"Nonsense, Jane," said Mr. Hardie; "have we not all cause to be dejected in this house?" But she persisted gently that there was more in it than that; and his headaches were worse, and she could not be easy any longer without advice.
"Ah! those headaches," said Mr. Osmond, "they always made me uneasy. To tell the truth, Miss Hardie, I have noticed a remarkable change in him, but I did not like to excite apprehensions. And so he mopes, does he? seeks solitude, and is taciturn, and dejected?"
"Yes. But I do not mind that so much as his turning so pale and thin."
"Oh, it is all part of one malady."
"Then you know what is the matter?"
"I think I do; and yours is a wise and timely anxiety. Your brother's is a very delicate case of hyperaesthetic character; and I should like to have the advice of a profound physician. Let me see, Dr. Wycherley will be with me to-morrow: may I bring him over as a friend?"
This proposal did not at all suit Mr. Hardie. He put his own construction on Alfred's pallor and dejection, and was uneasy at the idea of his being cross-questioned by a couple of doctors:
"No, no," said he; "Taff has fancies enough already. I cannot have you gentlemen coming here to fill his head with many more."