CHAPTER VII — MRS. SPARSIT MR. BOUNDERBY being a bachelor, an elderly lady presided over his establishment, in consideration of a certain annual stipend.
So, when Mrs. Sparsit said with forced lightness of heart, ’You want your breakfast, sir, but I dare say Miss Gradgrind will soon be here to preside at the table,’ Mr. Bounderby replied, ’If I waited to be taken care of by my wife, ma’am, I believe you know pretty well I should wait till Doomsday, so I’ll trouble you to take charge of the teapot.’
Master Kidderminster, grown too maturely turfy to be received by the wildest credulity as Cupid any more, had yielded to the invincible force of circumstances (and his beard), and, in the capacity of a man who made himself generally useful, presided on this occasion over the exchequer — having also a drum in reserve, on which to expend his leisure moments and superfluous forces.
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She will preside over the meeting.
At a sign from the presiding judge, one of the court officers led her away,