CHANGES have come again upon the great house in the long dull street, once the scene of Florence's childhood and loneliness. It is a great house still, proof against wind and weather, without breaches in the roof, or shattered windows, or dilapidated walls; but it is a ruin none the less, and the rats fly from it.

Mr. Towlinson and company are, at first, incredulous in respect of the shapeless rumours that they hear. Cook says our people's credit ain't so easy shook as that comes to, thank God; and Mr. Towlinson expects to hear it reported that the Bank of England's a-going to break, or the jewels in the Tower to be sold up. But, next come the Gazette, and Mr. Perch: and Mr. Perch brings Mrs. Perch to talk it over in the kitchen, and to spend a pleasant evening.

As soon as there is no doubt about it, Mr. Towlinson's main anxiety is that the failure should be a good round one--not less than a hundred thousand pound. Mr. Perch don't think himself that a hundred thousand pound will nearly cover it. The women, led by Mrs. Perch and Cook, often repeat `a hun-dred thous- sand pound!' with awful satisfaction--as if handling the word were like handling the money; and the housemaid, who has her eye on Mr. Towlinson, wishes she had only a hundredth part of the sum to bestow on the man of her choice. Mr. Towlinson, still mindful of his old wrong, opines that a foreigner would hardly know what to do with so much money, unless he spent it on his whiskers; which bitter sarcasm causes the housemaid to withdraw in tears.

But not to remain long absent; for Cook, who has the reputation of being extremely good-hearted, says, whatever they do, let 'em stand by one another now, Towlinson, for there's no telling how soon they may be divided. They have been in that house (says Cook) through a funeral, a wedding, and a running- away; and let it not be said that they couldn't agree among themselves at such a time as the present. Mrs. Perch is immensely affected by this moving address, and openly remarks that Cook is an angel. Mr. Towlinson replies to Cook, far be it from him to stand in the way of that good feeling which he could wish to see; and adjourning in quest of the housemaid, and presently returning with that young lady on his arm, informs the kitchen that foreigners is only his fun, and that him and Anne have now resolved to take one another for better for worse, and to settle in Oxford Market in the general greengrocery and herb and leech line, where your kind favours is particular requested. This announcement is received with acclamation; and Mrs. Perch, projecting her soul into futurity, says, `girls,' in Cook's ear, in a solemn whisper.

Misfortune in the family without feasting, in these lower regions, Couldn't be. Therefore Cook tosses up a hot dish or two for supper, and Mr. Towlinson compounds a lobster salad to be devoted to the same hospitable purpose. Even Mrs. Pipchin, agitated by the occasion, rings her bell, and sends down word that she requests to have that little bit of sweet-bread that was left, warmed up for her supper, and sent to her on a tray with about a quarter of a tumbler-full of mulled sherry; for she feels poorly.

There is a little talk about Mr. Dombey, but very little. It is chiefly speculation as to how long he has known that this was going to happen. Cook says shrewdly, `Oh a long time, bless you! Take your oath of that.' And reference being made to Mr. Perch, he confirms her view of the case. Somebody wonders what he'll do, and whether he'll go out in any situation. Mr. Towlinson thinks not, and hints at a refuge in one of them gen-teel almshouses of the better kind. `Ah, where he'll have his little garden, you know,' says Cook plaintively, `and bring up sweet peas in the spring.' `Exactly so,' says Mr. Towlinson, `and be one of the Brethren of something or another.' `We are all brethren, says Mrs. Perch, in a pause of her drink. `Except the sisters,' says Mr. Perch. `How are the mighty fallen!' remarks Cook. `Pride shall have a fall, and it always was and will be so!' observes the housemaid.

It is wonderful how good they feel, in making these reflections; and what a Christian unanimity they are sensible of, in bearing the common shock with resignation. There is only one interruption to this excellent state of mind, which is occasioned by a young kitchen-maid of inferior rank--in black stockings--who, having sat with her mouth open for a long time, unexpectedly discharges from it words to this effect, `Suppose the wages shouldn't be paid!' The company sit for a moment speechless; but Cook recovering first, turns upon the young woman, and requests to know how she dares insult the family, whose bread

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