‘No, thank you,’ spoken in English, as there is in，
It has been said that Bertie Stanhope was a man without principle. He certainly was so. He had no power of using active mental exertion to keep himself from doing evil. Evil had no ugliness in his eyes; virtue no beauty. He was void of any of those feelings which actuate men to do good. But he was perhaps equally void of those which actuate men to do evil. He got into debt with utter recklessness, thinking of nothing as to whether the tradesmen would ever be paid or not. But he did not invent active schemes of deceit for the sake of extracting the goods of others. If a man gave him credit, that was the man's look-out; Bertie Stanhope troubled himself nothing further. In borrowing money he did the same; he gave people references to 'his governor', told them that the 'old chap' had a good income; and agreed to pay sixty per cent for the accommodation. All this he did without a scruple of conscience; but then he never contrived active villainy.
In this affair of his marriage, it had been represented to him as a matter of duty that he ought to put himself in possession of Mrs Bold's hand and fortune; and at first he had so regarded it. About her he had thought but little. It was the customary thing for men situated as he was to marry for money, and there was no reason why he should not do what others around him did. And so he consented. But now he began to see the matter in another light. He was setting himself down to catch a woman, as a cat sits to catch a mouse. He was to catch her, and swallow her up, her and her child, and her houses and land, in order that he might live on her instead of on his father. There was a cold, calculating, cautious cunning about this quite at variance with Bertie's character. The prudence of the measure was quite as antagonistic to his feelings as the iniquity.
And then, should he be successful, what would be the reward? Having satisfied his creditors with half of the widow's fortune, he would be allowed to sit down quietly at Barchester, keeping economical house with the remainder. His duty would be to rock the cradle of the late Mr Bold's child, and his highest excitement a demure party at Plumstead rectory, should it ultimately turn out that the archdeacon be sufficiently reconciled to receive him.
There was little in the programme to allure such a man as Bertie Stanhope. Would not the Carrara workshop, or whatever worldly career fortune might have in store for him, would not almost anything be better than this? The lady herself was undoubtedly all that was desirable; but the most desirable lady becomes nauseous when she has to be taken as a pill. He was pledged to his sister, however, and let him quarrel with whom he would, it behoved him not to quarrel with her. If she were lost to him all would be lost that he could ever hope to derive henceforward from the paternal roof-tree. His mother was apparently indifferent to his weal or woe, to his wants or to his warfare. His father's brow got blacker and blacker from day to day, as the old man looked at his hopeless son. And as for Madeline--poor Madeline, whom of all of them he liked the best,--she had enough to do to shift for herself. No; come what might, he must cling to his sister and obey her behests, let them be ever so stern; or at the very least be seen to obey them. Could not some happy deceit bring him through in this matter, so that he might save appearances with his sister, and yet not betray the widow to her ruin? What if he made a confidence of Eleanor?
'Twas in this spirit that Bertie Stanhope set about his wooing.
'But you are not going to leave Barchester?' asked Eleanor.
'I do not know,' he replied. 'I hardly know yet what I am going to do. But it is at any rate certain that I must do something.'
'You mean about your profession?' said she.
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