were too painful to be heartily enjoyed.
After all, the public mind is rather repelled by a tragedy, since people wish to be made happy.
Great injustice has been done by many critics, I think, to Hetty's strange history.
While its extraordinary power is conceded, it has been called morbid and immoral; yet it is as stern a tale of retribution as Madame Bovary or The scarlet letter.
We rarely find in fiction any severity of injustice meted out to a wrong act done from noble motives.
In Jean Paul's Siebenkas the husband feigns death in order that his wife may find happiness without him: he succeeds in his effort, and is at last made happy himself.
In Hetty's strange history the wife effaces herself with precisely the same object,--for her husband's sake: but the effort fails; the husband is not made happy by her absence, and when they are re-united the memory of her deception cannot be banished, so that after the first bliss of re-union they find that complete healing can never co