Uncle Robert, still laughing, and urged on by Lute and his wife, took the board.
"Now, Robert, none of your ridiculousness," his wife warned him.
"There, that will do, I guess," Uncle Robert said as he took his hand away.
For years they never knew what it was to have meat for dinner, yet when Robert was thirteen his father managed to send him and Gilbert week about to a school two or three miles away.
Thus the years passed, as Burns himself says, in the "cheerless gloom of a hermit, with the unceasing toil of a galley-slave." Then when Robert was about nineteen his father made another move to the farm of Lochlea, about ten miles off.
As Robert grew to be a man the changes in his somber life were few.
It is depressing to see so really noble a character as Catherine soured, as we feel, and lowered, as time goes on, from the happy resignation of the first volume (in which solemn, beautiful, and entire, and so very real, she is like a poem of Wordsworth) down to the mere passivity of the third volume, and the closing scene of Robert Elsmere's days, very exquisitely as this episode of unbelieving yet saintly biography has been conceived and executed.
Briefly, Robert Elsmere, a priest of the Anglican Church, marries a very religious woman; there is the perfection of "mutual love"; at length he has doubts about "historic Christianity"; he gives up his orders; carries his learning, his fine intellect, his goodness, nay, his saintliness, into a kind of Unitarianism; the wife becomes more intolerant than ever; there is a long and faithful effort on both sides, eventually successful, on the part of these mentally  divided people, to hold together; ending with the hero's death, the genuine piety and resignation of which is the crowning touch in the author's able, learned, and thoroughly sincere apology for Robert Elsmere's position.
It was remarked that the jurors appeared to be deeply interested in a rapid conversation which the manager of the "Epoque" was having with Maitre Henri Robert. The manager, later, sat down in the front row of the public seats.
With that splendid ability which has made his fame, Maitre Robert took advantage of the incident, and tried to show that it brought out in noble relief his client's character; for only heroic natures could remain silent for moral reasons in face of such a danger.
"She will be more hurt by it, for Robert always was her favourite.--She will be more hurt by it, and on the same principle will forgive him much sooner."
Ferrars's flattering language as only a lesser evil than his chusing Lucy Steele, she feared that Robert's offence would serve no other purpose than to enrich Fanny.