Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
“I told you I would,” said Mr. Cruncher, “and I did.” “Jerry, Jerry,
Jerry!” his wife implored.
“You oppose yourself to the profit of the business,” said Jerry, “and
me and my partners suffer. You was to honour and obey; why the
devil don’t you?” “I try to be a good wife, Jerry,” the poor woman
protested, with tears.
“Is it being a good wife to oppose your husband’s business? Is it
honouring your husband to dishonour his business? Is it obeying
your husband to disobey him on the vital subject of his business?”
“You hadn’t taken to the dreadful business then, Jerry.”
“It’s enough for you,” retorted Mr. Cruncher, “to be the wife of a
honest tradesman, and not to occupy your female mind with
calculations when he took to his trade or when he didn’t. A
honouring and obeying wife would let his trade alone altogether.
Call yourself a religious woman? If you’re a religious woman, give
me a irreligious one! You have no more nat’ral sense of duty than
the bed of this here Thames river has of a pile, and similarly it
must be knocked into you.” The altercation was conducted in a low
tone of voice, and terminated in the honest tradesman’s kicking off
his clay-soiled boots, and lying down at his length on the floor.
After taking a timid peep at him lying on his back, with his rusty
hands under his head for a pillow, his son lay down too, and fell
There was no fish for breakfast, and not much of anything else. Mr.
Cruncher was out of spirits, and out of temper, and kept an iron
pot-lid by him as a projectile for the correction of Mrs. Cruncher. in
case he should observe any symptoms of her saying Grace. He was
brushed and washed at the usual hour, and set off with his son to
pursue his ostensible calling.
Young Jerry, walking with the stool under his arm at his father’s
side along sunny and crowded Fleet-street, was a very different
Young Jerry from him of the previous night, running home
through darkness and solitude from his grim pursuer. His cunning
was fresh with the day, and his qualms were gone with the night-
in which particulars it is not improbable that he had compeers in
Fleetstreet and the City of London, that fine morning.
“Father,” said Young Jerry, as they walked along: taking care to
keep at arm’s length and to have the stool well between them:
“what’s a Resurrection-Man?” Mr. Cruncher came to a stop on the
pavement before he answered, “How should I know?” “I thought
you knowed everything, father,” said the artless boy.
“Hem! Well,” returned Mr. Cruncher, going on again, and lifting of
his hat to give his spikes free play, “he’s a tradesman.” “What’s his
goods, father?” asked the brisk Young Jerry.