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Subject [3/4] crunch git commit: CRUNCH-616: Replace (possibly copyrighted) Maugham text with Dickens. Contributed by Sean Owen.
Date Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:35:27 GMT
diff --git a/crunch-test/src/main/resources/dickens.txt b/crunch-test/src/main/resources/dickens.txt
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+´╗┐The Old Curiosity Shop
+By Charles Dickens
+Night is generally my time for walking. In the summer I often leave
+home early in the morning, and roam about fields and lanes all day, or
+even escape for days or weeks together; but, saving in the country, I
+seldom go out until after dark, though, Heaven be thanked, I love its
+light and feel the cheerfulness it sheds upon the earth, as much as any
+creature living.
+I have fallen insensibly into this habit, both because it favours my
+infirmity and because it affords me greater opportunity of speculating
+on the characters and occupations of those who fill the streets. The
+glare and hurry of broad noon are not adapted to idle pursuits like
+mine; a glimpse of passing faces caught by the light of a street-lamp
+or a shop window is often better for my purpose than their full
+revelation in the daylight; and, if I must add the truth, night is
+kinder in this respect than day, which too often destroys an air-built
+castle at the moment of its completion, without the least ceremony or
+That constant pacing to and fro, that never-ending restlessness, that
+incessant tread of feet wearing the rough stones smooth and glossy--is
+it not a wonder how the dwellers in narrows ways can bear to hear it!
+Think of a sick man in such a place as Saint Martin's Court, listening
+to the footsteps, and in the midst of pain and weariness obliged,
+despite himself (as though it were a task he must perform) to detect
+the child's step from the man's, the slipshod beggar from the booted
+exquisite, the lounging from the busy, the dull heel of the sauntering
+outcast from the quick tread of an expectant pleasure-seeker--think of
+the hum and noise always being present to his sense, and of the stream
+of life that will not stop, pouring on, on, on, through all his
+restless dreams, as if he were condemned to lie, dead but conscious, in
+a noisy churchyard, and had no hope of rest for centuries to come.
+Then, the crowds for ever passing and repassing on the bridges (on
+those which are free of toll at last), where many stop on fine evenings
+looking listlessly down upon the water with some vague idea that by and
+by it runs between green banks which grow wider and wider until at last
+it joins the broad vast sea--where some halt to rest from heavy loads
+and think as they look over the parapet that to smoke and lounge away
+one's life, and lie sleeping in the sun upon a hot tarpaulin, in a
+dull, slow, sluggish barge, must be happiness unalloyed--and where
+some, and a very different class, pause with heavier loads than they,
+remembering to have heard or read in old time that drowning was not a
+hard death, but of all means of suicide the easiest and best.
+Covent Garden Market at sunrise too, in the spring or summer, when the
+fragrance of sweet flowers is in the air, over-powering even the
+unwholesome streams of last night's debauchery, and driving the dusky
+thrush, whose cage has hung outside a garret window all night long,
+half mad with joy! Poor bird! the only neighbouring thing at all akin
+to the other little captives, some of whom, shrinking from the hot
+hands of drunken purchasers, lie drooping on the path already, while
+others, soddened by close contact, await the time when they shall be
+watered and freshened up to please more sober company, and make old
+clerks who pass them on their road to business, wonder what has filled
+their breasts with visions of the country.
+But my present purpose is not to expatiate upon my walks. The story I
+am about to relate, and to which I shall recur at intervals,  arose out
+of one of these rambles; and thus I have been led to speak of them by
+way of preface.
+One night I had roamed into the City, and was walking slowly on in my
+usual way, musing upon a great many things, when I was arrested by an
+inquiry, the purport of which did not reach me, but which seemed to be
+addressed to myself, and was preferred in a soft sweet voice that
+struck me very pleasantly. I turned hastily round and found at my elbow
+a pretty little girl, who begged to be directed to a certain street at
+a considerable distance, and indeed in quite another quarter of the
+'It is a very long way from here,' said I, 'my child.'
+'I know that, sir,' she replied timidly. 'I am afraid it is a very long
+way, for I came from there to-night.'
+'Alone?' said I, in some surprise.
+'Oh, yes, I don't mind that, but I am a little frightened now, for I
+had lost my road.'
+'And what made you ask it of me? Suppose I should tell you wrong?'
+'I am sure you will not do that,' said the little creature,' you are
+such a very old gentleman, and walk so slow yourself.'
+I cannot describe how much I was impressed by this appeal and the
+energy with which it was made, which brought a tear into the child's
+clear eye, and made her slight figure tremble as she looked up into my
+'Come,' said I, 'I'll take you there.'
+She put her hand in mine as confidingly as if she had known me from her
+cradle, and we trudged away together; the little creature accommodating
+her pace to mine, and rather seeming to lead and take care of me than I
+to be protecting her. I observed that every now and then she stole a
+curious look at my face, as if to make quite sure that I was not
+deceiving her, and that these glances (very sharp and keen they were
+too) seemed to increase her confidence at every repetition.
+For my part, my curiosity and interest were at least equal to the
+child's, for child she certainly was, although I thought it probably
+from what I could make out, that her very small and delicate frame
+imparted a peculiar youthfulness to her appearance. Though more
+scantily attired than she might have been she was dressed with perfect
+neatness, and betrayed no marks of poverty or neglect.
+'Who has sent you so far by yourself?' said I.
+'Someone who is very kind to me, sir.'
+'And what have you been doing?'
+'That, I must not tell,' said the child firmly.
+There was something in the manner of this reply which caused me to look
+at the little creature with an involuntary expression of surprise; for
+I wondered what kind of errand it might be that occasioned her to be
+prepared for questioning. Her quick eye seemed to read my thoughts, for
+as it met mine she added that there was no harm in what she had been
+doing, but it was a great secret--a secret which she did not even know
+This was said with no appearance of cunning or deceit, but with an
+unsuspicious frankness that bore the impress of truth. She walked on as
+before, growing more familiar with me as we proceeded and talking
+cheerfully by the way, but she said no more about her home, beyond
+remarking that we were going quite a new road and asking if it were a
+short one.
+While we were thus engaged, I revolved in my mind a hundred different
+explanations of the riddle and rejected them every one. I really felt
+ashamed to take advantage of the ingenuousness or grateful feeling of
+the child for the purpose of gratifying my curiosity. I love these
+little people; and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh
+from God, love us. As I had felt pleased at first by her confidence I
+determined to deserve it, and to do credit to the nature which had
+prompted her to repose it in me.
+There was no reason, however, why I should refrain from seeing the
+person who had inconsiderately sent her to so great a distance by night
+and alone, and as it was not improbable that if she found herself near
+home she might take farewell of me and deprive me of the opportunity, I
+avoided the most frequented ways and took the most intricate, and thus
+it was not until we arrived in the street itself that she knew where we
+were. Clapping her hands with pleasure and running on before me for a
+short distance, my little acquaintance stopped at a door and remaining
+on the step till I came up knocked at it when I joined her.
+A part of this door was of glass unprotected by any shutter, which I
+did not observe at first, for all was very dark and silent within, and
+I was anxious (as indeed the child was also) for an answer to our
+summons. When she had knocked twice or thrice there was a noise as if
+some person were moving inside, and at length a faint light appeared
+through the glass which, as it approached very slowly, the bearer
+having to make his way through a great many scattered articles, enabled
+me to see both what kind of person it was who advanced and what kind of
+place it was through which he came.
+It was an old man with long grey hair, whose face and figure as he held
+the light above his head and looked before him as he approached, I
+could plainly see. Though much altered by age, I fancied I could
+recognize in his spare and slender form something of that delicate
+mould which I had noticed in the child. Their bright blue eyes were
+certainly alike, but his face was so deeply furrowed and so very full
+of care, that here all resemblance ceased.
+The place through which he made his way at leisure was one of those
+receptacles for old and curious things which seem to crouch in odd
+corners of this town and to hide their musty treasures from the public
+eye in jealousy and distrust. There were suits of mail standing like
+ghosts in armour here and there, fantastic carvings brought from
+monkish cloisters, rusty weapons of various kinds, distorted figures in
+china and wood and iron and ivory: tapestry and strange furniture that
+might have been designed in dreams. The haggard aspect of the little
+old man was wonderfully suited to the place; he might have groped among
+old churches and tombs and deserted houses and gathered all the spoils
+with his own hands. There was nothing in the whole collection but was
+in keeping with himself nothing that looked older or more worn than he.
+As he turned the key in the lock, he surveyed me with some astonishment
+which was not diminished when he looked from me to my companion. The
+door being opened, the child addressed him as grandfather, and told him
+the little story of our companionship.
+'Why, bless thee, child,' said the old man, patting her on the head,
+'how couldst thou miss thy way? What if I had lost thee, Nell!'
+'I would have found my way back to YOU, grandfather,' said the child
+boldly; 'never fear.'
+The old man kissed her, then turning to me and begging me to walk in, I
+did so. The door was closed and locked. Preceding me with the light, he
+led me through the place I had already seen from without, into a small
+sitting-room behind, in which was another door opening into a kind of
+closet, where I saw a little bed that a fairy might have slept in, it
+looked so very small and was so prettily arranged. The child took a
+candle and tripped into this little room, leaving the old man and me
+'You must be tired, sir,' said he as he placed a chair near the fire,
+'how can I thank you?'
+'By taking more care of your grandchild another time, my good friend,'
+I replied.
+'More care!' said the old man in a shrill voice, 'more care of Nelly!
+Why, who ever loved a child as I love Nell?'
+He said this with such evident surprise that I was perplexed what
+answer to make, and the more so because coupled with something feeble
+and wandering in his manner, there were in his face marks of deep and
+anxious thought which convinced me that he could not be, as I had been
+at first inclined to suppose, in a state of dotage or imbecility.
+'I don't think you consider--' I began.
+'I don't consider!' cried the old man interrupting me, 'I don't
+consider her! Ah, how little you know of the truth! Little Nelly,
+little Nelly!'
+It would be impossible for any man, I care not what his form of speech
+might be, to express more affection than the dealer in curiosities did,
+in these four words. I waited for him to speak again, but he rested his
+chin upon his hand and shaking his head twice or thrice fixed his eyes
+upon the fire.
+While we were sitting thus in silence, the door of the closet opened,
+and the child returned, her light brown hair hanging loose about her
+neck, and her face flushed with the haste she had made to rejoin us.
+She busied herself immediately in preparing supper, and while she was
+thus engaged I remarked that the old man took an opportunity of
+observing me more closely than he had done yet. I was surprised to see
+that all this time everything was done by the child, and that there
+appeared to be no other persons but ourselves in the house. I took
+advantage of a moment when she was absent to venture a hint on this
+point, to which the old man replied that there were few grown persons
+as trustworthy or as careful as she.
+'It always grieves me,' I observed, roused by what I took to be his
+selfishness, 'it always grieves me to contemplate the initiation of
+children into the ways of life, when they are scarcely more than
+infants. It checks their confidence and simplicity--two of the best
+qualities that Heaven gives them--and demands that they share our
+sorrows before they are capable of entering into our enjoyments.'
+'It will never check hers,' said the old man looking steadily at me,
+'the springs are too deep. Besides, the children of the poor know but
+few pleasures. Even the cheap delights of childhood must be bought and
+paid for.'
+'But--forgive me for saying this--you are surely not so very
+poor'--said I.
+'She is not my child, sir,' returned the old man. 'Her mother was, and
+she was poor. I save nothing--not a penny--though I live as you see,
+but'--he laid his hand upon my arm and leant forward to whisper--'she
+shall be rich one of these days, and a fine lady. Don't you think ill
+of me because I use her help. She gives it cheerfully as you see, and
+it would break her heart if she knew that I suffered anybody else to do
+for me what her little hands could undertake. I don't consider!'--he
+cried with sudden querulousness, 'why, God knows that this one child is
+the thought and object of my life, and yet he never prospers me--no,
+At this juncture, the subject of our conversation again returned, and
+the old man motioning to me to approach the table, broke off, and said
+no more.
+We had scarcely begun our repast when there was a knock at the door by
+which I had entered, and Nell bursting into a hearty laugh, which I was
+rejoiced to hear, for it was childlike and full of hilarity, said it
+was no doubt dear old Kit coming back at last.
+'Foolish Nell!' said the old man fondling with her hair. 'She always
+laughs at poor Kit.'
+The child laughed again more heartily than before, and I could not help
+smiling from pure sympathy. The little old man took up a candle and
+went to open the door. When he came back, Kit was at his heels.
+Kit was a shock-headed, shambling, awkward lad with an uncommonly wide
+mouth, very red cheeks, a turned-up nose, and certainly the most
+comical expression of face I ever saw. He stopped short at the door on
+seeing a stranger, twirled in his hand a perfectly round old hat
+without any vestige of a brim, and resting himself now on one leg and
+now on the other and changing them constantly, stood in the doorway,
+looking into the parlour with the most extraordinary leer I ever
+beheld. I entertained a grateful feeling towards the boy from that
+minute, for I felt that he was the comedy of the child's life.
+'A long way, wasn't it, Kit?' said the little old man.
+'Why, then, it was a goodish stretch, master,' returned Kit.
+'Of course you have come back hungry?'
+'Why, then, I do consider myself rather so, master,' was the answer.
+The lad had a remarkable manner of standing sideways as he spoke, and
+thrusting his head forward over his shoulder, as if he could not get at
+his voice without that accompanying action. I think he would have
+amused one anywhere, but the child's exquisite enjoyment of his oddity,
+and the relief it was to find that there was something she associated
+with merriment in a place that appeared so unsuited to her, were quite
+irresistible. It was a great point too that Kit himself was flattered
+by the sensation he created, and after several efforts to preserve his
+gravity, burst into a loud roar, and so stood with his mouth wide open
+and his eyes nearly shut, laughing violently.
+The old man had again relapsed into his former abstraction and took no
+notice of what passed, but I remarked that when her laugh was over, the
+child's bright eyes were dimmed with tears, called forth by the
+fullness of heart with which she welcomed her uncouth favourite after
+the little anxiety of the night. As for Kit himself (whose laugh had
+been all the time one of that sort which very little would change into
+a cry) he carried a large slice of bread and meat and a mug of beer
+into a corner, and applied himself to disposing of them with great
+'Ah!' said the old man turning to me with a sigh, as if I had spoken to
+him but that moment, 'you don't know what you say when you tell me that
+I don't consider her.'
+'You must not attach too great weight to a remark founded on first
+appearances, my friend,' said I.
+'No,' returned the old man thoughtfully, 'no. Come hither, Nell.'
+The little girl hastened from her seat, and put her arm about his neck.
+'Do I love thee, Nell?' said he. 'Say--do I love thee, Nell, or no?'
+The child only answered by her caresses, and laid her head upon his
+'Why dost thou sob?' said the grandfather, pressing her closer to him
+and glancing towards me. 'Is it because thou know'st I love thee, and
+dost not like that I should seem to doubt it by my question? Well,
+well--then let us say I love thee dearly.'
+'Indeed, indeed you do,' replied the child with great earnestness, 'Kit
+knows you do.'
+Kit, who in despatching his bread and meat had been swallowing
+two-thirds of his knife at every mouthful with the coolness of a
+juggler, stopped short in his operations on being thus appealed to, and
+bawled 'Nobody isn't such a fool as to say he doosn't,' after which he
+incapacitated himself for further conversation by taking a most
+prodigious sandwich at one bite.
+'She is poor now'--said the old man, patting the child's cheek, 'but I
+say again that the time is coming when she shall be rich. It has been a
+long time coming, but it must come at last; a very long time, but it
+surely must come. It has come to other men who do nothing but waste and
+riot. When WILL it come to me!'
+'I am very happy as I am, grandfather,' said the child.
+'Tush, tush!' returned the old man, 'thou dost not know--how should'st
+thou!' then he muttered again between his teeth, 'The time must come, I
+am very sure it must. It will be all the better for coming late'; and
+then he sighed and fell into his former musing state, and still holding
+the child between his knees appeared to be insensible to everything
+around him. By this time it wanted but a few minutes of midnight and I
+rose to go, which recalled him to himself.
+'One moment, sir,' he said, 'Now, Kit--near midnight, boy, and you
+still here! Get home, get home, and be true to your time in the
+morning, for there's work to do. Good night! There, bid him good night,
+Nell, and let him be gone!'
+'Good night, Kit,' said the child, her eyes lighting up with merriment
+and kindness.
+'Good night, Miss Nell,' returned the boy.
+'And thank this gentleman,' interposed the old man, 'but for whose care
+I might have lost my little girl to-night.'
+'No, no, master,' said Kit, 'that won't do, that won't.'
+'What do you mean?' cried the old man.
+'I'd have found her, master,' said Kit, 'I'd have found her. I'll bet
+that I'd find her if she was above ground, I would, as quick as
+anybody, master. Ha, ha, ha!'
+Once more opening his mouth and shutting his eyes, and laughing like a
+stentor, Kit gradually backed to the door, and roared himself out.
+Free of the room, the boy was not slow in taking his departure; when he
+had gone, and the child was occupied in clearing the table, the old man
+'I haven't seemed to thank you, sir, for what you have done to-night,
+but I do thank you humbly and heartily, and so does she, and her thanks
+are better worth than mine. I should be sorry that you went away, and
+thought I was unmindful of your goodness, or careless of her--I am not
+I was sure of that, I said, from what I had seen. 'But,' I added, 'may
+I ask you a question?'
+'Ay, sir,' replied the old man, 'What is it?'
+'This delicate child,' said I, 'with so much beauty and
+intelligence--has she nobody to care for her but you? Has she no other
+companion or advisor?'
+'No,' he returned, looking anxiously in my face, 'no, and she wants no
+'But are you not fearful,' said I, 'that you may misunderstand a charge
+so tender? I am sure you mean well, but are you quite certain that you
+know how to execute such a trust as this? I am an old man, like you,
+and I am actuated by an old man's concern in all that is young and
+promising. Do you not think that what I have seen of you and this
+little creature to-night must have an interest not wholly free from
+'Sir,' rejoined the old man after a moment's silence. 'I have no right
+to feel hurt at what you say. It is true that in many respects I am the
+child, and she the grown person--that you have seen already. But waking
+or sleeping, by night or day, in sickness or health, she is the one
+object of my care, and if you knew of how much care, you would look on
+me with different eyes, you would indeed. Ah! It's a weary life for an
+old man--a weary, weary life--but there is a great end to gain and that
+I keep before me.'
+Seeing that he was in a state of excitement and impatience, I turned to
+put on an outer coat which I had thrown off on entering the room,
+purposing to say no more. I was surprised to see the child standing
+patiently by with a cloak upon her arm, and in her hand a hat, and
+'Those are not mine, my dear,' said I.
+'No,' returned the child, 'they are grandfather's.'
+'But he is not going out to-night.'
+'Oh, yes, he is,' said the child, with a smile.
+'And what becomes of you, my pretty one?'
+'Me! I stay here of course. I always do.'
+I looked in astonishment towards the old man, but he was, or feigned to
+be, busied in the arrangement of his dress. From him I looked back to
+the slight gentle figure of the child. Alone! In that gloomy place all
+the long, dreary night.
+She evinced no consciousness of my surprise, but cheerfully helped the
+old man with his cloak, and when he was ready took a candle to light us
+out. Finding that we did not follow as she expected, she looked back
+with a smile and waited for us.  The old man showed by his face that he
+plainly understood the cause of my hesitation, but he merely signed to
+me with an inclination of the head to pass out of the room before him,
+and remained silent. I had no resource but to comply.
+When we reached the door, the child setting down the candle, turned to
+say good night and raised her face to kiss me. Then she ran to the old
+man, who folded her in his arms and bade God bless her.
+'Sleep soundly, Nell,' he said in a low voice, 'and angels guard thy
+bed! Do not forget thy prayers, my sweet.'
+'No, indeed,' answered the child fervently, 'they make me feel so
+'That's well; I know they do; they should,' said the old man. 'Bless
+thee a hundred times! Early in the morning I shall be home.'
+'You'll not ring twice,' returned the child. 'The bell wakes me, even
+in the middle of a dream.'
+With this, they separated. The child opened the door (now guarded by a
+shutter which I had heard the boy put up before he left the house) and
+with another farewell whose clear and tender note I have recalled a
+thousand times, held it until we had passed out. The old man paused a
+moment while it was gently closed and fastened on the inside, and
+satisfied that this was done, walked on at a slow pace. At the
+street-corner he stopped, and regarding me with a troubled countenance
+said that our ways were widely different and that he must take his
+leave. I would have spoken, but summoning up more alacrity than might
+have been expected in one of his appearance, he hurried away. I could
+see that twice or thrice he looked back as if to ascertain if I were
+still watching him, or perhaps to assure himself that I was not
+following at a distance. The obscurity of the night favoured his
+disappearance, and his figure was soon beyond my sight.
+I remained standing on the spot where he had left me, unwilling to
+depart, and yet unknowing why I should loiter there. I looked wistfully
+into the street we had lately quitted, and after a time directed my
+steps that way. I passed and repassed the house, and stopped and
+listened at the door; all was dark, and silent as the grave.
+Yet I lingered about, and could not tear myself away, thinking of all
+possible harm that might happen to the child--of fires and robberies
+and even murder--and feeling as if some evil must ensue if I turned my
+back upon the place. The closing of a door or window in the street
+brought me before the curiosity-dealer's once more; I crossed the road
+and looked up at the house to assure myself that the noise had not come
+from there. No, it was black, cold, and lifeless as before.
+There were few passengers astir; the street was sad and dismal, and
+pretty well my own. A few stragglers from the theatres hurried by, and
+now and then I turned aside to avoid some noisy drunkard as he reeled
+homewards, but these interruptions were not frequent and soon ceased.
+The clocks struck one. Still I paced up and down, promising myself that
+every time should be the last, and breaking faith with myself on some
+new plea as often as I did so.
+The more I thought of what the old man had said, and of his looks and
+bearing, the less I could account for what I had seen and heard. I had
+a strong misgiving that his nightly absence was for no good purpose. I
+had only come to know the fact through the innocence of the child, and
+though the old man was by at the time, and saw my undisguised surprise,
+he had preserved a strange mystery upon the subject and offered no word
+of explanation. These reflections naturally recalled again more
+strongly than before his haggard face, his wandering manner, his
+restless anxious looks. His affection for the child might not be
+inconsistent with villany of the worst kind; even that very affection
+was in itself an extraordinary contradiction, or how could he leave her
+thus? Disposed as I was to think badly of him, I never doubted that his
+love for her was real. I could not admit the thought, remembering what
+had passed between us, and the tone of voice in which he had called her
+by her name.
+'Stay here of course,' the child had said in answer to my question, 'I
+always do!' What could take him from home by night, and every night! I
+called up all the strange tales I had ever heard of dark and secret
+deeds committed in great towns and escaping detection for a long series
+of years; wild as many of these stories were, I could not find one
+adapted to this mystery, which only became the more impenetrable, in
+proportion as I sought to solve it.
+Occupied with such thoughts as these, and a crowd of others all tending
+to the same point, I continued to pace the street for two long hours;
+at length the rain began to descend heavily, and then over-powered by
+fatigue though no less interested than I had been at first, I engaged
+the nearest coach and so got home. A cheerful fire was blazing on the
+hearth, the lamp burnt brightly, my clock received me with its old
+familiar welcome; everything was quiet, warm and cheering, and in happy
+contrast to the gloom and darkness I had quitted.
+But all that night, waking or in my sleep, the same thoughts recurred
+and the same images retained possession of my brain. I had ever before
+me the old dark murky rooms--the gaunt suits of mail with their ghostly
+silent air--the faces all awry, grinning from wood and stone--the dust
+and rust and worm that lives in wood--and alone in the midst of all
+this lumber and decay and ugly age, the beautiful child in her gentle
+slumber, smiling through her light and sunny dreams.
+After combating, for nearly a week, the feeling which impelled me to
+revisit the place I had quitted under the circumstances already
+detailed, I yielded to it at length; and determining that this time I
+would present myself by the light of day, bent my steps thither early
+in the morning.
+I walked past the house, and took several turns in the street, with
+that kind of hesitation which is natural to a man who is conscious that
+the visit he is about to pay is unexpected, and may not be very
+acceptable. However, as the door of the shop was shut, and it did not
+appear likely that I should be recognized by those within, if I
+continued merely to pass up and down before it, I soon conquered this
+irresolution, and found myself in the Curiosity Dealer's warehouse.
+The old man and another person were together in the back part, and
+there seemed to have been high words between them, for their voices
+which were raised to a very high pitch suddenly stopped on my entering,
+and the old man advancing hastily towards me, said in a tremulous tone
+that he was very glad I had come.
+'You interrupted us at a critical moment,' said he, pointing to the man
+whom I had found in company with him; 'this fellow will murder me one
+of these days. He would have done so, long ago, if he had dared.'
+'Bah! You would swear away my life if you could,' returned the other,
+after bestowing a stare and a frown on me; 'we all know that!'
+'I almost think I could,' cried the old man, turning feebly upon him.
+'If oaths, or prayers, or words, could rid me of you, they should. I
+would be quit of you, and would be relieved if you were dead.'
+'I know it,' returned the other. 'I said so, didn't I? But neither
+oaths, or prayers, nor words, WILL kill me, and therefore I live, and
+mean to live.'
+'And his mother died!' cried the old man, passionately clasping his
+hands and looking upward; 'and this is Heaven's justice!'
+The other stood lounging with his foot upon a chair, and regarded him
+with a contemptuous sneer. He was a young man of one-and-twenty or
+thereabouts; well made, and certainly handsome, though the expression
+of his face was far from prepossessing, having in common with his
+manner and even his dress, a dissipated, insolent air which repelled
+'Justice or no justice,' said the young fellow, 'here I am and here I
+shall stop till such time as I think fit to go, unless you send for
+assistance to put me out--which you won't do, I know. I tell you again
+that I want to see my sister.'
+'YOUR sister!' said the old man bitterly.
+'Ah! You can't change the relationship,' returned the other. 'If you
+could, you'd have done it long ago. I want to see my sister, that you
+keep cooped up here, poisoning her mind with your sly secrets and
+pretending an affection for her that you may work her to death, and add
+a few scraped shillings every week to the money you can hardly count. I
+want to see her; and I will.'
+'Here's a moralist to talk of poisoned minds! Here's a generous spirit
+to scorn scraped-up shillings!' cried the old man, turning from him to
+me. 'A profligate, sir, who has forfeited every claim not only upon
+those who have the misfortune to be of his blood, but upon society
+which knows nothing of him but his misdeeds. A liar too,' he added, in
+a lower voice as he drew closer to me, 'who knows how dear she is to
+me, and seeks to wound me even there, because there is a stranger
+'Strangers are nothing to me, grandfather,' said the young fellow
+catching at the word, 'nor I to them, I hope. The best they can do, is
+to keep an eye to their business and leave me to mine. There's a friend
+of mine waiting outside, and as it seems that I may have to wait some
+time, I'll call him in, with your leave.'
+Saying this, he stepped to the door, and looking down the street
+beckoned several times to some unseen person, who, to judge from the
+air of impatience with which these signals were accompanied, required a
+great quantity of persuasion to induce him to advance. At length there
+sauntered up, on the opposite side of the way--with a bad pretense of
+passing by accident--a figure conspicuous for its dirty smartness,
+which after a great many frowns and jerks of the head, in resistance of
+the invitation, ultimately crossed the road and was brought into the
+'There. It's Dick Swiveller,' said the young fellow, pushing him in.
+'Sit down, Swiveller.'
+'But is the old min agreeable?' said Mr Swiveller in an undertone.
+Mr Swiveller complied, and looking about him with a propitiatory smile,
+observed that last week was a fine week for the ducks, and this week
+was a fine week for the dust; he also observed that whilst standing by
+the post at the street-corner, he had observed a pig with a straw in
+his mouth issuing out of the tobacco-shop, from which appearance he
+augured that another fine week for the ducks was approaching, and that
+rain would certainly ensue. He furthermore took occasion to apologize
+for any negligence that might be perceptible in his dress, on the
+ground that last night he had had 'the sun very strong in his eyes'; by
+which expression he was understood to convey to his hearers in the most
+delicate manner possible, the information that he had been extremely
+'But what,' said Mr Swiveller with a sigh, 'what is the odds so long as
+the fire of soul is kindled at the taper of conwiviality, and the wing
+of friendship never moults a feather! What is the odds so long as the
+spirit is expanded by means of rosy wine, and the present moment is the
+least happiest of our existence!'
+'You needn't act the chairman here,' said his friend, half aside.
+'Fred!' cried Mr Swiveller, tapping his nose, 'a word to the wise is
+sufficient for them--we may be good and happy without riches, Fred.
+Say not another syllable. I know my cue; smart is the word. Only one
+little whisper, Fred--is the old min friendly?'
+'Never you mind,' replied his friend.
+'Right again, quite right,' said Mr Swiveller, 'caution is the word,
+and caution is the act.' with that, he winked as if in preservation of
+some deep secret, and folding his arms and leaning back in his chair,
+looked up at the ceiling with profound gravity.
+It was perhaps not very unreasonable to suspect from what had already
+passed, that Mr Swiveller was not quite recovered from the effects of
+the powerful sunlight to which he had made allusion; but if no such
+suspicion had been awakened by his speech, his wiry hair, dull eyes,
+and sallow face would still have been strong witnesses against him. His
+attire was not, as he had himself hinted, remarkable for the  nicest
+arrangement, but was in a state of disorder which strongly induced the
+idea that he had gone to bed in it. It consisted of a brown body-coat
+with a great many brass buttons up the front and only one behind, a
+bright check neckerchief, a plaid waistcoat, soiled white trousers, and
+a very limp hat, worn with the wrong side foremost, to hide a hole in
+the brim. The breast of his coat was ornamented with an outside pocket
+from which there peeped forth the cleanest end of a very large and very
+ill-favoured handkerchief; his dirty wristbands were pulled on as far
+as possible and ostentatiously folded back over his cuffs; he displayed
+no gloves, and carried a yellow cane having at the top a bone hand with
+the semblance of a ring on its little finger and a black ball in its
+grasp. With all these personal advantages (to which may be added a
+strong savour of tobacco-smoke, and a prevailing greasiness of
+appearance) Mr Swiveller leant back in his chair with his eyes fixed on
+the ceiling, and occasionally pitching his voice to the needful key,
+obliged the company with a few bars of an intensely dismal air, and
+then, in the middle of a note, relapsed into his former silence.
+The old man sat himself down in a chair, and with folded hands, looked
+sometimes at his grandson and sometimes at his strange companion, as if
+he were utterly powerless and had no resource but to leave them to do
+as they pleased. The young man reclined against a table at no great
+distance from his friend, in apparent indifference to everything that
+had passed; and I--who felt the difficulty of any interference,
+notwithstanding that the old man had appealed to me, both by words and
+looks--made the best feint I could of being occupied in examining some
+of the goods that were disposed for sale, and paying very little
+attention to a person before me.
+The silence was not of long duration, for Mr Swiveller, after favouring
+us with several melodious assurances that his heart was in the
+Highlands, and that he wanted but his Arab steed as a preliminary to
+the achievement of great feats of valour and loyalty, removed his eyes
+from the ceiling and subsided into prose again.
+'Fred,' said Mr Swiveller stopping short, as if the idea had suddenly
+occurred to him, and speaking in the same audible whisper as before,
+'is the old min friendly?'
+'What does it matter?' returned his friend peevishly.
+'No, but IS he?' said Dick.
+'Yes, of course. What do I care whether he is or not?'
+Emboldened as it seemed by this reply to enter into a more general
+conversation, Mr Swiveller plainly laid himself out to captivate our
+He began by remarking that soda-water, though a good thing in the
+abstract, was apt to lie cold upon the stomach unless qualified with
+ginger, or a small infusion of brandy, which latter article he held to
+be preferable in all cases, saving for the one consideration of
+expense. Nobody venturing to dispute these positions, he proceeded to
+observe that the human hair was a great retainer of tobacco-smoke, and
+that the young gentlemen of Westminster and Eton, after eating vast
+quantities of apples to conceal any scent of cigars from their anxious
+friends, were usually detected in consequence of their heads possessing
+this remarkable property; when he concluded that if the Royal Society
+would turn their attention to the circumstance, and endeavour to find
+in the resources of science a means of preventing such untoward
+revelations, they might indeed be looked upon as benefactors to
+mankind. These opinions being equally incontrovertible with those he
+had already pronounced, he went on to inform us that Jamaica rum,
+though unquestionably an agreeable spirit of great richness and
+flavour, had the drawback of remaining constantly present to the taste
+next day; and nobody being venturous enough to argue this point either,
+he increased in confidence and became yet more companionable and
+'It's a devil of a thing, gentlemen,' said Mr Swiveller, 'when
+relations fall out and disagree. If the wing of friendship should never
+moult a feather, the wing of relationship should never be clipped, but
+be always expanded and serene. Why should a grandson and grandfather
+peg away at each other with mutual wiolence when all might be bliss and
+concord. Why not jine hands and forgit it?'
+'Hold your tongue,' said his friend.
+'Sir,' replied Mr Swiveller, 'don't you interrupt the chair.
+Gentlemen, how does the case stand, upon the present occasion?  Here is
+a jolly old grandfather--I say it with the utmost respect--and here is
+a wild, young grandson. The jolly old grandfather says to the wild
+young grandson, "I have brought you up and educated you, Fred; I have
+put you in the way of getting on in life; you have bolted a little out
+of course, as young fellows often do; and you shall never have another
+chance, nor the ghost of half a one."  The wild young grandson makes
+answer to this and says, "You're as rich as rich can be; you have been
+at no uncommon expense on my account, you're saving up piles of money
+for my little sister that lives with you in a secret, stealthy,
+hugger-muggering kind of way and with no manner of enjoyment--why can't
+you stand a trifle for your grown-up relation?" The jolly old
+grandfather unto this, retorts, not only that he declines to fork out
+with that cheerful readiness which is always so agreeable and pleasant
+in a gentleman of his time of life, but that he will bow up, and call
+names, and make reflections whenever they meet. Then the plain question
+is, an't it a pity that this state of things should continue, and how
+much better would it be for the gentleman to hand over a reasonable
+amount of tin, and make it all right and comfortable?'
+Having delivered this oration with a great many waves and flourishes of
+the hand, Mr Swiveller abruptly thrust the head of his cane into his
+mouth as if to prevent himself from impairing the effect of his speech
+by adding one other word.
+'Why do you hunt and persecute me, God help me!' said the old man
+turning to his grandson. 'Why do you bring your prolifigate companions
+here? How often am I to tell you that my life is one of care and
+self-denial, and that I am poor?'
+'How often am I to tell you,' returned the other, looking coldly at
+him, 'that I know better?'
+'You have chosen your own path,' said the old man. 'Follow it.  Leave
+Nell and me to toil and work.'
+'Nell will be a woman soon,' returned the other, 'and, bred in your
+faith, she'll forget her brother unless he shows himself sometimes.'
+'Take care,' said the old man with sparkling eyes, 'that she does not
+forget you when you would have her memory keenest. Take care that the
+day don't come when you walk barefoot in the streets, and she rides by
+in a gay carriage of her own.'
+'You mean when she has your money?' retorted the other. 'How like a
+poor man he talks!'
+'And yet,' said the old man dropping his voice and speaking like one
+who thinks aloud, 'how poor we are, and what a life it is! The cause is
+a young child's guiltless of all harm or wrong, but nothing goes well
+with it! Hope and patience, hope and patience!'
+These words were uttered in too low a tone to reach the ears of the
+young men.  Mr Swiveller appeared to think that they implied some mental
+struggle consequent upon the powerful effect of his address, for he
+poked his friend with his cane and whispered his conviction that he had
+administered 'a clincher,' and that he expected a commission on the
+profits. Discovering his mistake after a while, he appeared to grow
+rather sleepy and discontented, and had more than once suggested the
+propriety of an immediate departure, when the door opened, and the
+child herself appeared.
+The child was closely followed by an elderly man of remarkably hard
+features and forbidding aspect, and so low in stature as to be quite a
+dwarf, though his head and face were large enough for the body of a
+giant. His black eyes were restless, sly, and cunning; his mouth and
+chin, bristly with the stubble of a coarse hard beard; and his
+complexion was one of that kind which never looks clean or wholesome.
+But what added most to the grotesque expression of his face was a
+ghastly smile, which, appearing to be the mere result of habit and to
+have no connection with any mirthful or complacent feeling, constantly
+revealed the few discoloured fangs that were yet scattered in his
+mouth, and gave him the aspect of a panting dog. His dress consisted of
+a large high-crowned hat, a worn dark suit, a pair of capacious shoes,
+and a dirty white neckerchief sufficiently limp and crumpled to
+disclose the greater portion of his wiry throat. Such hair as he had
+was of a grizzled black, cut short and straight upon his temples, and
+hanging in a frowzy fringe about his ears. His hands, which were of a
+rough, coarse grain, were very dirty; his fingernails were crooked,
+long, and yellow.
+There was ample time to note these particulars, for besides that they
+were sufficiently obvious without very close observation, some moments
+elapsed before any one broke silence. The child advanced timidly
+towards her brother and put her hand in his, the dwarf (if we may call
+him so) glanced keenly at all present, and the curiosity-dealer, who
+plainly had not expected his uncouth visitor, seemed disconcerted and
+'Ah!' said the dwarf, who with his hand stretched out above his eyes
+had been surveying the young man attentively, 'that should be your
+grandson, neighbour!'
+'Say rather that he should not be,' replied the old man. 'But he is.'
+'And that?' said the dwarf, pointing to Dick Swiveller.
+'Some friend of his, as welcome here as he,' said the old man.
+'And that?' inquired the dwarf, wheeling round and pointing straight at
+'A gentleman who was so good as to bring Nell home the other night when
+she lost her way, coming from your house.'
+The little man turned to the child as if to chide her or express his
+wonder, but as she was talking to the young man, held his peace, and
+bent his head to listen.
+'Well, Nelly,' said the young fellow aloud. 'Do they teach you to hate
+me, eh?'
+'No, no. For shame. Oh, no!' cried the child.
+'To love me, perhaps?' pursued her brother with a sneer.
+'To do neither,' she returned. 'They never speak to me about you.
+Indeed they never do.'
+'I dare be bound for that,' he said, darting a bitter look at the
+grandfather. 'I dare be bound for that Nell. Oh! I believe you there!'
+'But I love you dearly, Fred,' said the child.
+'No doubt!'
+'I do indeed, and always will,' the child repeated with great emotion,
+'but oh! If you would leave off vexing him and making him unhappy, then
+I could love you more.'
+'I see!' said the young man, as he stooped carelessly over the child,
+and having kissed her, pushed her from him: 'There--get you away now
+you have said your lesson. You needn't whimper. We part good friends
+enough, if that's the matter.'
+He remained silent, following her with his eyes, until she had gained
+her little room and closed the door; and then turning to the dwarf,
+said abruptly,
+'Harkee, Mr--'
+'Meaning me?' returned the dwarf. 'Quilp is my name. You might
+remember. It's not a long one--Daniel Quilp.'
+'Harkee, Mr Quilp, then,' pursued the other, 'You have some influence
+with my grandfather there.'
+'Some,' said Mr Quilp emphatically.
+'And are in a few of his mysteries and secrets.'
+'A few,' replied Quilp, with equal dryness.
+'Then let me tell him once for all, through you, that I will come into
+and go out of this place as often as I like, so long as he keeps Nell
+here; and that if he wants to be quit of me, he must first be quit of
+her. What have I done to be made a bugbear of, and to be shunned and
+dreaded as if I brought the plague? He'll tell you that I have no
+natural affection; and that I care no more for Nell, for her own sake,
+than I do for him. Let him say so. I care for the whim, then, of coming
+to and fro and reminding her of my existence. I WILL see her when I
+please. That's my point. I came here to-day to maintain it, and I'll
+come here again fifty times with the same object and always with the
+same success. I said I would stop till I had gained it.  I have done
+so, and now my visit's ended. Come Dick.'
+'Stop!' cried Mr Swiveller, as his companion turned toward the door.
+'Sir, I am your humble servant,' said Mr Quilp, to whom the
+monosyllable was addressed.
+'Before I leave the gay and festive scene, and halls of dazzling light,
+sir,' said Mr Swiveller, 'I will with your permission, attempt a slight
+remark. I came here, sir, this day, under the impression that the old
+min was friendly.'
+'Proceed, sir,' said Daniel Quilp; for the orator had made a sudden
+'Inspired by this idea and the sentiments it awakened, sir, and feeling
+as a mutual friend that badgering, baiting, and bullying, was not the
+sort of thing calculated to expand the souls and promote the social
+harmony of the contending parties, I took upon myself to suggest a
+course which is THE course to be adopted to the present occasion.  Will
+you allow me to whisper half a syllable, sir?'
+Without waiting for the permission he sought, Mr Swiveller stepped up
+to the dwarf, and leaning on his shoulder and stooping down to get at
+his ear, said in a voice which was perfectly audible to all present,
+'The watch-word to the old min is--fork.'
+'Is what?' demanded Quilp.
+'Is fork, sir, fork,' replied Mr Swiveller slapping his pocket. 'You
+are awake, sir?'
+The dwarf nodded. Mr Swiveller drew back and nodded likewise, then drew
+a little further back and nodded again, and so on. By these means he in
+time reached the door, where he gave a great cough to attract the
+dwarf's attention and gain an opportunity of expressing in dumb show,
+the closest confidence and most inviolable secrecy.  Having performed
+the serious pantomime that was necessary for the due conveyance of
+these idea, he cast himself upon his friend's track, and vanished.
+'Humph!' said the dwarf with a sour look and a shrug of his shoulders,
+'so much for dear relations. Thank God I acknowledge none! Nor need you
+either,' he added, turning to the old man, 'if you were not as weak as
+a reed, and nearly as senseless.'
+'What would you have me do?' he retorted in a kind of helpless
+desperation. 'It is easy to talk and sneer. What would you have me do?'
+'What would I do if I was in your case?' said the dwarf.
+'Something violent, no doubt.'
+'You're right there,' returned the little man, highly gratified by the
+compliment, for such he evidently considered it; and grinning like a
+devil as he rubbed his dirty hands together. 'Ask Mrs Quilp, pretty Mrs
+Quilp, obedient, timid, loving Mrs Quilp. But that reminds me--I have
+left her all alone, and she will be anxious and know not a moment's
+peace till I return. I know she's always in that condition when I'm
+away, thought she doesn't dare to say so, unless I lead her on and tell
+her she may speak freely and I won't be angry with her.  Oh!
+well-trained Mrs Quilp.'
+The creature appeared quite horrible with his monstrous head and little
+body, as he rubbed his hands slowly round, and round, and round
+again--with something fantastic even in his manner of performing this
+slight action--and, dropping his shaggy brows and cocking his chin in
+the air, glanced upward with a stealthy look of exultation that an imp
+might have copied and appropriated to himself.
+'Here,' he said, putting his hand into his breast and sidling up to the
+old man as he spoke; 'I brought it myself for fear of accidents, as,
+being in gold, it was something large and heavy for Nell to carry in
+her bag. She need be accustomed to such loads betimes though,
+neighbor, for she will carry weight when you are dead.'
+'Heaven send she may! I hope so,' said the old man with something like
+a groan.
+'Hope so!' echoed the dwarf, approaching close to his ear; 'neighbour,
+I would I knew in what good investment all these supplies are sunk. But
+you are a deep man, and keep your secret close.'
+'My secret!' said the other with a haggard look. 'Yes, you're
+right--I--I--keep it close--very close.'
+He said no more, but taking the money turned away with a slow,
+uncertain step, and pressed his hand upon his head like a weary and
+dejected man. The dwarf watched him sharply, while he passed into the
+little sitting-room and locked it in an iron safe above the
+chimney-piece; and after musing for a short space, prepared to take his
+leave, observing that unless he made good haste, Mrs Quilp would
+certainly be in fits on his return.
+'And so, neighbour,' he added, 'I'll turn my face homewards, leaving my
+love for Nelly and hoping she may never lose her way again, though her
+doing so HAS procured me an honour I didn't expect.' With that he bowed
+and leered at me, and with a keen glance around which seemed to
+comprehend every object within his range of vision, however, small or
+trivial, went his way.
+I had several times essayed to go myself, but the old man had always
+opposed it and entreated me to remain. As he renewed his entreaties on
+our being left along, and adverted with many thanks to the former
+occasion of our being together, I willingly yielded to his persuasions,
+and sat down, pretending to examine some curious miniatures and a few
+old medals which he placed before me. It needed no great pressing to
+induce me to stay, for if my curiosity has been excited on the occasion
+of my first visit, it certainly was not diminished now.
+Nell joined us before long, and bringing some needle-work to the table,
+sat by the old man's side. It was pleasant to observe the fresh flowers
+in the room, the pet bird with a green bough shading his little cage,
+the breath of freshness and youth which seemed to rustle through the
+old dull house and hover round the child. It was curious, but not so
+pleasant, to turn from the beauty and grace of the girl, to the
+stooping figure, care-worn face, and jaded aspect of the old man.  As
+he grew weaker and more feeble, what would become of this lonely little
+creature; poor protector as he was, say that he died--what would be her
+fate, then?
+The old man almost answered my thoughts, as he laid his hand on hers,
+and spoke aloud.
+'I'll be of better cheer, Nell,' he said; 'there must be good fortune
+in store for thee--I do not ask it for myself, but thee. Such miseries
+must fall on thy innocent head without it, that I cannot believe but
+that, being tempted, it will come at last!'
+She looked cheerfully into his face, but made no answer.
+'When I think,' said he, 'of the many years--many in thy short
+life--that thou has lived with me; of my monotonous existence, knowing
+no companions of thy own age nor any childish pleasures; of the
+solitude in which thou has grown to be what thou art, and in which thou
+hast lived apart from nearly all thy kind but one old man; I sometimes
+fear I have dealt hardly by thee, Nell.'
+'Grandfather!' cried the child in unfeigned surprise.
+'Not in intention--no no,' said he. 'I have ever looked forward to the
+time that should enable thee to mix among the gayest and prettiest, and
+take thy station with the best. But I still look forward, Nell, I still
+look forward, and if I should be forced to leave thee, meanwhile, how
+have I fitted thee for struggles with the world? The poor bird yonder
+is as well qualified to encounter it, and be turned adrift upon its
+mercies--Hark! I hear Kit outside. Go to him, Nell, go to him.'
+She rose, and hurrying away, stopped, turned back, and put her arms
+about the old man's neck, then left him and hurried away again--but
+faster this time, to hide her falling tears.
+'A word in your ear, sir,' said the old man in a hurried whisper. 'I
+have been rendered uneasy by what you said the other night, and can
+only plead that I have done all for the best--that it is too late to
+retract, if I could (though I cannot)--and that I hope to triumph yet.
+All is for her sake. I have borne great poverty myself, and would spare
+her the sufferings that poverty carries with it. I would spare her the
+miseries that brought her mother, my own dear child, to an early grave.
+I would leave her--not with resources which could be easily spent or
+squandered away, but with what would place her beyond the reach of want
+for ever. You mark me sir? She shall have no pittance, but a
+fortune--Hush! I can say no more than that, now or at any other time,
+and she is here again!'
+The eagerness with which all this was poured into my ear, the trembling
+of the hand with which he clasped my arm, the strained and starting
+eyes he fixed upon me, the wild vehemence and agitation of his manner,
+filled me with amazement. All that I had heard and seen, and a great
+part of what he had said himself, led me to suppose that he was a
+wealthy man. I could form no comprehension of his character, unless he
+were one of those miserable wretches who, having made gain the sole end
+and object of their lives and having succeeded in amassing great
+riches, are constantly tortured by the dread of poverty, and beset by
+fears of loss and ruin. Many things he had said which I had been at a
+loss to understand, were quite reconcilable with the idea thus
+presented to me, and at length I concluded that beyond all doubt he was
+one of this unhappy race.
+The opinion was not the result of hasty consideration, for which indeed
+there was no opportunity at that time, as the child came directly, and
+soon occupied herself in preparations for giving Kit a writing lesson,
+of which it seemed he had a couple every week, and one regularly on
+that evening, to the great mirth and enjoyment both of himself and his
+instructress. To relate how it was a long time before his modesty could
+be so far prevailed upon as it admit of his sitting down in the
+parlour, in the presence of an unknown gentleman--how, when he did set
+down, he tucked up his sleeves and squared his elbows and put his face
+close to the copy-book and squinted horribly at the lines--how, from
+the very first moment of having the pen in his hand, he began to wallow
+in blots, and to daub himself with ink up to the very roots of his
+hair--how, if he did by accident form a letter properly, he immediately
+smeared it out again with his arm in his preparations to make
+another--how, at every fresh mistake, there was a fresh burst of
+merriment from the child and louder and not less hearty laugh from poor
+Kit himself--and how there was all the way through, notwithstanding, a
+gentle wish on her part to teach, and an anxious desire on his to
+learn--to relate all these particulars would no doubt occupy more space
+and time than they deserve. It will be sufficient to say that the
+lesson was given--that evening passed and night came on--that the old
+man again grew restless and impatient--that he quitted the house
+secretly at the same hour as before--and that the child was once more
+left alone within its gloomy walls.
+And now that I have carried this history so far in my own character and
+introduced these personages to the reader, I shall for the convenience
+of the narrative detach myself from its further course, and leave those
+who have prominent and necessary parts in it to speak and act for
+Mr and Mrs Quilp resided on Tower Hill; and in her bower on Tower Hill
+Mrs Quilp was left to pine the absence of her lord, when he quitted her
+on the business which he had already seen to transact.
+Mr Quilp could scarcely be said to be of any particular trade or
+calling, though his pursuits were diversified and his occupations
+numerous. He collected the rents of whole colonies of filthy streets
+and alleys by the waterside, advanced money to the seamen and petty
+officers of merchant vessels, had a share in the ventures of divers
+mates of East Indiamen, smoked his smuggled cigars under the very nose
+of the Custom House, and made appointments on 'Change with men in
+glazed hats and round jackets pretty well every day. On the Surrey side
+of the river was a small rat-infested dreary yard called 'Quilp's
+Wharf,' in which were a little wooden counting-house burrowing all awry
+in the dust as if it had fallen from the clouds and ploughed into the
+ground; a few fragments of rusty anchors; several large iron rings;
+some piles of rotten wood; and two or three heaps of old sheet copper,
+crumpled, cracked, and battered. On Quilp's Wharf, Daniel Quilp was a
+ship-breaker, yet to judge from these appearances he must either have
+been a ship-breaker on a very small scale, or have broken his ships up
+very small indeed. Neither did the place present any extraordinary
+aspect of life or activity, as its only human occupant was an
+amphibious boy in a canvas suit, whose sole change of occupation was
+from sitting on the head of a pile and throwing stones into the mud
+when the tide was out, to standing with his hands in his pockets gazing
+listlessly on the motion and on the bustle of the river at high-water.
+The dwarf's lodging on Tower hill comprised, besides the needful
+accommodation for himself and Mrs Quilp, a small sleeping-closet for
+that lady's mother, who resided with the couple and waged perpetual war
+with Daniel; of whom, notwithstanding, she stood in no slight dread.
+Indeed, the ugly creature contrived by some means or other--whether by
+his ugliness or his ferocity or his natural cunning is no great
+matter--to impress with a wholesome fear of his anger, most of those
+with whom he was brought into daily contact and communication. Over
+nobody had he such complete ascendance as Mrs Quilp herself--a pretty
+little, mild-spoken, blue-eyed woman, who having allied herself in
+wedlock to the dwarf in one of those strange infatuations of which
+examples are by no means scarce, performed a sound practical penance
+for her folly, every day of her life.
+It has been said that Mrs Quilp was pining in her bower. In her bower
+she was, but not alone, for besides the old lady her mother of whom
+mention has recently been made, there were present some half-dozen
+ladies of the neighborhood who had happened by a strange accident (and
+also by a little understanding among themselves) to drop in one after
+another, just about tea-time. This being a season favourable to
+conversation, and the room being a cool, shady, lazy kind of place,
+with some plants at the open window shutting out the dust, and
+interposing pleasantly enough between the tea table within and the old
+Tower without, it is no wonder that the ladies felt an inclination to
+talk and linger, especially when there are taken into account the
+additional inducements of fresh butter, new bread, shrimps, and
+Now, the ladies being together under these circumstances, it was
+extremely natural that the discourse should turn upon the propensity of
+mankind to tyrannize over the weaker sex, and the duty that developed
+upon the weaker sex to resist that tyranny and assert their rights and
+dignity. It was natural for four reasons: firstly, because Mrs Quilp
+being a young woman and notoriously under the dominion of her husband
+ought to be excited to rebel; secondly, because Mrs Quilp's parent was
+known to be laudably shrewish in her disposition and inclined to resist
+male authority; thirdly, because each visitor wished to show for
+herself how superior she was in this respect to the generality of her
+sex; and fourthly, because the company being accustomed to scandalise
+each other in pairs, were deprived of their usual subject of
+conversation now that they were all assembled in close friendship, and
+had consequently no better employment than to attack the common enemy.
+Moved by these considerations, a stout lady opened the proceedings by
+inquiring, with an air of great concern and sympathy, how Mr Quilp was;
+whereunto Mr Quilp's wife's mother replied sharply, 'Oh! He was well
+enough--nothing much was every the matter with him--and ill weeds were
+sure to thrive.' All the ladies then sighed in concert, shook their
+heads gravely, and looked at Mrs Quilp as a martyr.
+'Ah!' said the spokeswoman, 'I wish you'd give her a little of your
+advice, Mrs Jiniwin'--Mrs Quilp had been a Miss Jiniwin it should be
+observed--'nobody knows better than you, ma'am, what us women owe to
+'Owe indeed, ma'am!' replied Mrs Jiniwin. 'When my poor husband, her
+dear father, was alive, if he had ever ventured a cross word to me, I'd
+have--' The good old lady did not finish the sentence, but she twisted
+off the head of a shrimp with a vindictiveness which seemed to imply
+that the action was in some degree a substitute for words. In this
+light it was clearly understood by the other party, who immediately
+replied with great approbation, 'You quite enter into my feelings,
+ma'am, and it's jist what I'd do myself.'
+'But you have no call to do it,' said Mrs Jiniwin. 'Luckily for you,
+you have no more occasion to do it than I had.'
+'No woman need have, if she was true to herself,' rejoined the stout
+'Do you hear that, Betsy?' said Mrs Jiniwin, in a warning voice.  'How
+often have I said the same words to you, and almost gone down my knees
+when I spoke 'em!'
+Poor Mrs Quilp, who had looked in a state of helplessness from one face
+of condolence to another, coloured, smiled, and shook her head
+doubtfully. This was the signal for a general clamour, which beginning
+in a low murmur gradually swelled into a great noise in which everybody
+spoke at once, and all said that she being a young woman had no right
+to set up her opinions against the experiences of those who knew so
+much better; that it was very wrong of her not to take the advice of
+people who had nothing at heart but her good; that it was next door to
+being downright ungrateful to conduct herself in that manner; that if
+she had no respect for herself she ought to have some for other women,
+all of whom she compromised by her meekness; and that if she had no
+respect for other women, the time would come when other women would
+have no respect for her; and she would be very sorry for that, they
+could tell her. Having dealt out these admonitions, the ladies fell to
+a more powerful assault than they had yet made upon the  mixed tea, new
+bread, fresh butter, shrimps, and watercresses, and said that their
+vexation was so great to see her going on like that, that they could
+hardly bring themselves to eat a single morsel.
+It's all very fine to talk,' said Mrs Quilp with much simplicity, 'but
+I know that if I was to die to-morrow, Quilp could marry anybody he
+pleased--now that he could, I know!'
+There was quite a scream of indignation at this idea. Marry whom he
+pleased! They would like to see him dare to think of marrying any of
+them; they would like to see the faintest approach to such a thing.
+One lady (a widow) was quite certain she should stab him if he hinted
+at it.
+'Very well,' said Mrs Quilp, nodding her head, 'as I said just now,
+it's very easy to talk, but I say again that I know--that I'm
+sure--Quilp has such a way with him when he likes, that the best
+looking woman here couldn't refuse him if I was dead, and she was free,
+and he chose to make love to her. Come!'
+Everybody bridled up at this remark, as much as to say, 'I know you
+mean me. Let him try--that's all.' and yet for some hidden reason they
+were all angry with the widow, and each lady whispered in her
+neighbour's ear that it was very plain that said widow thought herself
+the person referred to, and what a puss she was!
+'Mother knows,' said Mrs Quilp, 'that what I say is quite correct, for
+she often said so before we were married. Didn't you say so, mother?'
+This inquiry involved the respected lady in rather a delicate position,
+for she certainly had been an active party in making her daughter Mrs
+Quilp, and, besides, it was not supporting the family credit to
+encourage the idea that she had married a man whom nobody else would
+have. On the other hand, to exaggerate the captivating qualities of her
+son-in-law would be to weaken the cause of revolt, in which all her
+energies were deeply engaged. Beset by these opposing considerations,
+Mrs Jiniwin admitted the powers of insinuation, but denied the right to
+govern, and with a timely compliment to the stout lady brought back the
+discussion to the point from which it had strayed.
+'Oh! It's a sensible and proper thing indeed, what Mrs George has
+said!' exclaimed the old lady. 'If women are only true to
+themselves!--But Betsy isn't, and more's the shame and pity.'
+'Before I'd let a man order me about as Quilp orders her,' said Mrs
+George, 'before I'd consent to stand in awe of a man as she does of
+him, I'd--I'd kill myself, and write a letter first to say he did it!'
+This remark being loudly commended and approved of, another lady (from
+the Minories) put in her word:
+'Mr Quilp may be a very nice man,' said this lady, 'and I supposed
+there's no doubt he is, because Mrs Quilp says he is, and Mrs Jiniwin
+says he is, and they ought to know, or nobody does. But still he is not
+quite a--what one calls a handsome man, nor quite a young man neither,
+which might be a little excuse for him if anything could be; whereas
+his wife is young, and is good-looking, and is a woman--which is the
+greatest thing after all.'
+This last clause being delivered with extraordinary pathos, elicited a
+corresponding murmer from the hearers, stimulated by which the lady
+went on to remark that if such a husband was cross and unreasonable
+with such a wife, then--
+'If he is!' interposed the mother, putting down her tea-cup and
+brushing the crumbs out of her lap, preparatory to making a solemn
+declaration. 'If he is! He is the greatest tyrant that every lived, she
+daren't call her soul her own, he makes her tremble with a word and
+even with a look, he frightens her to death, and she hasn't the spirit
+to give him a word back, no, not a single word.'
+Notwithstanding that the fact had been notorious beforehand to all the
+tea-drinkers, and had been discussed and expatiated on at every
+tea-drinking in the neighbourhood for the last twelve months, this
+official communication was no sooner made than they all began to talk
+at once and to vie with each other in vehemence and volubility.  Mrs
+George remarked that people would talk, that people had often said this
+to her before, that Mrs Simmons then and there present had told her so
+twenty times, that she had always said, 'No, Henrietta Simmons, unless
+I see it with my own eyes and hear it with my own ears, I never will
+believe it.' Mrs Simmons corroborated this testimony and added strong
+evidence of her own. The lady from the Minories recounted a successful
+course of treatment under which she had placed her own husband, who,
+from manifesting one month after marriage unequivocal symptoms of the
+tiger, had by this means become subdued into a perfect lamb. Another
+lady recounted her own personal struggle and final triumph, in the
+course whereof she had found it necessary to call in her mother and two
+aunts, and to weep incessantly night and day for six weeks. A third,
+who in the general confusion could secure no other listener, fastened
+herself upon a young woman still unmarried who happened to be amongst
+them, and conjured her, as she valued her own peace of mind and
+happiness to profit by this solemn occasion, to take example from the
+weakness of Mrs Quilp, and from that time forth to direct her whole
+thoughts to taming and subduing the rebellious spirit of man. The noise
+was at its height, and half the company had elevated their voices into
+a perfect shriek in order to drown the voices of the other half, when
+Mrs Jiniwin was seen to change colour and shake her forefinger
+stealthily, as if exhorting them to silence. Then, and not until then,
+Daniel Quilp himself, the cause and occasion of all this clamour, was
+observed to be in the room, looking on and listening with profound
+'Go on, ladies, go on,' said Daniel. 'Mrs Quilp, pray ask the ladies to
+stop to supper, and have a couple of lobsters and something light and
+'I--I--didn't ask them to tea, Quilp,' stammered his wife. 'It's quite
+an accident.'
+'So much the better, Mrs Quilp; these accidental parties are always the
+pleasantest,' said the dwarf, rubbing his hands so hard that he seemed
+to be engaged in manufacturing, of the dirt with which they were
+encrusted, little charges for popguns. 'What! Not going, ladies, you
+are not going, surely!'
+His fair enemies tossed their heads slightly as they sought their
+respective bonnets and shawls, but left all verbal contention to Mrs
+Jiniwin, who finding herself in the position of champion, made a faint
+struggle to sustain the character.
+'And why not stop to supper, Quilp,' said the old lady, 'if my daughter
+had a mind?'
+'To be sure,' rejoined Daniel. 'Why not?'
+'There's nothing dishonest or wrong in a supper, I hope?' said Mrs
+'Surely not,' returned the dwarf. 'Why should there be? Nor anything
+unwholesome, either, unless there's lobster-salad or prawns, which I'm
+told are not good for digestion.'
+'And you wouldn't like your wife to be attacked with that, or anything
+else that would make her uneasy would you?' said Mrs Jiniwin.
+'Not for a score of worlds,' replied the dwarf with a grin. 'Not even
+to have a score of mothers-in-law at the same time--and what a blessing
+that would be!'
+'My daughter's your wife, Mr Quilp, certainly,' said the old lady with
+a giggle, meant for satirical and to imply that he needed to be
+reminded of the fact; 'your wedded wife.'
+'So she is, certainly. So she is,' observed the dwarf.
+'And she has a right to do as she likes, I hope, Quilp,' said the
+old lady trembling, partly with anger and partly with a secret fear of
+her impish son-in-law.
+'Hope she has!' he replied. 'Oh! Don't you know she has? Don't you know
+she has, Mrs Jiniwin?
+'I know she ought to have, Quilp, and would have, if she was of my way
+of thinking.'
+'Why an't you of your mother's way of thinking, my dear?' said the
+dwarf, turing round and addressing his wife, 'why don't you always
+imitate your mother, my dear? She's the ornament of her sex--your
+father said so every day of his life. I am sure he did.'
+'Her father was a blessed creetur, Quilp, and worthy twenty thousand of
+some people,' said Mrs Jiniwin; 'twenty hundred million thousand.'
+'I should like to have known him,' remarked the dwarf. 'I dare say he
+was a blessed creature then; but I'm sure he is now. It was a happy
+release. I believe he had suffered a long time?'
+The old lady gave a gasp, but nothing came of it; Quilp resumed, with
+the same malice in his eye and the same sarcastic politeness on his
+'You look ill, Mrs Jiniwin; I know you have been exciting yourself too
+much--talking perhaps, for it is your weakness. Go to bed. Do go to
+'I shall go when I please, Quilp, and not before.'
+'But please to do now. Do please to go now,' said the dwarf.
+The old woman looked angrily at him, but retreated as he advanced, and
+falling back before him, suffered him to shut the door upon her and
+bolt her out among the guests, who were by this time crowding
+downstairs. Being left along with his wife, who sat trembling in a
+corner with her eyes fixed upon the ground, the little man planted
+himself before her, and folding his arms looked steadily at her for a
+long time without speaking.
+'Mrs Quilp,' he said at last.
+'Yes, Quilp,' she replead meekly.
+Instead of pursuing the theme he had in his mind, Quilp folded his arms
+again, and looked at her more sternly than before, while she averted
+her eyes and kept them on the ground.
+'Mrs Quilp.'
+'Yes, Quilp.'
+'If ever you listen to these beldames again, I'll bite you.'
+With this laconic threat, which he accompanied with a snarl that gave
+him the appearance of being particularly in earnest, Mr Quilp bade her
+clear the teaboard away, and bring the rum. The spirit being set before
+him in a huge case-bottle, which had originally come out of some ship's
+locker, he settled himself in an arm-chair with his large head and face
+squeezed up against the back, and his little legs planted on the table.
+'Now, Mrs Quilp,' he said; 'I feel in a smoking humour, and shall
+probably blaze away all night. But sit where you are, if you please, in
+case I want you.'
+His wife returned no other reply than the necessary 'Yes, Quilp,' and
+the small lord of the creation took his first cigar and mixed his first
+glass of grog. The sun went down and the stars peeped out, the Tower
+turned from its own proper colours to grey and from grey to black, the
+room became perfectly dark and the end of the cigar a deep fiery red,
+but still Mr Quilp went on smoking and drinking in the same position,
+and staring listlessly out of window with the doglike smile always on
+his face, save when Mrs Quilp made some involuntary movement of
+restlessness or fatigue; and then it expanded into a grin of delight.
+Whether Mr Quilp took any sleep by snatches of a few winks at a time,
+or whether he sat with his eyes wide open all night long, certain it is
+that he kept his cigar alight, and kindled every fresh one from the
+ashes of that which was nearly consumed, without requiring the
+assistance of a candle. Nor did the striking of the clocks, hour after
+hour, appear to inspire him with any sense of drowsiness or any natural
+desire to go to rest, but rather to increase his wakefulness, which he
+showed, at every such indication of the progress of the night, by a
+suppressed cackling in his throat, and a motion of his shoulders, like
+one who laughs heartily but the same time slyly and by stealth.
+At length the day broke, and poor Mrs Quilp, shivering with cold of
+early morning and harassed by fatigue and want of sleep, was discovered
+sitting patiently on her chair, raising her eyes at intervals in mute
+appeal to the compassion and clemency of her lord, and gently reminding
+him by an occasion cough that she was still unpardoned and that her
+penance had been of long duration. But her dwarfish spouse still smoked
+his cigar and drank his rum without heeding her; and it was not until
+the sun had some time risen, and the activity and noise of city day
+were rife in the street, that he deigned to recognize her presence by
+any word or sign. He might not have done so even then, but for certain
+impatient tapping at the door he seemed to denote that some pretty hard
+knuckles were actively engaged upon the other side.
+'Why dear me!' he said looking round with a malicious grin, 'it's day.
+Open the door, sweet Mrs Quilp!'
+His obedient wife withdrew the bolt, and her lady mother entered.
+Now, Mrs Jiniwin bounced into the room with great impetuosity; for,
+supposing her son-in-law to be still a-bed, she had come to relieve her
+feelings by pronouncing a strong opinion upon his general conduct and
+character. Seeing that he was up and dressed, and that the room
+appeared to have been occupied ever since she quitted it on the
+previous evening, she stopped short, in some embarrassment.
+Nothing escaped the hawk's eye of the ugly little man, who, perfectly
+understanding what passed in the old lady's mind, turned uglier still
+in the fulness of his satisfaction, and bade her good morning, with a
+leer or triumph.
+'Why, Betsy,' said the old woman, 'you haven't been--you don't mean to
+say you've been a--'
+'Sitting up all night?' said Quilp, supplying the conclusion of the
+sentence. 'Yes she has!'
+'All night?' cried Mrs Jiniwin.
+'Ay, all night. Is the dear old lady deaf?' said Quilp, with a smile of
+which a frown was part. 'Who says man and wife are bad company?  Ha ha!
+The time has flown.'
+'You're a brute!' exclaimed Mrs Jiniwin.
+'Come come,' said Quilp, wilfully misunderstanding her, of course, 'you
+mustn't call her names. She's married now, you know. And though she did
+beguile the time and keep me from my bed, you must not be so tenderly
+careful of me as to be out of humour with her.  Bless you for a dear
+old lady. Here's to your health!'
+'I am much obliged to you,' returned the old woman, testifying by a
+certain restlessness in her hands a vehement desire to shake her
+matronly fist at her son-in-law. 'Oh! I'm very much obliged to you!'
+'Grateful soul!' cried the dwarf. 'Mrs Quilp.'
+'Yes, Quilp,' said the timid sufferer.
+'Help your mother to get breakfast, Mrs Quilp. I am going to the wharf
+this morning--the earlier the better, so be quick.'
+Mrs Jiniwin made a faint demonstration of rebellion by sitting down in
+a chair near the door and folding her arms as if in a resolute
+determination to do nothing. But a few whispered words from her
+daughter, and a kind inquiry from her son-in-law whether she felt
+faint, with a hint that there was abundance of cold water in the next
+apartment, routed these symptoms effectually, and she applied herself
+to the prescribed preparations with sullen diligence.
+While they were in progress, Mr Quilp withdrew to the adjoining room,
+and, turning back his coat-collar, proceeded to smear his countenance
+with a damp towel of very unwholesome appearance, which made his
+complexion rather more cloudy than it was before.  But, while he was
+thus engaged, his caution and inquisitiveness did not forsake him, for
+with a face as sharp and cunning as ever, he often stopped, even in
+this short process, and stood listening for any conversation in the
+next room, of which he might be the theme.
+'Ah!' he said after a short effort of attention, 'it was not the towel
+over my ears, I thought it wasn't. I'm a little hunchy villain and a
+monster, am I, Mrs Jiniwin? Oh!'
+The pleasure of this discovery called up the old doglike smile in full
+force. When he had quite done with it, he shook himself in a very
+doglike manner, and rejoined the ladies.
+Mr Quilp now walked up to front of a looking-glass, and was standing
+there putting on his neckerchief, when Mrs Jiniwin happening to be
+behind him, could not resist the inclination she felt to shake her fist
+at her tyrant son-in-law. It was the gesture of an instant, but as she
+did so and accompanied the action with a menacing look, she met his eye
+in the glass, catching her in the very act. The same glance at the
+mirror conveyed to her the reflection of a horribly grotesque and
+distorted face with the tongue lolling out; and the next instant the
+dwarf, turning about with a perfectly bland and placid look, inquired
+in a tone of great affection.
+'How are you now, my dear old darling?'
+Slight and ridiculous as the incident was, it made him appear such a
+little fiend, and withal such a keen and knowing one, that the old
+woman felt too much afraid of him to utter a single word, and suffered
+herself to be led with extraordinary politeness to the breakfast-table.
+Here he by no means diminished the impression he had just produced, for
+he ate hard eggs, shell and all, devoured gigantic prawns with the
+heads and tails on, chewed tobacco and water-cresses at the same time
+and with extraordinary greediness, drank boiling tea without winking,
+bit his fork and spoon till they bent again, and in short performed so
+many horrifying and uncommon acts that the women were nearly frightened
+out of their wits, and began to doubt if he were really a human
+creature. At last, having gone through these proceedings and many
+others which were equally a part of his system, Mr Quilp left them,
+reduced to a very obedient and humbled state, and betook himself to the
+river-side, where he took boat for the wharf on which he had bestowed
+his name.
+It was flood tide when Daniel Quilp sat himself down in the ferry to
+cross to the opposite shore. A fleet of barges were coming lazily on,
+some sideways, some head first, some stern first; all in a
+wrong-headed, dogged, obstinate way, bumping up against the larger
+craft, running under the bows of steamboats, getting into every kind of
+nook and corner where they had no business, and being crunched on all
+sides like so many walnut-shells; while each with its pair of long
+sweeps struggling and splashing in the water looked like some lumbering
+fish in pain. In some of the vessels at anchor all hands were busily
+engaged in coiling ropes, spreading out sails to dry, taking in or
+discharging their cargoes; in others no life was visible but two or
+three tarry boys, and perhaps a barking dog running to and fro upon the
+deck or scrambling up to look over the side and bark the louder for the
+view. Coming slowly on through the forests of masts was a great
+steamship, beating the water in short impatient strokes with her heavy
+paddles as though she wanted room to breathe, and advancing in her huge
+bulk like a sea monster among the minnows of the Thames. On either hand
+were long black tiers of colliers; between them vessels slowly working
+out of harbour with sails glistening in the sun, and creaking noise on
+board, re-echoed from a hundred quarters. The water and all upon it was
+in active motion, dancing and buoyant and bubbling up; while the old
+grey Tower and piles of building on the shore, with many a church-spire
+shooting up between, looked coldly on, and seemed to disdain their
+chafing, restless neighbour.
+Daniel Quilp, who was not much affected by a bright morning save in so
+far as it spared him the trouble of carrying an umbrella, caused
+himself to be put ashore hard by the wharf, and proceeded thither
+through a narrow lane which, partaking of the amphibious character of
+its frequenters, had as much water as mud in its composition, and a
+very liberal supply of both. Arrived at his destination, the first
+object that presented itself to his view was a pair of very imperfectly
+shod feet elevated in the air with the soles upwards, which remarkable
+appearance was referable to the boy, who being of an eccentric spirit
+and having a natural taste for tumbling, was now standing on his head
+and contemplating the aspect of the river under these uncommon
+circumstances. He was speedily brought on his heels by the sound of his
+master's voice, and as soon as his head was in its right position, Mr
+Quilp, to speak expressively in the absence of a better verb, 'punched
+it' for him.
+'Come, you let me alone,' said the boy, parrying Quilp's hand with both
+his elbows alternatively. 'You'll get something you won't like if you
+don't and so I tell you.'
+'You dog,' snarled Quilp, 'I'll beat you with an iron rod, I'll scratch
+you with a rusty nail, I'll pinch your eyes, if you talk to me--I will.'
+With these threats he clenched his hand again, and dexterously diving
+in between the elbows and catching the boy's head as it dodged from
+side to side, gave it three or four good hard knocks. Having now
+carried his point and insisted on it, he left off.
+'You won't do it agin,' said the boy, nodding his head and drawing
+back, with the elbows ready in case of the worst; 'now--'
+'Stand still, you dog,' said Quilp. 'I won't do it again, because I've
+done it as often as I want. Here. Take the key.'
+'Why don't you hit one of your size?' said the boy approaching very
+'Where is there one of my size, you dog?' returned Quilp. 'Take the
+key, or I'll brain you with it'--indeed he gave him a smart tap with
+the handle as he spoke. 'Now, open the counting-house.'
+The boy sulkily complied, muttering at first, but desisting when he
+looked round and saw that Quilp was following him with a steady look.
+And here it may be remarked, that between this boy and the dwarf there
+existed a strange kind of mutual liking. How born or bred, and or
+nourished upon blows and threats on one side, and retorts and defiances
+on the other, is not to the purpose. Quilp would certainly suffer
+nobody to contract him but the boy, and the boy would assuredly not
+have submitted to be so knocked about by anybody but Quilp, when he had
+the power to run away at any time he chose.
+'Now,' said Quilp, passing into the wooden counting-house, 'you mind
+the wharf. Stand upon your head agin, and I'll cut one of your feet
+The boy made no answer, but directly Quilp had shut himself in, stood
+on his head before the door, then walked on his hands to the back and
+stood on his head there, and then to the opposite side and repeated the
+performance. There were indeed four sides to the counting-house, but he
+avoided that one where the window was, deeming it probable that Quilp
+would be looking out of it. This was prudent, for in point of fact, the
+dwarf, knowing his disposition, was lying in wait at a little distance
+from the sash armed with a large piece of wood, which, being rough and
+jagged and studded in many parts with broken nails, might possibly have
+hurt him.
+It was a dirty little box, this counting-house, with nothing in it but
+an old ricketty desk and two stools, a hat-peg, an ancient almanack, an
+inkstand with no ink, and the stump of one pen, and an eight-day clock
+which hadn't gone 


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