BOOK VI. THE WIDOW AND THE WIFE.
56. CHAPTER LVI.
"Aw!" was the answer, dropped at intervals by each according
to his degree of unreadiness.
"Nonsense! No such thing! They're looking out to see which way the
railroad is to take. Now, my lads, you can't hinder the railroad:
it will be made whether you like it or not. And if you go fighting
against it, you'll get yourselves into trouble. The law gives
those men leave to come here on the land. The owner has nothing
to say against it, and if you meddle with them you'll have to do
with the constable and Justice Blakesley, and with the handcuffs
and Middlemarch jail. And you might be in for it now, if anybody
informed against you."
Caleb paused here, and perhaps the greatest orator could not have
chosen either his pause or his images better for the occasion.
"But come, you didn't mean any harm. Somebody told you the railroad
was a bad thing. That was a lie. It may do a bit of harm here
and there, to this and to that; and so does the sun in heaven.
But the railway's a good thing."
"Aw! good for the big folks to make money out on," said old
Timothy Cooper, who had stayed behind turning his hay while
the others had been gone on their spree;--"I'n seen lots o'
things turn up sin' I war a young un--the war an' the peace,
and the canells, an' the oald King George, an' the Regen', an'
the new King George, an' the new un as has got a new ne-ame--an'
it's been all aloike to the poor mon. What's the canells been t' him?
They'n brought him neyther me-at nor be-acon, nor wage to lay by,
if he didn't save it wi' clemmin' his own inside. Times ha'
got wusser for him sin' I war a young un. An' so it'll be wi'
the railroads. They'll on'y leave the poor mon furder behind.
But them are fools as meddle, and so I told the chaps here.
This is the big folks's world, this is. But yo're for the big folks,
Muster Garth, yo are."