Mr. Snowman whispered to Bond, "That means he's probably got a bid of at least fifty. This is simply to get things moving."
The time occupied in this editorial work was extremely well employed in respect to my own improvement. The "Rationale of judicial Evidence" is one of the richest in matter of all Bentham's productions. The theory of evidence being in itself one of the most important of his subjects, and ramifying into most of the others, the book contains, very fully developed, a great proportion of all his best thoughts: while, among more special things, it comprises the most elaborate exposure of the vices and defects of English law, as it then was, which is to be found in his works; not confined to the law of evidence, but including, by way of illustrative episode, the entire procedure or practice of Westminster Hall. The direct knowledge, therefore, which I obtained from the book, and which was imprinted upon me much more thoroughly than it could have been by mere reading, was itself no small acquisition. But this occupation did for me what might seem less to be expected; it gave a great start to my powers of composition. Everything which I wrote subsequently to this editorial employment, was markedly superior to anything that I had written before it. Bentham's later style, as the world knows, was heavy and cumbersome, from the excess of a good quality, the love of precision, which made him introduce clause within clause into the heart of every sentence, that the reader might receive into his mind all the modifications and qualifications simultaneously with the main proposition: and the habit grew on him until his sentences became, to those not accustomed to them, most laborious reading. But his earlier style, that of the Fragment on Government, Plan of a judicial Establishment, &c., is a model of liveliness and ease combined with fulness of matter, scarcely ever surpassed: and of this earlier style there were many striking specimens in the manuscripts on Evidence, all of which I endeavoured to preserve. So long a course of this admirable writing had a considerable effect upon my own; and I added to it by the assiduous reading of other writers, both French and English, who combined, in a remarkable degree, ease with force, such as Goldsmith, Fielding, Pascal, Voltaire, and Courier. Through these influences my writing lost the jejuneness of my early compositions; the bones and cartilages began to clothe themselves with flesh, and the style became, at times, lively and almost light.
'Whaddya know. Hey, Sam, better call the doc. This one's come round.'
The screaming progress of the driverless train changed to a roar as the track took to the trestles of the long bridge. Bond watched it vaguely, wondering when it would run out of steam. What would tie three gangsters do now? Take to the hills? Get the train under control and go on to Green Harbour and try and take the Thunder Bird across to Cuba? Immediately the answer came! Halfway across the bridge, the engine suddenly reared up like a bucking stallion. At the same time there came a crash of thunder and a vast sheet of flame, and the bridge buckled downwards in the centre like a bent leg. Chunks of torn iron sprayed upwards and sideways, and there was a splintering crash as the main stanchions gave and slowly bowed down towards the water. Through the jagged gap, the beautiful Belle, a smashed toy, folded upon itself and, with a giant splintering of iron and woodwork and a volcano of spray and steam, thundered into the river.
M. sent for his bill. As usual he paid, whatever the amount of the bill, with a five-pound note for the pleasure of receiving in change crisp new pound notes, new silver and gleaming copper pennies, for it is the custom at Blades to give its members only freshly minted money. Porterfield pulled back his table and M. walked quickly to the door, acknowledging the occasional greeting with a preoccupied nod and a brief lifting of the hand. It was two o'clock. The old black Phantom Rolls took him quietly and quickly northwards through Berkeley Square, across Oxford Street and via Wigmore Street, into Regent's Park. M. didn't look out at the passing scene. He sat stiffly in the back, his bowler hat squarely set on the middle of his head, and gazed unseeing at the back of the chauffeur's head with hooded, brooding eyes.
In Vilette, too, and in Shirley, there is to be found human life as natural and as real, though in circumstances not so full of interest as those told in Jane Eyre. The character of Paul in the former of the two is a wonderful study. She must herself have been in love with some Paul when she wrote the book, and have been determined to prove to herself that she was capable of loving one whose exterior circumstances were mean and in every way unprepossessing.
Twenty-five years of hard toil in India had not made a rich man of Mr. Tucker; nor did his position as a Director bring him wealth. It was his daughter’s pride in after-life to know that he had died comparatively poor, because of his inviolable sense of honour. Not that more money would not have been acceptable! Ten children, including five sons, to be launched in life, are a serious pull upon any purse of ordinary capacity; and Mr. Tucker was of an essentially generous nature. He had many relatives, many friends, and the demands upon his purse were numerous. On a certain occasion he gave away about one-quarter of his whole capital, a sum amounting to several thousands of pounds, to help a relative in a great emergency. One who met him immediately afterwards spoke of his appearing to have suddenly grown into an old man.
'You are indeed,' said Bond emphatically.
'There was an answer expected, was there, Mr. Barkis?' said I, opening my eyes. For this was a new light to me.
'This is Mr. Micawber,' said Mr. Quinion to me.
'This, at least, is the light, my dear Mr. Copperfield,' pursued Mrs. Micawber, 'in which I view the subject. When I lived at home with my papa and mama, my papa was accustomed to ask, when any point was under discussion in our limited circle, "In what light does my Emma view the subject?" That my papa was too partial, I know; still, on such a point as the frigid coldness which has ever subsisted between Mr. Micawber and my family, I necessarily have formed an opinion, delusive though it may be.'
To another she wrote on the same day: 鈥業t seems very sad, when there had been such a promising beginning; a new and interesting Zenana opened to me only yesterday; and I must quit Batala to-day, for one lady cannot stay by herself. But I am not in the least discouraged. I believe that the Almighty will not suffer the Mission to be permanently broken up. He will send some one to take poor Florrie鈥檚 place; and then I am ready, at twenty-four hours鈥 notice, to return to my post. I hear that the women are very sorry for our going. I have myself seen tears on brown faces.鈥 Her confident hope was soon to come true.
Secretaries: J. Bond
He collected his coat, told his secretary he would be with M. and not to wait for him, left his office and walked along the corridor to the lift.
They had said: 'HELL is HERE… HELL is HERE… HELL is HERE.'