claring to himself through it all that the want of reason among Britishers was so great, that no one ought to treat them as wholly responsible beings.
THE LAST DAYS OF MARY MASTERS
THE triumph of Mary Masters was something more than a nine days' wonder to the people of Dillsborough. They had all known Larry Twentyman's intentions and aspirations, and had generally condemned the young lady's obduracy, thinking, and not being slow to say, that she would live to repent her perversity. Runciman, who had a thoroughly warm-hearted friendship for both the attorney and Larry, had sometimes been very severe on Mary. 'She wants a touch of hardship,' he would say, 'to bring her to. If Larry would just give her a cold shoulder for six months, she'd be ready to jump into his arms.' And Dr. Nupper had been heard to remark that she might go further and fare worse. 'If it were my girl I'd let her know all about it,' Ribbs the butcher had said in the bosom of his own family. When it was found that Mr. Surtees the curate was not to be the fortunate man, the matter was more inexplicable than ever. Had it then been declared that the owner of Hoppet Hall had proposed to her, all these tongues would have been silenced, and the refusal even of Larry Twentyman would have been justified. But what was to be said and what was to be thought when it was known that she was to be the mistress of Bragton? For a day or two the prosperity of the attorney was hardly to be endured by his neighbours. When it was first known that the stewardship of the property was to go back into his hands, his rise in the world was for a time slightly prejudicial to his popularity; but this greater stroke of luck, this latter promotion which would place him so much higher in Dillsborough than even his father or his grandfather had ever been, was a great trial of friendship.