Hard Times Book 1 Chapter 16 Page 8

always substitute the phrase, annual compliment.’

‘Well, ma’am, annual compliment. If the same annual compliment would be acceptable there, why, I see nothing to part us, unless you do.’

‘Sir,’ returned Mrs. Sparsit. ‘The proposal is like yourself, and if the position I shall assume at the Bank is one that I could occupy without descending lower in the social scale — ’

‘Why, of course it is,’ said Bounderby. ‘If it was not, ma’am, you don’t suppose that I should offer it to a lady who has moved in the society you have moved in. Not that I care for such society, you know! But you do.’