Mr. Elliot, comfortable in his wealth and proud of his resolve to donate hit "tithes" very publicly to deserving charities, decides that the young Irish boy he had employed is too often sick and must be turned out. Mrs. Elliot, who has had to carry out Mr . Elliot's generosity to the boy by clothing him, looking after the things he cannot do while sick and teaching him to read, is ready to agree with him. However, young Bob's misery and lack of prospects make her reconsider. She convinces Mr. Elliot "(She had more faith than many of her sex in the "soft answer.")" that they should do better for the boy and he consents to send him to sea, securing a place for him on a merchant ship. Mr. Elliot considers his wife's interpretation of "tithing" and resolves to care less for the outward show of charity and more for meaningful giving.
In this examination of the true meaning of giving, Neal also explores Irish dialect.