The House of Mirth Book 2, chapter 6
Our girl, Lilly B. runs into Dorset. He apologizes to her and says he wants/ needs her friendship. He also wants her to give him details of his wife Bertha’s infidelity.
Lily Bart is tempted.
All her past weaknesses were like so many eager accomplices drawing her toward the path their feet had already smoothed. She turned quickly, and held out her hand to Dorset.
“Goodbye–I’m sorry; there’s nothing in the world that I can do.”
I have to say. I was proud of our girl. She didn’t give in, and I kind of thought that she might.
Not too many pages later, Lily comes home to find George Dorset in her sitting room. He doesn’t want to give up on her. If she would only tell him what he’s sure that she knows.
Their eyes met, and for a second she trembled again with the nearness of the temptation. “You’re mistaken; I know nothing; I saw nothing,” she exclaimed, striving, by sheer force of reiteration, to build a barrier between herself and her peril; and as he turned away, groaning out “You sacrifice us both,” she continued to repeat, as if it were a charm; “I know nothing–absolutely nothing.”
How about that. She stayed strong.
Still… she has the letters.
I’m waiting for the third temptation. Doesn’t it seem like there should be three? As Lily’s situation becomes more dire, I wonder if she’ll give in in the end.