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parties. Finally, he had attracted the notice, and in many

time:2023-12-07 05:02:59 author:health read:602次

‘So am I — not because of the expense, but because I shall have much to think about, and many unexpected calls on my time. But we must have had Mr. Horsfall, and he does not stay in Milton long. And as for the others, we owe them dinners, and it’s all one trouble.’

parties. Finally, he had attracted the notice, and in many

He kept on with his restless walk — not speaking any more, but drawing a deep breath from time to time, as if endeavouring to throw off some annoying thought. Fanny asked her mother numerous small questions, all having nothing to do with the subject, which a wiser person would have perceived was occupying her attention. Consequently, she received many short answers. She was not sorry when, at ten o’clock, the servants filed in to prayers. These her mother always read — first reading a chapter. They were now working steadily through the Old Testament. When prayers were ended, and his mother had wished him goodnight, with that long steady look of hers which conveyed no expression of the tenderness that was in her heart, but yet had the intensity of a blessing, Mr. Thornton continued his walk. All his business plans had received a check, a sudden pull-up, from this approaching turn-out. The forethought of many anxious hours was thrown away, utterly wasted by their insane folly, which would injure themselves even more than him, though no one could set any limit to the mischief they were doing. And these were the men who thought themselves fitted to direct the masters in the disposal of their capital! Hamper had said, only this very day, that if he were ruined by the strike, he would start life again, comforted by the conviction that those who brought it on were in a worse predicament than he himself — for he had head as well as hands, while they had only hands; and if they drove away their market, they could not follow it, nor turn to anything else. But this thought was no consolation to Mr. Thornton. It might be that revenge gave him no pleasure; it might be that he valued the position he had earned with the sweat of his brow, so much that he keenly felt its being endangered by the ignorance or folly of others — so keenly that he had no thoughts to spare for what would be the consequences of their conduct to themselves. He paced up and down, setting his teeth a little now and then. At last it struck two. The candles were flickering in their sockets. He lighted his own, muttering to himself:

parties. Finally, he had attracted the notice, and in many

‘Once for all, they shall know whom they have got to deal with. I can give them a fortnight — no more. If they don’t see their madness before the end of that time, I must have hands from Ireland. I believe it’s Slickson’s doing — confound him and his dodges! He thought he was overstocked; so he seemed to yield at first, when the deputation came to him — and of course, he only confirmed them in their folly, as he meant to do. That’s where it spread from.’

parties. Finally, he had attracted the notice, and in many

‘As angels in some brighter dreams

Call to the soul when man doth sleep,

So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,

Mrs. Hale was curiously amused and interested by the idea of the Thornton dinner party. She kept wondering about the details, with something of the simplicity of a little child, who wants to have all its anticipated pleasures described beforehand. But the monotonous life led by invalids often makes them like children, inasmuch as they have neither of them any sense of proportion in events, and seem each to believe that the walls and curtains which shut in their world, and shut out everything else, must of necessity be larger than anything hidden beyond. Besides, Mrs. Hale had had her vanities as a girl; had perhaps unduly felt their mortification when she became a poor clergyman’s wife; — they had been smothered and kept down; but they were not extinct; and she liked to think of seeing Margaret dressed for a party, and discussed what she should wear, with an unsettled anxiety that amused Margaret, who had been more accustomed to society in her one in Harley Street than her mother in five and twenty years of Helstone.

‘Then you think you shall wear your white silk. Are you sure it will fit? It’s nearly a year since Edith was married!’


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