`Yes, yes, I know how it is wi' husbands - they're for putting everything off - they'll put the dinner off till after tea, if they've got wives as are weak enough to give in to such work: but it's a pity for you, Bessy, as you haven't got more strength o' mind. It'll be well if your children don't suffer for it. And I hope you've not gone and got a great dinner for us - going to expense for your sisters as 'ud sooner eat a crust o' dry bread nor help to ruin you with extravagance - I wonder you don't take pattern by your sister Deane - she's far more sensible. And here you've got two children to provide for, and your husband's spent your fortin i' going to law, and's like to spend his own too. A boiled joint, as you could make broth of for the kitchen,' Mrs Glegg added, in a tone of emphatic protest, `and a plain pudding with a spoonful o' sugar and no spice, 'ud be far more becoming.'

With sister Glegg in this humour, there was a cheerful prospect for the day. Mrs Tulliver never went the length of quarrelling with her, any more than a waterfowl that puts out its leg in a deprecating manner can be said to quarrel with a boy who throws stones. But this point of the dinner was a tender one, and not at all new, so that Mrs Tulliver could make the same answer she had often made before.

`Mr Tulliver says he always will have a good dinner for his friends while he can pay for it,' she said, `and he's a right to do as he likes in his own house, sister.'

`Well, Bessy, I can't leave your children enough out o'my savings, to keep 'em from ruin. And you mustn't look to having any o' Mr Glegg's money for it's well if I don't go first - he comes of a long-lived family - and if he was to die and leave me well for my life, he'd tie all the money up to go back to his own kin.'

The sound of wheels while Mrs Glegg was speaking was an interruption highly welcome to Mrs Tulliver, who hastened out to receive sister Pullet - it must be sister Pullet because the sound was that of a four- wheel.

Mrs Glegg tossed her head and looked rather sour about the mouth at the thought of the `four-wheel.' She had a strong opinion on that subject.

Sister Pullet was in tears when the one-horse chaise stopped before Mrs Tulliver's door, and it was apparently requisite that she should shed a few more before getting out, for though her husband and Mrs Tulliver stood ready to support her, she sat still and shook her head sadly as she looked through her tears at the vague distance.

`Why, whativer is the matter, sister?' said Mrs Tulliver. She was not an imaginative woman, but it occurred to her that the large toilet glass in sister Pullet's best bedroom was possibly broken for the second time.

There was no reply but a further shake of the head, as Mrs Pullet slowly rose and got down from the chaise, not without casting a glance at Mr Pullet to see that he was guarding her handsome silk dress from injury. Mr Pullet was a small man with a high nose, small twinkling eyes and thin lips, in a fresh- looking suit of black and a white cravat that seemed to have been tied very tight on some higher principle than that of mere personal ease. He bore about the same relation to his tall, good-looking wife, with her balloon sleeves, abundant mantle and large be-feathered and be-ribboned bonnet, as a small fishing- smack bears to a brig with all its sails spread.

It is a pathetic sight and a striking example of the com-plexity introduced into the emotions by a high state of civilisation - the sight of a fashionably drest female in grief. From the sorrow of a Hottentot to that of a woman in large buckram sleeves, with several bracelets on each arm, an architectural bonnet and delicate ribbon-strings - what a long series of gradations! In the enlightened child of civilisation the abandonment characteristic of grief is checked and varied in the subtlest manner, so as to present an interesting problem to the analytic mind. If with a crushed heart and eyes half-blinded by the mist of tears, she were to walk with a too devious step through a door-place, she might crush her buckram sleeves too, and the deep consciousness of this possibility produces a composition of forces by which she takes a line that just clears the doorpost. Perceiving that the tears are hurrying fast, she unpins her strings and throws them languidly backward - a touching gesture, indicative, even in the deepest gloom,

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