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Charles Dickens: Barnaby Rudge
Chapter 12 (continued)
'Good night, my friends,' said Mr Chester with a sweet smile, seating himself, when he had surveyed the room from end to end, in the easy-chair which his attendants wheeled before the fire. 'Good night! Barnaby, my good fellow, you say some prayers before you go to bed, I hope?'
Barnaby nodded. 'He has some nonsense that he calls his prayers, sir,' returned old John, officiously. 'I'm afraid there an't much good in em.'
'And Hugh?' said Mr Chester, turning to him.
'Not I,' he answered. 'I know his'--pointing to Barnaby--'they're well enough. He sings 'em sometimes in the straw. I listen.'
'He's quite a animal, sir,' John whispered in his ear with dignity. 'You'll excuse him, I'm sure. If he has any soul at all, sir, it must be such a very small one, that it don't signify what he does or doesn't in that way. Good night, sir!'
The guest rejoined 'God bless you!' with a fervour that was quite affecting; and John, beckoning his guards to go before, bowed himself out of the room, and left him to his rest in the Maypole's ancient bed.
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