Then don't think of it, ma'am, rejoined Mr. Bumble.
I can't help it, whimpered the lady.
Then take something, ma'am, said Mr. Bumble soothingly. A little of the wine?
Not for the world! replied Mrs. Corney. I couldn't, oh! The top shelf in the right-hand corner oh! Uttering these words, the good lady pointed, distractedly, to the cupboard, and underwent a convulsion from internal spasms. Mr. Bumble rushed to the closet; and, snatching a pint green-glass bottle from the shelf thus incoherently indicated, filled a tea-cup with its contents, and held it to the lady's lips.
I'm better now, said Mrs. Corney, falling back, after drinking half of it.
Mr. Bumble raised his eyes piously to the ceiling in thankfulness; and, bringing them down again to the brim of the cup, lifted it to his nose.
Peppermint, exclaimed Mrs. Corney, in a faint voice, smiling gently on the beadle as she spoke. Try it! There's a little a little something else in it.
Mr. Bumble tasted the medicine with a doubtful look; smacked his lips; took another taste; and put the cup down empty.
It's very comforting, said Mrs. Corney.
Very much so indeed, ma'am, said the beadle. As he spoke, he drew a chair beside the matron, and tenderly inquired what had happened to distress her.
Nothing, replied Mrs. Corney. I am a foolish, excitable, weak creetur.
Not weak, ma'am, retorted Mr. Bumble, drawing his chair a little closer. Are you a weak creetur, Mrs. Corney?
We are all weak creeturs, said Mrs. Corney, laying down a general principle.
So we are, said the beadle.
Nothing was said, on either side, for a minute or two afterwards. By the expiration of that time, Mr. Bumble had illustrated the position by removing his left arm from the back of Mrs. Corney's chair, where it had previously rested, to Mrs. Corney's apron-string, round which it gradually became entwined.
We are all weak creeturs, said Mr. Bumble.
Mrs. Corney sighed.
Don't sigh, Mrs. Corney, said Mr. Bumble.
I can't help it, said Mrs. Corney. And she sighed again.
This is a very comfortable room, ma'am, said Mr. Bumble, looking round. Another room, and this, ma'am, would be a complete thing.
It would be too much for one, murmured the lady.
But not for two, ma'am, rejoined Mr. Bumble, in soft accents. Eh, Mrs. Corney?
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|