Bartle has much learning and little patience with fools or slouchers.  As an example of that cutting tongue, here is what he thinks of university as a means to educate people:  ‘He says college mostly makes people like bladders – just good for nothing but t’ hold the stuff as is poured into ’em.’

‘But he’s got a tongue like a sharp blade, Bartle has: it never touches anything but it cuts.’

Enjoy also his likening students’ thinking to gutters flushing through rubbish.

Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 213

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