Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/49

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"'Pooh! That's nothing, that ain't,' said Jack Hopkins, to which Bob at once agreed. … 'Is it, Bob?' …

"'And now,' said Jack, when every one was comfortably seated, 'just to set us going again, Bob, I don't mind singing a song.' And Hopkins, incited thereto, by tumultuous applause, plunged himself at once into 'The King, God bless him,' which he sang as loud as he could, to a novel air, compounded of the 'Bay of Biscay.' and 'A Frog he would.'—The chorus was the essence of the song, and, as each gentleman sang it to the tune he knew best, the effect was very striking indeed. … It was at the end of the chorus to the first verse, that Mr. Pickwick held up his hand in a listening attitude, and said, as soon as silence was restored:—

"'Hush! I beg your pardon. I thought I heard somebody calling from up stairs.'

"A profound silence immediately ensued; and Mr. Bob Sawyer was observed to turn pale.

"'I think I hear it now,' said Mr. Pickwick. 'Have the goodness to open the door.'

"The door was no sooner opened than all doubt on the subject was removed.

"'Mr. Sawyer Mr. Sawyer,' screamed a voice from the two-pair landing.

"'It's my landlady,' said Bob Sawyer, looking round him with great dismay. 'Yes, Mrs. Raddle.'

"'What do you mean by this, Mr. Sawyer?' replied the voice, with great shrillness and rapidity of utterance.

"'Ain't it enough to be swindled out of one's rent, and money lent out of pocket besides, and abused and insulted by your friends that dares to call themselves men, without