation and penance; there it would have been all enjoyment.
She must be under some sort of penance, inflicted either by the Campbells or herself.
Harriet seemed ready to worship her friend for a sentence so satisfactory; and Emma was only saved from raptures and fondness, which at that moment would have been dreadful penance, by the sound of her father’s footsteps.
She was, in fact, beginning very much to wonder that she had ever thought him pleasing at all; and his sight was so inseparably connected with some very disagreeable feelings, that, except in a moral light, as a penance, a lesson, a source of profitable humiliation to her own mind, she would have been thankful to be assured of never seeing him again.
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prayers of penance
A foreign policy of penance was counterproductive.