Adam Bede HTML version
beauty than such as belongs to an expression of good-humoured honest
It is clear at a glance that the next workman is Adam's brother. He is nearly as
tall; he has the same type of features, the same hue of hair and complexion; but
the strength of the family likeness seems only to render more conspicuous the
remarkable difference of expression both in form and face. Seth's broad
shoulders have a slight stoop; his eyes are grey; his eyebrows have less
prominence and more repose than his brother's; and his glance, instead of being
keen, is confiding and benign. He has thrown off his paper cap, and you see that
his hair is not thick and straight, like Adam's, but thin and wavy, allowing you to
discern the exact contour of a coronal arch that predominates very decidedly
over the brow.
The idle tramps always felt sure they could get a copper from Seth; they scarcely
ever spoke to Adam.
The concert of the tools and Adam's voice was at last broken by Seth, who, lifting
the door at which he had been working intently, placed it against the wall, and
said, "There! I've finished my door to-day, anyhow."
The workmen all looked up; Jim Salt, a burly, red-haired man known as Sandy
Jim, paused from his planing, and Adam said to Seth, with a sharp glance of
surprise, "What! Dost think thee'st finished the door?"
"Aye, sure," said Seth, with answering surprise; "what's awanting to't?"
A loud roar of laughter from the other three workmen made Seth look round
confusedly. Adam did not join in the laughter, but there was a slight smile on his
face as he said, in a gentler tone than before, "Why, thee'st forgot the panels."
The laughter burst out afresh as Seth clapped his hands to his head, and
coloured over brow and crown.
"Hoorray!" shouted a small lithe fellow called Wiry Ben, running forward and
seizing the door. "We'll hang up th' door at fur end o' th' shop an' write on't 'Seth
Bede, the Methody, his work.' Here, Jim, lend's hould o' th' red pot."
"Nonsense!" said Adam. "Let it alone, Ben Cranage. You'll mayhap be making
such a slip yourself some day; you'll laugh o' th' other side o' your mouth then."
"Catch me at it, Adam. It'll be a good while afore my head's full o' th' Methodies,"
"Nay, but it's often full o' drink, and that's worse."