Hard Times Book 1 Chapter 16 Page 4

ma’am,’ said Mr. Bounderby, putting his hands in his pockets, and assuring himself with his right hand that the cork of the little bottle was ready for use, ‘I have no occasion to say to you, that you are not only a lady born and bred, but a devilish sensible woman.’

‘Sir,’ returned the lady, ‘this is indeed not the first time that you have honoured me with similar expressions of your good opinion.’

‘Mrs. Sparsit, ma’am,’ said Mr. Bounderby, ‘I am going to astonish you.’

‘Yes, sir?’ returned Mrs. Sparsit, interrogatively, and in the most tranquil manner possible. She generally wore mittens, and she now laid down her work, and smoothed those mittens.