He Knew He Was Right eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,021 pages of information about He Knew He Was Right.

He felt that he had nothing more to say, and then he left her; but he had gained nothing by the interview.  She was still hard and cold, and still assumed a tone which seemed to imply that she had manifestly been the injured person.

Colonel Osborne, when he was left alone, stood for a few moments on the spot, and then with a whistle, a shake of the head, and a little low chuckle of laughter, rejoined the crowd.

CHAPTER VII

MISS JEMIMA STANBURY, OF EXETER

Miss Jemima Stanbury, the aunt of our friend Hugh, was a maiden lady, very much respected, indeed, in the city of Exeter.  It is to be hoped that no readers of these pages will be so un-English as to be unable to appreciate the difference between county society and town society, the society, that is, of a provincial town, or so ignorant as not to know also that there may be persons so privileged, that although they live distinctly within a provincial town, there is accorded to them, as though by brevet rank, all the merit of living in the county.  In reference to persons so privileged, it is considered that they have been made free from the contamination of contiguous bricks and mortar by certain inner gifts, probably of birth, occasionally of profession, possibly of merit.  It is very rarely, indeed, that money alone will bestow this acknowledged rank; and in Exeter, which by the stringency and excellence of its well-defined rules on such matters, may perhaps be said to take the lead of all English provincial towns, money alone has never availed.  Good blood, especially if it be blood good in Devonshire, is rarely rejected.  Clergymen are allowed within the pale though by no means as certainly as used to be the case; and, indeed, in these days of literates, clergymen have to pass harder examinations than those ever imposed upon them by bishops’ chaplains, before they are admitted ad eundem among the chosen ones of the city of Exeter.  The wives and daughters of the old prebendaries see well to that.  And, as has been said, special merit may prevail.  Sir Peter Mancrudy, the great Exeter physician, has won his way in, not at all by being Sir Peter, which has stood in his way rather than otherwise, but by the acknowledged excellence of his book about saltzes.  Sir Peter Mancrudy is supposed to have quite a metropolitan, almost a European reputation and therefore is acknowledged to belong to the county set, although he never dines out at any house beyond the limits of the city.  Now, let it be known that no inhabitant of Exeter ever achieved a clearer right to be regarded as ‘county,’ in opposition to ‘town,’ than had Miss Jemima Stanbury.  There was not a tradesman in Exeter who was not aware of it, and who did not touch his hat to her accordingly.  The men who drove the flies, when summoned to take her out at night, would bring oats with them, knowing how probable it was that they might have to travel far.  A distinct

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He Knew He Was Right from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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