BOOK I. MISS BROOKE.
8. CHAPTER VIII.
Sir James's brow had a little crease in it, a little depression
of the eyebrow, which he seemed purposely to exaggerate as he answered.
"It is only this conduct of Brooke's. I really think somebody
should speak to him."
"What? meaning to stand?" said Mr. Cadwallader, going on with
the arrangement of the reels which he had just been turning.
"I hardly think he means it. But where's the harm, if he likes it?
Any one who objects to Whiggery should be glad when the Whigs don't
put up the strongest fellow. They won't overturn the Constitution
with our friend Brooke's head for a battering ram."
"Oh, I don't mean that," said Sir James, who, after putting down
his hat and throwing himself into a chair, had begun to nurse
his leg and examine the sole of his boot with much bitterness.
"I mean this marriage. I mean his letting that blooming young girl
"What is the matter with Casaubon? I see no harm in him--if the girl
"She is too young to know what she likes. Her guardian ought
to interfere. He ought not to allow the thing to be done in this
headlong manner. I wonder a man like you, Cadwallader--a man
with daughters, can look at the affair with indifference:
and with such a heart as yours! Do think seriously about it."
"I am not joking; I am as serious as possible," said the Rector,
with a provoking little inward laugh. "You are as bad as Elinor.
She has been wanting me to go and lecture Brooke; and I have reminded
her that her friends had a very poor opinion of the match she made
when she married me."
"But look at Casaubon," said Sir James, indignantly. "He must
be fifty, and I don't believe he could ever have been much more
than the shadow of a man. Look at his legs!"