In a Dutch bottle? said Wegg gloomily, as he sat himself down.
Very good, sir, very good! cried Venus. Will you partake, sir?
Will I partake? returned Wegg very surlily. Why, of course I will! will a man partake, as has been tormented out of his five senses by an everlasting dustman with his head tied up! will he, too! As if he wouldnt!
Dont let it put you out, Mr. Wegg. You dont seem in your usual spirits.
If you come to that, you dont seem in your usual spirits, growled Wegg. You seem to be setting up for lively.
This circumstance appeared, in his then state of mind, to give Mr. Wegg uncommon offence.
And youve been having your hair cut! said Wegg, missing the usual dusty shock.
Yes, Mr. Wegg. But dont let that put you out, either.
And I am blest if you aint getting fat! said Wegg, with culminating discontent. What are you going to do next?
Well, Mr. Wegg, said Venus, smiling in a sprightly manner, I suspect you could hardly guess what I am going to do next.
I dont want to guess, retorted Wegg. All Ive got to say is, that its well for you that the diwision of labour has been what it has been. Its well for you to have had so light a part in this business, when mine has been so heavy. You havent had your rest broke, Ill be bound.
Not at all, sir, said Venus. Never rested so well in all my life, I thank you.
Ah! grumbled Wegg, you should have been me. If you had been me, and had been fretted out of your bed, and your sleep, and your meals, and your mind, for a stretch of months together, youd have been out of condition and out of sorts.
Certainly, it has trained you down, Mr. Wegg, said Venus, contemplating his figure with an artists eye. Trained you down very low, it has! So weazen and yellow is the kivering upon your bones, that one might almost fancy you had come to give a look-in upon the French gentleman in the corner, instead of me.
Mr. Wegg, glancing in great dudgeon towards the French gentlemans corner, seemed to notice something new there, which induced him to glance at the opposite corner, and then to put on his glasses and stare at all the nooks and corners of the dim shop in succession.
Why, youve been having the place cleaned up! he exclaimed.
Yes, Mr. Wegg. By the hand of adorable woman.
Then what youre going to do next, I suppose, is to get married?
Thats it, sir.
Silas took off his glasses again finding himself too intensely disgusted by the sprightly appearance of his friend and partner, to bear a magnified view of him and made the inquiry:
To the old party?
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