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Charles Dickens: The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
CHAPTER 42: Illustrative of the convivial Sentiment...
Illustrative of the convivial Sentiment, that the best of Friends must sometimes part
The pavement of Snow Hill had been baking and frying all day in the heat, and the twain Saracens' heads guarding the entrance to the hostelry of whose name and sign they are the duplicate presentments, looked--or seemed, in the eyes of jaded and footsore passers-by, to look--more vicious than usual, after blistering and scorching in the sun, when, in one of the inn's smallest sitting-rooms, through whose open window there rose, in a palpable steam, wholesome exhalations from reeking coach-horses, the usual furniture of a tea-table was displayed in neat and inviting order, flanked by large joints of roast and boiled, a tongue, a pigeon pie, a cold fowl, a tankard of ale, and other little matters of the like kind, which, in degenerate towns and cities, are generally understood to belong more particularly to solid lunches, stage-coach dinners, or unusually substantial breakfasts.
Mr John Browdie, with his hands in his pockets, hovered restlessly about these delicacies, stopping occasionally to whisk the flies out of the sugar-basin with his wife's pocket-handkerchief, or to dip a teaspoon in the milk-pot and carry it to his mouth, or to cut off a little knob of crust, and a little corner of meat, and swallow them at two gulps like a couple of pills. After every one of these flirtations with the eatables, he pulled out his watch, and declared with an earnestness quite pathetic that he couldn't undertake to hold out two minutes longer.
'Tilly!' said John to his lady, who was reclining half awake and half asleep upon a sofa.
'Well, John!' retorted her husband, impatiently. 'Dost thou feel hoongry, lass?'
'Not very,' said Mrs Browdie.
'Not vary!' repeated John, raising his eyes to the ceiling. 'Hear her say not vary, and us dining at three, and loonching off pasthry thot aggravates a mon 'stead of pacifying him! Not vary!'
'Here's a gen'l'man for you, sir,' said the waiter, looking in.
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