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particularly well brushed, and his hair not particularly well
combed; his knee-smalls unbraced; his long black gaiters
unbuttoned; and his shoes yawning like two caverns on the
hearth-rug. Turning upon me a lustreless eye, that reminded me of
a long-forgotten blind old horse who once used to crop the grass,
and tumble over the graves, in Blunderstone churchyard, he said he
was glad to see me: and then he gave me his hand; which I didn't
know what to do with, as it did nothing for itself.
But, sitting at work, not far from Doctor Strong, was a very pretty
young lady - whom he called Annie, and who was his daughter, I
supposed - who got me out of my difficulty by kneeling down to put
Doctor Strong's shoes on, and button his gaiters, which she did
with great cheerfulness and quickness. When she had finished, and
we were going out to the schoolroom, I was much surprised to hear
Mr. Wickfield, in bidding her good morning, address her as 'Mrs.
Strong'; and I was wondering could she be Doctor Strong's son's
wife, or could she be Mrs. Doctor Strong, when Doctor Strong
himself unconsciously enlightened me.
'By the by, Wickfield,' he said, stopping in a passage with his
hand on my shoulder; 'you have not found any suitable provision for
my wife's cousin yet?'
'No,' said Mr. Wickfield. 'No. Not yet.'
'I could wish it done as soon as it can be done, Wickfield,' said
Doctor Strong, 'for Jack Maldon is needy, and idle; and of those
two bad things, worse things sometimes come. What does Doctor
Watts say,' he added, looking at me, and moving his head to the
time of his quotation, '"Satan finds some mischief still, for idle
hands to do."'
'Egad, Doctor,' returned Mr. Wickfield, 'if Doctor Watts knew
mankind, he might have written, with as much truth, "Satan finds
some mischief still, for busy hands to do." The busy people achieve
their full share of mischief in the world, you may rely upon it.
What have the people been about, who have been the busiest in
getting money, and in getting power, this century or two? No
'Jack Maldon will never be very busy in getting either, I expect,'
said Doctor Strong, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.
'Perhaps not,' said Mr. Wickfield; 'and you bring me back to the