BOOK THE SECOND: BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Chapter 7: In Which a Friendly Move Is Originated (continued)
With that, and 'Good night,' the Secretary lowers the window, and
disappears. They listen, and hear his footsteps go back to the
gate, and hear the gate close after him.
'And for that individual, Mr Venus,' remarks Wegg, when he is
fully gone, 'I have been passed over! Let me ask you what you
think of him?'
Apparently, Mr Venus does not know what to think of him, for he
makes sundry efforts to reply, without delivering himself of any
other articulate utterance than that he has 'a singular look'.
'A double look, you mean, sir,' rejoins Wegg, playing bitterly upon
the word. 'That's HIS look. Any amount of singular look for me,
but not a double look! That's an under-handed mind, sir.'
'Do you say there's something against him?' Venus asks.
'Something against him?' repeats Wegg. 'Something? What would
the relief be to my feelings--as a fellow-man--if I wasn't the slave
of truth, and didn't feel myself compelled to answer, Everything!'
See into what wonderful maudlin refuges, featherless ostriches
plunge their heads! It is such unspeakable moral compensation to
Wegg, to be overcome by the consideration that Mr Rokesmith
has an underhanded mind!
'On this starlight night, Mr Venus,' he remarks, when he is showing
that friendly mover out across the yard, and both are something
the worse for mixing again and again: 'on this starlight night to
think that talking-over strangers, and underhanded minds, can go
walking home under the sky, as if they was all square!'
'The spectacle of those orbs,' says Mr Venus, gazing upward with
his hat tumbling off; 'brings heavy on me her crushing words that
she did not wish to regard herself nor yet to be regarded in that--'
'I know! I know! You needn't repeat 'em,' says Wegg, pressing
his hand. 'But think how those stars steady me in the cause of the
right against some that shall be nameless. It isn't that I bear
malice. But see how they glisten with old remembrances! Old
remembrances of what, sir?'