Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. II, 1872.djvu/307

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297
BOOK IV.—THREE LOVE PROBLEMS.

view of the political situation," said the Rector, broadening himself by sticking his thumbs in his armholes, and laughing towards Mr Brooke.

"That's a showy sort of thing to do, you know," said Mr Brooke. "But I should like you to tell me of another landlord who has distressed his tenants for arrears as little as I have. I let the old tenants stay on. I'm uncommonly easy, let me tell you—uncommonly easy. I have my own ideas, and I take my stand on them, you know. A man who does that is always charged with eccentricity, inconsistency, and that kind of thing. When I change my line of action, I shall follow my own ideas."

After that, Mr Brooke remembered that there was a packet which he had omitted to send off from the Grange, and he bade everybody hurriedly good-bye.

"I didn't want to take a liberty with Brooke," said Sir James; "I see he is nettled. But as to what he says about old tenants, in point of fact no new tenant would take the farms on the present terms."

"I have a notion that he will be brought round in time," said the Rector. "But you were pulling one way, Elinor, and we were pulling another. You wanted to frighten him away from expense,