BOOK THE FIRST - SOWING
4. Chapter Iv - Mr. Bounderby (continued)
'Not the least in the world,' said Mr. Bounderby, 'as long as you
do it at once!'
So, Mr. Bounderby threw on his hat - he always threw it on, as
expressing a man who had been far too busily employed in making
himself, to acquire any fashion of wearing his hat - and with his
hands in his pockets, sauntered out into the hall. 'I never wear
gloves,' it was his custom to say. 'I didn't climb up the ladder
in them. - Shouldn't be so high up, if I had.'
Being left to saunter in the hall a minute or two while Mr.
Gradgrind went up-stairs for the address, he opened the door of the
children's study and looked into that serene floor-clothed
apartment, which, notwithstanding its book-cases and its cabinets
and its variety of learned and philosophical appliances, had much
of the genial aspect of a room devoted to hair-cutting. Louisa
languidly leaned upon the window looking out, without looking at
anything, while young Thomas stood sniffing revengefully at the
fire. Adam Smith and Malthus, two younger Gradgrinds, were out at
lecture in custody; and little Jane, after manufacturing a good
deal of moist pipe-clay on her face with slate-pencil and tears,
had fallen asleep over vulgar fractions.
'It's all right now, Louisa: it's all right, young Thomas,' said
Mr. Bounderby; 'you won't do so any more. I'll answer for it's
being all over with father. Well, Louisa, that's worth a kiss,
'You can take one, Mr. Bounderby,' returned Louisa, when she had
coldly paused, and slowly walked across the room, and ungraciously
raised her cheek towards him, with her face turned away.
'Always my pet; ain't you, Louisa?' said Mr. Bounderby. 'Good-bye,
He went his way, but she stood on the same spot, rubbing the cheek
he had kissed, with her handkerchief, until it was burning red.
She was still doing this, five minutes afterwards.
'What are you about, Loo?' her brother sulkily remonstrated.
'You'll rub a hole in your face.'