North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell

From Chapter V, of North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell

‘Are we to go straight to Milton? Have you taken a house there?’

‘No,’ he replied. ‘I suppose we must go into lodgings, and look about for a house.’

‘And pack up the furniture so that it can be left at the railway station, till we have met with one?’

‘I suppose so. Do what you think best. Only remember, we shall have much less money to spend.’

They had never had much superfluity, as Margaret knew. She felt that it was a great weight suddenly thrown upon her shoulders. Four months ago, all the decisions she needed to make were what dress she would wear for dinner, and to help Edith to draw out the lists of who should take down whom in the dinner parties at home. Nor was the household in which she lived one that called for much decision. Except in the one grand case of Captain Lennox’s offer, everything went on with the regularity of clockwork. Once a year, there was a long discussion between her aunt and Edith as to whether they should go to the Isle of Wight, abroad, or to Scotland; but at such times Margaret herself was secure of drifting, without any exertion of her own, into the quiet harbour of home. Now, since that day when Mr. Lennox came, and startled her into a decision, every day brought some question, momentous to her, and to those whom she loved, to be


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