BOOK THE SECOND: BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Chapter 4: Cupid Prompted (continued)
Mr and Mrs Lammle's house in Sackville Street, Piccadilly, was
but a temporary residence. It has done well enough, they
informed their friends, for Mr Lammle when a bachelor, but it
would not do now. So, they were always looking at palatial
residences in the best situations, and always very nearly taking or
buying one, but never quite concluding the bargain. Hereby they
made for themselves a shining little reputation apart. People said,
on seeing a vacant palatial residence, 'The very thing for the
Lammles!' and wrote to the Lammles about it, and the Lammles
always went to look at it, but unfortunately it never exactly
answered. In short, they suffered so many disappointments, that
they began to think it would he necessary to build a palatial
residence. And hereby they made another shining reputation;
many persons of their acquaintance becoming by anticipation
dissatisfied with their own houses, and envious of the non-existent
The handsome fittings and furnishings of the house in Sackville
Street were piled thick and high over the skeleton up-stairs, and if
it ever whispered from under its load of upholstery, 'Here I am in
the closet!' it was to very few ears, and certainly never to Miss
Podsnap's. What Miss Podsnap was particularly charmed with,
next to the graces of her friend, was the happiness of her friend's
married life. This was frequently their theme of conversation.
'I am sure,' said Miss Podsnap, 'Mr Lammle is like a lover. At
least I--I should think he was.'
'Georgiana, darling!' said Mrs Lammle, holding up a forefinger,
'Oh my goodness me!' exclaimed Miss Podsnap, reddening. 'What
have I said now?'
'Alfred, you know,' hinted Mrs Lammle, playfully shaking her
head. 'You were never to say Mr Lammle any more, Georgiana.'
'Oh! Alfred, then. I am glad it's no worse. I was afraid I had said
something shocking. I am always saying something wrong to ma.'
'To me, Georgiana dearest?'
'No, not to you; you are not ma. I wish you were.'