“Miss Graham told me nothing… without so much as one word of recommendation from any living creature,” (Braddon 234).
Before this passage, Robert asks both Mrs. Vincent and Miss Tonks where Lucy Graham was coming from. Mrs. Vincent gave a very vague answer that she was coming from the seaside. In this passage, Miss Tonks answers, “Miss Graham told me nothing; she was too clever for that.” We can see that Miss Tonks is very sure that Lucy Graham is hiding something, especially when Robert asks, “you think she had secrets, then?” and she make sure to emphasize, “I know she had.” We are also previously given information that Miss Tonks has a very good memory and if she cannot remember where Lucy had come from or when, then that makes Robert even more suspicious. It also seems that even though Miss Tonk has little information on Lucy, she has no problem with throwing her under the bus with any information she has, “She made the most of what she did know,” (Braddon 235). Though Robert is suspicious of Lucy, he also notices how easy it is for her to do this when she reveals the box, “How pitiless these women are to each other.” With this box, Robert was able to discover a label, “which bore the name of Miss Graham, passenger to London,’ which brought the novel to a cliffhanger with more evidence for Mr. Audley’s investigation.
“Yes, here, here…” (Braddon, 16)
When reading the beginning of the passage, I sympathized with Lucy when Braddon explains her misfortunes during her “babyhood.” She even insists that Sir Michael could have any other women much more superior than herself, but he chose her. However, we later see Lucy’s materialistic motivations become a contributing factor to her decision later.
I believe this passage is explaining the idea of love and status through Lucy’s reaction to Sir Michael’s proposal. Throughout the passage, Lucy makes a lot of words that can contrast between the idea of poverty and beauty; accomplished but poor. The passage also uses “you” and “we” in a way to explain that Sir Michael will never be able to relate to her life. Thus, being impossible for her to really fall in love with him even though he would help rescue her from poverty, “you cannot tell; you, who are amongst those for whom life is so smooth and easy; can never guess what is endured by such as we,” (Braddon 16). Lucy also repeats the lines, “you ask too much of me,” in the beginning of the passage. However, she later changes the wording to, “Do not ask too much of me, then,” (Braddon 16) after she explains her upbringing of poverty. This can imply that when Lucy accepted his proposal, she wasn’t hiding that some of her decision was based on his wealth and luxurious lifestyle. I am interested in seeing if Lucy’s motivations change from being somewhat wealth relate to real love throughout the book.