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of authentic evidence ranging over a long term of years,

time:2023-12-07 05:26:37 author:science read:627次

‘Oh, papa! you don’t mean that you thought me so silly? I really liked that account of himself better than anything else he said. Everything else revolted me, from its hardness; but he spoke about himself so simply — with so little of the pretence that makes the vulgarity of shop-people, and with such tender respect for his mother, that I was less likely to leave the room then than when he was boasting about Milton, as if there was not such another place in the world; or quietly professing to despise people for careless, wasteful improvidence, without ever seeming to think it his duty to try to make them different — to give them anything of the training which his mother gave him, and to which he evidently owes his position, whatever that may be. No! his statement of having been a shop-boy was the thing I liked best of all.’

of authentic evidence ranging over a long term of years,

‘I am surprised at you, Margaret,’ said her mother. ‘You who were always accusing people of being shoppy at Helstone! I don’t I think, Mr. Hale, you have done quite right in introducing such a person to us without telling us what he had been. I really was very much afraid of showing him how much shocked I was at some parts of what he said. His father “dying in miserable circumstances.” Why it might have been in the workhouse.’

of authentic evidence ranging over a long term of years,

‘I am not sure if it was not worse than being in the workhouse,’ replied her husband. ‘I heard a good deal of his previous life from Mr. Bell before we came here; and as he has told you a part, I will fill up what he left out. His father speculated wildly, failed, and then killed himself, because he could not bear the disgrace. All his former friends shrunk from the disclosures that had to be made of his dishonest gambling — wild, hopeless struggles, made with other people’s money, to regain his own moderate portion of wealth. No one came forwards to help the mother and this boy. There was another child, I believe, a girl; too young to earn money, but of course she had to be kept. At least, no friend came forwards immediately, and Mrs. Thornton is not one, I fancy, to wait till tardy kindness comes to find her out. So they left Milton. I knew he had gone into a shop, and that his earnings, with some fragment of property secured to his mother, had been made to keep them for a long time. Mr. Bell said they absolutely lived upon water-porridge for years — how, he did not know; but long after the creditors had given up hope of any payment of old Mr. Thornton’s debts (if, indeed, they ever had hoped at all about it, after his suicide,) this young man returned to Milton, and went quietly round to each creditor, paying him the first instalment of the money owing to him. No noise — no gathering together of creditors — it was done very silently and quietly, but all was paid at last; helped on materially by the circumstance of one of the creditors, a crabbed old fellow (Mr. Bell says), taking in Mr. Thornton as a kind of partner.’

of authentic evidence ranging over a long term of years,

‘That really is fine,’ said Margaret. ‘What a pity such a nature should be tainted by his position as a Milton manufacturer.’

‘How tainted?’ asked her father.

‘Oh, papa, by that testing everything by the standard of wealth. When he spoke of the mechanical powers, he evidently looked upon them only as new ways of extending trade and making money. And the poor men around him — they were poor because they were vicious — out of the pale of his sympathies because they had not his iron nature, and the capabilities that it gives him for being rich.’

‘Not vicious; he never said that. Improvident and self-indulgent were his words.’

Margaret was collecting her mother’s working materials, and preparing to go to bed. Just as she was leaving the room, she hesitated — she was inclined to make an acknowledgment which she thought would please her father, but which to be full and true must include a little annoyance. However, out it came.


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