in a tone of earnest remonstrance. "I should have no happiness if I did not help him in his work. What could I do? There is no good to be done in Lowick. The only thing I desire is to help him more. And he objects to a secretary: please not to mention that again."
"Certainly not, now I know your feeling. But I have heard both Mr Brooke and Sir James Chettam express the same wish."
"Yes?" said Dorothea, "but they don't understand—they want me to be a great deal on horseback, and have the garden altered and new conservatories, to fill up my days. I thought you could understand that one's mind has other wants," she added, rather impatiently—"besides, Mr Casaubon cannot bear to hear of a secretary."
"My mistake is excusable," said Will. "In old days I used to hear Mr Casaubon speak as if he looked forward to having a secretary. Indeed he held out the prospect of that office to me. But I turned out to be—not good enough for it."
Dorothea was trying to extract out of this an excuse for her husband's evident repulsion, as she said, with a playful smile, "You were not a steady worker enough."
"No," said Will, shaking his head backward somewhat after the manner of a spirited horse.