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to consume it, I differ from you. We are
not going to wear the bottoms of our boilers
out any faster than we wear 'em out now,
for all the humbugging sentiment in Great
Britain and Ireland."

By way of "going in " to the fullest extent,
Mr. Harthouse rejoined, " Mr. Bounderby, I
assure you I am entirely and completely of
your way of thinking. On conviction."

"I am glad to hear it," said Bounderby.
"Now, you have heard a lot of talk about the
work in our mills, no doubt. You have?
Very good. I'll state the fact of it to you.
It's the pleasantest work there is, and it's the
lightest work there is, and it's the best paid
work there is. More than that, we couldn't
improve the mills themselves, unless we laid
down Turkey carpets on the floors. Which
we're not a-going to do."

"Mr. Bounderby, perfectly right."

"Lastly," said Bounderby, " as to our
Hands. There's not a Hand in this town, sir,
man, woman, or child, but has one ultimate
object in life. That object is, to be fed on
turtle soup and venison with a gold spoon. Now,
they're not a-goingnone of 'emever to
be fed on turtle soup and venison with a
gold spoon. And now you know the
place."

Mr. Harthouse professed himself in the
highest degree instructed and refreshed, by
this condensed epitome of the whole
Coketown question.

"Why, you see," replied Mr. Bounderby,
"it suits my disposition to have a full
understanding with a man, particularly with a
public man, when I make his acquaintance.
I have only one thing more to say to you,
Mr. Harthouse, before assuring you of the
pleasure with which I shall respond, to the
utmost of my poor ability, to my friend Tom
Gradgrind's letter of introduction. You are
a man of family. Don't you deceive yourself
by supposing for a moment that I am a man
of family. I am a bit of dirty riff-raff, and
a genuine scrap of tag, rag, and bobtail."

If anything could have exalted Jem's
interest in Mr. Bounderby, it would have been
this very circumstance. Or, so he told him.
"So now," said Bounderby, " we may
shake hands on equal terms. I say, equal
terms, because although I know what I am,
and the exact depth of the gutter I have
lifted myself out of, better than any man
does, I am as proud as you are. I am
just as proud as you are. Having now asserted
my independence in a proper manner, I may
come to how do you find yourself, and
hope you're pretty well."

The better, Mr. Harthouse gave him to
understand as they shook hands, for the
salubrious air of Coketown. Mr. Bounderby
received the answer with favor.

"Perhaps you know," said he, " or perhaps
you don't know, I married Tom Gradgrind's
daughter. If you have nothing better to do
than to walk up town with me, I shall be
glad to introduce you to Tom Gradgrind's
daughter."

' Mr. Bounderby," said Jem, "you anticipate
my dearest wishes."

They went out without further discourse;
and Mr. Bounderby piloted the new acquaintance
who so strongly contrasted with him, to
the private red brick dwelling, with the black
outside shutters, the green inside blinds, and
the black street door up the two white steps.
In the drawing-room of which mansion, there
presently entered to them the most remarkable
girl Mr. James Harthouse had ever seen.
She was so constrained, and yet so careless; so
reserved, and yet so watchful; so cold and
proud, and yet so sensitively ashamed of her
husband's braggart humilityfrom which she
shrunk as if every example of it were a cut
or a blow; that it was quite a new sensation
to observe her. In face she was no less
remarkable than in manner. Her features
were handsome; but their natural play was
so suppressed and locked up, that it seemed
impossible to guess at their genuine expression.
Utterly indifferent, perfectly self-
reliant, never at a loss, and yet never at her
ease, with her figure in company with them
there, and her mind apparently quite alone,
it was of no use "going in" yet awhile to
comprehend this girl, for she baffled all
penetration.

From the mistress of the house, the visitor
glanced to the house itself. There was no
mute sign of a woman in the room. No
graceful little adornment, no fanciful little
device, however trivial, anywhere expressed
her influence. Cheerless and comfortless,
boastfully and doggedly rich, there the room
stared at its present occupants, unsoftened
and unrelieved by the least trace of any
womanly occupation. As Mr. Bounderby
stood in the midst of his household gods, so
those unrelenting divinities occupied their
places around Mr. Bounderby, and they were
worthy of one another and well matched.

"This, sir," said Bounderby, " is my wife,
Mrs. Bounderby: Tom Gradgrind's eldest
daughter. Loo, Mr. James Harthouse. Mr.
Harthouse has joined your father's muster-
roll. If he is not Tom Gradgrind's
colleague before long, I believe we shall at least
hear of him in connexion with one of our
neighbouring towns. You observe, Mr. Harthouse,
that my wife is my junior. I don't
know what she saw in me to marry me, but
she saw something in me, I suppose, or she
wouldn't have married me. She has lots
of expensive knowledge, sir, political and
otherwise. If you want to cram for any thing,
I should be troubled to recommend you to
a better adviser than Loo Bounderby."

To a more agreeable adviser, or one from
whom he would be more likely to learn, Mr.
Harthouse could never be recommended.

"Come! " said his host. " If you're in
the complimentary line, you'll get on here,
for you'll meet with no competition. I have

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