"You would have fancied that one so young as I, born to wealth so vast, and living a life of such entire seclusion, would have been exempt from care. But you have seen how troubled my life was with fear and anxiety during the residence of Madame de la Rougierre, and now there rested upon my mind a vague and awful anticipation of the trial which my father had announced ... You perceive I had more spirit than courage. I think I had the mental attributes of courage; but then I was but a hysterical girl, and in so far neither more nor less than a coward."
Though pretty, well-spoken and educated, Maud is at times also weak-willed, fearful, and naive; but then she's also very young. She befriends her rustic cousin, Millicent, but Millie is also afraid of her father. Maud fends off the advances of her other cousin, Dudley, but can't ever seem to stand up to her uncle. And when her former governess, Madame de la Rougierre, reappears on the seem, all hope of happiness seems lost to poor Maud.
"It was late--just that hour when dejected people feel their anxieties most--when the cold grey of twilight has deepened to its darkest shade, and before the cheerful candles are lighted, and the safe quiet of night sets in."