Hard Times Book 1 Chapter 11 Page 13

‘You hear what this lady asks. Was it an unequal marriage in point of years, this unlucky job of yours?’ said Mr. Bounderby.

‘Not e’en so. I were one-and-twenty myseln; she were twenty nighbut.’

‘Indeed, sir?’ said Mrs. Sparsit to her Chief, with great placidity. ‘I inferred, from its being so miserable a marriage, that it was probably an unequal one in point of years.’

Mr. Bounderby looked very hard at the good lady in a side-long way that had an odd sheepishness about it. He fortified himself with a little more sherry.

‘Well? Why don’t you go on?’ he then asked, turning rather irritably on Stephen Blackpool.