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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 436MB

    Lanuage:Englist

    Software instructions


      "It's not that."


      "Do not be alarmed, Margaret. I must go with the man who spoke to me, but I shall not be long."

      The prospect of Mr Silverdales presence at dinner that night had filled Alice with secret and gentle flutterings, and accounted for the fact that she wore her amethyst cross and practised several of Mendelssohns Songs Without Words before evening service, in case she was asked to play after dinner. She reaped her due reward for these prudent steps, since Mr Silverdale expressed his admiration for amethysts at dinner, and afterwards came and sat close by the piano, beating time with scarcely perceptible movements of a slim white hand, not in the manner of one assisting her with the rhythm, but as if he himself pulsated with it. He had produced an extraordinarily unfavourable impression on John by constantly{53} calling him by his Christian name, by talking about Tom Brown when he heard he was at Rugby, and by using such fragments of schoolboy slang as he happened to recollect from his boyish days. These in the rapidly changing vernacular of schoolboys were now chiefly out of date, but John saw quite clearly that the design was to be boys together, and despised him accordingly. On Mr Keeling he produced merely the impression of a very ladylike young man of slightly inane disposition, and as Hugh was away, spending the evening at the house of his fiance, Mr Silverdale was thrown on the hands of the ladies for mutual entertainment. With them he succeeded as signally as he had failed with John, saying that though preaching a sermon might be dry work for his hearers it was hungry work for the performer, eating salmon mayonnaise with great gusto, and remarking across the table to John, Jolly good grub, isnt it, John? a remark that endeared him to Mrs Keeling, though it made John feel slightly sick, and caused him to leave in a pointed manner on his plate the portion of the good grub which he had not yet consumed. Like a wise tactician, therefore, Mr Silverdale abandoned the impregnable, and delivered his assaults where he was more likely to be successful. He had an eager and joyful manner, as of one who found the world an excellent joke.

      "Come hither, Holgrave," said De Boteler, as Holgrave entered. "Is this your wife?"


      "I tell you, steward," said the smith who had before spoken, and stepping so near Calverley that he involuntarily drew back, "if you prize your life, you will call no man here a bondman. I am freethat man is free" pointing to Holgrave, "and we are all freeall sworn brothers; and no one shall dare," raising his voice, "to brand, with such a name, a mother's son among us! You have received fair warning, and leave to go: retire nowinstantly, if you are wise! Clear a passage there for my Lord de Boteler's steward! There is now room for you to passyour retainers are waiting withoutand now take the man you call a bondman, and away with you all. What! you will not lay hold of him? Take him, I say!" elevating his voice"seize the villein, and drag him back to his bondage! What! not a finger, after all the trouble you have taken?then, away with you alone!away!" And Calverley, from the mere instinct of obedience to a superior power, moved towards the door. "And if ever," continued the smith, "you are found hunting in this forest again for bondmen, as you call them, we may chance to give you a lodging where you will have little reason to complain that the sun shines too brightly!"

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      "You've heard?"

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      "Now, Mary Byles," resumed Sir Robert, speaking more decisively than he had yet spoken, "I insist upon your giving me a true answer to thisDid you not say to your husband, on the evening you returned from Gloucester, after Edith's trial, 'Edith's death lies like murder on my conscience; oh, I wish I hadn't taken Calverley's advice, but had told my lady of the mistake?'"

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      After a night of cursings and trampings in his room, he took the fermenting dregs of his wrath to Cheat Land. It was queer that he should go for sympathy to Alice Jury, who was chief in the enemy's camp. But[Pg 231] though he knew she would not take his part, she would not be like the others, leering and cackling. She would give him something vital, even if it was only a vital opposition. That was all the difference between her and everyone elseshe opposed him not because she was flabby or uninterested or enterpriseless, but because she really hated what he strove for. She was his one strong candid enemy, so he went to her as his only friend.


      alllittle