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Adam Bede

as to the bargains about the squire's timber, it would be easy to call in a third
person. Adam saw here an opening into a broadening path of prosperous work
such as he had thought of with ambitious longing ever since he was a lad: he
might come to build a bridge, or a town hall, or a factory, for he had always said
to himself that Jonathan Burge's building buisness was like an acorn, which
might be the mother of a great tree. So he gave his hand to Burge on that
bargain, and went home with his mind full of happy visions, in which (my refined
reader will perhaps be shocked when I say it) the image of Hetty hovered, and
smiled over plans for seasoning timber at a trifling expense, calculations as to the
cheapening of bricks per thousand by water-carriage, and a favourite scheme for
the strengthening of roofs and walls with a peculiar form of iron girder. What
then? Adam's enthusiasm lay in these things; and our love is inwrought in our
enthusiasm as electricity is inwrought in the air, exalting its power by a subtle
presence.
Adam would be able to take a separate house now, and provide for his mother in
the old one; his prospects would justify his marrying very soon, and if Dinah
consented to have Seth, their mother would perhaps be more contented to live
apart from Adam. But he told himself that he would not be hasty--he would not try
Hetty's feeling for him until it had had time to grow strong and firm. However,
tomorrow, after church, he would go to the Hall Farm and tell them the news. Mr.
Poyser, he knew, would like it better than a five-pound note, and he should see if
Hetty's eyes brightened at it. The months would be short with all he had to fill his
mind, and this foolish eagerness which had come over him of late must not hurry
him into any premature words. Yet when he got home and told his mother the
good news, and ate his supper, while she sat by almost crying for joy and
wanting him to eat twice as much as usual because of this good-luck, he could
not help preparing her gently for the coming change by talking of the old house
being too small for them all to go on living in it always.
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