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I am not going to begin to be polite now, about old Bounderby. It
would be rather late in the day.'
'Don't mind me,' returned James; 'but take care when his wife is
by, you know.'
'His wife?' said Tom. 'My sister Loo? O yes!' And he laughed,
and took a little more of the cooling drink.
James Harthouse continued to lounge in the same place and attitude,
smoking his cigar in his own easy way, and looking pleasantly at
the whelp, as if he knew himself to be a kind of agreeable demon
who had only to hover over him, and he must give up his whole soul
if required. It certainly did seem that the whelp yielded to this
influence. He looked at his companion sneakingly, he looked at him
admiringly, he looked at him boldly, and put up one leg on the
'My sister Loo?' said Tom. 'She never cared for old Bounderby.'
'That's the past tense, Tom,' returned Mr. James Harthouse,
striking the ash from his cigar with his little finger. 'We are in
the present tense, now.'
'Verb neuter, not to care. Indicative mood, present tense. First
person singular, I do not care; second person singular, thou dost
not care; third person singular, she does not care,' returned Tom.
'Good! Very quaint!' said his friend. 'Though you don't mean it.'
'But I do mean it,' cried Tom. 'Upon my honour! Why, you won't
tell me, Mr. Harthouse, that you really suppose my sister Loo does
care for old Bounderby.'
'My dear fellow,' returned the other, 'what am I bound to suppose,
when I find two married people living in harmony and happiness?'
Tom had by this time got both his legs on the sofa. If his second
leg had not been already there when he was called a dear fellow, he
would have put it up at that great stage of the conversation.
Feeling it necessary to do something then, he stretched himself out
at greater length, and, reclining with the back of his head on the
end of the sofa, and smoking with an infinite assumption of
negligence, turned his common face, and not too sober eyes, towards
the face looking down upon him so carelessly yet so potently.
'You know our governor, Mr. Harthouse,' said Tom, 'and therefore,
you needn't be surprised that Loo married old Bounderby. She never
had a lover, and the governor proposed old Bounderby, and she took
'Very dutiful in your interesting sister,' said Mr. James
'Yes, but she wouldn't have been as dutiful, and it would not have
come off as easily,' returned the whelp, 'if it hadn't been for
The tempter merely lifted his eyebrows; but the whelp was obliged
to go on.
'I persuaded her,' he said, with an edifying air of superiority.
'I was stuck into old Bounderby's bank (where I never wanted to
be), and I knew I should get into scrapes there, if she put old
Bounderby's pipe out; so I told her my wishes, and she came into
them. She would do anything for me. It was very game of her,
'It was charming, Tom!'
'Not that it was altogether so important to her as it was to me,'
continued Tom coolly, 'because my liberty and comfort, and perhaps
my getting on, depended on it; and she had no other lover, and
staying at home was like staying in jail - especially when I was
gone. It wasn't as if she gave up another lover for old Bounderby;
but still it was a good thing in her.'
'Perfectly delightful. And she gets on so placidly.'
'Oh,' returned Tom, with contemptuous patronage, 'she's a regular
girl. A girl can get on anywhere. She has settled down to the
life, and she don't mind. It does just as well as another.
Besides, though Loo is a girl, she's not a common sort of girl.
She can shut herself up within herself, and think - as I have often
known her sit and watch the fire - for an hour at a stretch.'
'Ay, ay? Has resources of her own,' said Harthouse, smoking
'Not so much of that as you may suppose,' returned Tom; 'for our
governor had her crammed with all sorts of dry bones and sawdust.
It's his system.'
'Formed his daughter on his own model?' suggested Harthouse.
'His daughter? Ah! and everybody else. Why, he formed Me that
way!' said Tom.
'He did, though,' said Tom, shaking his head. 'I mean to say, Mr.
Harthouse, that when I first left home and went to old Bounderby's,
I was as flat as a warming-pan, and knew no more about life, than
any oyster does.'
'Come, Tom! I can hardly believe that. A joke's a joke.'
'Upon my soul!' said the whelp. 'I am serious; I am indeed!' He
smoked with great gravity and dignity for a little while, and then
added, in a highly complacent tone, 'Oh! I have picked up a little
since. I don't deny that. But I have done it myself; no thanks to
'And your intelligent sister?'
'My intelligent sister is about where she was. She used to
complain to me that she had nothing to fall back upon, that girls
usually fall back upon; and I don't see how she is to have got over
that since. But she don't mind,' he sagaciously added, puffing at
his cigar again. 'Girls can always get on, somehow.'
'Calling at the Bank yesterday evening, for Mr. Bounderby's
address, I found an ancient lady there, who seems to entertain
great admiration for your sister,' observed Mr. James Harthouse,
throwing away the last small remnant of the cigar he had now smoked
'Mother Sparsit!' said Tom. 'What! you have seen her already, have
His friend nodded. Tom took his cigar out of his mouth, to shut up
his eye (which had grown rather unmanageable) with the greater
expression, and to tap his nose several times with his finger.
'Mother Sparsit's feeling for Loo is more than admiration, I should
think,' said Tom. 'Say affection and devotion. Mother Sparsit
never set her cap at Bounderby when he was a bachelor. Oh no!'
These were the last words spoken by the whelp, before a giddy
drowsiness came upon him, followed by complete oblivion. He was
roused from the latter state by an uneasy dream of being stirred up
with a boot, and also of a voice saying: 'Come, it's late. Be
'Well!' he said, scrambling from the sofa. 'I must take my leave
of you though. I say. Yours is very good tobacco. But it's too
'Yes, it's too mild,' returned his entertainer.
'It's - it's ridiculously mild,' said Tom. 'Where's the door!
'He had another odd dream of being taken by a waiter through a
mist, which, after giving him some trouble and difficulty, resolved
itself into the main street, in which he stood alone. He then
walked home pretty easily, though not yet free from an impression
of the presence and influence of his new friend - as if he were
lounging somewhere in the air, in the same negligent attitude,
regarding him with the same look.
The whelp went home, and went to bed. If he had had any sense of
what he had done that night, and had been less of a whelp and more
of a brother, he might have turned short on the road, might have
gone down to the ill-smelling river that was dyed black, might have
gone to bed in it for good and all, and have curtained his head for
ever with its filthy waters.
CHAPTER IV - MEN AND BROTHERS
'OH, my friends, the down-trodden operatives of Coketown! Oh, my
friends and fellow-countrymen, the slaves of an iron-handed and a
grinding despotism! Oh, my friends and fellow-sufferers, and
fellow-workmen, and fellow-men! I tell you that the hour is come,
when we must rally round one another as One united power, and
crumble into dust the oppressors that too long have battened upon
the plunder of our families, upon the sweat of our brows, upon the
labour of our hands, upon the strength of our sinews, upon the God-
created glorious rights of Humanity, and upon the holy and eternal
privileges of Brotherhood!'
'Good!' 'Hear, hear, hear!' 'Hurrah!' and other cries, arose in
many voices from various parts of the densely crowded and
suffocatingly close Hall, in which the orator, perched on a stage,
delivered himself of this and what other froth and fume he had in
him. He had declaimed himself into a violent heat, and was as
hoarse as he was hot. By dint of roaring at the top of his voice
under a flaring gaslight, clenching his fists, knitting his brows,
setting his teeth, and pounding with his arms, he had taken so much
out of himself by this time, that he was brought to a stop, and
called for a glass of water.
As he stood there, trying to quench his fiery face with his drink
of water, the comparison between the orator and the crowd of
attentive faces turned towards him, was extremely to his
disadvantage. Judging him by Nature's evidence, he was above the
mass in very little but the stage on which he stood. In many great
respects he was essentially below them. He was not so honest, he
was not so manly, he was not so good-humoured; he substituted
cunning for their simplicity, and passion for their safe solid