Wery well then. What Mr Plornish said was, wery well then. That gentleman's ed would come up-ards when his turn come, that gentleman's air would be a pleasure to look upon being all smooth again, and wery well then!
It has been already stated that Mrs Plornish, not being philosophical, wept. It further happened that Mrs Plornish, not being philosophical, was intelligible. It may have arisen out of her softened state of mind, out of her sex's wit, out of a woman's quick association of ideas, or out of a woman's no association of ideas, but it further happened somehow that Mrs Plornish's intelligibility displayed itself upon the very subject of Arthur's meditations.
'The way father has been talking about you, Mr Clennam,' said Mrs Plornish, 'you hardly would believe. It's made him quite poorly. As to his voice, this misfortune has took it away. You know what a sweet singer father is; but he couldn't get a note out for the children at tea, if you'll credit what I tell you.'
While speaking, Mrs Plornish shook her head, and wiped her eyes, and looked retrospectively about the room.
'As to Mr Baptist,' pursued Mrs Plornish, 'whatever he'll do when he comes to know of it, I can't conceive nor yet imagine. He'd have been here before now, you may be sure, but that he's away on confidential business of your own. The persevering manner in which he follows up that business, and gives himself no rest from it--it really do,' said Mrs Plornish, winding up in the Italian manner, 'as I say to him, Mooshattonisha padrona.'
Though not conceited, Mrs Plornish felt that she had turned this Tuscan sentence with peculiar elegance. Mr Plornish could not conceal his exultation in her accomplishments as a linguist.
'But what I say is, Mr Clennam,' the good woman went on, 'there's always something to be thankful for, as I am sure you will yourself admit. Speaking in this room, it's not hard to think what the present something is. It's a thing to be thankful for, indeed, that Miss Dorrit is not here to know it.'
Arthur thought she looked at him with particular expression.
'It's a thing,' reiterated Mrs Plornish, 'to be thankful for, indeed, that Miss Dorrit is far away. It's to be hoped she is not likely to hear of it. If she had been here to see it, sir, it's not to be doubted that the sight of you,' Mrs Plornish repeated those words--'not to be doubted, that the sight of you--in misfortune and trouble, would have been almost too much for her affectionate heart. There's nothing I can think of, that would have touched Miss Dorrit so bad as that.'
Of a certainty Mrs Plornish did look at him now, with a sort of quivering defiance in her friendly emotion.
'Yes!' said she. 'And it shows what notice father takes, though at his time of life, that he says to me this afternoon, which Happy Cottage knows I neither make it up nor any ways enlarge, "Mary, it's much to be rejoiced in that Miss Dorrit is not on the spot to behold it." Those were father's words. Father's own words was, "Much to be rejoiced in, Mary, that Miss Dorrit is not on the spot to behold it." I says to father then, I says to him, "Father, you are right!" That,' Mrs Plornish concluded, with the air of a very precise legal witness, 'is what passed betwixt father and me. And I tell you nothing but what did pass betwixt me and father.'
Mr Plornish, as being of a more laconic temperament, embraced this opportunity of interposing with the suggestion that she should now leave Mr Clennam to himself. 'For, you see,' said Mr Plornish, gravely, 'I know what it is, old gal;' repeating that valuable remark several times, as if it appeared to him to include some great moral secret. Finally, the worthy couple went away arm in arm.
Little Dorrit, Little Dorrit. Again, for hours. Always Little Dorrit!
Happily, if it ever had been so, it was over, and better over. Granted that she had loved him, and he had known it and had suffered himself to love her, what a road to have led her away upon--the road that would have brought her back to this miserable place! He ought to be much comforted by the reflection that she was quit of it forever; that she was, or would soon be, married (vague rumours of her father's projects in that direction had reached Bleeding Heart Yard, with the news of her sister's marriage); and that the Marshalsea gate had shut for ever on all those perplexed possibilities of a time that was gone.