Gamp is my name, and Gamp my nater. Livin' quite handy, I will make so bold as call in now and then, and make inquiry how your health and spirits is, my precious chick!'
And with innumerable leers, winks, coughs, nods, smiles, and curtseys, all leading to the establishment of a mysterious and confidential understanding between herself and the bride, Mrs Gamp, invoking a blessing upon the house, leered, winked, coughed, nodded, smiled, and curtseyed herself out of the room.
'But I will say, and I would if I was led a Martha to the Stakes for it,' Mrs Gamp remarked below stairs, in a whisper, 'that she don't look much like a merry one at this present moment of time.'
'Ah! wait till you hear her laugh!' said Bailey.
'Hem!' cried Mrs Gamp, in a kind of groan. 'I will, child.'
They said no more in the house, for Mrs Gamp put on her bonnet, Mr Sweedlepipe took up her box; and Mr Bailey accompanied them towards Kingsgate Street; recounting to Mrs Gamp as they went along, the origin and progress of his acquaintance with Mrs Chuzzlewit and her sister. It was a pleasant instance of this youth's precocity, that he fancied Mrs Gamp had conceived a tenderness for him, and was much tickled by her misplaced attachment.
As the door closed heavily behind them, Mrs Jonas sat down in a chair, and felt a strange chill creep upon her, whilst she looked about the room. It was pretty much as she had known it, but appeared more dreary. She had thought to see it brightened to receive her.
'It ain't good enough for you, I suppose?' said Jonas, watching her looks.
'Why, it IS dull,' said Merry, trying to be more herself.
'It'll be duller before you're done with it,' retorted Jonas, 'if you give me any of your airs. You're a nice article, to turn sulky on first coming home! Ecod, you used to have life enough, when you could plague me with it. The gal's downstairs. Ring the bell for supper, while I take my boots off!'
She roused herself from looking after him as he left the room, to do what he had desired; when the old man Chuffey laid his hand softly on her arm.
'You are not married?' he said eagerly. 'Not married?'
'Yes. A month ago. Good Heaven, what is the matter?'
He answered nothing was the matter; and turned from her. But in her fear and wonder, turning also, she saw him raise his trembling hands above his head, and heard him say:
'Oh! woe, woe, woe, upon this wicked house!'
It was her welcome--HOME.
SHOWING THAT OLD FRIENDS MAY NOT ONLY APPEAR WITH NEW FACES, BUT IN FALSE COLOURS. THAT PEOPLE ARE PRONE TO BITE, AND THAT BITERS MAY SOMETIMES BE BITTEN.
Mr Bailey, Junior--for the sporting character, whilom of general utility at Todgers's, had now regularly set up in life under that name, without troubling himself to obtain from the legislature a direct licence in the form of a Private Bill, which of all kinds and classes of bills is without exception the most unreasonable in its charges--Mr Bailey, Junior, just tall enough to be seen by an inquiring eye, gazing indolently at society from beneath the apron of his master's cab, drove slowly up and down Pall Mall, about the hour of noon, in waiting for his 'Governor.' The horse of distinguished family, who had Capricorn for his nephew, and Cauliflower for his brother, showed himself worthy of his high relations by champing at the bit until his chest was white with foam, and rearing like a horse in heraldry; the plated harness and the patent leather glittered in the sun; pedestrians admired; Mr Bailey was complacent, but unmoved. He seemed to say, 'A barrow, good people, a mere barrow; nothing to what we could do, if we chose!' and on he went, squaring his short green arms outside the apron, as if he were hooked on to it by his armpits.
Mr Bailey had a great opinion of Brother to Cauliflower, and estimated his powers highly. But he never told him so. On the contrary, it was his practice, in driving that animal, to assail him with disrespectful, if not injurious, expressions, as, 'Ah! would you!' 'Did you think it, then?' 'Where are you going to now?' 'No, you won't, my lad!' and similar fragmentary remarks.