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Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eugene Brieux Novelized

protect a criminal against honest people, the doctor answered that even if his ethics permitted it, he would still refuse the request. "I would reproach myself forever," he said, "if I had aided you to obtain such a divorce." "Then," cried the old man, vehemently, "because you profess such and such theories, because the exercise of your profession makes you the constant witness of such miseries--therefore it is necessary that my daughter should continue to bear that man's name all her life!" The doctor answered, gently, "Sir, I understand and respect your grief. But believe me, you are not in a state of mind to decide about these matters now." "You are mistaken," declared the other, controlling himself with an effort. "I have been thinking about nothing else for days. I have discussed it with my daughter, and she agrees with me. Surely, sir, you cannot desire that my daughter should continue to live with a man who has struck her so brutal, so cowardly, a blow." "If I refuse your request," the doctor answered, "it is in the interest of your daughter." Then, seeing the other's excitement returning, he continued, "In your state of mind, Monsieur Loches, I know that you will probably be abusing me before five minutes has passed. But that will not trouble me. I have seen many cases. And since I have made the mistake of letting myself be trapped into this discussion, I must explain to you the reason for my attitude. You ask of me a certificate so that you may prove in court that your son-in-law is afflicted with syphilis." "Precisely," said the other. "And have you not reflected upon this--that at the same time you will be publicly attesting that your daughter has been exposed to the contagion? With such an admission, an admission officially registered in the public records, do you believe that she will find it easy to re-marry later on?" "She will never re-marry," said the father. "She says that today, but can you affirm that she will say the same thing five years from now, ten years from now? I tell you you will not obtain that divorce, because I will most certainly refuse you the necessary certificate." 72

Damaged_Goods  

by Upton Sinclair Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eugene Brieux Novelized 1 Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eu...

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