as if he were a private coachman! The whole edge of the thing had been taken off; it was flatter than walking.
"Well, Tommy," said Mrs. Cluppins, "How's your poor dear mother?"
"Oh, she's very well," replied Master Bardell. "She's in the front parlour, all ready. I'm ready too, I am." Here Master Bardell put his hands in his pockets, and jumped off and on the bottom step of the door.
"Is anybody else a goin', Tommy?" said Mrs. Cluppins, arranging her pelerine.
"Mrs. Sanders is going, she is," replied Tommy. "I'm going too, I am."
"Drat the boy," said little Mrs. Cluppins. "He thinks of nobody but himself. Here, Tommy, dear."
"Well," said Master Bardell.
"Who else is a goin', lovey?" said Mrs. Cluppins in an insinuating manner.
"Oh! Mrs. Rogers is a goin'," replied Master Bardell, opening his eyes very wide as he delivered the intelligence.
"What! The lady as has taken the lodgings!" ejaculated Mrs. Cluppins.
Master Bardell put his hands deeper down into his pockets, and nodded exactly thirty-five times, to imply that it was the lady lodger, and no other.
"Bless us!" said Mrs. Cluppins. "It's quite a party!"
"Ah, if you knew what was in the cupboard, you'd say so," replied Master Bardell.
"What is there, Tommy?" said Mrs. Cluppins, coaxingly. "You'll tell me, Tommy, I know."
"No, I won't," replied Master Bardell, shaking his head, and applying himself to the bottom step again.
"Drat the child!" muttered Mrs. Cluppins. "What a prowokin' little wretch it is! Come, Tommy, tell your dear Cluppy."
"Mother said I wasn't to," rejoined Master Bardell. "I'm a goin' to have some, I am." Cheered by this prospect, the precocious boy applied himself to his infantile treadmill, with increased vigour.
The above examination of a child of tender years, took place while Mr. and Mrs. Raddle and the cab- driver were having an altercation concerning the fare: which, terminating at this point in favour of the cabman, Mrs. Raddle came up tottering.
"Lauk, Mary Ann! what's the matter?" said Mrs. Cluppins.
"It's put me all over in such a tremble, Betsy," replied Mrs. Raddle. "Raddle ain't like a man; he leaves every-think to me."
This was scarcely fair upon the unfortunate Mr. Raddle, who had been thrust aside by his good lady in the commencement of the dispute, and peremptorily commanded to hold his tongue. He had no opportunity of defending himself, however, for Mrs. Raddle gave unequivocal signs of fainting; which, being perceived from the parlour window, Mrs. Bardell, Mrs. Sanders, the lodger, and the lodger's servant, darted precipitately out, and conveyed her into the house: all talking at the same time, and giving utterance to various expressions of pity and condolence, as if she were one of the most suffering mortals on earth. Being conveyed into the front parlour, she was there deposited on a sofa; and the lady from the first floor running up to the first floor, returned with a bottle of sal volatile, which, holding Mrs. Raddle tight round the neck, she
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