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coalpits, and spotted at night by fires and
black shapes of engines. This country,
gradually softening towards the neighbourhood
of Mr. Bounderby's retreat, there mellowed
into a rustic landscape, golden with heath
and snowy with hawthorn in the spring of the
year, and tremulous with leaves and their
shadows all the summer time. The bank had
foreclosed a mortgage on the property thus
pleasantly situated: effected by one of the
Coketown magnates: who, in his determination
to make a shorter cut than usual to an
enormous fortune, overspeculated himself
afterwards by about two hundred thousand pounds.
These accidents did sometimes happen in the
best-regulated families of Coketown, though
the bankrupts had no connexion whatever
with the improvident classes.

It afforded Mr. Bounderby supreme
satisfaction to instal himself in this snug little
estate, and with demonstrative humility to
grow cabbages in the flower-garden. He
delighted to live, barrack fashion, among
the elegant furniture, and he bullied the
very pictures with his origin. " Why, sir,"
he would say to a visitor, " I am told that
Nickits," the late owner, " gave seven
hundred pound for that Sea-beach. Now, to
be plain with you, if I ever, in the whole
course of my life, take seven looks at it, at a
hundred pound a look, it will be as much as
I shall do. No, by George! I don't forget
that I am Josiah Bounderby of Coketown.
For years upon years, the only pictures in
my possession, or that I could have got into
my possession by any means, unless I stole
'em, were the engravings of a man shaving
himself in a boot, on the blacking bottles that
I was overjoyed to use in cleaning boots
with, and that I sold when they were empty
for a farthing a-piece, and glad to get it!"

Then he would address Mr. Harthouse in
the same style.

"Harthouse, you have a couple of horses
down here. Bring half a dozen more
if you like, and we'll find room for 'em.
There's stabling in this place for a dozen
horses; and unless Nickits is belied, he kept
the full number. A round dozen of 'em, sir.
When that man was a boy, he went to
Westminster School. Went to Westminster School
as a King's Scholar, when I was principally
living on garbage, and sleeping in market
baskets. Why, if I wanted to keep a dozen
horseswhich I don't, for one's enough for
meI couldn't bear to see 'em in their stalls
here, and think what my own lodging used to
be. I couldn't look at 'em, sir, and not order
'em out. Yet so things come round. You see
this place; you know what sort of a place it
is; you are aware that there's not a
completer place of its size in this kingdom or
elsewhereI don't care whereand here,
got into the middle of it, like a maggot into a
nut, is Josiah Bounderby. While Nickits (as
a man came into my office, and told me
yesterday), Nickits, who used to act in Latin,
in the Westminster School plays, with the
chief-justices and nobility of this country
applauding him till they were black in the face,
is drivelling at this minutedrivelling, sir!—
in a fifth floor, up a narrow dark back street
in Antwerp."

It was among the leafy shadows of this
retirement, in the long sultry summer days,
that Mr. Harthouse began to prove the face
which had set him wondering when he first
saw it, and to try if it would change for him.

"Mrs. Bounderby, I esteem it a most
fortunate accident that I find you alone here.
I have for some time had a particular wish to
speak to you."

It was not by any wonderful accident that
he found her, the time of day being that at
which she was always alone, and the place
being her favourite resort. It was an opening
in a dark wood, where some felled trees lay,
and where she would sit watching the fallen
leaves of last year, as she had watched the
falling ashes at home.

He sat down beside her, with a glance at
her face.

"Your brother. My young friend Tom—"

Her color brightened, and she turned to
him with a look of interest, " I never in my
life," he thought, " saw anything so remarkable
and so captivating as the lighting of
those features!" His face betrayed his
thoughtsperhaps without betraying him, for
it might have been according to its instructions
so to do.

"Pardon me. The expression of your
sisterly interest is so beautifulTom should
be so proud of itI know this is inexcusable,
but I am so compelled to admire."

"Being so impulsive," she said composedly.

"Mrs. Bounderby, no; you know I make
no pretence with you. You know I am a
sordid piece of human nature, ready to sell
myself at any time for any reasonable sum,
and altogether incapable of any Arcadian
proceeding whatever."

"I am waiting," she returned, " for your
further reference to my brother."

"You are rigid with me, and I deserve it.
I am as worthless a dog as you will find,
except that I am not falsenot false. But
you surprised and started me from my subject,
which was your brother. I have an interest
in him."

"Have you an interest in anything, Mr.
Harthouse? " she asked, half increduously
and half gratefully.

"If you had asked me when I first came
here, I should have said no. I must say now
even at the hazard of appearing to make a
pretence, and of justly awakening your
incredulityyes."

She made a slight movement, as if she were
trying to speak, but could not find voice; at
length she said, " Mr. Harthouse, I give you
credit for being interested in my brother."

"Thank you. I claim to deserve it. You
know how little I do claim, but I will go that

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