This flow of quotation and hospitality in Wegg indicated his observation of some little querulousness on the part of Venus.

“Why, as to the friendly move,” observed the last-named gentleman, rubbing his knees peevishly, “one of my objections to it is, that it don’t move.”

“Rome, brother,” returned Wegg: “a city which (it may not be generally known) originated in twins and a wolf, and ended in Imperial marble: wasn’t built in a day.”

“Did I say it was?” asked Venus.

“No, you did not, brother. Well-inquired.”

“But I do say,” proceeded Venus, “that I am taken from among my trophies of anatomy, am called upon to exchange my human warious for mere coal-ashes warious, and nothing comes of it. I think I must give up.”

“No, sir!” remonstrated Wegg, enthusiastically. “No, Sir!

‘Charge, Chester, charge,
 On, Mr. Venus, on!’

Never say die, sir! A man of your mark!”

“It’s not so much saying it that I object to,” returned Mr. Venus, “as doing it. And having got to do it whether or no, I can’t afford to waste my time on groping for nothing in cinders.”

“But think how little time you have given to the move, sir, after all,” urged Wegg. “Add the evenings so occupied together, and what do they come to? And you, sir, harmonizer with myself in opinions, views, and feelings, you with the patience to fit together on wires the whole framework of society — I allude to the human skelinton — you to give in so soon!”

“I don’t like it,” returned Mr. Venus moodily, as he put his head between his knees and stuck up his dusty hair. “And there’s no encouragement to go on.”

“Not them Mounds without,” said Mr. Wegg, extending his right hand with an air of solemn reasoning, “encouragement? Not them Mounds now looking down upon us?”

“They’re too big,” grumbled Venus. “What’s a scratch here and a scrape there, a poke in this place and a dig in the other, to them? Besides; what have we found?”

“What have we found?” cried Wegg, delighted to be able to acquiesce. “Ah! There I grant you, comrade. Nothing. But on the contrary, comrade, what may we find? There you’ll grant me. Anything.” “I don’t like it,” pettishly returned Venus as before. “I came into it without enough consideration. And besides again. Isn’t your own Mr. Boffin well acquainted with the Mounds? And wasn’t he well acquainted with the deceased and his ways? And has he ever showed any expectation of finding anything?”

At that moment wheels were heard.

“Now, I should be loth,” said Mr. Wegg, with an air of patient injury, “to think so ill of him as to suppose him capable of coming at this time of night. And yet it sounds like him.”

A ring at the yard bell.

“It is him,” said Mr. Wegg, “and he is capable of it. I am sorry, because I could have wished to keep up a little lingering fragment of respect for him.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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