"What did he say?" asked Jemima, still in the low, husky tone of suppressed anger.
"Your mother says he remarked to her, 'What a pity it is that Jemima cannot maintain her opinions without going into a passion; and what a pity it is that her opinions are such as to sanction, rather than curb, these fits of rudeness and anger!'"
"Did he say that?" said Jemima, in a still lower tone, not questioning her father, but speaking rather to herself.
"I have no doubt he did," replied her father gravely. "Your mother is in the habit of repeating accurately to me what takes place in my absence; besides which, the whole speech is not one of hers; she has not altered a word in the repetition, I am convinced. I have trained her to habits of accuracy very unusual in a woman."
At another time, Jemima might have been inclined to rebel against this system of carrying constant intelligence to headquarters, which she had long ago felt as an insurmountable obstacle to any free communication with her mother; but now, her father's means of acquiring knowledge faded into insignificance before the nature of the information he imparted. She stood quite still, grasping the chair-back, longing to be dismissed.
"I have said enough now, I hope, to make you behave in a becoming manner to Mr. Farquhar; if your temper is too unruly to be always under your own control, at least have respect to my injunctions, and take some pains to curb it before him."
"May I go?" asked Jemima, chafing more and more.
"You may," said her father. When she left the room be gently rubbed his hands together, satisfied with the effect he had produced, and wondering how it was that one so well brought up as his daughter could ever say or do anything to provoke such a remark from Mr. Farquhar as that which he had heard repeated.
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