A quotation from a Victorian novel that has the wit, warmth and brightness of earlier writers such as Jane Austen, nailing foibles in passing comments or throwaway lines by the characters themselves. Here, the charming and lightweight Edith is writing to the main character, a woman of somewhat greater substance.

‘I’m rather afraid of any one who has done something for conscience’ sake. You never did, I hope.’

Source: Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (London: John Murray, 1925), p. 278-79

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