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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 617 pages of information about John Caldigate.
by giving up your name?  Wouldn’t she cling to you the more, the more all the world was against you?’ (’I would,’ said Fanny, with tearful energy.  ‘Fanny’ was, of course, Mrs. William Bolton, and was the happy mother of five nearly grown-up sons and daughters, and certainly stood in no peril as to her own or their possession of the name of Bolton.  The letter was being read aloud to her by her husband, whose mind was also stirred in his sister’s favour by the nature of the arguments used.) ’If so,’ continued the writer, ’why shouldn’t I be the same?  I don’t believe a word the people said.  I am sure I am his wife.  And as, when he was taken away from me, he left a house for his wife and child to live in, I shall continue to live in it.

    ’All the same, I know you mean to be good to me.  Give my best love
    to Fanny, and believe me your affectionate sister,

    ‘Hester Caldigate.’

In every letter and stroke of the name as she wrote it there was an assertion that she claimed it as her own, and that she was not ashamed of it.

‘Upon my word,’ said Mrs. William Bolton, through her tears, ’I am beginning to think that she is almost right.’  There was so much of conjugal proper feeling in this that the husband could only kiss his wife and leave her without further argument on the matter.

Chapter XLVI

Burning Words

‘No power at all; none whatever,’ the banker said, when he was next compelled to carry on the conversation.  This was immediately upon his return home from Cambridge, for his wife never allowed the subject to be forgotten or set aside.  Every afternoon and every evening it was being discussed at all hours not devoted to prayers, and every morning it was renewed at the breakfast-table.

‘That comes from Robert.’  Mr. Bolton was not able to deny the assertion.  ‘What does he mean by “no power"?’

‘We can’t make her do it.  The magistrates can’t interfere.’

’Magistrates!  Has it been by the interference of magistrates that men have succeeded in doing great things?  Was it by order from the magistrates that the lessons of Christ have been taught over all the world?  Is there no such thing as persuasion?  Has truth no power?  Is she more deaf to argument and eloquence than another?’

‘She is very deaf, I think,’ said the father, doubting his own eloquence.

’It is because no one has endeavoured to awaken her by burning words to a true sense of her situation When she said this she must surely have forgotten much that had occurred during those weary hours which had been passed by her and her daughter outside there in the hall.  ‘No power!’ she repeated.  ’It is the answer always made by those who are too sleepy to do the Lord’s work.  It was because men said that they had no power that the grain fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth.  It is that aversion to face difficulties which causes the broad path to be crowded with victims.  I, at any rate, will go.  I may have no power, but I will make the attempt.’

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