Godey's Lady's Book - Fiction

Author: T. S. Arthur

Title: A Tale for the Times

Date: June 1858

Volume/Page: v56 p536


Mr. Fleetwood comes home in utter and passionate despair, ruined by a supposed friend in a business deal. Mrs. Fleetwood, his wife of one year, is at first shocked but quickly regains her composure and strength of purpose. She convinces him that as long as he has done nothing dishonorable all will be well. She urges him to confront the source of the trouble. He does so, finds the offending papers that would have destroyed him financially and socially, and destroys them.

This story is striking for its passionate language (it begins with "Ruined! Ruined! Ruined!") and for the descriptions of Mrs. Fleetwood's reactions: "The wife's deep love had given strength to her heart already, and her voice was regaining firmness. " ""My precious husband!"--the tones of Mrs. Fleetwood were overburdened with the tenderest love..." "But the man is safe!" said Mrs. Fleetwood. . . In a voice almost exultant." Mr. Fleetwood expresses his thanks: "Your courage, your faith, your patience, will give strength in hours of weakness sure to come."

It is her strength that provides the foundation for his action and he is quick to ackowledge her in providing that foundation.

Written and copyright by Hope Greenberg. 11/24/95.