Elinor Mompellion Quotes in Year of Wonders
There was something in her that could not, or would not, see the distinctions that the world wished to make between weak and strong, between women and men, laborer and lord
“The man who sent it is a well-esteemed physician, and he says it is a remedy much thought of among the Florentine doctors…”
“But what is it?” I asked again.
“It contains a dried toad,” she said. I wept then, even though I knew her intentions were all of the best.
That man was a ship’s barber; he pulled teeth and amputated limbs. He knew nothing of women’s bodies. But you do know. You can do this, Anna. Use your mother-hands.
By gathering and sorting my own feelings so, I was finally able to fashion a scale on which I could weigh my father’s nature and find a balance between my disgust for him and an understanding of him; my guilt in the matter of his death against the debt he owed me for the manner of my life.
I was jealous of them both at once. Of him, because Elinor loved him, and I hungered for a greater share of her love than I could ever hope for. And yet I was jealous of her, too; jealous that she was loved by a man as a woman is meant to be loved.
To me, she had become so many things. So many things a servant has no right or reason to imagine that the person they serve will be. Because of her, I had known the warmth of a motherly concern – the concern that my own mother had not lived to show me. Because of her, I had a teacher and was not ignorant and unlettered still.
In lying with him, I had sought to bring her closer to me. I had tried to become her, in every way that I could. Instead, in taking my pleasure from his body, I had stolen from her – stolen what should have been hers, her wedding night.