Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. II, 1872.djvu/301

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291
BOOK IV.—THREE LOVE PROBLEMS.

of the window. "But talk of an independent politician and he will appear."

"What, Brooke?" said her husband.

"Yes. Now, you ply him with the 'Trumpet,' Humphrey; and I will put the leeches on him. What will you do, Sir James?"

"The fact is, I don't like to begin about it with Brooke, in our mutual position; the whole thing is so unpleasant. I do wish people would behave like gentlemen," said the good baronet, feeling that this was a simple and comprehensive programme for social wellbeing.

"Here you all are, eh?" said Mr Brooke, shuffling round and shaking hands. "I was going up to the Hall by-and-by, Chettam. But it's pleasant to find everybody, you know. Well, what do you think of things?—going on a little fast! It was true enough, what Lafitte said—'Since yesterday, a century has passed away:'—they're in the next century, you know, on the other side of the water. Going on faster than we are."

"Why, yes," said the Rector, taking up the newspaper. "Here is the 'Trumpet' accusing you of lagging behind—did you see?"

"Eh? no," said Mr Brooke, dropping his gloves into his hat and hastily adjusting his eye-