keeping guard at your pa's door like crocodiles (only make us thankful that they lay no eggs!) we are a growing too outrageous!'

`Papa thinks well of Mrs. Pipchin, Susan,' returned Florence, `and has a right to choose his housekeeper, you know. Pray don't!'

`Well Miss Floy,' returned the Nipper, `when you say don't, I never do I hope but Mrs. Pipchin acts like early gooseberries upon me Miss, and nothing less.'

Susan was unusually emphatic and destitute of punctuation in her discourse on this night, which was the night of Mr. Dombey's being brought home, because, having been sent down stairs by Florence to inquire after him, she had been obliged to deliver her message to her mortal enemy Mrs. Pipchin; who, without carrying it in to Mr. Dombey, had taken upon herself to return what Miss Nipper called a huffish answer, on her own responsibility. This, Susan Nipper construed into presumption on the part of that exemplary sufferer by the Peruvian mines, and a deed of disparagement upon her young lady, that was not to be forgiven; and so far her emphatic state was special. But she had been in a condition of greatly increased suspicion and distrust, ever since the marriage; for, like most persons of her quality of mind, who form a strong and sincere attachment to one in the different station which Florence occupied, Susan was very jealous, and her jealousy naturally attached to Edith, who divided her old empire, and came between them. Proud and glad as Susan Nipper truly was, that her young mistress should be advanced towards her proper place in the scene of her old neglect, and that she should have her father's handsome wife for her companion and protectress, she could not relinquish any part of her own dominion to the handsome wife, without a grudge and a vague feeling of ill-will, for which she did not fail to find a disinterested justification in her sharp perception of the pride and passion of the lady's character. From the background to which she had necessarily retired somewhat, since the marriage, Miss Nipper looked on, therefore, at domestic affairs in general, with a resolute conviction that no good would come of Mrs. Dombey: always being very careful to publish on all possible occasions, that she had nothing to say against her.

`Susan,' said Florence, who was sitting thoughtfully at her table, `it is very late. I shall want nothing more to-night.'

`Ah, Miss Floy!' returned the Nipper, `I'm sure I often wish for them old times when I sat up with you hours later than this and fell asleep through being tired out when you was as broad awake as spectacles, but you've ma's-in-law to come and sit with you now Miss Floy and I'm thankful for it I'm sure. I've not a word to say against 'em.'

`I shall not forget who was my old companion when I had none, Susan,' returned Florence, gently, `never.' And looking up, she put her arm round the neck of her humble friend, drew her face down to hers, and bidding her good night, kissed it; which so mollified Miss Nipper, that she fell a sobbing.

`Now my dear Miss Floy,' said Susan, `let me go down stairs again and see how your pa is, I know you're wretched about him, do let me go downstairs again and knock at his door my own self.'

`No,' said Florence, `go to bed. We shall hear more in the morning. I will inquire myself in the morning. Mama has been down, I dare say;' Florence blushed, for she had no such hope; `or is there now, perhaps, Good night!'

Susan was too much softened to express her private opinion on the probability of Mrs. Dombey's being in attendance on her husband; and silently withdrew. Florence left alone, soon hid her head upon her hands as she had often done in other days, and did not restrain the tears from coursing down her face. The misery of this domestic discord and unhappiness; the withered hope she cherished now, if hope it could be called, of ever being taken to her father's heart; her doubts and fears between the two; the yearning of her innocent breast to both; the heavy disappointment and regret of such an end as this, to what had been a vision of bright hope and promise to her; all crowded on her mind and made her tears flow fast. Her mother and her brother dead, her father unmoved towards her, Edith opposed to him and

  By PanEris using Melati.

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