by Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Collins doesn't use traditional chapters in The Moonstone, so the citations are a little trickier than in other Victorian novels. Citations follow this format: (Period.Narrative.Chapter.Paragraph).
The matron's opinion of Rosanna was (in spite of what she had done) that the girl was one in a thousand, and that she only wanted a chance to prove herself worthy of any Christian woman's interest in her. My lady (being a Christian woman, if ever there was one yet) said to the matron, upon that, 'Rosanna Spearman shall have her chance, in my service.' (220.127.116.11)
The ideas of second chances, forgiveness, and redemption are closely linked to the theme of religion. Lady Verinder, as a "Christian woman," is willing to give Rosanna a second chance in spite of her past as a thief.
'And I desire that my […] sister may be informed, by means of a true copy of this, the third and last clause of my Will, that I give the Diamond to her daughter Rachel, in token of my free forgiveness of the injury which her conduct towards me has been the means of inflicting on my reputation in my lifetime; and especially in proof that I pardon, as becomes a dying man, the insult offered to me as an officer and a gentleman, when her servant, by her orders, closed the door of her house against me, on the occasion of her daughter's birthday.' (18.104.22.168)
We're meant to believe that Lady Verinder is sincerely "a Christian woman" when she gives Rosanna a second chance. But John Herncastle's Will, in which he claims repeatedly that he forgives his sister for the "insult" of not inviting him to Rachel's birthday party, is meant to sound insincere. After all, he knew that the Indians were after the Moonstone and that it would be dangerous for Rachel to be in possession of it. This is the first example of a character using religion for hypocritical, self-serving reasons in this novel.
(Nota bene: I am an average good Christian, when you don't push my Christianity too far. And all the rest of you—which is a great comfort—are, in this respect, much the same as I am.) (22.214.171.124)
Gabriel Betteredge compares his own religion to the reader's: he says that everyone is basically good, as long as you don't push them too far.