Hard Times Book 1 Chapter 11 Page 5

a cotton stirrup. It was a part, at once of Mrs. Sparsit’s dignity and service, not to lunch. She supervised the meal officially, but implied that in her own stately person she considered lunch a weakness.

‘Now, Stephen,’ said Mr. Bounderby, ‘what’s the matter with you?’

Stephen made a bow. Not a servile one — these Hands will never do that! Lord bless you, sir, you’ll never catch them at that, if they have been with you twenty years! — and, as a complimentary toilet for Mrs. Sparsit, tucked his neckerchief ends into his waistcoat.

‘Now, you know,’ said Mr. Bounderby, taking some sherry, ‘we have never had any difficulty with you, and you have never been