Chapter the Twenty-First – Chapter the Thirtieth: The part where Dolly is traveling through the woods and Hugh scares here – oh my gosh, it was so creepy. He was like, seriously a stalker. I like this part:
‘Too near!’ said Hugh, stooping over her so that she could feel his breath upon her forehead. ‘Why too near? You’re always proud to me, mistress.’
‘I am proud to no one. You mistake me,’ answered Dolly. ‘Fall back, if you please, or go on.’
‘Nay, mistress,’ he rejoined, endeavouring to draw her arm through his, ‘I’ll walk with you.’
She released herself and clenching her little hand, struck him with right good will. At this, Maypole Hugh burst into a roar of laughter, and passing his arm about her waist, held her in his strong grasp as easily as if she had been a bird.
‘Ha ha ha! Well done, mistress! Strike again. You shall beat my face, and tear my hair, and pluck my beard up by the roots, and welcome, for the sake of your bright eyes. Strike again, mistress. Do. Ha ha ha! I like it.’” – Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens, pp.176 - 178
Hugh and Dolly in the woods by Phiz.
Oh…it seems like pushy guys have always existed. Anyway, he threatens her and the people she loves so that she doesn’t reveal who has ha harassed her in the woods. She calls for Joe, who comes to her aid, and doesn’t see Hugh (who has run off). He asks her who upset her, and she cries and lies about the person. But she does tell him she lost her letter (from Emma to Edward) and bracelet. And who does Joe call in to assist him in looking for these things she’s lost? HUGH! Oh my goodness, I could have died. Later, Sim and Miggs are talking about Joe.
“ ‘I tell you,’ said the ‘prentice, ‘his ays are numbered. Leave me. Get along with you.’ “ – Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens, p. 191
Also, it turns out that Hugh purposely has tried to get the letter from Dolly to give to Mr. Chester. Hugh’s answer here is funny:
“ ‘Then I have come, sir,’ said Hugh, ‘and I have brought it back, and something else along with it. A letter, sir, it is, that I took from the person who had charge of it.’ As he spoke, he laid upon the dressing-table, Dolly’s lost epistle. The very letter that had cost her so much trouble.
‘Did you obtain this by force, my good fellow?’ said Mr Chester, casting his eye upon it without the least perceptible surprise or pleasure.
‘Not quite,’ said Hugh. ‘Partly.’ “ – Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens, p. 195
Also, Sim wants to get back and Joe for liking Dolly, and informs Mr. Chester that Joe is perpetuating the affair of Edward and Emma, and is talking about Mr. Chester behind his back (which Joe is not doing the bad talking, as far as I can tell).
Apparently, Mary Rudge has become (or has always been) bitter towards Mr. Haredale, who I think has owned her house and has been giving her money since the death of Mr. Rudge. She tells Mr. Haredale she no longer wants his aid, and he and Emma both are confused by this.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chester is successfully eliminating those who have supported Emma and Edward’s relationship, namely Joe and Dolly, by talking to their parents. Both John Willet and Martha Varden are impressed by Mr. Chester – ugh, Mr Chester’s flattering of Mrs. Varden was disgusting. Not only was he going overboard with it, but she believes him! Mr. Chester also tells Emma that Edward does not want to marry her because she is poor.
Miss Haredale on the bridge by Phiz.
John also starts taking advantage of Joe:
“A homely proverb recognises the existence of a troublesome class of persons who, having an inch conceded them, will take an ell. Not to quote the illustrious examples of those heroic scourges of mankind, whose amiable path in life has been from birth to death through blood, and fire, and ruin, and who would seem to have existed for no better purpose than to teach mankind that as the absence of pain is pleasure, so the earth, purged of their presence, may be deemed a blessed place—not to quote such mighty instances, it will be sufficient to refer to old John Willet.
Old John having long encroached a good standard inch, full measure, on the liberty of Joe, and having snipped off a Flemish ell in the matter of the parole, grew so despotic and so great, that his thirst for conquest knew no bounds. The more young Joe submitted, the more absolute old John became. The ell soon faded into nothing. Yards, furlongs, miles arose; and on went old John in the pleasantest manner possible, trimming off an exuberance in this place, shearing away some liberty of speech or action in that, and conducting himself in his small way with as much high mightiness and majesty, as the most glorious tyrant that ever had his statue reared in the public ways, of ancient or of modern times.
As great men are urged on to the abuse of power (when they need urging, which is not often), by their flatterers and dependents, so old John was impelled to these exercises of authority by the applause and admiration of his Maypole cronies, who, in the intervals of their nightly pipes and pots, would shake their heads and say that Mr Willet was a father of the good old English sort; that there were no newfangled notions or modern ways in him; that he put them in mind of what their fathers were when they were boys; that there was no mistake about him; that it would be well for the country if there were more like him, and more was the pity that there were not; with many other original remarks of that nature. Then they would condescendingly give Joe to understand that it was all for his good, and he would be thankful for it one day; and in particular, Mr Cobb would acquaint him, that when he was his age, his father thought no more of giving him a parental kick, or a box on the ears, or a cuff on the head, or some little admonition of that sort, than he did of any other ordinary duty of life; and he would further remark, with looks of great significance, that but for this judicious bringing up, he might have never been the man he was at that present speaking; which was probable enough, as he was, beyond all question, the dullest dog of the party. In short, between old John and old John’s friends, there never was an unfortunate young fellow so bullied, badgered, worried, fretted, and brow-beaten; so constantly beset, or made so tired of his life, as poor Joe Willet.” – Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens, pp. 250 – 251
We all know people like John Willet, now don’t we? Well, Joe gets fed up with it and leaves his house.
This is one of those books that I can’t quit reading. Also, the fact that I’ve been sick with a cold has been a good excuse for not doing anything else but reading. ;)Pictures from Google Images.