Records a touching act of delicate feeling, not unmixed with pleasantry, achieved and performed by Messrs. Dodson and Fogg
IT was within a week of the close of the month of July, that a hackney cabriolet, number unrecorded, was seen to proceed at a rapid pace up Goswell Street; three people were squeezed into it besides the driver, who sat in his own particular little dickey at the side; over the apron were hung two shawls, belonging to two small vixenish-looking ladies under the apron; between whom, compressed into a very small compass, was stowed away, a gentleman of heavy and subdued demeanour, who, whenever he ventured to make an observation, was snapped up short by one of the vixenish ladies before-mentioned. Lastly, the two vixenish ladies and the heavy gentleman were giving the driver contradictory directions, all tending to the one point that he should stop at Mrs. Bardell's door; which the heavy gentleman, in direct opposition to, and defiance of, the vixenish ladies, contended was a green door and not a yellow one.
"Stop at the house with the green door, driver," said the heavy gentleman.
"Oh! You perwerse creetur!" exclaimed one of the vixenish ladies. "Drive to the ouse with the yellow door, cabmin."
Upon this, the cabman, who in a sudden effort to pull up at the house with the green door, had pulled the horse up so high that he nearly pulled him backward into the cabriolet, let the animal's fore legs down to the ground again, and paused.
"Now vere am I to pull up?" inquired the driver. "Settle it among yourselves. All I ask is, vere?"
Here the contest was renewed with increased violence; and the horse being troubled with a fly on his nose, the cabman humanely employed his leisure in lashing him about the head, on the counter-irritation principle.
"Most wotes carries the day!" said one of the vixenish ladies at length. "The ouse with the yellow door, cabmin."
But after the cabriolet had dashed up, in splendid style, to the house with the yellow door: "making," as one of the vixenish ladies triumphantly said, "acterrally more noise than if one had come in one's own carriage"--and after the driver had dismounted to assist the ladies in getting out--the small round head of Master Thomas Bardell was thrust out of the one pair window of a house with a red door, a few numbers off.
"Aggrawatin' thing!" said the vixenish lady last mentioned, darting a withering glance at the heavy gentleman.
"My dear, it's not my fault," said the gentleman.
"Don't talk to me, you creetur, don't," retorted the lady. "The ouse with the red door, cabmin. Oh! If ever a woman was troubled with a ruffinly creetur, that takes a pride and a pleasure in disgracing his wife on every possible occasion afore strangers, I am that woman!"
"You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Raddle," said the other little woman, who was no other than Mrs. Cluppins.
"What have I been a doing of?" asked Mr. Raddle.
"Don't talk to me, don't, you brute, for fear I should be perwoked to forgit my sect and strike you!" said Mrs. Raddle.
While this dialogue was going on, the driver was most ignominiously leading the horse, by the bridle, up to the house with the red door, which Master Bardell had already opened. Here was a mean and low way of arriving at a friend's house! No dashing up, with all the fire and fury of the animal; no jumping down of the driver; no loud knocking at the door; no opening of the apron with a crash at the very last moment, for fear of the ladies sitting in a draught and then the man handing the shawls out, afterwards,
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