in this chilling November weather and speculate about myself
Unanimity is rare in this world; but Zoe's good sense carried every vote. Her prompter, Severne, nodded approval. Fanny said, "Why, of course;" and Vizard, who it was feared might prove refractory, assented even more warmly than the others. "Yes," said he, "that will be the end of it. You relieve me of a weight. Really, when she told me that fable of learning maltreated, honorable ambition punished, justice baffled by trickery, and virtue vilified, and did not cry like the rest of you, except at her father dying in New York the day she won her diploma at Montpelier, I forgave the poor girl her petticoats; indeed, I lost sight of them. She seemed to me a very brave little fellow, damnably ill used, and I said, 'This is not to be borne. Here is a fight, and justice down under dirty feet.' What, ho!" (roaring at the top of his voice).
_Zoe and Fanny_ (screaming, and pinching Ned Severne right and left). "Ah! ah!"
"But, with the evening, cool reflection came. A sister, youthful, but suddenly sagacious (with a gleam of suspicion), very suddenly has stilled the waves of romance, and the lips of beauty have uttered common sense. Shall they utter it in vain? Never! It may be years before they do it again. We must not slight rare phenomena. Zoe _locuta est--_Eccentricity must be suppressed. Doctresses, warned by a little starvation, must take the world as it is, and teach little girls and boys languages, and physic them with arithmetic and the globes: these be drugs that do not kill; they only make life a burden. I don't think we have laid out our twenty pounds badly, Zoe, and there is an end of it. The incident is emptied, as the French say, and (lighting bed-candles) the ladies retire with the honors of war. Zoe has uttered good sense, and Miss Dover has done the next best thing; she has said very little--"
Miss Dover shot in contemptuously, "I had no companion--"
--"For want of a fool to speak her mind to."
INGENIOUS Mr. Severne having done his best to detach the poor doctress from Vizard and his family, in which the reader probably discerns his true motive, now bent his mind on slipping back to Homburg and looking after his money. Not that he liked the job. To get hold of it, he knew he must condense rascality; he must play the penitent, the lover, and the scoundrel over again, all in three days.
Now, though his egotism was brutal, he was human in this, that he had plenty of good nature skin-deep, and superficial sensibilities, which made him shrink a little from this hot-pressed rascality and barbarity. On the other hand, he was urged by poverty, and, laughable as it may appear, by jealousy. He had observed that the best of women, if they are not only abandoned by him they love, but also flattered and adored by scores, will some times yield to the joint attacks of desolation, pique, vanity, etc.
In this state of fluctuation he made up his mind so far as this: he would manage so as to be able to go.