Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. IV, 1872.djvu/347

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337
BOOK VIII.—SUNSET AND SUNRISE.

helplessly. "I can do nothing to hinder it, Cadwallader," he added, turning for a little countenance toward the Rector, who said—

"I should not make any fuss about it. If she likes to be poor, that is her affair. Nobody would have said anything if she had married the young fellow because he was rich. Plenty of beneficed clergy are poorer than they will be. Here is Elinor," continued the provoking husband; "she vexed her friends by marrying me: I had hardly a thousand a-year—I was a lout—nobody could see anything in me—my shoes were not the right cut—all the men wondered how a woman could like me. Upon my word, I must take Ladislaw's part until I hear more harm of him."

"Humphrey, that is all sophistry, and you know it," said his wife. "Everything is all one—that is the beginning and end with you. As if you had not been a Cadwallader! Does any one suppose that I would have taken such a monster as you by any other name?"

"And a clergyman too," observed Lady Chettam with approbation. "Elinor cannot be said to have descended below her rank. It is difficult to say what Mr Ladislaw is, eh, James?"

Sir James gave a small grunt, which was less respectful than his usual mode of answering his