General Villette Style Creepiness

April 29, 2011

Last time I posted I was discussing the hiring practices of Lucy Snowe’s new boss, Madame Beck.  I posited that aforementioned practices were somewhat “relaxed”.  Well it seems that this lackadaisical attitude permeates all aspects of her life.  Here’s a description of the woman that Lucy will replace:

Beside a table, on which flared the remnant of a candle guttering to waste in the socket, a coarse woman, heterogeneously clad in a broad striped showy silk dress and a stiff apron, sat in a chair fast asleep.  To complete the picture, and leave no doubt as to the state of matters, a bottle and an empty glass stood at the sleeping beauty’s elbow.

Psst.  Madame Beck…I think maybe you should start checking references.  When you hire any wayfarer and wanderer that shows up to your door you end up hiring help that passes out in a drunken stupor when they are caring for your children.  AND she fell asleep with a candle burning–fire hazard!

And recall this previous conversation regarding Lucy’s predecessor went like this…

He gazed steadily.  “Do you need her services?”

“I could do with them.  You know I am disgusted with Madame Svini.”

Not, note, “Yes I could use a replacement for Madame Svini because she is a fall asleep tippler who doesn’t extinguish her candles and any minute she may endanger my children with her negligence and/or set my curtains on fire with her refusal to follow basic fire safety precautions.”

This beginning of Lucy’s new job did remind me of the first episode of Newsradio where Dave Foley’s Dave Nelson has to fire his predecessor on his first day at the studio.  I wonder how many subtle Villette references there were in that show?

But I’m not done discussing the oddity of Madame Beck.  Here’s the first night of Lucy’s stay in the maison de Beck

I was a light sleeper; in the dead of night I suddenly awoke.  All was hushed, but a white figure stood in the room — Madame in her night-dress.

Scary….or sexy?

Moving without perceptible sound, she visited the three children in the three beds;

Awww.  Sweet.

she approached me: I feigned sleep, and she studied me long.  A small pantomime ensued, curious enough.  I dare say she sat a quarter of an hour on the edge of the bed, gazing at my face.

AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!   AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! (Least fun pantomime ever)

She then drew nearer, bent closer over me; slightly raised my cap, and turned back the border so as to expose my hair; she looked at my hand lying on the bedclothes.

Get. Out. NOW!!!

Creepy right?  And just when you think it can’t get creepier Madame Beck discovers the locks of Miss Marchmont’s hair that Lucy carries around with her.


What’s Bronte going to throw at us next?  Madame Beck forcing Lucy to polish her many jars of urine?  Lucy’s construction of fingernail effigies of the entire Beck family?

I’ll keep you posted,



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