Nobody's State of Mind
If Arthur Clennam had not arrived at that wise decision firmly to restrain himself from loving Pet, he would have lived on in a state of much perplexity, involving difficult struggles with his own heart. Not the least of these would have been a contention, always waging within it, between a tendency to dislike Mr Henry Gowan, if not to regard him with positive repugnance, and a whisper that the inclination was unworthy. A generous nature is not prone to strong aversions, and is slow to admit them even dispassionately; but when it finds ill-will gaining upon it, and can discern between-whiles that its origin is not dispassionate, such a nature becomes distressed.
Therefore Mr Henry Gowan would have clouded Clennams mind, and would have been far oftener present to it than more agreeable persons and subjects but for the great prudence of his decision aforesaid. As it was, Mr Gowan seemed transferred to Daniel Doyces mind; at all events, it so happened that it usually fell to Mr Doyces turn, rather than to Clennams, to speak of him in the friendly conversations they held together. These were of frequent occurrence now; as the two partners shared a portion of a roomy house in one of the grave old-fashioned City streets, lying not far from the Bank of England, by London Wall.
Mr Doyce had been to Twickenham to pass the day. Clennam had excused himself. Mr Doyce was just come home. He put in his head at the door of Clennams sitting-room to say Good night.
Come in, come in! said Clennam.
I saw you were reading, returned Doyce, as he entered, and thought you might not care to be disturbed.
But for the notable resolution he had made, Clennam really might not have known what he had been reading; really might not have had his eyes upon the book for an hour past, though it lay open before him. He shut it up, rather quickly.
Are they well? he asked.
Yes, said Doyce; they are well. They are all well.
Daniel had an old workmanlike habit of carrying his pocket-handkerchief in his hat. He took it out and wiped his forehead with it, slowly repeating, They are all well. Miss Minnie looking particularly well, I thought.
Any company at the cottage?
No, no company. And how did you get on, you four? asked Clennam gaily.
There were five of us, returned his partner. There was Whats- his-name. He was there. Who is he? said Clennam.
Mr Henry Gowan.
Ah, to be sure! cried Clennam with unusual vivacity, Yes!I forgot him.
As I mentioned, you may remember, said Daniel Doyce, he is always there on Sunday.
Yes, yes, returned Clennam; I remember now.
Daniel Doyce, still wiping his forehead, ploddingly repeated. Yes. He was there, he was there. Oh yes, he was there. And his dog. He was there too.
Miss Meagles is quite attached tothedog, observed Clennam.
Quite so, assented his partner. More attached to the dog than I am to the man.
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