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little corner things, as a raised pie and a dish of kidneys - from
the pastrycook's; a tart, and (if I liked) a shape of jelly - from
the pastrycook's. This, Mrs. Crupp said, would leave her at full
liberty to concentrate her mind on the potatoes, and to serve up
the cheese and celery as she could wish to see it done.
I acted on Mrs. Crupp's opinion, and gave the order at the
pastry-cook's myself. Walking along the Strand, afterwards, and
observing a hard mottled substance in the window of a ham and beef
shop, which resembled marble, but was labelled 'Mock Turtle', I
went in and bought a slab of it, which I have since seen reason to
believe would have sufficed for fifteen people. This preparation,
Mrs. Crupp, after some difficulty, consented to warm up; and it
shrunk so much in a liquid state, that we found it what Steerforth
called 'rather a tight fit' for four.
These preparations happily completed, I bought a little dessert in
Covent Garden Market, and gave a rather extensive order at a retail
wine-merchant's in that vicinity. When I came home in the
afternoon, and saw the bottles drawn up in a square on the pantry
floor, they looked so numerous (though there were two missing,
which made Mrs. Crupp very uncomfortable), that I was absolutely
frightened at them.
One of Steerforth's friends was named Grainger, and the other
Markham. They were both very gay and lively fellows; Grainger,
something older than Steerforth; Markham, youthful-looking, and I
should say not more than twenty. I observed that the latter always
spoke of himself indefinitely, as 'a man', and seldom or never in
the first person singular.
'A man might get on very well here, Mr. Copperfield,' said Markham
- meaning himself.
'It's not a bad situation,' said I, 'and the rooms are really
'I hope you have both brought appetites with you?' said Steerforth.
'Upon my honour,' returned Markham, 'town seems to sharpen a man's
appetite. A man is hungry all day long. A man is perpetually
Being a little embarrassed at first, and feeling much too young to
preside, I made Steerforth take the head of the table when dinner