I owe it to myself, that I, a friendless, portionless, girl, with a blight upon my name, should not give your friends reason to suspect that I had sordidly yielded to your first passion, and fastened myself, a clog, on all your hopes and projects.
I know that of the wretched marriage, into which family pride, and the most sordid and narrowest of all ambition, forced your unhappy father when a mere boy, you were the sole and most unnatural issue.’
Above all, I think’ said the lady, fixing her eyes on her son’s face, ’that if an enthusiastic, ardent, and ambitious man marry a wife on whose name there is a stain, which, though it originate in no fault of hers, may be visited by cold and sordid people upon her, and upon his children also: and, in exact proportion to his success in the world, be cast in his teeth, and made the subject of sneers against him: he may, no matter how generous and good his nature, one day repent of the…
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I learned the sordid inner workings of the royal court in Modeg from a …. courtesan.
Patrick Rothfuss -- The Name of the Wind
I was considering what she had suggested about our pretending to be other people, like figures in a Western novel, imagining how we could somehow exist outside of this place and time and circumstance, share instead the minute and sordid problems of such folks, the vagaries and ornate dramas of imperfect love.