BOOK V. THE DEAD HAND.
49. CHAPTER XLIX.
"Yes, but I can't dismiss him in an instant without assigning reasons,
my dear Chettam. Ladislaw has been invaluable, most satisfactory.
I consider that I have done this part of the country a service by
bringing him--by bringing him, you know." Mr. Brooke ended with a nod,
turning round to give it.
"It's a pity this part of the country didn't do without him,
that's all I have to say about it. At any rate, as Dorothea's
brother-in-law, I feel warranted in objecting strongly to his being
kept here by any action on the part of her friends. You admit,
I hope, that I have a right to speak about what concerns the dignity
of my wife's sister?"
Sir James was getting warm.
"Of course, my dear Chettam, of course. But you and I have
"Not about this action of Casaubon's, I should hope," interrupted
Sir James. "I say that he has most unfairly compromised Dorothea.
I say that there never was a meaner, more ungentlemanly action
than this--a codicil of this sort to a will which he made at the time
of his marriage with the knowledge and reliance of her family--
a positive insult to Dorothea!"
"Well, you know, Casaubon was a little twisted about Ladislaw.
Ladislaw has told me the reason--dislike of the bent he took, you know--
Ladislaw didn't think much of Casaubon's notions, Thoth and Dagon--
that sort of thing: and I fancy that Casaubon didn't like the
independent position Ladislaw had taken up. I saw the letters
between them, you know. Poor Casaubon was a little buried in books--
he didn't know the world."
"It's all very well for Ladislaw to put that color on it,"
said Sir James. "But I believe Casaubon was only jealous of him
on Dorothea's account, and the world will suppose that she
gave him some reason; and that is what makes it so abominable--
coupling her name with this young fellow's."