The service over, and the clergyman withdrawn, Mr. Dombey looks round, demanding in a low voice, whether the person who has been requested to attend to receive instructions for the tablet, is there?
Some one comes forward, and says `Yes.'
Mr. Dombey intimates where he would have it placed; and shows him, with his hand upon the wall, the shape and size; and how it is to follow the memorial to the mother. Then, with his pencil, he writes out the inscription, and gives it to him: adding, `I wish to have it done at once.'
`It shall be done immediately, Sir.'
`There is really nothing to inscribe but name and age, you see.'
The man bows, glancing at the paper, but appears to hesitate. Mr. Dombey not observing his hesitation, turns away, and leads towards the porch.
`I beg your pardon, Sir;' a touch falls gently on his mourning cloak; `but as you wish it done immediately, and it may be put in hand when I get back--'
`Will you be so good as read it over again? I think there's a mistake'.
The statuary gives him back the paper, and points out, with his pocket rule, the words, `beloved and only child.'
`It should be, `son,' I think, Sir?'
`You are right. Of course. Make the correction.'
The father, with a hastier step, pursues his way to the coach. When the other three, who follow closely, take their seats, his face is hidden for the first time--shaded by his cloak. Nor do they see it any more that day. He alights first, and passes immediately into his own room. The other mourners (who are only Mr. Chick, and two of the medical attendants) proceed upstairs to the drawing-room, to be received by Mrs. Chick and Miss Tox. And what the face is, in the shut-up chamber underneath: or what the thoughts are: what the heart is, what the contest or the suffering: no one knows.
The chief thing that they know below stairs, in the kitchen, is that `it seems like Sunday.' They can hardly persuade themselves but that there is something unbecoming, if not wicked, in the conduct of the people out of doors, who pursue their ordinary occupations, and wear everyday attire. It is quite a novelty to have the blinds up, and the shutters open: and they make themselves dismally comfortable over bottles of wine, which are freely broached as on a festival. They are much inclines to moralise. Mr. Towlinson proposes with a sigh, `Amendment to us all' for which, as Cook says with another sigh, `There's room enough, God knows.' In the evening, Mrs. Chick and Miss Tox take to needlework again. In the evening also, Mr. Towlinson goes out to take the air, accompanied by the housemaid, who has not yet tried her mourning bonnet. They are very tender to each other at dusky street-corners, and Towlinson has visions of leading an altered and blameless existence as a serious greengrocer in Oxford Market.
There is sounder sleep and deeper rest in Mr. Dombey's house to-night, than there has been for many
nights. The morning sun awakens the old household, settled down once more in their old ways. The
rosy children opposite run past with hoops. There is a splendid wedding in the church. The juggler's
wife is active with the money-box in another quarter of the town. The mason sings and whistles as he
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