Of course, the reproving stepmother has only a social gloss of education, while the girl she criticizes has the deeper learning and the more impressive intellect, and a naturalness that allows her to use colloquialisms.

‘… Proverbs and idioms are never used by people of education.  “Apple of his eye”!  I am really shocked.’


Source: Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters (London: Penguin Classics, 1986 (1866)), p. 695


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