I asked, as the shortest way to get at it, what he WAS doing.
'I take my leave of you, Mr. Creakle, and all of you,' said Mr. Mell, glancing round the room, and again patting me gently on the shoulders. 'James Steerforth, the best wish I can leave you is that you may come to be ashamed of what you have done today. At present I would prefer to see you anything rather than a friend, to me, or to anyone in whom I feel an interest.'
There was a beggar in the street, when I went down; and as I turned my head towards the window, thinking of her calm seraphic eyes, he made me start by muttering, as if he were an echo of the morning: 'Blind! Blind! Blind!'
Between Grant and Lincoln there came to be perfect sympathy of thought and action. The men had in their nature (though not in their mental equipment) much in common. Grant carries his army through the spring of 1864, across the much fought over territory, marching and fighting from day to day towards the south-west. The effort is always to outflank Lee's right, getting in between him and his base at Richmond, but after each fight, Lee's army always bars the way. Marching out of the Wilderness after seven days' fierce struggle, Grant still finds the line of grey blocking his path to Richmond. The army of the Potomac had been marching and fighting without break for weeks. There had been but little sleep, and the food in the trains was often far out of the reach of the men in the fighting line. Men and officers were alike exhausted. While advantages had been gained at one point or another along the line, and while it was certain that the opposing army had also suffered severely, there had been no conclusive successes to inspirit the troops with the feeling that they were to seize victory out of the campaign.
When, some time later, the Tory Government brought in a bill to prevent public meetings in the Parks, I not only spoke strongly in opposition to it, but formed one of a number of advanced Liberals, who, aided by the very late period of the Session, succeeded in defeating the Bill by what is called talking it out. It has not since been renewed.
Though Ricardo's great work was already in print, no didactic treatise embodying its doctrines, in a manner fit for learners, had yet appeared. My father, therefore, commenced instructing me in the science by a sort of lectures, which he delivered to me in our walks. He expounded each day a portion of the subject, and I gave him next day a written account of it, which he made me rewrite over and over again until it was clear, precise, and tolerably complete. In this manner I went through the whole extent of the science; and the written outline of it which resulted from my daily compte rendu, served him afterwards as notes from which to write his Elements of Political Economy. After this I read Ricardo, giving an account daily of what I read, and discussing, in the best manner I could, the collateral points which offered themselves in our progress.
The footsteps were at the door.