off ringing. For until it did--this was Mr. Sweedlepipe's reflection--the place never seemed quiet enough to be left to itself.
`It's the greediest little bell to ring,' said Poll, `that ever was. But it's quiet at last.'
He rolled his apron up a little tighter as he said these words, and hastened down the street. Just as he was turning into Holborn, he ran against a young gentleman in a livery. This youth was bold, though small, and with several lively expressions of displeasure, turned upon him instantly.
`Now, Stoo-pid!' cried the young gentleman. `Can't you look where you're a-going to--eh? Can't you mind where you're a-coming to--eh? What do you think your eyes was made for--eh? Ah! Yes. oh! Now then!'
The young gentleman pronounced the two last words in a very loud tone and with frightful emphasis, as though they contamed within themselves the essence of the direst aggravation. But he had scarcely done so, when his anger yielded to surprise, and he cried, in a milder tone:
`Why, it ain't you, sure!' cried Poll. `It can't be you!'
`No. It ain't me,' returned the youth. `It's my son, my oldest one. He's a credit to his father, ain't he, Polly?' With this delicate little piece of banter, he halted on the pavement, and went round and round in circles, for the better exhibition of his figure: rather to the inconvenience of the passengers generally, who were not in an equal state of spirits with himself.
`I wouldn't have believed it,' said Poll. `What! You've left your old place, then? Have you?'
`Have I!' returned his young friend, who had by this time stuck his hands into the pockets of his white cord breeches, and was swaggering along at the barber's side. `D'ye know a pair of top-boots when you see 'em, Polly? Look here!'
`Beau-ti-ful' cried Mr. Sweedlepipe.
`D'ye know a slap-up sort of button, when you see it?' said the youth. `Don't look at mine, if you ain't a judge, because these lions" heads was made for men of taste: not snobs.'
`Beau-ti-ful!' cried the barber again. `A grass-green frock-coat, too, bound with gold! And a cockade in your hat!'
`I should hope so,' replied the youth. `Blow the cockade, though; for, except that it don't turn round, it's like the wentilator that used to be in the kitchen winder at Todgers's. You ain't seen the old lady's name in the Gazette, have you?'
`No,' returned the barber. `Is she a bankrupt?'
`If she ain't, she will be,' retorted Bailey. `That bis'ness never can be carried on without me. Well! How are you?'
`Oh! I'm pretty well,' said Poll. `Are you living at this end of the town, or were you coming to see me? Was that the bis'ness that brought you to Holborn?'
`I haven't got no bis'ness in Holborn,' returned Bailey, with some displeasure. `All my bis'ness lays at the West-end. I've got the right sort of governor now. You can't see his face for his whiskers, and can't see his whiskers for the dye upon 'em. That's a gentleman ain't it? You wouldn't like a ride in a cab, would
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