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Chapter 27 (continued)
'Truly,' thought Mrs Varden, 'this gentleman is a saint. But,' she added aloud, and not unnaturally, 'if you take Miss Emma's lover away, sir, what becomes of the poor thing's heart then?'
'The very point,' said Mr Chester, not at all abashed, 'to which I wished to lead you. A marriage with my son, whom I should be compelled to disown, would be followed by years of misery; they would be separated, my dear madam, in a twelvemonth. To break off this attachment, which is more fancied than real, as you and I know very well, will cost the dear girl but a few tears, and she is happy again. Take the case of your own daughter, the young lady downstairs, who is your breathing image'--Mrs Varden coughed and simpered--'there is a young man (I am sorry to say, a dissolute fellow, of very indifferent character) of whom I have heard Ned speak--Bullet was it--Pullet--Mullet--'
'There is a young man of the name of Joseph Willet, sir,' said Mrs Varden, folding her hands loftily.
'That's he,' cried Mr Chester. 'Suppose this Joseph Willet now, were to aspire to the affections of your charming daughter, and were to engage them.'
'It would be like his impudence,' interposed Mrs Varden, bridling, 'to dare to think of such a thing!'
'My dear madam, that's the whole case. I know it would be like his impudence. It is like Ned's impudence to do as he has done; but you would not on that account, or because of a few tears from your beautiful daughter, refrain from checking their inclinations in their birth. I meant to have reasoned thus with your husband when I saw him at Mrs Rudge's this evening--'
'My husband,' said Mrs Varden, interposing with emotion, 'would be a great deal better at home than going to Mrs Rudge's so often. I don't know what he does there. I don't see what occasion he has to busy himself in her affairs at all, sir.'
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