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Chapter 19 “Ralph the Heir”
Henry had left Lodore some days since, or he would doubtless have favoured the family party with some good natured observations. He had, however, to confirm opinions of still more consequence to his plans, in another quarter—a quarter, which he had lately, by no very honourable means, discovered to have become more dangerous than ever. Had he been present, he could have resolved every mystery, and shewn all to be simple that seemed extraordinary: not that he would have done so.
I shall not pause to recount all the wars and social tumults of this age. I could not, if I would, give a clear report on them. I can remember only that waves of fruitless agony spread hither and thither over the whole planet like seismic waves in the planet’s crust. Fruitless the agony seemed to me because time after time hope was disappointed. The door to a new world was thrust ajar, then slammed.
It was my father's opinions which gave the distinguishing character to the Benthamic or utilitarian propagandism of that time. They fell singly, scattered from him in many directions, but they flowed from him in a continued stream principally in three channels. One was through me, the only mind directly formed by his instructions, and through whom considerable influence was exercised over various young men, who became, in their turn, propagandists. A second was through some of the Cambridge contemporaries of Charles Austin, who, either initiated by him or under the general mental impulse which he gave, had adopted many opinions allied to those of my father, and some of the more considerable of whom afterwards sought my father's acquaintance and frequented his house. Among these may be mentioned Strutt, afterwards Lord Belper, and the present Lord Romilly with whose eminent father, Sir Samuel, my father had of old been on terms of friendship. The third channel was that of a younger generation of Cambridge undergraduates, contemporary, not with Austin, but with Eyton Tooke, who were drawn to that estimable person by affinity of opinions, and introduced by him to my father: the most notable of these was Charles Buller. Various other persons individually received and transmitted a considerable amount of my father's influence: for example, Black (as before mentioned) and Fonblanque: most of these, however, we accounted only partial allies; Fonblanque, for instance, was always divergent from us on many important points. But indeed there was by no means complete unanimity among any portion of us, nor had any of us adopted implicitly all my father's opinions. For example, although his Essay on Government was regarded probably by all of us as a masterpiece of political wisdom, our adhesion by no means extended to the paragraph of it, in which he maintains that women may consistently with good government, be excluded from the suffrage, because their interest is the same with that of men. From this doctrine, I, and all those who formed my chosen associates, most positively dissented. It is due to my father to say that he denied having intended to affirm that women should be excluded, any more than men under the age of forty, concerning whom he maintained, in the very next paragraph, an exactly similar thesis. He was, as he truly said, not discussing whether the suffrage had better be restricted, but only (assuming that it is to be restricted) what is the utmost limit of restriction, which does not necessity involve a sacrifice of the securities for good government. But I thought then, as I have always thought since, that the opinion which he acknowledged, no less than that which he disclaimed, is as great an error as any of those against which the Essay was directed; that the interest of women is included in that of men exactly as much and no more, as the interest of subjects is included in that of kings; and that every reason which exists for giving the suffrage to anybody, demands that it should not be withheld from women. This was also the general opinion of the younger proselytes; and it is pleasant to be able to say that Mr Bentham, on this important point, was wholly on our side.
Oh, lord! thought Bond. One of those! A girl with a wing, perhaps two wings, down. He chose to let the remark lie. The half-bottle of Krug he had ordered came. After the huissier had half filled the glass, Bond topped it to the brim. He held it towards her without exaggeration. 'My name is Bond, James Bond. Please stay alive, at any rate for tonight.' He drank the glass down at one long gulp and filled it again.
Availing myself of this permission, which was given with a warm shake of the hand, I sat thinking about Dora, and looking at the sunlight stealing from the chimney-pots down the wall of the opposite house, until Mr. jorkins came. I then went up to Mr. jorkins's room, and evidently astonished Mr. jorkins very much by making my appearance there.
My entrance, and my saying what I wanted, roused her. It disturbed the Doctor too, for when I went back to replace the candle I had taken from the table, he was patting her head, in his fatherly way, and saying he was a merciless drone to let her tempt him into reading on; and he would have her go to bed.
“Of course not,” replied the stranger. “But, to return to my subject: As soon as the marriage shall have been proved, so as to entitle you to a legal controul over the property, you must employ a proper agent, give him sufficient powers and directions, to one-half of each year’s rent to an address through which I can receive it without reference to you, and the other half to an address by which you can receive it, without making your actual residence known (that is, should concealment long continue necessary). Have you any hope of reconciling Julia herself?”
'Lord forbid!' cried Peggotty.
'No. The people of the island belong to the Shinto religion. The Superintendent will speak to the Shinto priest and everything will be okay.'