Hard Times Book 1 Chapter 7 Page 15

Sparsit. That lady acts as mistress of this house, and she is a highly connected lady. Consequently, if ever you come again into any room in this house, you will make a short stay in it if you don’t behave towards that lady in your most respectful manner. Now, I don’t care a button what you do to me, because I don’t affect to be anybody. So far from having high connections I have no connections at all, and I come of the scum of the earth. But towards that lady, I do care what you do; and you shall do what is deferential and respectful, or you shall not come here.’

‘I hope, Bounderby,’ said Mr. Gradgrind, in a conciliatory voice, ‘that this was merely an oversight.’

‘My friend Tom Gradgrind suggests, Mrs.