Reading progress update: I've read 131 out of 452 pages.

North and South - Angus Easson, Elizabeth Gaskell, Sally Shuttleworth

'Dixon thought!' said Margaret, her lip curling. 'Dixon could not give me credit for enough true love—for as much as herself! She thought, I suppose, that I was one of those poor sickly women who like to lie on rose leaves, and be fanned all day; Don't let Dixon's fancies come any more between you and me, mamma. Don't, please!' implored she.

   'Don't be angry with Dixon,' said Mrs. Hale, anxiously. Margaret recovered herself.

'No! I won't. I will try and be humble, and learn her ways, if you will only let me do all I can for you. Let me be in the first place, mother—I am greedy of that. I used to fancy you would forget me while I was away at aunt Shaw's, and cry myself to sleep at nights with that notion in my head.'

   'And I used to think, how will Margaret bear our makeshift poverty after the thorough comfort and luxury in Harley Street, till I have many a time been more ashamed of your seeing our contrivances at Helstone than of any stranger finding them out.'

   'Oh, mamma! and I did so enjoy them. They were so much more amusing than all the jog-trot Harley Street ways. The wardrobe shelf with handles, that served as a supper-tray on grand occasions! And the old tea-chests stuffed and covered for ottomans! I think what you call the makeshift contrivances at dear Helstone were a charming part of the life there.'

I know, this is meant to be really evocative and sad, but...