BOOK THE FIRST - SOWING
7. Chapter Vii - Mrs. Sparsit (continued)
'I shall have the satisfaction of causing you to be strictly
educated; and you will be a living proof to all who come into
communication with you, of the advantages of the training you will
receive. You will be reclaimed and formed. You have been in the
habit now of reading to your father, and those people I found you
among, I dare say?' said Mr. Gradgrind, beckoning her nearer to him
before he said so, and dropping his voice.
'Only to father and Merrylegs, sir. At least I mean to father,
when Merrylegs was always there.'
'Never mind Merrylegs, Jupe,' said Mr. Gradgrind, with a passing
frown. 'I don't ask about him. I understand you to have been in
the habit of reading to your father?'
'O, yes, sir, thousands of times. They were the happiest - O, of
all the happy times we had together, sir!'
It was only now when her sorrow broke out, that Louisa looked at
'And what,' asked Mr. Gradgrind, in a still lower voice, 'did you
read to your father, Jupe?'
'About the Fairies, sir, and the Dwarf, and the Hunchback, and the
Genies,' she sobbed out; 'and about - '
'Hush!' said Mr. Gradgrind, 'that is enough. Never breathe a word
of such destructive nonsense any more. Bounderby, this is a case
for rigid training, and I shall observe it with interest.'
'Well,' returned Mr. Bounderby, 'I have given you my opinion
already, and I shouldn't do as you do. But, very well, very well.
Since you are bent upon it, very well!'
So, Mr. Gradgrind and his daughter took Cecilia Jupe off with them
to Stone Lodge, and on the way Louisa never spoke one word, good or
bad. And Mr. Bounderby went about his daily pursuits. And Mrs.
Sparsit got behind her eyebrows and meditated in the gloom of that
retreat, all the evening.