All gone, all melted away from me, and not able now to be sure that you will have a crust of bread this day week."
"Oh, yes! I shall have bread, and you too, Grandy," cried Sophy, with cheerful voice. "It was you who taught me to pray to God, and said that in all your troubles God had been good to you: and He has been so good to me since I prayed to Him; for I have no dreadful Mrs. Crane to beat me now, and say things more hard to bear than beating; and you have taken me to yourself. How I prayed for that! And I take care of you too, Grandy,—don't I? I prayed for that too; and as to carriages," added Sophy, with superb air, "I don't care if I am never in a carriage as long as I live; and you know I have been in a van, which is bigger than a carriage, and I didn't like that at all. But how came people to behave so ill to you, Grandy?"
"I never said people behaved ill to me, Sophy."
"Did not they take away the carpets and silk curtains, and all the fine things you had as a little boy?"
"I don't know," replied Waife, with a puzzled look, "that people actually took them away; but they melted away.
"However, I had much still to be thankful for: I was so strong, and had such high spirits, Sophy, and found people not behaving ill to me,—quite the contrary, so kind. I found no Crane (she monster) as you did, my little angel. Such prospects before me, if I had walked straight towards them! But I followed my own fancy, which led me zigzag; and now that I would stray back into the high road, you see before you a man whom a Justice of the Peace could send to the treadmill for presuming to live without a livelihood."
SOPHY.—"Not without a livelihood!—the what did you call it?—independent income,—that is, the Three Pounds, Grandy?"
WAIFE (admiringly).—"Sensible child. That is true. Yes, Heaven is very good to me still. Ah! what signifies fortune? How happy I was with my dear Lizzy, and yet no two persons could live more from hand to mouth."
SOPHY (rather jealously).—"tizzy?"
WAIFE (with moistened eyes, and looking down).—"My wife. She was only spared to me two years: such sunny years! And how grateful I ought to be that she did not live longer. She was saved—such—such—such shame and misery!" A long pause.
Waife resumed, with a rush from memory, as if plucking himself from the claws of a harpy,—"What's the good of looking back? A man's gone self is a dead thing. It is not I—now tramp-