“Didst thou mark how poorly Jane Wilson looked?” asked he, as they wound up their hard day’s work by a supper eaten over the fire, which glowed and glimmered through the room, and formed their only light.
“No, I can’t say as I did. But she’s never rightly held up her head since the twins died; and all along she has never been a strong woman.”[i]
“Never sin’ her accident. Afore that I mind her looking as fresh and likely a girl as e’er a one in Manchester.”
“She cotched her side again a wheel.[ii] It were afore wheels were boxed up. It were just when she were to have been married, and many a one thought George would ha’ been off his bargain; but I knew he weren’t the chap for that trick. Pretty near the first place she went to when she were able to go about again, was th’ Oud Church, poor wench, all pale and limping she went up the aisle, George holding her up as tender as a mother, and walking as slow as e’er he could, not to hurry her, though there were plenty enow of rude lads to cast their jests at him and her.”
[i] John Barton is alone with his daughter, Mary, discussing the appearance of Jane Wilson, wife of George Wilson. In a quite heartbreaking scene earlier in the novel, her twin boys pass away during their infancy from a fever, presumably typhoid.
[ii] According to Foster, “cotched” means “caught” (87).