BOOK THE THIRD - GARNERING
9. Chapter Ix - Final (continued)
'May I inquire, sir,' pursued the injured woman, 'whether I am the
unfortunate cause of your having lost your temper?'
'Now, I'll tell you what, ma'am,' said Bounderby, 'I am not come
here to be bullied. A female may be highly connected, but she
can't be permitted to bother and badger a man in my position, and I
am not going to put up with it.' (Mr. Bounderby felt it necessary
to get on: foreseeing that if he allowed of details, he would be
Mrs. Sparsit first elevated, then knitted, her Coriolanian
eyebrows; gathered up her work into its proper basket; and rose.
'Sir,' said she, majestically. 'It is apparent to me that I am in
your way at present. I will retire to my own apartment.'
'Allow me to open the door, ma'am.'
'Thank you, sir; I can do it for myself.'
'You had better allow me, ma'am,' said Bounderby, passing her, and
getting his hand upon the lock; 'because I can take the opportunity
of saying a word to you, before you go. Mrs. Sparsit, ma'am, I
rather think you are cramped here, do you know? It appears to me,
that, under my humble roof, there's hardly opening enough for a
lady of your genius in other people's affairs.'
Mrs. Sparsit gave him a look of the darkest scorn, and said with
great politeness, 'Really, sir?'
'I have been thinking it over, you see, since the late affairs have
happened, ma'am,' said Bounderby; 'and it appears to my poor
judgment - '
'Oh! Pray, sir,' Mrs. Sparsit interposed, with sprightly
cheerfulness, 'don't disparage your judgment. Everybody knows how
unerring Mr. Bounderby's judgment is. Everybody has had proofs of
it. It must be the theme of general conversation. Disparage
anything in yourself but your judgment, sir,' said Mrs. Sparsit,