This is one of a very few glimpses we receive into the more complex aspects of Mrs Gould's apparently angelic personality. "Pride" is not an attribute one would normally associate with Mrs Gould, but there it is, and it plays a powerful background role in the choices she makes over the course of the novel. As we shall see, a fundamental pre-requisite of altruism is a position above those whom one purports to help. Mrs Gould consistently acts so as to preserve this position, "before all things."