Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life (Version 2) | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell | Audio Book | 5/9



chapter 15 of Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell this LibriVox recording is in the public domain a violent meeting between the rivals what thoughtful heart can look into this gulf the darkly yarns twixt rich and poor and not find food for saddest meditation can see without a pang of keenest grief them fiercely battling like some natural foes whom God had made with help and sympathy to stand as brothers side by side united where is the wisdom that shall bridge this gulf and bind them once again in trust and love love truths we must return to John Barton poor John he never got over his disappointing journey to London the deep mortification he then experience with perhaps as little selfishness for its cause as mortification ever had was of no temporary nature indeed few of his feelings were then came a long period of bodily privation of daily hunger after food and though he tried to persuade himself he could bear want himself with stoically difference and did care about it as little as most men yet the body took its revenge for its uneasy feelings the mind became soured and morose and lost much of its equipoise it was no longer elastic as in the days of youth or in times of comparative happiness it ceased to hope and it is hard to live on when one can no longer hope the same state of feeling which John Barton entertained if belonging to one who had had leisure to think of such things and physicians to give names to them would have been called monomania so haunting so incessant were the thoughts that pressed upon him I have some wear red or forcibly described punishments among the Italians worthy of a Borgia the supposed or real criminal was shut up in a room supplied with every convenience and luxury and at first mourned little over his imprisonment but day by day he became aware that the space between the walls of his apartment was narrowing and then he understood the end those painted walls would come into hideous nearness and at last crushed the life out of him and so day by day nearer and nearer came the diseased thoughts of John Barton they excluded the light of heaven the cheering sounds of earth' they were preparing his death it is true much of their morbid power might be ascribed to the use of opium but before you blame too harshly this use or rather abuse try a hopeless life with daily cravings of the body for food try not alone being without hope yourself but seeing all around you reduced the same despair arising from the same circumstances all around you telling although they use no words or language by their looks and feeble actions that they are suffering and sinking under the pressure of want would you not be glad to forget life and its burdens and opium gives forgetfulness for a time it is true they who purchase it paid dearly for their oblivion but can you expect the uneducated to count the cost of their whistle poor wretches they pay a heavy price days of oppressive weariness and Langer whose realities have the feeble sickliness of dreams nights whose dreams are fierce realities of agony sinking health tottering frames incipient madness and worse the consciousness of incipient madness this is the price of their whistle but have you taught them the science of consequences John Barton's overpowering thought which was to work out his fate on earth was rich and poor why are they so separate so distinct when God has made them all it is not his will that their interests are so far apart who's doing is it and so on into the problems and mysteries of life until bewildered and lost unhappy and suffering the only feeling that remained clear undisturbed in the tumult of his heart was hatred to the one class and keen sympathy with the other but what availed his sympathy no education had given him wisdom and without wisdom even love with all its effects too often works but harm he acted to the best of his judgment but it was a widely earring judgment the actions of the uneducated seemed to me typify din those of Frankenstein that monster of many human qualities ungifted with a soul a knowledge of the difference between good and evil the people rise up to life they irritate us a terrify us and we become their enemies then in the sorrowful moment of our triumphant power their eyes gaze on us with a mute reproach why have we made them what they are a powerful monster yet without the inner means for peace and happiness John Barton became a Chartist a communist all that is commonly called wild and visionary i but being visionary is something it shows a soul a being not altogether sensual a creature who looks forward for others if not for himself and with all his weakness he had a sort of practical power which made him useful to the bodies of men to whom he belonged he had a ready kind of roof Lancashire eloquence arising out of the fullness of his heart which was very stirring two men similarly circumstanced who liked to hear their feelings put into words he had a pretty clear head at times for method and arrangement and necessary talent to large combinations of men and what perhaps more than all made him relied upon and valued was the consciousness which everyone who came in contact with him felt that he was actuated by no selfish motives that his class his order was what he stood by not the rights of his own paltry self for even in great and noble men as soon as self comes into prominence existence it becomes a mean and poultry thing a little time before this there had come one of those occasions deliberation among the employed which deeply interested John Barton and the discussions concerning which had caused his frequent absence from home of late I'm not sure if I can express myself in the technical terms of either masters or workmen but i will try simply to state the case on which the latter deliberated an order for course gods came in from a new foreign market it was a large order giving employment to all the mills engaged in that species of manufacture but it was necessary to execute it speedily and at as low prices as possible as the masters had reason to believe a duplicate order had been sent to one of the continental manufacturing towns where there were no restrictions on food no taxes on building or machinery and where consequently they dreaded that the goods could be made at a much lower price than they could afford them for and that by so acting and charging the rival manufacturers would obtain undivided possession of the market it was clearly their interest to buy cotton as cheaply and to beat down wages as low as possible and in the long run the interests of the workmen would have been there by benefited distrust each other as they may the employers and they employed must rise or fall together there may be some difference as to chronology non as to fact but the Masters did not choose to make all these facts known they stood upon being the Masters and that they had a right to order work at their own prices and they believed that in the present depression of trade and unemployment of hands there would be no great difficulty in getting it done now let us turn to the workman's view of the question the Masters of the tottering foundation of whose prosperity they were ignorant seemed doing well and like gentlemen lived at home in ease while they were starving gasping on from day to day and there was a foreign order to be executed the extent of which large as it was was greatly exaggerated and it was to be done speedily why would the Masters offering such low wages under these circumstances shame upon them it was taking advantage their work people being almost starved but they would starve entirely rather than coming to such terms it was bad enough to be poor while by the labor of their thin hands the sweat of their brows the Masters were made rich but they would not be a tally ground to dust no they would fold their hands and sit idle and smile at the Masters whom even in death they could baffle with Spartan endurance they determined to let the employers know their power by refusing to work so class distrusted class and their want of mutual confidence wrought sorrow to both the Masters would not be bullied and compelled to reveal why they felted wisest and best to offer only such wages they would not be made to tell that they were even sacrificing capital to obtain a decisive victory over the Continental manufacturers and the workmen SAT silent and stern with folded hands refusing to work for such pay there was a strike in Manchester of course it was succeeded by the usual consequences many other trades union connected with different branches of business supported with money countenance and encouragement of every kind the stand which the Manchester powerloom weavers were making against their masters delegates from Glasgow from Nottingham and other towns were sent to Manchester to keep up the spirit of resistance a committee was formed and all the requisite officers elected chairman treasurer honorary secretary among them was John Barton the Masters meanwhile took their measures they pluck added the walls with advertisements for power loom weavers the workmen replied by a placard in still larger letters stating their grievances the Masters met daily in town to mourn over the time so fast slipping away for the fulfillment of the foreign orders and to strengthen each other in their resolution not to yield if they gave up now they might give up always it would never do and amongst the most energetic of the Masters the Carson's father and son took their places it is well known that there is no religionists so zealous as a convert no masters so stern and regardless of the interests of their work people as those who have risen from such a station themselves this would account for the elder mr. Carson's determination not to be bullied into yielding not even to be bullied into giving reasons for acting as the Masters did it was the employers will and that should be enough for the employed Harry Carson did not trouble himself much about the grounds for his conduct he liked the excitement of the affair he liked the attitude of resistance he was brave and he liked the idea of personal danger with which some of the more cautious try to intimidate the violent among the Masters meanwhile the powerloom weavers living in the more remote parts of Lancashire and the neighboring counties heard of the Masters advertisements for workmen and in their solitary dwellings grew weary of starvation and resolved to come to Manchester foot saw wayworn half starved looking men they were as they tried to steal into town in the early dawn before people were astir or late in the dusk of evening and now began the real wrongdoing of the trades unions as to their decision to work or not at such a particular rate of wages that was either wise or unwise all error of judgement had the worst but they had no right to tyrannize over others and tie them down to their own procrustean bed a boring what they consider depression in the Masters why did they apress others because when men get excited they know not what they do judge then with something of the mercy of the holy one whom we all love in spite of policemen sets to watch over the safety of the poor country weavers in spite of magistrates and prisons and severe punishments the poor depressed men tramping in from burnley podium and other places to work at the condemned starvation prices were waylaid and beaten and left almost for dead by the roadside the police broke up every lounging not of men they separated quietly tube reunite half a mile further out of town of course the feeling between the masters and workmen did not improve under these circumstances combination is an awful power it is like the equally mighty agency of steam capable of almost unlimited good or evil but to obtain a blessing on its labors it must work under the direction of a high and intelligent will incapable of being misled by passion or excitement the will of the operatives had not been guided to the calmness of wisdom so much for generalities let us now return to individuals a note respectfully worded although its tone of determination was strong had been sent from the powerloom weavers requesting that a deputation of them might have a meeting with the Masters to state the conditions they must have fulfilled before they would end the turnout they thought they had attained a sufficiently commanding position to dictate John Barton was appointed one of the deputation the Masters agreed to this meeting being anxious to end the strife although undetermined among themselves how far they should yield or whether they should yield at all some of the old whose experience had taught them sympathy with the concession others white-headed men too had only learned hardness and obstinacy from the days of the years of their lives and sneered at the more gentle and yielding the younger men were one and all for an unflinching resistance two claims urged with so much violence of this party Harry Carson was the leader but like all energetic people the more he had to do the more time he seemed to find with all his letter-writing his calling his being present at the new Bailey when investigations of any case of violence against knob sticks were going on he beset Mary more than ever she was weary of her life home from blandishments he had even gone to threats threats that whether she would or not she should be his he showed an indifference that was almost insulting to everything that might attract attention and injure her character and still she never saw Jen she knew he had returned home she heard of him occasionally through his cousin who roved gaily from house to house finding and making friends everywhere but she never saw him what was she to think had he given her up were a few hasty words spoken in a moment of irritation to stamp her lot through life at times she thought that she could bear this meekly happy in her own constant power of loving for of change or a forgetfulness she did not dream then at other times her state of impatience was such that it required all her self restraint to prevent her from going and seeking him out and as man would do to man or woman to woman begging him to forgive her hasty words and allow her to retract them and bidding him except of the love that was filling her whole heart she wished Margaret had not advised her against such a manner of proceeding she believed it was her friends words that seem to make such a simple action impossible in spite of all the internal urgings but a friend's advice is only the spousal when it puts into language the secret Oracle of our souls it was the whisperings of her womanly nature that caused her to shrink from any unmade in the action not Margaret's counsel all this time this ten days or so of wills visit to Manchester there was something going on which interested Mary even now and which in former times would have exceedingly amused and excited her she saw as clearly as if told in words that the merry random boisterous sailor had fallen deeply in love with the quiet prim somewhat playing Margaret she doubted if Margaret was aware of it and yet as she watched more closely she began to think some instinct made the blind girl feel whose eyes were so often fixed upon her pale face that some inner feeling made the delicate and becoming Rose flush steel over her countenance she did not speak so decidedly as before there was a hesitation in a manner that seemed to make her very attractive as if something softer more lovable than excellent sense were coming in as a motive for speech her eyes had always been soft and we're in no ways disfigured by her blindness and now seemed to have a new charm as they quivered under their white downcast lids she must be conscious thought Mary Hart answering heart wills love had no blushing 'he's no downcast eyes no weighing of words it was as open and undisguised as his nature yet he seemed afraid of the answer its acknowledgement might meet with it was Margaret's angelic voice that an entranced him and which made him think of her as a being of some other sphere that he feared to woo so he tried to propitiate job in all manner of ways he went over to Liverpool to rummage in his great sea chest for the flying fish no very odorous present by the way he hesitated over a child's call for some time which was in his eyes a far greater treasure than any exes eaters what use could it be of to a Landsman then Margaret's voice rang in his ears and he determined to sacrifice it his most precious possession to one whom she loved as she did her grandfather it was rather a relief to him when having put it and the flying fish together in a brown paper parcel and sat upon them for security all the way in the railroad he found that job was so indifferent to the precious call that he might easily claim it again he hung about Margaret till he had received many warnings and reproaches from his conscience in behalf of his dear aunt alice's claims upon his time he went away and then he bethought him of some other little word with job and he turned back and stood talking once more in Margaret's presence door in hand only waiting for some little speech of encouragement to come in and sit down again but as the invitation was not given he was forced to leave at last and go and do his duty four days had Jim Wilson watched for mr. Harry Carson without success his powers of going and returning to his home were so irregular owing to the meetings and consultations among the Masters which were rendered necessary by the turnout on the fifth without any purpose on gems part they met it was the workman's dinner hour the interval between 12 and one when the streets of Manchester are comparatively quiet for a few shopping ladies and lounging gentlemen count for nothing in that busy bustling living place Jem had been on an errand for his master instead of returning to his dinner and in passing along a lane a road called him compliments to the intentions of some future builder a street he encountered Harry Carson the only person as far as he saw beside himself treading the unfrequented path along one side run a high broad fence blackened over by coal tar and spiked and stuck with pointed nails at the top to prevent anyone from climbing over into the garden beyond by this fence was the footpath the carriage road was such as no carriage no not even a cart could possibly have passed along without Hercules to assist in lifting it out of the deep clay rose on the other side of the way was a dead brick wall and a field after that where there was a sore pit and join as shed gems heartbeat violently when he saw the gay handsome young man approaching with a light buoyant step this then was he whom Mary loved it was perhaps no wonder for he seemed to the poor Smith so elegant so well appointed that he felt his superiority in externals strangely and painfully for an instance then something up rose within him and told him that a man's a man for all that for all that and twice as much as all that and he no longer felt troubled by the outward appearance of his rival Harry Carson came on lightly bounding over the dirty places with almost a lads buoyancy to his surprise the dark sturdy looking at his unstopped him by saying respectfully Mayor speaker were you sir certainly my good man looking his astonishment then finding that the promised speech did not come very quickly he added but make haste for I'm in hurry Jem had cast about some lesser Brooks way of broaching subject uppermost in his mind then he now found himself obliged to use with a husky voice that trembled as he spoke he said I think so you're keeping company with a young woman called Mary Barton a light broke in upon Harry Carson's mind and he paused before he gave the answer for which the other waited could this man be a lover of Mary's and strange stinging thought could he be beloved by her and so have caused her obstinate rejection of himself he looked at gem from head to foot a black grimy mechanic in dirty fustian clothes strongly built and awkward according to the dancing master then he glanced at himself and recalled the reflection he had so lately quitted in his bedroom it was impossible no woman with eyes could choose the one when the other would it was Hyperion to a satyr that quotation came aptly he forgot that a man's a man for all that and yet here was a clue which he had often wanted to her changed conduct toward him if she loved this man if he hated the fellow and longed to strike him he would know all Mary Barton let me see I is the name of the girl and aren't flirt the little Josias but very pretty hi Mary Barton is a name Jim bit his lips was it then so that Mary was a flirt the giddy creature of whom he spoke he would not believe it and yet how he wished the suggestive words unspoken that thought must keep now though even if she were the more reason for there being someone to protect her poor faulty darling she is a good girl sir though maybe a bit set up with a beauty but she's her father's only child sir and he stopped he did not like to express suspicion and yet he was determined he would be certain there was ground for none what should he say well my fine fellow and what have I to do with that it's but lots of my time and yours too if you've only stopped me to tell me Mary Barton is very pretty and all that well enough he seemed as though he would have on but gem put his black working right hand upon his arm to detain him the haughty young man shook it off and with his glove pretended to brush away the sooty contamination that might be left upon his light greatcoats leave the little action aroused Jem I will tell you in plain words what I've got to say to you young man it's been tailed me by one as nose and a scene that you walk with this same mehriban and a known to be courting her an earnest spoke to me about it thinks as how Mary loves you that may be or may not but I'm an old friend of hers and her father's and I just wished to know if you mean to marry the girl spite of what you said of a lightness I a known a long enough to be sure she'll make a noble wife for anyone let him be what he may and I mean to stand by her like a brother and if you mean rightly you'll not think the worse on me for what I've now said and if but no I'll not say what I'll do to the man who wrongs a hair of a red he'll rue it the longest day he lives that's all now sir what I ask of you is this if you mean fair and honorable buyer well and good but if not do your own sake as well as as leave her alone and never speak to her more gems voice quivered with the earnestness with which he spoke and he eagerly waited for some answer Harry Carson meanwhile instead of attending very particularly to the purpose the man had in addressing him was trying to gather from his speech what was the real state of the case he succeeded so far as to comprehend that gem inclined to believe that Mary loved his rival and consequently that if the speaker were attached to her himself he was not a favoured admirer the idea came into mr. Carson's mind that perhaps after all Mary loved him in spite of her frequent and obstinate rejections and that she had employed this person whoever he was to bully him into marrying her he resolved to try and ascertain more correctly the man's relation to her either he was a lover and if so not a favored one in which mr. Carson could not at all understand the man's motives for interesting himself in securing her married or he was a friend an accomplice who she'd employed to bully him so little faith in goodness have the mean and selfish before I make you into my confidence my good man said mr. Carson in a contemptuous tone I think it might be as well to inquire your right to meddle with our affairs neither marry nor I as I conceive called you in as a mediator he paused he wanted a distinct answer to this lust supposition non came so he began to imagine he was to be threatened into some engagement and his angry spirit rose and so my fine fellow you will have the kindness to leave us to ourselves and not meddle with what does not concern you if you were a brother or father of hers the case might have been different as it is I can only consider you an impertinent mendler again he would have passed on but gem stood in a determined way before him saying you say if I had been a brother or a father you'd have answered me what I ask now neither father nor bruh that could love her as I have loved her I and as I love her still if love gives a right to satisfaction it's next to impossible anyone breathing can come up to my right now sir tell me do you mean fair by Mary or not I've proved my claim to know and by god I will know come come no impotence replied mr. Carson who having discovered what he wanted to know namely the gem was a lover of Mary's and that she was not encouraging his suit wished to pass on father brother or rejected lover with an emphasis on the word rejected no one has a right to interfere between my little girl and me no one shall confound you man get out of my way or I'll make you as gem still obstructed his path with a dogged determination I won't then till you give me your word about Mary replied the mechanic grinding his words out between his teeth and the livid paleness of the anger he could no longer keep down covering his face till he looked gasps won't you with a taunting laugh then I'll make you the young man raised his slide cane and smote the artisan across the face with a stinging stroke an instant afterwards he lay stretched in the muddy road Jem standing over him panting with rage what he would have done next in his moment of uncover noble passion no one knows but a policeman from the main street into which this road lead had been sauntering about for some time unobserved by either of the parties and expecting some kind of conclusion like the present to the violent discussion going on between the two young men in a minute he had pinioned gem who sullenly yielded to the surprise mr. Carson was on his feet directly his face glowing with the rage or shame shall I take him to the lockups for assault sir said the policeman no no exclaimed mr. Carson I struck him first it was no assault on his side though he continued hissing out his words to gem who even hated freedom procured for him however just layered the intervention of his rival I will never forgive you or forget your insult trust me he gasped the words in excess of passion Mary shall fare no better for your insolent interference he laughed as if with the consciousness of power gem replied with equal excitement and if you dare to injure her in the least I will await you when no policeman can step in between and God shall judge between us to the policeman now interfered with persuasions and warnings he locked his arming gems to lead him away in an opposite direction to that in which he saw mr. Carson was going Jem submitted gloomily for a few steps then wrenched himself free the policeman shouted after him take care my man there's no girl on earth worth what you'll be bringing on yourself if you don't mind but gem was out of hearing end of chapter 15 read by Tony foster chapter 16 of Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell this LibriVox recording is in the public domain meeting between masters and workmen not for a moment take the scorn as chair while seated there thou dost not how a word a tone a look make all thy brother's heart and make him turn in bitterness against thee love truths the day arrived on which the Masters were to have an interview with the deputation of the work people the meeting was to take place in a public room at an hotel and there about eleven o'clock the mill owners who had received the foreign orders began to collect of course the first subject however full their minds might be of another was the weather having done their duty by all the showers and sunshine which had occurred during the past week they fell to talking about the business which brought them together there might be about 20 gentlemen in the room including some by courtesy who were not immediately concerned in the settlement of the present question but who nevertheless were sufficiently interested to attend these were divided into little groups who did not seem unanimous by any means some were for a slight concession just a sugarplum to quieten the naughty child a sacrifice to peace and quietness some were steadily and vehemently opposed to the dangerous precedent of yielding one jot or one tittle to the outward force of a turnout it was teaching the work people how to become masters said they did they want the wildest thing here after they would know that the way to obtain their wishes would be to strike work besides one or two of those present had only just returned from the new Bailey where one of the turnouts had been tried for a cruel assault on a poor north country weaver who had attempted to work at the low price they were indignant and justly so at the merciless manner in which the poor fellow had been treated and their indignation at wrong took as it so often does the extreme form of revenge they felt as if rather than yield to the body of men who were resorting to such cruel measures towards their fellow workmen they the Masters would sooner relinquish all the benefits to be derived from the fulfillment of the Commission in order that the workmen might suffer keenly they forgot that the strike was in this instance the consequence of want and need suffered unjustly as the endure is believed for however insane and without ground of reason such was their belief and such was the cause of their violence it is a great truth that you cannot extinguish violence by violence you may put it down for a time but while you are crowing over your imaginary success see if it does not return with seven devils worse than its former self no one thought of treating the workmen as brethren and friends and openly clearly as appealing to reasonable men stating the exact and full circumstances which led the Masters to think it was the wise policy of the time to make sacrifices themselves and to hope for them from the operatives in going from group to group in the room you caught such a medley of sentences as the following poor devils that near enough to be starving I'm afraid mrs. aldred makes two cows Ed's into soup every week and people come several miles to fetch it and if these times last we must try and do more but we must not be bullied into anything the rise of a shilling also won't make much difference and they will go away thinking they've gained their point that's the very thing I object to they'll think so and whenever they have a point again no matter how unreasonable they'll strike work it really injures them more than us I don't see how our interests can be separated that damned bruited thrown vigil on the poor fellow's ankles and you know what a bad part that is to heal yet to stand still with the pain and that left him at the mercy of the cruel wretch who beats him about the end till the valley of known he was a man I doubt if he'll live if it would only for that I'll stand out against them even if it were the cause of my ruin I I for one won't yield one farthing to the cruel brutes him are like wild beasts than human beings well who might have made them different I say Carson just go and tell Don come of this fresh instance of their abominable conduct he's wavering but I think this will decide him the door was now opened and a waiter announced that the men were below and asked if it were the pleasure of the gentleman that they should be shown up they assented and rapidly took their places round the official table looking as like as they to the Roman senators who awaited the eruption of Brenes on his goals tramp tramp came the heavy clogged feet of the stairs and in a minute five wild earnest looking men stood in the room John Barton from some mistake as to time was not among them had they been larger boned men he would have called them gonz as it was they were little of stature and their fustian clothes hung loosely upon their shrunk limbs in choosing their delegates to the operatives had had more regard to their brains and power of speech than to their wardrobes they might have read the opinions of that worthy professor toefl struck in SATA Resartus to judge from the dilapidated coats and trousers which yet clothed men of parts and of power it was long since many of them had known the luxury of a new article of dress and air gaps were to be seen in their garments some of the Masters were rather affronted at such a ragged detachment coming between the wind and their nobility but what cared they at the request of a gentleman hastily chosen to officiate as chairman the leader of the delegates read in a high-pitched psalm-singing voice a paper containing the operative statements of the case at issue their complaints and their demands which last were not remarkable for moderation he was then desired to withdraw for a few minutes with his fellow delegates to another room while the Masters considered what should be their definitive answer when the men had left the room a whispered earnest consultation took place everyone re edging his former arguments the considers carried the day but only by a majority of one the minority Horta Lee and audibly expressed their descent from the measures to be adopted even after the delegates re-entered the room their words and looks did not pass unheeded by the quick I'd operatives their names were registered in bitter hearts the Masters could not consent to the advanced demanded by the workmen they would agree to give one shilling per week more than they had previously offered were the delegates empower to accept such offer they were empowered to accept or decline any offer made that day by the Masters then it might be as well for them to consult among themselves as to what should be their decision they again withdrew it was not for long they came back and positively declined any compromise of their demands then up sprang mr. Henry Carson the head and voice of the violent party among the Masters and addressing the chairman even before the scowling operatives he proposed some resolutions which he and those who agreed with him had been concocting during this last absence of the deputation they were firstly withdrawing the proposal just made and declaring all communication between the Masters and that particular trades union at an end secondly declaring that no master would employ any workmen in future unless he'd signed the declaration that he did not belong to any trades union and pledged himself not to assist or subscribe to any society having for its object interference with the Masters powers and thirdly that the Masters should pledge themselves to protect and encourage all workmen willing to accept employment on those conditions and at the rate of wages first offered considering that the men who now stood listening with lowering brows of defiance were all of them leading members of the Union such resolutions were in themselves sufficiently provocative of animosity but not content with simply stating them Harry Carson went on to characterize the conduct of the workmen in no measured terms every word he spoke rendering their looks more livid there glaring eyes more fierce one among them would have spoken but checked himself in obedience to the stern glance and pressure on his arm received from the leader mr. Carson sat down and a friend instantly got up to second the motion it was carried but far from unanimously the chairman announced it to the delegates who had been once more turned out of the room for a division they received it with deep brooding silence but spake never a word and left the room without even a bow now there had been some by play at this meeting not recorded in the Manchester newspapers which gave an account of the more regular path of the transaction while the men had stood groups near the door on their first entrance mr. Harry Carson had taken out his silver pencil and had drawn an admirable caricature of them lank ragged dispirited and famine-stricken underneath he wrote a hasty quotation from the fat knights well-known speech in Henry the fourth he passed it to one of his neighbors who had knowledged the likeness instantly and by him it was sent round to others who all smiled and nodded their heads when it came back to its owner he tore the back of the letter on which it was drawn into twisted them up and flung them into the fireplace but careless whether they reached their aim or not he did not look to see that they fell just short of any consuming cinders this proceeding was closely observed by one of the men he watched the Masters as they left the hotel laughing some of them were at passing jokes and when all had gone he reentered he went to the waiter who recognized him there's a bitter on a picture of yonder as one a gentleman threw away a valid aromas dearly loves a picture by your leave I'll go up for it the waiter good-natured and sympathetic accompanied him upstairs saw the paper picked up an untwisted and then being convinced by a hasty glance at its contents that it was only what the man had called it a bit of a picture he allowed him to bear away his prize towards seven o'clock that evening many operatives began to assemble in a room in the weavers arms public house a room appropriated for festive occasions as the landlord in his circular on opening the premises had described it but alas it was on no festive occasion that they met here on this night starved irritated despairing men they were assembling to hear the answer that morning given by the Masters to their delegates after which as was stated in the notice a gentleman from London would have the honor of addressing the meeting on the present state of affairs between the employers and the employed or as he chose to term the the idol and the industrious classes the room was not large but it's bareness of furniture made it appear so unshaded gas flared down upon the lean and unwashed artisans as they entered their eyes blinking at the excess of light they took their seat on benches and awaited the deputation the latter gloomily and ferociously delivered the Masters ultimatum adding their own to not one word of their own and it sank all the deeper into the saw hearts of the listeners for their forbearance then the gentleman from London who had been previously informed of the Masters decision entered he would have been puzzled to define his exact position or what was the state of his mind as regarded education he looked so self-conscious so far from earnest among the group of eager fierce absorbed men among whom he now stood he might have been a disgraced medical students of the Bob Sawyer class or an unsuccessful actor or a flashy shopmen the impression he would have given you would have been unfavorable and yet there was much about him that could only be characterized as doubtful he smirked in acknowledgment of their own couth greetings and sat down then glancing round he inquired whether it would not be agreeable to the gentleman present to have pipes and liquor handed round adding that he would stand treat as the man who has had his tastes educated to love reading falls devouring lee upon books after a long abstinence so these poor fellows whose tastes had been left to educate themselves into a liking for tobacco beer and similar gratifications gleaned up at the proposal of the london delegate tobacco and drink deaden the pangs of hunger and make one forget the miserable home the desolate future they were now ready to listen to him with a probation he felt it and rising like a great orator with his right arm outstretched his left in the breast of his waistcoat he began to declaim with a forced theatrical voice after a burst of eloquence in which he blended the deeds of the elder and the younger Brutus and magnified the resist lyst might of the millions of Manchester the londoner descended to matter of fact business and in the his capacity this way he did not be lie the good judgment of those who had sent him as delegate masses of people when left to their own free choice seemed to have discretion in distinguishing men of natural talent it is a pity they so little regard temper and principles he rapidly dictated resolutions and suggested measures he wrote out a stirring placard for the walls he proposed sending delegates to entreat the assistance of other trades unions in other towns he headed the list of subscribing unions by a liberal donation from that with which he was especially connected in London and what was more and more uncommon he paid down the money in real clinking blinking golden sovereigns the money alas was craving the required but before alleviating any private necessities on the morrow small sums were handed to each of the delegates who were in a day or two to set out on their expeditions to Glasgow Newcastle Nottingham etc these men were most of the members of the deputation who had that morning waited upon the Masters after he had drawn up some letters and spoken a few more stirring words the gentleman from London withdrew previously shaking hands all round and many speedily followed him out of the room and out of the house the newly appointed delegates and one or two others remain behind to talk over their respective missions and to give and exchange opinions in more homely and natural language than they dare to use before the London orator he's a rare chap yon began one indicating the departed delegate by a jerk of his thumb towards the door he's gotten a gift of the gab anyhow I he knows what he's about see how he pulled it into us about that there Brutus he would pretty hard to to kill his own son I could kill ngayon if he took bart with masters to be sure he's butter steps on but that may no odds said another but now tongues were hushed and all eyes were directed towards the member of the deputation who had that morning returned to the hotel to obtain possession of Harry Carson's clever caricature of the operatives the heads clustered together to gaze at and detect the likenesses that's John Slater hadn't known him anywhere by his big nose Lord I'll like that's me by God it's the very way I'm obligated to pin my waistcoat up to I'd that I've got no shirt that is a shame and I'll not stand it well said John Slater after having acknowledged his nose and his likeness I could love her too just as well as air the best on him though he did tell again my cell if I were not Clemence his eyes filled with tears he was a poor pinched sharp featured man with a gentle and melancholy expression of countenance and if I could keep from thinking of them at home as his Clemence but with the cries for food ringing in my ears and making me afeard of going home and wondered if I should hear them wailing out if I'll a cold and drowned at the bottom its canal there why man cannot love it out it seems to make me sad there is any as can make game on what they've never known as can make such laughable pictures on men whose very arts within him a soul roared and sore as ours were an hour god help us John Barton began to speak and they turned to him with great attention it makes me more than sad it makes my heart burn within me to see that folk can make a jest of earnest men of chaps who come to ask for a bit of fire forth old granny as shivers in cold but a bit of bedding and some warm clothing to the poor wife as lies in labor on stamp flags and for victuals for the childer these little voices are getting too faint and weak to cry aloud were younger four brothers is not them the things we asked for when we asked for more wage we've done at one dainty's we want belly falls we don't want Jim crack coats and waistcoats we want warm clothes and so that we get them we'd not quarrel with what they're made on we don't want their grad houses we want a roof to cover us from the rain and the snow and the storm I are not alone to cover us but the l plus ones that cling to us in the Keen wind and ask us with their eyes why we brought him into the world to suffer he lowered his deep voice almost to a whisper I've seen a father who had killed his child rather than let it clem before his eyes and he would attend her arted man he began again in his usual tone we come to the Masters with full hours to ask them for things i named a for we know that they've gotten money as we've earned forum we know trade is mending and that they've large orders for which they'll be well paid we ask for our share of the payment for say we if masters get our share of peyman it will only go to keep servants and horses to more dress and pomp while I'm good if you choose to be fools will not endear so long as you're just but our share we must unwilling we want it for daily bread for life itself and not for our own lives neither for there's many are one here I know by my cell as would be glad and thankful to lie down and die out to this weary world but for the lives of them little ones who don't yet know what life is and there are feared of death well we come before masters to state what we want and what we must have a fall will set shoulder to their work and they say no one would think that would be enough of hard heartedness but it isn't they go and make jesting pictures of us I could laugh at me cell as well as poor John Slater there but then I must be easy in my mind to laugh now I only know that I would give the last drop of my blood to avenge us on young chap who had so little feeling in him as to make game on Ernest suffering men a low angry murmur was heard among the men but it did not yet take four more words John continued you'll wonder chaps how I came to miss the time this morning I'll just tell you what I was doing the chaplain at the new Bailey sent and give me an order to see Jonas Higginbottom image was taken out last week the throwing vigil in an obstacle tell book goal and I didn't reckon it would have kept me so late Jonas were like one crazy when I got to him he said he could now get rest night or day for the face of the poor fellow he had damaged then he thought on his weak clemmed look as he tramped foot sword into town and Jonas thought maybe he had left them at Alma's would look for news and open get non but happily tidings of his death well Jonas had thought on these things till he could not rest but walked up and down continually like a wild beast in his cage at last he bethought him on a way to help a bit and he got the chaplain to send for me and he told me this and that man were lying in thin fur Murray and he bade me go today's the day as folk may be admitted into thin thermally and get his silver watch as was his mother's and sell it as well as I could and take the money and bid the poor knob sticks end it to his friends beyond Burnley and I were to take in Jonas's can regards and he humbly asked him to forgive him so I did what Jonas wished but bless your life nah none loss would ever throw vitual again at least at the knob stick if they could see the site I saw today the man lay his face all wrapped in cloths so I didn't see that but not a limb nor a bit of a limb could keep from quivering with pain he would have bit me sound to keep down his moans but couldn't his face hurt him so if he moved here so little he could scarce mind me when i telled him about Jonas he did squeeze me and when I jingled the money but when I axed his wife's name he shrieked out merry merry shall I never see you again Mihrimah darling it made me blind because I wanted to work for you and our baby Oh Mary Mary and the nurse came and said he were raving and I had made him worse and I'm afeard it was true yet I were loth to go without knowing where to send the money so that kept me beyond my time chaps to Joey where a wife lived at last asked many anxious voices no he went on talking to her till his words cut my art like a knife I asked the nurse to find out who she was and where she lived but what I'm more a special name in it now for is this for one thing I wanted you all to know why I weren't at my post this morning for another I wish to say that I for one had seen enough for what comes of attacking knob sticks and I lineout to do with it no more there were some expressions of disapprobation but John did not mind them nay i'm no cowardly replied and I'm true tooth backbone what I would like and what I would do would be to fight them masters as one among you called me a coward well every man has a right to his opinion but since I've thought on matter today I've thought we own all of us been more like cowards in attacking the poor like ourselves them as has none to help but then choose between vitriol and starvation I say we're more cowardly in doing that than in leaving them alone know what I would do is this have at the Masters again he shouted have at the Masters he spoke lower all listened with hushed breath his the Masters as a raw this wall is the master sir should pay for it he must call me coward just now may try if I am one or not set me to serve out the Masters and see if there's out I'll sticker it will give must as a bit on a fright if one of them were beaten within an inch of his life said one I or beat until no life were left in him growled another and so with words or looks that told more than words they built up a deadly plan deeper and darker grew the import of their speeches as they stood hoarsely muttering their meaning out and glaring with eyes that told the terror their own thoughts were to them upon their neighbors their clenched fists they're set teeth their livid looks all told the suffering their minds were voluntarily undergoing in the contemplation of crime and in familiarizing themselves with its details then came one of those fierce terrible oaths which bind members of trades unions to any given purpose then under the flaring Gaslight they met together to consult further with the distrust of guilt each was suspicious of his neighbor each dreaded the treachery of another a number of pieces of paper the identical letter on which the caricature had been drawn that very morning were torn up and one was marked then all were folded up again looking exactly alike they were shuffled together in a hat the gas was extinguished each drew out a paper the gas was relight it then each went as far as he could from his fellows and examined the paper he had drawn without saying a word and with a countenance a stony and immovable as he could make it then still rigidly silent they each took up their hats and went every one his own way he who had drawn the marked paper had drawn the lot of the assassin and he had sworn to act according to his drawing but no one saved god and his own conscience knew who was the appointed murderer end of chapter 16 read by Tony foster chapter 17 of Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell this LibriVox recording is in the public domain bartons knight-errant morn fullest sir say farewell though for few brief hours we part in that absence who can tell what may come to ring the heart anonymous the events recorded in the last chapter took place on a Tuesday on Thursday afternoon Mary was surprised in the midst of some little muscle in which she was engaged by the entrance of will Wilson he looked strange at least it was strange to see any different expression on his face to his usual joyous beaming appearance he had a paper parcel in his hand he came in and sat down more quietly than usual well I will what's the matter with you you seem quite what's up about something and I am Mary I've come to say goodbye a few folk like to say goodbye to them they love goodbye bless me will that sudden isn't it merely left off ironing and came and stood near the fireplace she had always liked will but now it seemed as if a certain spring of sisterly love had gushed up in her heart so sorry did she feel to hear of his approaching departure it's very sudden isn't it said she repeating her question yes it's very sudden said he dreamily no it isn't rousing himself to think of what he was saying the captain told me in a fortnight he would be ready to sail again but he comes very sudden on me I had got so fond of you all Mary understood the particular fondness that was this generalized she spoke again but it's not a fortnight since she came not a fortnight since she knocked at Jane Wilson's door and I was there you remember nothin like a fortnight no I know it's not but you see I got a letter this afternoon from Jack Harris to tell me our ship sails on Tuesday next and it's long since I promised my uncle my mother's brother him that lives at Kirk Christ beyond Ramsey in the ala man but I'd go and see him in his this time of coming ashore I must go I'm sorry enough but I mustn't slight palm of his friends I must go don't try to keep me said he evidently fearing the strength of his own resolution if hard pressed by entreaty I'm not going well I daresay you're I only I can't help feeling sorry you're going away it seems so flat to be left behind when do you go tonight I shan't see you again tonight and you go to Liverpool maybe you and your father will go together he's going to glasgow by way of liverpool no i'm walking and i don't think your father will be able to walk in well and y know that you're walking you can get by railway for three and sixpence I but Mary doesn't let out what I'm going to tell me I haven't got three shillings nor nor even a sixpence left at least not here before I came here I gave my landlady enough to carry me to the island and back and maybe a trifle for presence and I brought all the rest here and it's all gone but this jingling a few coppers in his hand they never fret over my walk in a matter of 30 mile I did he as he saw she looked grave and sorry it's a fine clear night and I shall set off B times and get in a for the Manx packet sails where's your father going the Glasgow did you say perhaps he and I'm I have a bit much it together then for if the Manx bolter sale when I gets into Liverpool I shall go buy a scotch packet what's he going to do Inglis go seek for work trade is as bad there as here folks say no he knows that answered Mary subtly I sometimes think you'll never get work again and that trade will never mend it's very hard to keep up one's heart I wish I were a boy i'd go to sea with you it would be getting away from bad news at any rate and now there's Adly a creature that crosses the doorstep but as something sad and unhappy to tell one father is going as a delegate from his union to ask help from the Glasgow folk he starting this evening Mary side for the feeling again came over her that it was very flat to be left alone you say no one crosses the threshold but I something sad to say he don't mean that margaret jennings as any trouble as the young sailor anxiously no replied Mary smiling a little she's the only one I know I believe who seems free from care her blindness almost appears our blessing sometimes she was so downhearted when she dreaded it and now she seems so calm and happy when it's downright calm No Marvis happy I do think I could almost wish it had been otherwise said we'll thoughtfully I could have been so glad to comfort her and cherish her if she had been in trouble and why can't you cherish her even though she is happy asked Mary oh I don't know she seems so much better than I am and a vice when I hear it and think of the wishes there in my heart it seems as much out of place to ask her to be my wife as it would be to ask an angel from heaven Mary could not help laughing out right in spite of her depression at the idea of Margaret as an angel it was so difficult even to her dressmaking imagination to fancy where and how the wings would be fastened to the brown stuff gown or the blue and yellow print will laugh to a little out of sympathy with mare is pretty merry laugh then he said I you may laugh Mary it only shows you've never been in love in an instant Mary was carnation color and the tears sprang to her soft gray eyes she was suffering so much from the doubts arising from love it was unkind of him he did not notice her change of look and of complexion he only noticed that she was silent so he continued a thought I think that when I come back from this voyage I will speak it's my fourth voyage in the same ship and with the same captain and he's promised he'll make me second me after this trip then I shall have something to offer Margaret and her grandfather a nun Eilish she'll live with her to keep her from being lonesome while I'm at sea I'm speaking as if she cared for me would marry me do you think she does care at all for me Mary asked he anxiously merely had a very decided opinion of her own on the subject but she did not feel as if she had any right to give it so she said you must ask Margaret not me will she's never named your name to me his countenance fell but I should say that was a good sign from a girl like her I've no right to say what I think but if I was you I would not leave her now without speaking no I cannot speak of try aid I've been in to wish them good bye I'm a voice stuck in my throat I could say now to what I'd planned to say and I never thought of being so bold as to offer a marriage to have been my next trip and be made mate I could not even offer this box said he undoing his paper parcel and displaying a godly ornamented accordion along to buy her something and I thought if it was something in the music line she would maybe fancy it more so will you give it to a Merry when I'm gone and if you can slip in something tender something you know of what I feel maybe she would listen to you Mary Mary promised that she would do all that he asked I should be thinking honor many and many a night when i'm keeping my watch in mid sea i wonder if she will ever think on me when the wind is whistling and the gale rising you'll often speak of me to her Mary and if I should meet with any mischance tell her I'll dear I'll very dear she was to me and bidder for the sake of one who loved her well try and comfort my poor Aunt Alice dear old aunt you and Margaret will often go and see her won't you she sadly failed since I was last ashore and so good as she's been when I lived with a little wee chap I used to be wakened by the neighbors knock in a row this one was ill or that body's chil was restless and for as tired as ever she might be she would be up and dressed in a twinkling never thinking of the odd days washer for the next morning then were happy times how pleased I used to be when she would take me into the fields with her to gather herbs I've tasted tea in China since then but it wasn't after good as the herb tea she used to make for me as Sunday nights and she knew such a deal about plants and birds and the ways to used to tell me long stories about her childhood and we used to plan now we would go sometime please God that was always a word and live nearer old on beyond Lancaster in a very cottage where she was born if we could get it dear and how different it is it is she still in a backstreet of Manchester never likely to see her own home again and I a sailor off America next week I wish shipping able to go to Burton once afore she died she would maybe have found all sadly changed said Mary though her heart echoed wills feeling I I I daresay it's best one thing I do wish though and I have often wished it went out alone on the deep sea when even the most thoughtless can't choose but think on the past and future and that is that I'd never grieved Oh Mary many a hasty would come sorely back on the heart when one thinks one she'll never see the person whom one has grieved again they both stood thinking suddenly Mary started that's father step and his shirts not ready she hurried to her ions and tried to make up for lost time John Barton came in such a haggard and wildly anxious looking man will thought he had never seen he looked at will but spoke no word of greeting or welcome I'm come to bid you goodbye said the sailor and would in his sociable friendly humor have gone on speaking but John answered abruptly goodbye to you then there was that in his manner which left old out of his desire to get rid of the visitor and will accordingly shook hands with Mary and looked at John as if doubting how far to offer to shake hands with him but he met with no answering glance or gesture so he went his way stopping for an instant at the door to say you'll think on me on Tuesday Mary that's the day we shall I star Blue Peter jakari says barely was heartily sorry when the door closed it seemed like shutting out a friendly sunbeam and her father what could be the matter with him he was so restless not speaking she wished he would but starting up and then sitting down and meddling with her ions he seemed so fierce too to judge from his face she wondered if he disliked will being there or if he were vexed to find that she had not got further on with her work at last she could bear his nervous way no longer it made her equally nervous and fidgety she would speak when he are going father I don't know the time of the trains and why would stir no replied he gruffly metal with ironing but none have to be asking questions about what doesn't concern thee I wanted to get you something to eat first answered she gently though does not know that I'm learning to do without food said he merely looked at him to see if he spoke jestingly know he looked savagely grave she finished her bit of ironing and began preparing the food she was sure her father needed for by this time her experience in the degrees of hunger had taught her that this present irritability was increased if not caused by want of food he had had a sovereign given him to pay his expenses as delegates at Glasgow and out of this he had given Mary a few shillings in the morning so she had been able to buy a sufficient meal and now her care was to cook it so as most attempt him if thou doing that for me Mary thou mayst spare thy labour at ldi were not for eating just a little bit farther before starting coaxed Mary perseveringly in that instance who should come in but job Lee it was not often he came but when he did pay visits meri knew from past experience that they were anything but short her father's countenance fell back into the deep gloom from which it was but just emerging at the sound of Mary sweet voice and pretty pleading he became again restless and fidgety scarcely giving jolie the greeting necessary for a host in his own house job however did not stand upon ceremony he had come to pay a visit and was not to be daunted from his purpose he was interested in John Barton's mission to Glasgow and wanted to hear all about it so he sat down and made himself comfortable in a manner that Mary saw was meant to be stationary saw their adult off the glass go out though he began his catechism I we're not starting tonight that tunneled but by what train that was just what Mary wanted to know what what apparently her father was in no mood to tell he got up without speaking and went upstairs meri knew from his step and his way how much he was put out and feared job would see it too but no job seemed imperturbable so much the better and perhaps she could cover her father's rudeness by her own civil too so kind a friend so half listening to her father's movements upstairs passionate violent restless motions they were and half attending to Jolie she tried to pay him all due regard when was their father start Mary but plaguing question again oh very soon I'm just getting him a bit of supper it's Margaret very well yes she's well enough she's meaning to go and keep Alice Wilson company for an hour asur this evening as soon as she thinks her nephew will have started for Liverpool but she fancies the old woman will feel a bit lonesome the union is paying for your father I suppose yes they've given him a sovereign you're one of the union job hi I'm one sure enough but I'm a sleeping partner in the concern I were obliged to become a member for peace else I don't go along with them you see they think themselves wise and me silly for differing with them well there's no harm in that but then they won't let me be silly in peace and quietness but will force me to be as wise as they are now that's not British Liberty I say I'm forced to be wise according to their notions else they persecute me and Sarve me out what could her father be doing upstairs tramping and banging about why did he not come down or why did not job go the supper would be spoiled but job had no notion of going you see my fully is this Mary I would take what I could get I think I fell off is better than no bread I would work for low wages rather than sit idle and starve but comes the Trades Union and says well if you take the half loaf will worry you're out of your life will you be Clem door will you be worried now Clemence is a quiet death and worrying isn't so i choose Clemence and comment at the Union but I wish they'd leave me free if I am a fool creak creak when the stairs her father was coming down at last yes he came down but more dogged Lee fierce than before and made up for his journey to with his little bundle on his arm he went up to job and more civilly than Mary expected wished him goodbye he then turned to her and in a short cold manner bade her farewell Oh father don't go yet if something is already stay one moment but he pushed her away and was gone she followed him to the door her eyes blinded by sudden tears she stood there looking after him he was so strange so cold so hard suddenly at the end of the court he turned and saw her standing there he came back quickly and took her in his arms god bless thee Mary God in heaven bless thee poor child she threw her arms round his neck don't go yet father I can't bear you to go yet come in and eat some supper you look so ghastly dear father do no he said faintly and mournfully his best as it is I couldn't eat and his best to be off I cannot be still at home I must be moving so saying he unlaced her soft twining arms and kissing her once more set off on his fierce errand and he was out of sight she did not know why but she had never before felt so depressed so desolate she turned into job who SAT there still her father as soon as he was out of sight slackened his pace and fell into that heavy listless step which told as well as words could do of hopelessness and weakness it was getting dark but he loitered on returning no greeting to anyone a child's cry court easier his thoughts were running on little Tom on the dead and buried child of happier years he followed the sound of the whale that might have been his and found a poor little mortal who had lost his way and whose grief had choked up his thoughts to the single want Mummy Mummy with tender address John Barton soothed the little alley and with beautiful patience he gathered fragments of meaning from the half spoken words which came mingled with sobs from the terrified little heart so aided by inquiries here and there from a passerby he led and carried the little home where his mother had been too busy to miss him but now received him with Frank fulness and with an eloquent Irish blessing when John heard the words of blessing he shook his head mournfully and turned away to retrace his steps let us leave him Mary took her sewing after he had gone and sat on and sat on trying to listen to job who was more inclined to talk than usual she had conquered her feeling of impatience towards him so far as to be able to offer him her father's rejected supper and she even tried to eat herself but her heart failed her a leaden weight seemed to hang over her a sort of presentiments of evil or perhaps only in excess of low-spirited feeling in consequence of the two departures which had taken place that afternoon she wondered how long job Lee would sit she did not like putting down her work and crying before him and yet she had never in her life long so much to be alone in order to indulge in a good hearty burst of tears well Marie she suddenly caught him saying I thought you'd be a bit lonely tonight and his Margaret were going to cheer Thord woman I said had gone keep the young gun company and a very pleasant chatty evening with add very only our Wanderers Margaret she's not come back but perhaps she is suggested Mary no no I took care of that looky here and he pulled out the great house key she loved to stand waiting its street and that I'm sure she wouldn't do when she knew where to find me when she'd come back by herself asked Mary I at first I were afraid of trusting her I used to follow her a bit behind never letting on a course but bless you she goes along as steadily as could be rather slow to be sure and her read a bit on one side as if she were listening and it's real beautiful to see you across the road she'll wait above a bit to hear that's all is still not that she's so dark as not to see a coach or a cart like a big black thing but she can't rightly judge how far off it is by side so she listens Eric thats Sarah yes and she came with her usually calm face altier stain and sorrow marked what's the matter my winch said job hastily Oh grandfather Alice Wilson's so bad she could say no more for her breathless agitation the afternoon and the parting with will had weakened her nerves for any aftershock what is it do tell us Margaret said Mary placing her in a chair and loosening her bonnet strings I think it's a stroke of the palsy an e-rate she's lost the use of one side was it a for Willard set off us Mary no he were gone before i got there said Margaret and she were much about as well as she has been this many a day she spoke a bit but not much but that were only natural for mrs. Wilson likes to have the talk to her cell you know she got up to go across the room and then I heard a drag we a leg and presently a fall and mrs. Wilson came running and set up such a cry I stopped we Alice while she fetched a doctor but she could not speak to answer me though she tried i think we're was gem why didn't he go for the doctor he were out when i got there and he never came on while i stopped douse never left mrs. Wilson along we poor Alice us job hastily no no said Margaret but Oh grandfather it's no I feel how hard it is to have lost my side I should have so loved to nurse her and I did try until her phone died did more arm than good Oh grandfather if I could but see she sobbed a little and they let her give that ease to her heart then she went on no I went round by mrs. Davenport and she were hard at work but the minitor told my errand she were ready and willing to go to Jane Wilson and stop up all night with Alice and what does the doctor say us Mary Oh much what all doctors say he puts a fence on this side an offence on that the theory should be caught tripping in his judgment or moment he does not think there's much old but while there is life there is hope next he says he should think she might recover partial but her age is again oh he's order the leeches to read Margaret having told her tail leant back with weariness both of body and mind Mary hastened to make her a cup of tea while job lately so talkative SAT quiet and mournfully silent I'll go first thing tomorrow morning and learn how she is and I'll bring word back before I go to work said Mary he's a bad job Will's gone said job Jane does not think she knows anyone replied Margaret it's perhaps as well he shouldn't see her now for they say her face is sadly drawn he'll remember her with her own face better if he does not see her again with a few more sorrowful remarks they separated for the night and Mary was left alone in her house to meditate on the heavy day that had passed over her head everything seemed going wrong we'll gone her father gone and so strangely too and to a place so mysteriously distant as Glasgow seemed to beat her she had felt his presence as a protection against Harry Carson and his threats and now she dreaded lest he should learn she was alone her heart began to despair to about gem she feared he had ceased to love her and she she only loved him more and more for his seeming neglect and as if all this aggregate of sorrowful thoughts was not enough here was this new wall of poor Alice's paralytic stroke end of chapter 17 read by Tony foster chapter 18 of Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell this LibriVox recording is in the public domain murder but in his pulse there was no throb nor on his lips one dying sob sign or word NOS struggling breath heralded his way to death siege of Corinth my brain runs this way and that way it will not fix on all but vengeance Duke of geese I must now go back to an hour or two before Mary and her friends parted for the night it might be about eight o'clock that evening and the three miss Carson's were sitting in their fathers drawing-room he was asleep in the dining room in his own comfortable chair mrs. Carson was as usual with her when no particular excitement was going on very poorly and sitting upstairs in her dressing room indulging in the luxury of a headache she was not well certainly wind in the head the servants called it but it was but the natural consequence of the state of mental and bodily idleness in which she was placed without education enough to value the resources of wealth and leisure she was so circumstanced as to command both it would have done her more good than all the ether and Sal volatile she was daily in the habit of swallowing if she might have taken the work of one of her own house mates for a week made beds rub tables shaken carpets and gone out into the fresh morning air without all the paraphernalia of shawl cloak boa fur boots bonnet and veil in which she was equipped before setting out for an airing in the closely shutup carriage so the three girls were by themselves in the comfortable elegant well lighted drawing-room and like many similarly situated young ladies they did not exactly know what to do to while away the time until the tea hour the elder two had been at a dancing party the night before and were listless and sleepy in consequence one tried to read Emerson's essays and fell asleep in the attempt the other was turning over a parcel of new music in order to select what she liked Amy the youngest was copying some manuscript music the air was heavy with the fragrance of strongly scented flowers which sent out their night old from an adjoining conservatory the clock on the chimney-piece chime date Sophie the sleeping sister started up at the sound what o'clock is that she asked eight said Amy oh dear how tired I am it's Chanukah min T would rouse one up a little are not you worn out Helen yes I am tired enough one is good for nothing the day after a dance yet I don't feel weary at the time I suppose it is the lateness of the hours and yet how could it be managed otherwise so many don't die until five or six that one cannot begin before eight or nine and then it takes a long time to get into the spirit of the evening it is always more pleasant after supper than before well I'm too tired tonight to reform the world in the matter of dances or balls what are you copying Amy only that little spanish air using gran kwara what are you copying it for us Helen Harry asked me to do it for him this morning at breakfast time for miss Richardson he said but Jane Richardson said Sophie as if a new idea were receiving strength in her mind do you think Harry means anything by his attention to her asked Helen hey I do not know anything more than you do I can only observe and conjecture what do you think Helen Haluk always likes to be of consequence to the bell of the room if one girl is admired more than another he likes to flutter about him seem to be on intimate terms with her that is his way and I had not noticed anything beyond that in his manner to Jane Richardson but I don't think she knows it's only his way just what sure the next time we meet her when he is there and see how she Crimson's and looks another way when she feels he's coming up to her I think he sees it too and I think he's pleased with it I dare say Hollywood like well enough to turn the head of such a lovely girl as Jane Richardson but I'm not convinced that he's in love whatever she may be well then said Sophie indignantly though it is our own brother I do think he is behaving very wrongly the more I think of it the more sure I am that she thinks he means something and that he intends her to think so and then when he leaves off paying her attention which will be as soon as a prettier girl makes her appearance interrupted Helen as soon as he leaves off paying her attention resumed Sophie she will have many and many a heartache and then she will harden herself into being a flirt of feminine flirt as he as a masculine flirt poor girl I don't like to hear you speak so of harry said Amy looking up at Sophie and I don't like to have to speak so Amy for I love him dearly he is a good kind brother but I do think in vain and I think he hardly knows the misery the crimes to which indulged vanity may lead him Helen yawned oh do you think we may ring for tea sleeping after dinner always makes me so feverish yes surely why should not we said the more energetic Sophie pulling the bell with some determination tea directly Parker said she or thora tative Lee as the man entered the room she was too little in the habit of reading expressions on the faces of others to notice Parker's countenance yet it was striking it was blanched to a dead whiteness the lips compressed as if to keep within some tale of horror the eyes distended and unnatural it was a terror stricken face the girls began to put away their music and books in preparation for tea the door slowly opened again and this time it was the nurse who entered I call her nurse for such had been her office in bygone days they'll now she held rather an anomalous situation in the family seamstress attendant on the young lady's keeper of the stores only nurse was still her name she had lived longer with them than any of the servant and to her their manner was far less hotter than to the other domestics she occasionally came into the drawing-room to look for things belonging to their father or mother so it did not excite any surprise when she advanced into the room they went on arranging their various articles of employment she wanted them to look up she wanted them to read something in her face her face so full of woe of horror but they went on without taking any notice she coughed not a natural cough but one of those coughs which asked so plainly for remark dear nurse what is the matter ah stay me are not too well his mama ill asked Sophie quickly speak speak nurse said they all as they saw her efforts to articulate choked by the convulsive rising in her throat they clustered round her with eager faces catching a glimpse of some terrible truth to be revealed My dear young ladies bye dear girls she'd gasped out at length and then she burst into tears oh do tell us what it is nurse said one anything is better than this speak my children I don't know how to break it to my dears poor mr. hallease brought home brought home brought home how instinctively they sank their voices to a whisper but a fearful whisper it was in the same low tone as if afraid lest the walls the furniture the inanimate things which told of preparation for life and comfort should hear she answered dead Amy clutched her nurses arm and fixed her eyes on her as if to know if such a tale could be true and when she read its confirmation in those sad mournful unflinching eyes she sank without word or sound down in a faint upon the floor one sister sat down on an ottoman and covered her face to try and realize it that was Sophie Helen threw herself on the sofa and burying her head in the pillows tried to stifle the screams and moans which shook her frame the nurse stood silent she had not told all tell me said Sophie looking up and speaking in a hoarse voice which told of the inward pain tell me nurse is he dead did you say have you sent for a doctor Oh send for one send for one continued she her voice rising two shrillness and starting to her feet Helen lifted herself up and looked with breathless waiting towards nurse my dears he is dead but I have sent for a doctor I've done all I could when did he when did they bring him home asked Sophie perhaps ten minutes ago before you rang for Parker how did he die where did they find him he looked so well he always seemed so strong oh it sure he's dead she went towards the door nurse laid her hand on her arm miss sophie I've not told you all can you bear to hear it remember masteries in the next room and he knows nothing yet come you must help me to tell him now be quiet dear it was no common death he died she looked in her face as if trying to convey her meaning by her eyes Sophie's lips moved but nurse could hear no sound he has been shot as he was coming home along turner street tonight Sophie went on with the motion of her lips twitching them almost convulsively my dear you must rouse yourself and remember your father and mother have yet to be told speak Miss Sophie but she could not her whole face worked in voluntarily the nurse left the room and almost immediately brought back some Sal volatile and water Sophie drank it eagerly and gave one or two deep gasps then she spoke in a calm unnatural voice what do you want me to do nurse go to Helen and poor Amy see they won't help poor creatures we must let them alone for a bit you must go to master that's what I want you to do Miss Sophie you must break it to him poor old gentleman come he's asleep in the dining room and the men are waiting to speak to him Sophie went mechanically to the dining room door or I cannot go in I cannot tell him what must I say I'll come with you Miss Sophie break it to him by degrees I can't nurse my head throbs so I shall be sure to say the wrong thing however she opened the door there Saturday the shaded light of the candle lamp falling upon and softening his marked features while his snowy hair contrasted well with the deep crimson Morocco of the chair the newspaper he had been reading had dropped on the carpet by his side he breathed regularly and deeply at that instant the words of mrs. hemans song came into Sophie's mind he know not what she do that called the slumber a back from the realms unseen by you to live stim weary track but this life's track would be to the bereaved father something more than dim and weary here after Papa said she softly he did not stir Papa she exclaimed somewhat louder he started up half awake tea's ready is it and he yawned no Papa but something very dreadful but he sad has happened he was gaping so loud that he did not catch the word she uttered and did not see the expression of her face master Henry has not come back said nurse her voice heard in unusual speech to him arrested his attention and rubbing his eyes he looked at the servant hurry oh no he had to attend a meeting of the Masters about these cursed turnouts I don't expect him yet what are you looking at me so strangely for Sophie Oh Papa holly is come but said she bursting into tears what do you mean said he startled into an impatient consciousness that something was wrong one of you say t's not come home and the other says he is now that's nonsense tell me at once what's the matter did he go on horseback to town is he thrown speak child can't you know he is not being thrown Papa said Sophie sadly but he is badly hurt but in the nurse desirous to be drawing his anxiety to a point hurt where how have you sent for a doctor said he hastily rising as if to leave the room yes papa we've sent for a doctor but I'm afraid I believe it's of no use he looked at her for a moment and in her face he read the truth his son his only son was dead he sank back in his chair and hid his face in his hands and bowed his head upon the table the strong mahogany dining table shook and rattled under his agony Sophie went and put her arms round his bowed neck go you're not re said he but the action roused him where is he where is this said he with his strong face set into the lines of anguish by two minutes of such intense whoa in the servants Hall said nurse two policemen and another man brought him home they would be glad to speak to you when you're able sir I am able now replied he at first when he stood up he tottered but steadying himself he walked as firmly as a soldier on drill to the door then he turned back and poured out a glass of wine from the decanter which yet remained on the table his I caught the wine glass which Hadi had used but two or three hours before he sighed a long quivering sigh and then muscling himself again he left the room you better go back to your sisters Miss Sophie said nurse miss Carson went she could not face death yet the nurse followed mr. Carson to the servants Hall they're on their dinner table lay the poor dead body the men who had brought it was sitting near the fire while several of the servants stood round the table gazing at the remains the remains one or two were crying one or two were whispering ord into a strange stillness of voice and action by the presence of the dead when mr. Carson came in they all drew back and looked at him with the reverence due to sorrow he went forward and gazed long and fondly on the com dead face then he bent down and kissed the lips yet crimson with life the policemen had advanced and stood ready to be questioned but at first the old man's mind could only take in the idea of death slowly slowly came the conception of violence of murder how did he die he groaned forth the policeman looked at each other then one began and stated that having heard the report of a gun internist he had turned down that way a lonely unfrequented way mr. Carson knew but a shortcut to his garden door of which Harry had a key that as he the policeman came nearer he had heard footsteps as of a man running away but the evening was so dark the moon not having yet risen that he could see no 120 yards off but he had even been startled when close to the body by seeing it lying across the path at his feet but he had sprung his rattle and when another policeman came up by the light of the lantern they had discovered who it was that had been killed that they believed him to be dead when they first took him up as he had never moved spoken or breathed that intelligence of the murder had been sent to the superintendent who would probably soon be here that two or three policemen was still about the place where the murder was committed seeking out for some trace of the murderer having said this they stopped speaking mr. Carson had listened attentively never taking his eyes off the dead body when they had ended he said where was he shot they lifted up some of the thick chestnut curls and showed a blue spot he could hardly call it a whole the flesh had closed so much over it in the left temple a deadly aim and yet it was so dark a night he must have been close upon him said one policeman and had him between him in the sky how did the other there was a little commotion at the door of the room and there stood poor mrs. Carson the mother she had heard unusual noises in the house and had sent down her maid much more a companion to her than her highly educated daughters to discover what was going on but the maid either forgot or dreaded to return and with nervous impatience mrs. Carson came down herself and had traced the home and buzz of voices to the servants Hall mr. Carson turned round but he could not leave the dead for anyone living take her away nurse this is no sight for her tell miss sophie to go to her mother his eyes were again fixed on the Dead face of son presently mrs. Carson's hysterical cries were heard all over the house her husband shuddered at the outward expression of the agony which was rending his heart then the police superintendent came and after him the doctor the latter went through all the forms of ascertaining death without uttering a word and when at the conclusion of the operation of opening a vein from which no blood flowed he shook his head all present understood the confirmation of their previous belief the superintendent asked to speak to mr. Carson in private it was just what i was going to request of you answered he so he led the way into the dining room with the wine glass still on the table the door was carefully shut and both sat down each apparently waiting for the other to begin at last mr. Carson spoke who probably have heard that I am a rich man the superintendent bowed in a sense well sir half nay if necessary the whole of my fortune I will give to have the murderers brought to the gallows every exertion you may be sure sir shall be used on our part but probably offering a handsome reward might accelerate the discovery of the murderer but what I wanted particularly to tell you sir is that one of my men has already got some clue and that another who accompanied me here has within this quarter of an hour found a gun in the field which the murderer crossed and which he probably threw away when pursued as encumbering his flight I have not the smallest doubt of discovering the murderer what do you call a handsome reward said mr. Carson well sir three or five hundred pounds is a munificent reward more than will probably be required as a temptation to any accomplice make it a thousand said mr. Carson decisively it's the doing of those damned turnouts I imagine not said the superintendent some days ago the man I was naming to you before reported to the inspector when he came on his beat that he had had to separate your son from a young man who by his dress he believed to be employed in a undry that the man had thrown mr. Carson down and seemed inclined to proceed to more violence when the policeman came up and interfered indeed my man wished to give him in charge for an assault but mr. Carson would not allow that to be done just like him noble fellow murmured the father but after your son had left the man made use of some pretty strong threats and it's rather a curious coincidence that this scuffle took place in the very same spot where the murder was committed in turner street there was someone knocking at the door of the room it was Sophie who beckoned her father out and then asked him in an awestruck whisper to come upstairs and speak to her mother she will not leave Harry and talks so strangely indeed indeed Papa I think she has lost her senses and the poor girl sobbed bitterly where is she asked mr. Carson in his room they went upstairs rapidly and silently it was a large comfortable bedroom too large to be well lighted by the flaring flickering kitchen candle which had been hastily snatched up and now stood on the dressing table on the bed surrounded by it's heavy Paul like green curtains lay the dead son they had carried him up and laid him down as tenderly as though they feared to waken him and indeed it looked more like sleep than death so very calm and full of repose was the face you saw to the chiseled beauty of the features much more perfectly than when the brilliant coloring of life had destructed your attention there was a piece about him which told the death had come to instantaneously to give any previous pain in a chair at the head of the bed SAT the mother smiling she held one of the hands rapidly stiffening even in her warm grasp and gently stroked the back of it with the endearing caress she had used to all her children when young I'm glad you're calm said she looking up at her husband and still smiling had his soul full of fun he always has something new to amuse us with and now he pretends he's asleep and what we can't waken him look he's smiling now he hears I have found him out look and in truth the lips in the rest of death did look as though they wore a smile and the waving light of the unstuffed candle almost made them seem to move look Amy she said to her youngest child who knelt at her feet trying to soothe her by kissing her garments oh you always was a rogue you remember don't you love how full of play was as a baby hiding his face under my arm when you wanted to play with him always a rogue Harry we must get her away sir said nurse you know there is much to be done before I understand nurse said the father hastily interrupting her in dread of the distinct words which would tell of the changes of mortality calm love said he to his wife I want you to come with me I want to speak to you downstairs I'm coming said she rising perhaps after all nurse he's really tired and would be glad to sleep don't let him get cold though he feels rather chilly continued she after she had bent down and kissed the pale lips her husband put his arm round her waist and they left the room then the three sisters burst into unrestrained wailings they were startled into the reality of life and death and yet in the midst of shrieks and moans of shivering and chattering of teeth Sophie's I caught the calm beauty of the Dead so calm amidst such violence and she hushed her emotion come said she to her sisters nurse wants us to go and besides we ought to be with Mama papar told the man he was talking to when I went for him to wait and she must not be left meanwhile the superintendent had taken a candle and was examining the engravings that hung round the dining room it was so common to him to be acquainted with crime that he was far from feeling all his interest absorbed in the present case of violence although he could not help having much anxiety to detect the murderer he was busy looking at the only oil painting in the room a youth of 18 or so in a fancy dress and conjecturing its identity with the young man so mysteriously dead when the door opened and mr. Carson returned stern as he had looked before leaving the room he looked far sterner now his face was hardened into deep purpose troth I beg your pardon sir for leaving you the superintendent bowed they sat down and spoke long together one by one the policemen were called in and questioned all through the night there was bustle and commotion in the house nobody thought of going to bed it seems strange to Sophie to hear nurse summoned from her mother's side to supper in the middle of the night and still stranger that she could go the necessity of eating and drinking seemed out of place in the house of death when night was passed into morning the dining room door opened and two person steps were heard along the hall the superintendent was leaving at last mr. Carson stood on the front doorstep feeling the refreshment of the cooler morning air and seeing the Starlight fade away into dawn he will not forget said he I trust to you the policeman bowed spare no money the only purpose for which an lvalue wealth is to have the murderer arrested and brought to justice my hope in life now is to see him sentenced to death offer any rewards name a thousand pounds in the placards come to me at any hour night or day if that be required all ask of you is to get the murderer hanged next week if possible today is Friday surely with the clues you already possess you can muster up evidence sufficient to have him tried next week he may easily request an adjournment of his trial on the grounds of the shortness of the notice said the superintendent a positive possible I will see that the first lawyers are employed I shall know no rest while he lives everything shall be done sir he will arrange with the coroner ten o'clock if convenient the superintendent took leave mr. Carson stood on the step dreading to shut out the light and air and return into the haunted gloomy house my son my son he said at last but you shall be avenged by poor murdered boy I to avenge his wrongs the murderer had singled out his victim and with one fell action had taken away the life that God had given to avenge his child's death the old man lived on with the single purpose in his heart of vengeance on the murderer true his vengeance was sanctioned by law but was it the less revenge are we worshippers of Christ or of elect 00 arrestees you would have made a very tolerable Christian of the 19th century end of chapter 18 read by Tony foster

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