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a lobster-salad, and two dozen oysters, and a lump of cake, and a wing and a leg of a chicken—if it was a spring chicken, with watercreases round it—and a Bath-bun, and a sandwich ; and in fact I don't know what I couldn't eat, except just that crust in the cupboard. And I do believe I could drink a whole bottle of champagne.
Mat. I don't know what one of those things tastes like-scarce one ; and I don't believe
do either. Sus. Don't I ?-I never did taste champagne, but I've seen them eating lobstersalad many a time ;-girls not half so goodlookin'
as you or me, Mattie, and fine gentlemen a waitin' upon 'em. Oh dear! I so hungry!
Think of having your supper with a real gentleman as talks to you as if you was fit to talk to-not like them Jew-tailors, as tosses your work about as if it dirtied their fingers—and them none so clean for all their fine rings !
Mat. I saw Nathan's Joseph in a pastrycook's last Saturday, and a very pretty girl with him, poor thing !
Sus. Oh the hussy to let that beast pay for her!
Mat. I suppose she was hungry.
Sus. I'd die before I let a snob like that treat me. No, Mattie! I spoke of a real gentleman.
Mat. Are you sure you wouldn't take Nathan's Joseph for a gentleman if he was civil to
? Sus. Thank you, miss! I know a sham from a real gentleman the moment I set eyes
Mat. What do you mean by a real gentle
man, Susan ?
Sus. A gentleman as makes a lady of his girl.
Mat. But what sort of lady, Sue? The poor girl may fancy herself a lady, but only till she's left in the dirt. That sort of gentleman makes fine speeches to your face, and calls
back. Sue, dear, don't have a word to say to one of them-if he speaks ever so soft.
Sus. Lawks, Mattie! they ain't all one sort.
Mat. You won't have more than one sort to choose from. They may be rough or civil, good-natured or bad, but they're all the same in this, that not one of them cares a pin more for you than if you was a horse-no-nor half a quarter so much. Don't for God's sake have a word to say to one of them. If I die, Susan
Sus. If you do, Matilda—if you go and do that thing, I'll take to gin—that's what I'll do. Don't
I didn't act fair, and tell you beforehand.
Mat. How can I help dying, Susan ?
say, Don't do it, Mattie. We'll fall out, if you do. Don't do it, Matilda-La! there's that lumping Bill again-always a
comin' him !
the stair when you don't want
Mat. Well, Bill, how have you
been getting on? Bill. Pretty tollol, Mattie. But I can't
go on so. (Holds out his stool.) It ain't respectable.
Mat. What ain't respectable ? Everything's respectable that's honest.
Bill. Why, who ever saw a respectable shiner goin' about with a three-legged stool for a blackin' box ? It ain't the thing. The rig’lars chaffs me fit to throw it at their ’eads, they does--only there's too many on ’ern, an' I've got to dror it mild. A box I must havė, or a feller's ockypation's gone. Look
ye here! One bob, one tanner, and a joey! There! that's what comes of never condescending to an 'a'penny.
Sus. Bless us! what mighty fine words we've got a waitin' on us !
Bill. If I ’ave a weakness, Miss Susan, it's for the right word in the right place—as the coster said to the devil-dodger as blowed him up for purfane swearin'.—When a gen'leman hoffers me an 'a'penny, I axes him in the purlitest manner I can assume, to oblige me by givin' of it to the first beggar he may ’ave the good fort'n to meet. Some on 'em throws down the 'a'penny. Most on ’em makes it a penny. But I say, Mattie, you don't want nobody arter you-do you now?
Mat. I don't know what you mean by that, Bill.
Bill. You don't want a father-do you now ? Do she, Susan ?
Sus. We want no father a hectorin' here, Bill. You 'ain't seen one about, have you?
Bill. I seen a rig’lar swell arter Mattie, anyhow.
Mat. What do you mean, Bill ?
Bill. A rig’lar swell—I repeats it--a astin' arter a young woman by the name o' Mattie.