BOOK II. OLD AND YOUNG.
13. CHAPTER XIII.
"Very likely not; but you have been no loser by my trade yet,"
said Mr. Vincy, thoroughly nettled (a result which was seldom much
retarded by previous resolutions). "And when you married Harriet,
I don't see how you could expect that our families should not hang
by the same nail. If you've changed your mind, and want my family
to come down in the world, you'd better say so. I've never changed;
I'm a plain Churchman now, just as I used to be before doctrines
came up. I take the world as I find it, in trade and everything else.
I'm contented to be no worse than my neighbors. But if you want
us to come down in the world, say so. I shall know better what to
"You talk unreasonably. Shall you come down in the world for want
of this letter about your son?"
"Well, whether or not, I consider it very unhandsome of you to refuse it.
Such doings may be lined with religion, but outside they have
a nasty, dog-in-the-manger look. You might as well slander Fred:
it comes pretty near to it when you refuse to say you didn't set
a slander going. It's this sort of thing---this tyrannical spirit,
wanting to play bishop and banker everywhere--it's this sort of thing
makes a man's name stink."
"Vincy, if you insist on quarrelling with me, it will be exceedingly
painful to Harriet as well as myself," said Mr. Bulstrode,
with a trifle more eagerness and paleness than usual.
"I don't want to quarrel. It's for my interest--and perhaps
for yours too--that we should be friends. I bear you no grudge;
I think no worse of you than I do of other people. A man who half
starves himself, and goes the length in family prayers, and so on,
that you do, believes in his religion whatever it may be: you could
turn over your capital just as fast with cursing and swearing:--
plenty of fellows do. You like to be master, there's no denying that;
you must be first chop in heaven, else you won't like it much.
But you're my sister's husband, and we ought to stick together;
and if I know Harriet, she'll consider it your fault if we quarrel
because you strain at a gnat in this way, and refuse to do Fred a
good turn. And I don't mean to say I shall bear it well. I consider