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since the canvassing time, she had recently
been so much, must have all discussed her
after she had left their houses, and all had
their passing joke at the young woman who
had married the old man for his money !
She stamped her foot in rage upon the
ground as the idea came into her mind ; it
was too horrible to think she should have
afforded scandal-matter to these low people,
it was so galling to her pride ; she almost
wished thatand just then the sharp, clear,
silvery tinkle of the little bells sounded on
her ear, and the perfectly-appointed carriage
with the iron-grey ponies came into view,
and the next minute she had taken the
reins from James, had received his salute,
and, drawing her sealskin cloak closely
round her, was spinning towards her
luxurious home, with the feeling that she
could put up with all their talk, and endure
all their remarks, so long as she enjoyed
the material comforts which money had
undoubtedly brought her.

Marian started on her return drive in a
pleasant frame of mind, but the glow of
satisfaction had passed away long before
she reached home, and had been succeeded
by very different feelings. She no longer
cared what the neighbouring people might
say about her; she had quite got over
that, and was pondering, with gradually
increasing fury, over the manner in which
Walter Joyce had received her proposition,
and the light and airy scorn, never for
one moment striven to be concealed, with
which he had tossed it aside. She bit her
lip in anger and vexation as she thought of
her tremendous folly in so speedily unfolding
her plan without previously making
herself acquainted with Joyce's views, and
seeing how he was likely to receive the
suggestion; she was furious with herself
as she recalled his light laugh and easy
bearing, so different from anything she
had previously seen in him, and—— By the
way, that was odd! she had not noticed it
before, but undoubtedly he was very much
improved in appearance and manner; he
had lost the rustic awkwardness and
bashfulness which had previously rendered him
somewhat ungainly, and had acquired
confidence and ease. She had heard this
before; her husband had mentioned it to
her as having been told him by Mr. Teesdale,
who kept the keenest outlook on Joyce
and his doings, and who regarded him as a
very dangerous opponent; she had heard
this before, but she had paid but little attention
to it, not thinking that she should so
soon have an opportunity of personally
verifying the assertion. She acknowledged it
now; saw that it was exactly the manner
which would prove wonderfully winning
among the electors, who were neither to be
awed by distant demeanour, nor to be cajoled
by excessive familiarity. In Walter Joyce's
pleasant bearing and cheery way there
was a something which seemed to say, " I
am of you, and understand you, although I
may have had, perhaps, a few more brains
and a little better education;" and there
was nothing that more quickly got to the
hearts of the Brocksoppians than the feeling
that they were about to elect one of
themselves. This was a chord which Mr.
Creswell could never touch, although he
had every claim to do so, and although
Mr. Gould had had thousands of a little
pamphlet struck off and circulated among
the votersa little pamphlet supposed to
be Mr. Creswell's biography, adorned with
woodcuts borrowed from some previous
publication, the first of which represented
Mr. Creswell as a cabin-boy, about to
receive the punishment of the " colt" from
the matehe had scarcely been on board
ship during his lifewhile the last showed
him, and Mrs. Creswell, with short waist,
long train, and high ostrich feathers in her
head (supposed to have been originally
the vera effigies of some lady mayoress in
George the Third's time), receiving the
cream of the aristocracy in a gilded saloon.
But the people declined to believe in the
biography, which, indeed, did rather more
harm than good, and cast doubt on the
real history of Mr. Creswell's self-manufacture,
than which, in its way, nothing
could be more creditable.

Before Marian had reached her home
she had revolved all these things very
carefully in her mind, and the result which
she arrived at was, that as it was impossible
to purchase peace, and as the fight must
now be fought out at all hazards, the only
waynot indeed to ensure success, for that
was out of the question, but to stand a good
chance for itwas to pay fresh and
unremitting attention to the canvassing, and,
above all, to try personally to enlist the
sympathies of the voters, not leaving it, as
in Woolgreaves it had hitherto been done,
to Mr. Teesdale and his emissaries. With
all her belief in money, Marian had a faith
in position, which, though lately born,
was springing up apace, and she felt that
Squire Creswell might yet win many a
vote which would be given to him out of
respect to his status in the county, if he
would only exert himself to obtain it.