Book the First - Recalled to Life
4. IV. The Preparation
"Yes, sir. We have oftentimes the honour to entertain your gentlemen
in their travelling backwards and forwards betwixt London and Paris,
sir. A vast deal of travelling, sir, in Tellson and Company's House."
"Yes. We are quite a French House, as well as an English one."
"Yes, sir. Not much in the habit of such travelling yourself,
I think, sir?"
"Not of late years. It is fifteen years since we--since I--
came last from France."
"Indeed, sir? That was before my time here, sir. Before our people's
time here, sir. The George was in other hands at that time, sir."
"I believe so."
"But I would hold a pretty wager, sir, that a House like Tellson and
Company was flourishing, a matter of fifty, not to speak of fifteen
"You might treble that, and say a hundred and fifty, yet not be far
from the truth."
Rounding his mouth and both his eyes, as he stepped backward from the
table, the waiter shifted his napkin from his right arm to his left,
dropped into a comfortable attitude, and stood surveying the guest
while he ate and drank, as from an observatory or watchtower.
According to the immemorial usage of waiters in all ages.
When Mr. Lorry had finished his breakfast, he went out for a stroll
on the beach. The little narrow, crooked town of Dover hid itself
away from the beach, and ran its head into the chalk cliffs, like a
marine ostrich. The beach was a desert of heaps of sea and stones
tumbling wildly about, and the sea did what it liked, and what it
liked was destruction. It thundered at the town, and thundered at
the cliffs, and brought the coast down, madly. The air among the
houses was of so strong a piscatory flavour that one might have
supposed sick fish went up to be dipped in it, as sick people went
down to be dipped in the sea. A little fishing was done in the port,
and a quantity of strolling about by night, and looking seaward:
particularly at those times when the tide made, and was near flood.
Small tradesmen, who did no business whatever, sometimes unaccountably
realised large fortunes, and it was remarkable that nobody in the
neighbourhood could endure a lamplighter.