Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. IV, 1872.djvu/343

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MIDDLEMARCH.

meanness to accept such a sacrifice—has always had an objectionable position-a bad origin—and, I believe, is a man of little principle and light character. That is my opinion." Sir James ended emphatically, turning aside and crossing his leg.

"I pointed everything out to her," said Mr Brooke, apologetically-"I mean the poverty, and abandoning her position. I said, `My dear, you don't know what it is to live on seven hundred a-year, and have no carriage, and that kind of thing, and go amongst people who don't know who you are.' I put it strongly to her. But I advise you to talk to Dorothea herself. The fact is, she has a dislike to Casaubon's property. You will hear what she says, you know."

"No—excuse me—I shall not," said Sir James, with more coolness. "I cannot bear to see her again; it is too painful. It hurts me too much that a woman like Dorothea should have done what is wrong."

"Be just, Chettam," said the easy, large-lipped Rector, who objected to all this unnecessary discomfort. "Mrs Casaubon may be acting imprudently: she is giving up a fortune for the sake of a man, and we men have so poor an opinion of each other that we can hardly call a woman wise who does that. But I think you should not con-