Hard Times Book 2 Chapter 4 Page 14

this matther. I know weel that if I was a lyin parisht i’ th’ road, yo’d feel it right to pass me by, as a forrenner and stranger. What I ha getn, I mun mak th’ best on.’

‘Stephen Blackpool,’ said the chairman, rising, ‘think on ’t agen. Think on ’t once agen, lad, afore thou’rt shunned by aw owd friends.’

There was an universal murmur to the same effect, though no man articulated a word. Every eye was fixed on Stephen’s face. To repent of his determination, would be to take a load from all their minds. He looked around him, and knew that it was so. Not a grain of anger with them was in his heart; he knew them, far below their surface weaknesses and misconceptions, as no one but their fellow-labourer could.