Adam Bede HTML version
days ago, before you were mentioned to her, when I asked her if there was any
one of her family whom she would like to see--to whom she could open her mind-
-she said, with a violent shudder, 'Tell them not to come near me--I won't see any
Adam's head was hanging down again, and he did not speak. There was silence
for a few minutes, and then Mr. Irwine said, "I don't like to advise you against
your own feelings, Adam, if they now urge you strongly to go and see her to-
morrow morning, even without her consent. It is just possible, notwithstanding
appearances to the contrary, that the interview might affect her favourably. But I
grieve to say I have scarcely any hope of that. She didn't seem agitated when I
mentioned your name; she only said 'No,' in the same cold, obstinate way as
usual. And if the meeting had no good effect on her, it would be pure, useless
suffering to you--severe suffering, I fear. She is very much changed..."
Adam started up from his chair and seized his hat, which lay on the table. But he
stood still then, and looked at Mr. Irwine, as if he had a question to ask which it
was yet difficult to utter. Bartle Massey rose quietly, turned the key in the door,
and put it in his pocket.
"Is he come back?" said Adam at last.
"No, he is not," said Mr. Irwine, quietly. "Lay down your hat, Adam, unless you
like to walk out with me for a little fresh air. I fear you have not been out again to-
"You needn't deceive me, sir," said Adam, looking hard at Mr. Irwine and
speaking in a tone of angry suspicion. "You needn't be afraid of me. I only want
justice. I want him to feel what she feels. It's his work...she was a child as it 'ud
ha' gone t' anybody's heart to look at...I don't care what she's done...it was him
brought her to it. And he shall know it...he shall feel it...if there's a just God, he
shall feel what it is t' ha' brought a child like her to sin and misery."
"I'm not deceiving you, Adam," said Mr. Irwine. "Arthur Donnithorne is not come
back--was not come back when I left. I have left a letter for him: he will know all
as soon as he arrives."
"But you don't mind about it," said Adam indignantly. "You think it doesn't matter
as she lies there in shame and misery, and he knows nothing about it--he suffers
"Adam, he WILL know--he WILL suffer, long and bitterly. He has a heart and a
conscience: I can't be entirely deceived in his character. I am convinced--I am
sure he didn't fall under temptation without a struggle. He may be weak, but he is
not callous, not coldly selfish. I am persuaded that this will be a shock of which