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It is true that they did share in common a manner of relating to each other that involved raised voices behind slammed doors, angry silences and periods of cold civility; but this shared inclination brought them no closer together.
It could be further urged on their behalf , that in this conduct, they provided society with the diversion of much talk, and their staff with constant entertainment; - for Willoughby’s confidential valet knew all about his improper pursuits, while his wife’s lady’s maid could recount how Mrs Willoughby had cursed him for a fortune hunting libertine in full hearing of the servants, and of how savagely he had kicked shut her sitting room door before retorting that, ‘Devil take it, in his whole worthless life, he had only cared for Mrs Brandon, and he’d be damned if he pretended anything else to please a scolding…’ But the reader does not wish to hear any more of this.
Seemingly their staff lacked any discretion, and soon enough, the content of the Willoughby’s exchanges leaked out into polite society, which showed still less decorum in repeating them assiduously. Many a man had dined out for a month on his knowledge of episodes that ought to have been cloaked in decent silence, and Miss Steele was one of many maiden ladies agog for the latest outrage.'