Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/47

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a cold perspiration of anger. … 'But who do you call a woman? Did you make that remark to me, Sir?'

"'Why, bless my heart!' said Mr. Benjamin Allen.

"'Did you apply that name to me, I ask of you, Sir?' …

"'Why, of course I did,' replied Mr. Benjamin Allen.

"'Yes, of course, you did,' said Mrs. Raddle, backing gradually to the door, and raising her voice to its loudest pitch, for the special behoof of Mr. Raddle in the kitchen … and, finding that it had not been successful, proceeded to descend the stairs with sobs innumerable, when there came a loud double knock at the street door: …

"'Does Mr. Sawyer live here?' said Mr. Pickwick, when the door was opened.

"'Yes,' said the girl, 'first floor.'

"Whether Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Tracy Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass felt the chill of the gentle melancholy common to Lant Street, we have no means of knowing, but if any such depressing influences were abroad, they were at once dispelled when the two visitors ascended the stairs and paused for a moment to listen to the sound of voices within Mr. Sawyer's door, where they were received by Mr. Bob Sawyer himself, who had been afraid to go down lest he should be waylaid by Mrs. Raddle.

"'How are you?' said the discomfited student 'Glad to see you, take care of the glasses.' This caution was addressed to Mr. Pickwick, who had put his hat in the tray.

"'Dear me,' said Mr. Pickwick, 'I beg your pardon.'

"'Don't mention it, don't mention it,' said Bob Sawyer.