He was a very firm, not to say obstinate, disposition, but there was no brute-like rebellion and recklessness in his nature; the human sensibilities predominated, and if it had occurred to him that he could enable himself to show some quickness at his lessons, and so acquire Mr. Stelling’s approbation, by standing on one leg for an inconvenient length of time, or rapping his head moderately against the wall, or any voluntary action of that sort, he would certainly have tried it.
Wakem was not without this parenthetic vindictiveness toward the uncomplimentary miller; and now Mrs. Tulliver had put the notion into his head, it presented itself to him as a pleasure to do the very thing that would cause Mr. Tulliver the most deadly mortification,— and a pleasure of a complex kind, not made up of crude malice, but mingling with it the relish of self-approbation.
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She is not motivated by popular approbation.
The women were good and commonplace people, and did their duty, and had their reward in clear consciences and the community’s approbation.