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course of my parliamentary career, have I ever given a

time:2023-12-07 04:51:39 author:bird read:714次

‘A strike!’ asked Margaret. ‘What for? What are they going to strike for?’

course of my parliamentary career, have I ever given a

‘For the mastership and ownership of other people’s property,’ said Mrs. Thornton, with a fierce snort. ‘That is what they always strike for. If my son’s work-people strike, I will only say they are a pack of ungrateful hounds. But I have no doubt they will.’

course of my parliamentary career, have I ever given a

‘They are wanting higher wages, I suppose?’ asked Mr. Hale.

course of my parliamentary career, have I ever given a

‘That is the face of the thing. But the truth is, they want to be masters, and make the masters into slaves on their own ground. They are always trying at it; they always have it in their minds and every five or six years, there comes a struggle between masters and men. They’ll find themselves mistaken this time, I fancy — a little out of their reckoning. If they turn out, they mayn’t find it so easy to go in again. I believe, the masters have a thing or two in their heads which will teach the men not to strike again in a hurry, if they try it this time.’

‘Does it not make the town very rough?’ asked Margaret.

‘Of course it does. But surely you are not a coward, are you? Milton is not the place for cowards. I have known the time when I have had to thread my way through a crowd of white, angry men, all swearing they would have Makinson’s blood as soon as he ventured to show his nose out of his factory; and he, knowing nothing of it, some one had to go and tell him, or he was a dead man, and it needed to be a woman — so I went. And when I had got in, I could not get out. It was as much as my life was worth. So I went up to the roof, where there were stones piled ready to drop on the heads of the crowd, if they tried to force the factory doors. And I would have lifted those heavy stones, and dropped them with as good an aim as the best man there, but that I fainted with the heat I had gone through. If you live in Milton, you must learn to have a brave heart, Miss Hale.’

‘I would do my best,’ said Margaret rather pale. ‘I do not know whether I am brave or not till I am tried; but I am afraid I should be a coward.’

‘South country people are often frightened by what our Darkshire men and women only call living and struggling. But when you’ve been ten years among a people who are always owing their betters a grudge, and only waiting for an opportunity to pay it off, you’ll know whether you are a coward or not, take my word for it.’


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