’Indeed!’ replied Kate, shrinking, though she scarce knew why, from her uncle’s cold glistening eye.
’Snubs and Romans are plentiful enough, and there are flats of all sorts and sizes when there’s a meeting at Exeter Hall; but perfect aquilines, I am sorry to say, are scarce, and we generally use them for uniforms or public characters.’
’Money is scarce,’ said Ralph.
’Demd scarce, or I shouldn’t want it,’ interrupted Mr Mantalini.
Here, there shot up, almost perpendicularly, into the sky, a height so steep, as to be hardly accessible to any but the sheep and goats that fed upon its sides, and there, stood a mound of green, sloping and tapering off so delicately, and merging so gently into the level ground, that you could scarce define its limits.
He was scarce fifty, perhaps, but so emaciated as to appear much older.
The people fell back, scarce wondering more at what had just occurred, than at the excitement and impetuosity of him who spoke.
He was worn and wasted to the last degree; his voice had sunk so low, that he could scarce be heard to speak.
Let us call it THE FIVE SISTERS OF YORK After a murmur of approbation from the other passengers, during which the fastidious lady drank a glass of punch unobserved, the grey-headed gentleman thus went on: ’A great many years ago—for the fifteenth century was scarce two years old at the time, and King Henry the Fourth sat upon the throne of England—there dwelt, in the ancient city of York, five maiden sisters, the subjects of my tale.
Some ill-conditioned persons who sneer at the life-matrimonial, may perhaps suggest, in this place, that the good couple would be better likened to two principals in a sparring match, who, when fortune is low and backers scarce, will chivalrously set to, for the mere pleasure of the buffeting; and in one respect indeed this comparison would hold good; for, as the adventurous pair of the Fives’ Court will afterwards send round a hat, and trust to the bounty of the lookers-on for the…
…they might have earned their honest bread and lived in peace; how many died in soul, and had no chance of life; how many who could scarcely go astray, be they vicious as they would, turned haughtily from the crushed and stricken wretch who could scarce do otherwise, and who would have been a greater wonder had he or she done well, than even they had they done ill; how much injustice, misery, and wrong, there was, and yet how the world rolled on, from year to year, alike careless and…