"You said, according to him, that he would be one of those ridiculous clergymen who help to make the whole clergy ridiculous. Really, that was so cutting that I felt a little cut myself."
Caleb laughed. "She gets her tongue from you, Susan," he said, with some enjoyment.
"Not its flippancy, father," said Mary, quickly, fearing that her mother would be displeased. "It is rather too bad of Fred to repeat my flippant speeches to Mr Farebrother."
"It was certainly a hasty speech, my dear," said Mrs Garth, with whom speaking evil of dignities was a high misdemeanour. "We should not value our Vicar the less because there was a ridiculous curate in the next parish."
"There's something in what she says, though," said Caleb, not disposed to have Mary's sharpness undervalued. "A bad workman of any sort makes his fellows mistrusted. Things hang together," he added, looking on the floor and moving his feet uneasily with a sense that words were scantier than thoughts.
"Clearly," said the Vicar, amused. "By being contemptible we set men's minds, to the tune of contempt. I certainly agree with Miss Garth's view of the matter, whether I am condemned by it or not. But as to Fred Vincy, it is only fair