"No, not spoken. It has been implied between us for some time. At least, I have been so aware of his intentions that I have made several allusions, in the course of business, to it, as a thing that might take place. He can hardly have misunderstood; he must have seen that I perceived his design, and approved of it," said Mr. Bradshaw, rather doubtfully; as he remembered how very little, in fact, passed between him and his partner which could have reference to the subject, to any but a mind prepared to receive it. Perhaps Mr. Farquhar had not really thought of it; but then again, that would imply that his own penetration had been mistaken, a thing not impossible certainly, but quite beyond the range of probability. So he reassured himself, and (as he thought) his daughter, by saying--
"The whole thing is so suitable--the advantages arising from the connection are so obvious; besides which, I am quite aware, from many little speeches of Mr. Farquhar's, that he contemplates marriage at no very distant time; and he seldom leaves Eccleston, and visits few families besides our own--certainly, none that can compare with ours in the advantages you have all received in moral and religious training." But then Mr. Bradshaw was checked in his implied praises of himself (and only himself could be his martingale when he once set out on such a career) by a recollection that Jemima must not feel too secure, as she might become if he dwelt too much on the advantages of her being her father's daughter. Accordingly, he said, "But you must be aware, Jemima, that you do very little credit to the education I have given you, when you make such an impression as you must have done to-day, before Mr. Farquhar could have said what. he did of you!"
"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."
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