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won't you? Yes, I know you will; there's a dear!”
The old man waited for an answer, but still Mary did nothing but sob.
There, there, don't cry so, my child. What is it he said ?” but his coaxing was of no use, and appeared to have no other effect than to bring more tears to Mary's eyes. At last, Mr. Bellerby began to be impatient.
Come, Mary dear! don't be so foolish. What is it the fellow said ?” “Nothing, father, nothing.
Why do you tease me so? You see I am not well.”
“But I know better," said the old man; “I know he has said something; and if I thought he had insulted you, Mary, I have the power”—and he clenched his hands, and spoke between his teeth—"I have the power to make him pay for it.”
“ Hush, father !” said Mary, suddenly struck with alarm, as if dreading some hidden meaning in his words. “Why do you
talk in this way? Mr. More has not insulted me, and you have no reason to suppose anything of the kind.”
“Then why all this crying? And why wouldn't you let him speak with you for five minutes ? Who knows what he had to
I'll answer for it, he wanted to make a proposition for your hand, and through your obstinacy ”—and here the old man saw all his schemes frustrated at a blow, and called to mind still more urgent reasons for the match he had laboured to bring about, “through your obstinacy and perverseness, you have ruined the whole concern. Ruined! Ay, you don't know what you have done !” and he let go her hand, and stamped about the room in a frenzy.
Father, dear father !" she exclaimed, going up to him and putting her arm round his neck,“ what has happened to you? Why do you talk in that strange way? You frighten me so. There must be some mistake. He-Mr. More, never said anything
:- never hinted at — nothing could be further from his thoughts, or from mine, I am sure, than-than
“Don't tell me, child. Do you think I am blind. Do you think I couldn't see through him.
Ha! ha! I know what
You know him as well as I do--the fine gentleman, forsooth. He loves you, Mary, and has told you so, I
makes you cry.
.“ Sir! Father !"“ And has told you,” he went on, not heeding the interruption, “ that Mr. More, of Moreton, the descendant of one of the proudest families in England, can't marry an attorney's daughter; and so he comes here to amuse himself by trifling with her affections, and goes off with the determination never to come back again. But I'll be even with him, the scoundrel ! I know where the shoe pinches, and we shall see whether he can insult me with impunity.”
“ Father, he has not insulted you. You accuse him wrongfully. He has been most unfortunate, and his misfortunes may have taught him to be distrustful of others. If, in thought, he wronged you, he is too sensible not to discover his error, and too generous not to own it when he has discovered it.”
“ And so," said Mr. Bellerby, turning sharply, and glaring furiously at his daughter, "and so you take upon yourself to defend him, do you? You take his part against your father, do you? You justify his conduct, and pretend he has not insulted me, when I tell you that he said to my face he suspected me of roguery! You call this no insult, and dare attempt to
screen him. You! for whom I have drivelled away my existence-grinding myself to dust-denying myself every comfort, and doing such things as would justify the worst of his suspicions. Ay! you may groan, ungrateful minx ! There was but one way I had left to wipe out the disgrace of what I have done for you; and you have thwarted me.”
“For God's sake,” said Mary, placing her hand upon her father's mouth, “say no
You have worked yourself into a passion. You are saying what you do not
-you“No, by God, I am not! 'Tis enough to break my heart;" and here his passion found