Hard Times Book 1 Chapter 14 Page 9

as they fell into the grate, and became extinct, that from the period when her father had said she was almost a young woman — which seemed but yesterday — she had scarcely attracted his notice again, when he found her quite a young woman.

‘Quite a young woman,’ said Mr. Gradgrind, musing. ‘Dear me!’

Soon after this discovery, he became more thoughtful than usual for several days, and seemed much engrossed by one subject. On a certain night, when he was going out, and Louisa came to bid him good-bye before his departure — as he was not to be home until late and she would not see him again until the morning — he held her in his arms, looking at her in his kindest manner, and said: