his mother: "What can you do" facing ruin Be always the same John Thornton in whatever circumstances; endeavoring to doing right and making great blunders; and then trying to be brave in setting to afresh. But it is hard, mother. I have so worked and planned. I have discovered new powers in my situation too late - and now all is over, I am too old to begin again with the same heart. It is hard, mother. "Mr. Lennox knows little about it" said Mr. Thornton quietly. He does not understand what it is to find oneself no longer young - yet thrown back to the starting point which requires the hopeful energy of youth - to feel one half of life gone, and nothing done - nothing remaining of wasted opportunity but the bitter recollection that it has been.

— Mill owner John Thorton confronting having to start over  

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