Bartle Massey runs a night school with a will of iron, and thinks precious little of the half-baked students who turn up to acquire a bit of accountancy.

‘And all the while his needle would be going just as fast as if he left his head empty for the devil to dance in.’

For more Bartlisms, see here and here.

Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 282

Photo credit: Couleur at


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