opened your lips there yet, and we are dying to hear what you have got to say to us! Miss Podsnap, charmed to see you. Pa, here? No! Ma, neither? Oh! Mr. Boots! Delighted. Mr. Brewer! This is a gathering of the clans. Thus Tippins, and surveys Fledgeby and outsiders through golden glass, murmuring as she turns about and about, in her innocent giddy way, Anybody else I know? No, I think not. Nobody there. Nobody there. Nobody anywhere!

Mr. Lammle, all a-glitter, produces his friend Fledgeby, as dying for the honour of presentation to Lady Tippins. Fledgeby presented, has the air of going to say something, has the air of going to say nothing, has an air successively of meditation, of resignation, and of desolation, backs on Brewer, makes the tour of Boots, and fades into the extreme background, feeling for his whisker, as if it might have turned up since he was there five minutes ago.

But Lammle has him out again before he has so much as completely ascertained the bareness of the land. He would seem to be in a bad way, Fledgeby; for Lammle represents him as dying again. He is dying now, of want of presentation to Twemlow.

Twemlow offers his hand. Glad to see him. “Your mother, sir, was a connexion of mine.”

“I believe so,” says Fledgeby, “but my mother and her family were two.”

“Are you staying in town?” asked Twemlow.

“I always am,” says Fledgeby.

“You like town,” says Twemlow. But is felled flat by Fledgeby’s taking it quite ill, and replying, No, he don’t like town. Lammle tries to break the force of the fall, by remarking that some people do not like town. Fledgeby retorting that he never heard of any such case but his own, Twemlow goes down again heavily.

“There is nothing new this morning, I suppose?” says Twemlow, returning to the mark with great spirit.

Fledgeby has not heard of anything.

“No, there’s not a word of news,” says Lammle

“Not a particle,” adds Boots.

“Not an atom,” chimes in Brewer.

Somehow the execution of this little concerted piece appears to raise the general spirits as with a sense of duty done, and sets the company a going. Everybody seems more equal than before, to the calamity of being in the society of everybody else. Even Eugene standing in a window, moodily swinging the tassel of a blind, gives it a smarter jerk now, as if he found himself in better case.

Breakfast announced. Everything on table showy and gaudy, but with a self-assertingly temporary and nomadic air on the decorations, as boasting that they will be much more showy and gaudy in the palatial residence. Mr. Lammle’s own particular servant behind his chair; the Analytical behind Veneering’s chair; instances in point that such servants fall into two classes: one mistrusting the master’s acquaintances, and the other mistrusting the master. Mr. Lammle’s servant, of the second class. Appearing to be lost in wonder and low spirits because the police are so long in coming to take his master up on some charge of the first magnitude.

Veneering, M.P., on the right of Mrs. Lammle; Twemlow on her left; Mrs. Veneering, W.M.P. (wife of Member of Parliament), and Lady Tippins on Mr. Lammle’s right and left. But be sure that well within the fascination of Mr. Lammle’s eye and smile sits little Georgiana. And be sure that close to little Georgiana, also under inspection by the same gingerous gentleman, sits Fledgeby.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.