I must stand a minute or two here on the bridge and look at it, though the clouds are threatening, and it is far on in the afternoon.
Mr. Tulliver paused a minute or two, and dived with both hands into his breeches pockets as if he hoped to find some suggestion there.
"Miss Maggie, you’re to come down this minute," said Kezia, entering the room hurriedly.
Then go and fetch her in this minute, you naughty boy.
Give me hold of the book a minute.
"We’ll see about it," was the answer he always gave, carefully abstaining from any sign of compliance till a suitable number of minutes had passed.
Her ideas about the gypsies had undergone a rapid modification in the last five minutes.
"But I tell you you’re to come down, Miss, this minute; your mother says so," said Kezia, going up to Maggie and taking her by the hand to raise her from the floor.
This resolution lasted in great intensity for five dark minutes behind the tub; but then the need of being loved—the strongest need in poor Maggie’s nature—began to wrestle with her pride, and soon threw it.
But one afternoon, when a sudden shower of heavy rain had detained Mr. Poulter twenty minutes longer than usual at the Black Swan, the sword was brought,—just for Tom to look at.
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The tears flowed so plentifully that Maggie saw nothing around her for the next ten minutes; but by that time resentment began to give way to the desire of reconciliation, and she jumped from her bough to look for Tom.
He checked his horse, and made it stand still in the same spot for two or three minutes, during which he turned his head from side to side in a melancholy way, as if he were looking at some painful object on more sides than one.
Happily it was the ground-floor, and the study was a one-storied wing to the house, so that the downfall made no alarming resonance, though Tom stood dizzy and aghast for a few minutes, dreading the appearance of Mr. or Mrs. Stelling.
Maggie stood motionless, except from her sobs, for a minute or two; then she turned round and ran into the house, and up to her attic, where she sat on the floor and laid her head against the worm-eaten shelf, with a crushing sense of misery.
In another minute she was sobbing with joy because Tom opened his eyes.
Tom was silent a minute or two, with his eyes fixed on the floor.
"Wait a minute, Maggie," he said.
His father remained quiet a minute or two, but his mind did not seem to be wandering again.
Mr. Tulliver fixed his eyes on the bed-clothes, and remained silent for two or three minutes.
Mr. Tulliver’s voice trembled, and Tom was silent for a few minutes before he said: "I’ll give it up, father, since you object to it so strongly."
This was evidently a point on which Mr. Tulliver felt strongly; and the impetus which had given unusual rapidity and emphasis to his speech showed itself still unexhausted for some minutes afterward in a defiant motion of the head from side to side, and an occasional "Nay, nay," like a subsiding growl.
He leaped over the years in this way, and, in the haste of strong purpose and strong desire, did not see how they would be made up of slow days, hours, and minutes.
"Maggie," said Philip, after a minute or two, still leaning on his elbow and looking at her, "if you had had a brother like me, do you think you should have loved him as well as Tom?"
"Yes, yes, I have," said Maggie, hurrying away, and quickly disappearing behind the last fir-tree; though Philip’s gaze after her remained immovable for minutes as if he saw her still.
She was free now to enjoy the minutes of companionship; she almost thought she might linger a little; the next time they met she should have to pain Philip by telling him her determination.
When she had kissed him, and he had held her hand a minute, his thoughts went back to the money.
"My boy, you must get up this minute; I’ve sent for the doctor, and your father wants you and Maggie to come to him."
But this must end some time, perhaps it ended very soon, and only seemed long, as a minute’s dream does.
He looked away from them all when he had said this, and lay silent for some minutes, while they stood watching him, not daring to move.
It was but an ordinary act of politeness in Stephen; it had hardly taken two minutes; and Lucy, who was singing, scarcely noticed it.
Lucy was silent for two or three minutes, looking away and ruminating.
Maggie sat perfectly still—perhaps for moments, perhaps for minutes—until the helpless trembling had ceased, and there was a warm glow on her check.
When she had ended, Dr. Kenn was silent for some minutes; there was a difficulty on his mind.
The little cherub Laura, not being an accomplished walker at present, had a ribbon fastened round her waist, by which Tom held her as if she had been a little dog during the minutes in which she chose to walk; but as these were rare, he was for the most part carrying this fine child round and round the garden, within sight of Mrs. Stelling’s window, according to orders.
They sat hand in hand without looking at each other or speaking for a few minutes; in Maggie’s mind the first scenes of love and parting were more present than the actual moment, and she was looking at Philip in the Red Deeps.
Consider, too, that all the pleasant little dim ideas and complacencies—of standing well with Timpson, of dispensing advice when he was asked for it, of impressing his friend Tulliver with additional respect, of saying something, and saying it emphatically, with other inappreciably minute ingredients that went along with the warm hearth and the brandy-and-water to make up Mr. Riley’s consciousness on this occasion—would have been a mere blank.
The last feeling surmounted every other; to be by her side again and entreat forgiveness was the only thing that had the force of a motive for him, and she had not been seated more than a few minutes when he came and stood humbly before her.
But Tancred, the bay horse, began to make such spirited remonstrances against this frequent change of direction, that Stephen, catching sight of Willy Moss peeping through the gate, called out, "Here! just come and hold my horse for five minutes."
The casuists have become a byword of reproach; but their perverted spirit of minute discrimination was the shadow of a truth to which eyes and hearts are too often fatally sealed,—the truth, that moral judgments must remain false and hollow, unless they are checked and enlightened by a perpetual reference to the special circumstances that mark the individual lot.
Maggie had frequent tidings through her mother, or aunt Glegg, or Dr. Kenn, of Lucy’s gradual progress toward recovery, and her thoughts tended continually toward her uncle Deane’s house; she hungered for an interview with Lucy, if it were only for five minutes, to utter a word of penitence, to be assured by Lucy’s own eyes and lips that she did not believe in the willing treachery of those whom she had loved and trusted.
I’m a-goin’ this minute."
"Maggie, you little silly," said Tom, peeping into the room ten minutes after, "why don’t you come and have your dinner?
"Well," said Mrs. Glegg, rising from her chair, "I don’t know whether you think it’s a fine thing to sit by and hear me swore at, Mr. Glegg; but I’m not going to stay a minute longer in this house.
"Ay, ay," he said, after a minute or two, "I’ve paid a deal o’ money—I was determined my son should have a good eddication; I’d none myself, and I’ve felt the miss of it.
Lead him up and down just here for five minutes," he added to Willy, who was now close to them; and then he turned to Maggie’s side, and they walked on.
There are no more uses of "minuteness" in the book.