"Yes," added one of the Eustons, "and the most delicate ladies are waited upon by naked slaves, whose bare backs are probably bleeding from the recent effects of a sound whipping, inflicted, probably, because Missy's dolly had fallen, and broken her nose, out of Missy's own hands." "Shocking creatures!" "Dreadful wretches!" "Wicked creatures!" "How terrible!"
There was in this young party two Master Eustons, who, happening to be richer and a little older than the rest of the party, thought themselves entitled to quiz all around them at some times, and lord it over them at others.
There was also a young lady who wished to render herself the particular companion of Matilda, for the same reason the Eustons had done, because she considered her the most wealthy child in the place; and from her person, and the elegance she observed in her mamma's dress and manners, she concluded that in a few years she would be the most dashing.
Harewood apparently took no notice, but he hovered about them, and had the satisfaction of hearing several girls condemn the Eustons, and profess an intention of saving Matilda from swallowing the cold hailstones.
Matilda, overwhelmed with burning blushes, was utterly unable to articulate a syllable, much less to stem the torrent which, in accusing her country in general terms, was aimed at her in particular: her conscience accused her of many crimes, which, though far removed from atrocity like this, were yet utterly unjustifiable, and, as she now believed, might have led to the utmost limits of tyranny, cruelty, and oppression; and all she felt or feared in her own conduct, seemed to rise to her memory, and stamp conscious guilt on her expressive features; and while thus labouring under the torments of a wounded spirit, the Eustons, rejoicing in her confusion, pointed it out as a certain proof of her conscience upbraiding her, and a fresh volley of crimes and accusations were poured forth.