Page:Gaskell - North and South, vol. I, 1855.djvu/156

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CHAPTER XII.

MORNING CALLS.

" Well — I suppose we must." Friends in Council.

Mr. Thornton had had some difficulty in working up his mother to the desired point of civiHty. She did not often make calls ; and when she did, it was in heavy state that she went through her duties. Her son had given her a carriage ; but she refused to let hun keep horses for it ; they were hired for the solemn occasions, when she paid morning or evening visits. She had had horses for three days, not a fortnight before, and had comfortably " killed off" all her acquaintances, who might now put them- selves to trouble and expense in their turn. Yet Crampton was too far off for her to walk ; and she had repeatedly questioned her son as to whether his wish that she should call on the Hales was strong enough to bear the expense of cab -hire. She would have been thankful if it had not ; for, as she said, " she saw no use in making up friendships and inti- macies with all the teachers and masters in Milton ; why, he would be wanting her to call on Fanny's dancing-master's wife, the next thing ! " " And so I would, mother, if Mr. Mason and his