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Charles Dickens

The Battle of Life

    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    with the blue bag between them for safety; the Doctor took his usual position, opposite to Grace. Clemency hovered galvanically about the table, as waitress; and the melancholy Britain, at another and a smaller board, acted as Grand Carver of a round of beef and a ham. 'Meat?' said Britain, approaching Mr. Snitchey, with the carving knife and fork in his hands, and throwing the question at him like a missile. 'Certainly,' returned the lawyer. 'Do YOU want any?' to Craggs. 'Lean and well done,' replied that gentleman.
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    Perhaps to change the subject, Dr. Jeddler made a hasty move towards the breakfast, and they all sat down at table. Grace presided; but so discreetly stationed herself, as to cut off her sister and Alfred from the rest of the company. Snitchey and Craggs sat at oppo
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    'That's true! Clemency was the first,' said Alfred. 'So I defy you with Clemency.' 'Ha, ha, ha, - for Self and Craggs,' said Snitchey. 'What a defiance!' 'Not so bad a one as it appears, may be,' said Alfred, shaking hands heartily with the Doctor, and also with Snitchey and Craggs, and then looking round. 'Where are the - Good Heavens!' With a start, productive for the moment of a closer partnership between Jonathan Snitchey and Thomas Craggs than the subsisting articles of agreement in that wise contemplated, he hastily betook himself to where the sisters stood together, and - however, I
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    Why, what a battery!' exclaimed Alfred, stopping short, 'and one - two - three - all foreboders of no good, in the great sea before me. I am glad you are not the first I have met this morning: I should have taken it for a bad omen. But, Grace was the first - sweet, pleasant Grace - so I defy you all!' 'If you please, Mister, I was the first you know,' said Clemency
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    As the active figure of a handsome young man, dressed for a journey, and followed by a porter bearing several packages and baskets, entered the orchard at a brisk pace, and with an air of gaiety and hope that accorded well with the morning, these three drew together, like the brothers of the sister Fates, or like the Graces most effectually disguised, or like the three weird prophets on the heath, and greeted him. 'Happy returns, Alf!' said the Doctor, lightly. 'A hundred happy returns of this auspicious day, Mr. Heathfield!' said Snitchey, bowing low. 'Returns!' Craggs murmured in a de
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    It's made a great deal too easy,' said Mr. Craggs. 'Law is?' asked the Doctor. 'Yes,' said Mr. Craggs, 'everything is. Everything appears to me to be made too easy, now-a-days. It's the vice of these times. If the world is a joke (I am not prepared to say it isn't), it ought to be made a very difficult joke to crack. It ought to be as hard a struggle, sir, as possible. That's the intention. But, it's being made far too easy. We are oiling the gates of life. They ought to be rusty. We shall have them beginning to turn, soon, with a smooth sound. Whereas they ought to grate upon their hinges, sir.' Mr. Craggs seemed positively to grate upon his own hinges, as he delivered this opinion; to which he communicated immense effect - being a cold, hard, dry, man, dressed in grey and white, like a flint; with small twinkles in his eyes, as if something struck sparks out of them. The three natural kingdoms, ind
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    Did you ever go to law?' asked Mr. Snitchey, looking out of the blue bag. 'Never,' returned the Doctor. 'If you ever do,' said Mr. Snitchey, 'perhaps you'll alter that opinion.' Craggs, who seemed to be represented by Snitchey, and to be conscious of little or no separate existence or personal individuality, offered a remark of his ow
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    'You wouldn't, I am sure,' said Mr. Snitchey, standing a small professional blue bag against one leg of the table, 'cut the great farce short for this actress, at all events, Doctor Jeddler.' 'No,' returned the Doctor. 'God forbid! May she live to laugh at it, as long as she CAN laugh, and then say, with the French wit, "The farce is ended; draw the curtain."' 'The French wit,' said Mr. Snitchey, peeping sharply into his blue bag, 'was wrong, Doctor Jeddler, and your philosophy is altogether wrong, depend upon it, as I have often told you. Nothing serious in life! What do
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    'He had so much to do this morning in his preparations for departure, that he was up and out by daybreak. Good morning, gentlemen.' 'Ladies!' said Mr. Snitchey, 'for Self and Craggs,' who bowed, 'good morning! Miss,' to Marion, 'I kiss your hand.' Which he did. 'And I wish you' - which h
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    ubbing her grazed elbows with opposite hands, and staring at it very composedly, until she suddenly remembered something else she wanted, and jogged off to fetch it. 'Here are them two lawyers a-coming, Mister!' said Clemency, in a tone of no very great good-will. 'Ah!' cried the Doctor, advancing to the gate to meet them. 'Good morning, good morning! Grace, my dear! Marion! Here are Messrs. Snitchey and Craggs. Where's Alfred!'
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    Indeed, her laudable anxiety to be tidy and compact in her own conscience as well as in the public eye, gave rise to one of her most startling evolutions, which was to grasp herself sometimes by a sort of wooden handle (part of her clothing, and familiarly called a busk), and wrestle as it were with her garments, until they fell into a symmetrical arrangement. Such, in outward form and garb, was Clemency Newcome; who was supposed to have u
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    . She always wore short sleeves, and always had, by some accident, grazed elbows, in which she took so lively an interest, that she was continually trying to turn them round and get impossible views of them. In general, a little cap placed somewhere on her head; though it was rarely to be met with in the place usually occupied in other subjects, by that article of dress; but, from he
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    To say that she was perfectly content and satisfied with these arrangements, and regarded them as being no business of hers, and that she took her arms and legs as they came, and allowed them to dispose of themselves just as it happened, is to render faint justice to her equanimity. Her dress was a prodigious pair of self-willed shoes, that neve
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    With that she began to bustle about most vigorously; presenting, as she did so, an appearance sufficiently peculiar to justify a word of introduction. She was about thirty years old, and had a sufficiently plump and cheerful face, though it was twisted up into an odd expression of tightness that made it comical. But, the extraordinary homeliness of her gait and manner, would have superseded any face in the world. To say that she had tw
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    That there's business to be done this morning, before the coach comes by? That this is a very particular occasion?' 'I couldn't do anything, Dr. Jeddler, till the women had done getting in the apples, could I?' said Britain, his voice rising with his reasoning, so that it was very loud at last.
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    es), which sometimes trips up kind and generous men, and has the fatal property of turning gold to dross and every precious thing to poor account. 'Britain!' cried the Doctor. 'Britain! Holloa!' A small man, with an uncommonly sour and discontented face, emerged from the house, and returned to this call the unceremonious acknowledgment of 'Now then!' 'Where's the breakfast table?' said the Doctor. 'In the house,' returned Britain. 'Are you going to spread it out here, as you were
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    A kind and generous man by nature, he had stumbled, by chance, over that common Philosopher's stone (much more easily discovered than t
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    nd he was sorry for her sake - sorry for them both - that life should be such a very ridiculous business as it was. The Doctor never dreamed of inquiring whether his children, or either of them, helped in any way to make the scheme a serious one. But then he was a Philosopher.
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    The Doctor's reflections, as he looked after them, and heard the purport of their discourse, were limited at first to certain merry meditations on the folly of all loves and likings, and the idle imposition practised on themselves by young people, who believed for a moment, that there could be anything serious in such bubbles, and were always undeceived - always! But, the home-adorning, self-denying qualities of Grace, and her sweet temper, so gentle and retiring, yet including so much constancy and bravery of spirit, seemed all expressed to him in the contrast
    John9je citiraoпре 8 година
    in her gentle care of her young sister, and in the steadiness of her devotion to her, older than she was; and more removed, in course of nature, from all competition with her, or participation, otherwise than through her sympathy and true affection, in her wayward fancies, than their a
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