get this fellow who has bolted, out of reach for good. Keep it quiet, and the thieves will grow in confidence by little and little, and we shall have em.
Very sagacious indeed, sir, said Mrs Sparsit. Very interesting. The old woman you mentioned, sir
The old woman I mentioned, maam, said Bounderby, cutting the matter short, as it was nothing to boast about, is not laid hold of; but, she may take her oath she will be, if that is any satisfaction to her villanous old mind. In the meantime, maam, I am of opinion, if you ask me my opinion, that the less she is talked about, the better.
The same evening, Mrs Sparsit, in her chamber window, resting from her packing operations, looked towards her great staircase and saw Louisa still descending.
She sat by Mr Harthouse, in an alcove in the garden, talking very low, he stood leaning over her, as they whispered together, and his face almost touched her hair. If not quite! said Mrs Sparsit, straining her hawks eyes to the utmost. Mrs Sparsit was too distant to hear a word of their discourse, or even to know that they were speaking softly, otherwise than from the expression of their figures; but what they said was this:
You recollect the man, Mr Harthouse?
His face, and his manner, and what he said?
Perfectly. And an infinitely dreary person he appeared to me to be. Lengthy and prosy in the extreme. It was knowing to hold forth, in the humble-virtue school of eloquence; but, I assure you I thought at the time, My good fellow, you are overdoing this!
It has been very difficult to me to think ill of that man.
My dear Louisa as Tom says. Which he never did say. You know no good of the fellow?
Nor of any other such person?
How can I, she returned, with more of her first manner on her than he had lately seen, when I know nothing of them, men or women?
My dear Louisa, then consent to receive the submissive representation of your devoted friend, who knows something of several varieties of his excellent fellow-creatures for excellent they are, I am quite ready to believe, in spite of such little foibles as always helping themselves to what they can get hold of. This fellow talks. Well; every fellow talks. He professes morality. Well; all sorts of humbugs profess morality. From the House of Commons to the House of Correction, there is a general profession of morality, except among our people; it really is that exception which makes our people quite reviving. You saw and heard the case. Here was one of the fluffy classes pulled up extremely short by my esteemed friend Mr Bounderby who, as we know, is not possessed of that delicacy which would soften so tight a hand. The member of the fluffy classes was injured, exasperated, left the house grumbling, met somebody who proposed to him to go in for some share in this Bank business, went in, put something in his pocket which had nothing in it before, and relieved his mind extremely. Really he would have been an uncommon, instead of a common, fellow, if he had not availed himself of such an opportunity. Or he may have originated it altogether, if he had the cleverness.
I almost feel as though it must be bad in me, returned Louisa, after sitting thoughtful awhile, to be so ready to agree with you, and to be so lightened in my heart by what you say.
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