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His necktie may be elegant鈥攈is boots be superfine鈥擖/p>

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MY aunt and I had held many grave deliberations on the calling to which I should be devoted. For a year or more I had endeavoured to find a satisfactory answer to her often-repeated question, 'What I would like to be?' But I had no particular liking, that I could discover, for anything. If I could have been inspired with a knowledge of the science of navigation, taken the command of a fast-sailing expedition, and gone round the world on a triumphant voyage of discovery, I think I might have considered myself completely suited. But, in the absence of any such miraculous provision, my desire was to apply myself to some pursuit that would not lie too heavily upon her purse; and to do my duty in it, whatever it might be.

'I'll soon tell you when you're letting the side down.' M. thumped the desk for a second time, but less hard. 'Now listen to me, I'm giving you acting promotion to the Diplomatic Section. Four figure number and a thousand a year extra pay. You won't know much about the Section, but I can tell you there are only two other men in it. You can keep your present office and your secretary, if you like. In fact I would prefer it. I don't want your change of duty to get about. Understand?' All next day, he was occupied in disposing of his fishing-boat and tackle; in packing up, and sending to London by waggon, such of his little domestic possessions as he thought would be useful to him; and in parting with the rest, or bestowing them on Mrs. Gummidge. She was with him all day. As I had a sorrowful wish to see the old place once more, before it was locked up, I engaged to meet them there in the evening. But I so arranged it, as that I should meet Ham first. The woman burst into a fit of laughter, as if she thought this a joke, and tossed it back to me, nodded once, as slightly as before, and made the word 'Go!' with her lips. Before I could obey, however, the tinker seized the handkerchief out of my hand with a roughness that threw me away like a feather, and putting it loosely round his own neck, turned upon the woman with an oath, and knocked her down. I never shall forget seeing her fall backward on the hard road, and lie there with her bonnet tumbled off, and her hair all whitened in the dust; nor, when I looked back from a distance, seeing her sitting on the pathway, which was a bank by the roadside, wiping the blood from her face with a corner of her shawl, while he went on ahead. Once more it seemed to me possible that from this utter debasement man might now once more take the first step on the long journey towards lucidity. The whole lethal social order which had hitherto frustrated it had now vanished. Reduced once more to the primitive family, surely men would rediscover their essential humanity. But this could not be. The dead hand of the past still gripped even their most intimate relationships. Debased intelligence, debased self-consciousness, debased sensibility towards others made it impossible for the new sub-men to realize the folly and cruelty that they were constantly perpetrating. No individual was ever treated with respect even for such rudiments of personality as he might possess. Every man and woman was merely the node of a number of formal social relations. Everyone was either a chieftain or a slave or a free hunter, either a husband or bachelor, a wife or a virgin, and so on. And for each relationship there was an intricate pattern of conventional conduct, which must never be infringed. These patterns were in the main not expressions of existing circumstances but confused survivals of a past culture, in many cases cruelly frustrating to the individual. This state of affairs was damaging to everyone, not only because of the discrepancy between his actual circumstances and the behaviour imposed by convention, but also because in everyone there still lurked a tortured and bewildered germ of that spirit which in the past had flowered as Jesus, Socrates, Gautama, and the hosts of the wise and the good.

I was obliged to admit that Mr. Spenlow had considered it probable.

Tiger paused and placed his fist against his forehead. He closed his eyes in thought. He said, 'Yes. I've got you, Bondo-san. You can't escape.'

'Well!' he resumed at length. 'Says you, "Peggotty! Barkis is waitin' for a answer." Says she, perhaps, "Answer to what?" Says you, "To what I told you." "What is that?" says she. "Barkis is willin'," says you.'