by Henry James
Daisy Miller Respect and Reputation Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Paragraph)
After this Daisy was never at home, and Winterbourne ceased to meet her at the houses of their common acquaintances, because, as he perceived, these shrewd people had quite made up their minds that she was going too far. They ceased to invite her; and they intimated that they desired to express to observant Europeans the great truth that, though Miss Daisy Miller was a young American lady, her behavior was not representative--was regarded by her compatriots as abnormal. (2.207)
It's not so much that they don't want the Italians to think badly of Daisy, it's that they don't want the Italians to think badly of them. Classy.
Winterbourne, to do him justice, as it were, mentioned to no one that he had encountered Miss Miller, at midnight, in the Colosseum with a gentleman; but nevertheless, a couple of days later, the fact of her having been there under these circumstances was known to every member of the little American circle, and commented accordingly. (2.258)
This gossip game just gets more and more curious. If Winterbourne didn't tell anyone, then who did?
But the young man was conscious, at the same moment, that it had ceased to be a matter of serious regret to him that the little American flirt should be "talked about" by low-minded menials. These people, a day or two later, had serious information to give: the little American flirt was alarmingly ill. Winterbourne, when the rumor came to him, immediately went to the hotel for more news. (2.258)
At first, Winterbourne is all anti-gossip, but then he has to rely on gossip to find the info he needs. It's like when the antidote is the poison itself! (Wait, isn't that also how vaccines work?)