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always looking out, as may be supposed, for another invitation to
Mr. Spenlow's house. I was always being disappointed, for I got

Mrs. Crupp must have been a woman of penetration; for when this
attachment was but a few weeks old, and I had not had the courage
to write more explicitly even to Agnes, than that I had been to Mr.
Spenlow's house, 'whose family,' I added, 'consists of one
daughter'; - I say Mrs. Crupp must have been a woman of
penetration, for, even in that early stage, she found it out. She
came up to me one evening, when I was very low, to ask (she being
then afflicted with the disorder I have mentioned) if I could
oblige her with a little tincture of cardamums mixed with rhubarb,
and flavoured with seven drops of the essence of cloves, which was
the best remedy for her complaint; - or, if I had not such a thing
by me, with a little brandy, which was the next best. It was not,
she remarked, so palatable to her, but it was the next best. As I
had never even heard of the first remedy, and always had the second
in the closet, I gave Mrs. Crupp a glass of the second, which (that
I might have no suspicion of its being devoted to any improper use)
she began to take in my presence.

'Cheer up, sir,' said Mrs. Crupp. 'I can't abear to see you so,
sir: I'm a mother myself.'

I did not quite perceive the application of this fact to myself,
but I smiled on Mrs. Crupp, as benignly as was in my power.

'Come, sir,' said Mrs. Crupp. 'Excuse me. I know what it is, sir.
There's a lady in the case.'

'Mrs. Crupp?' I returned, reddening.

'Oh, bless you! Keep a good heart, sir!' said Mrs. Crupp, nodding
encouragement. 'Never say die, sir! If She don't smile upon you,
there's a many as will. You are a young gentleman to be smiled on,
Mr. Copperfull, and you must learn your walue, sir.'

Mrs. Crupp always called me Mr. Copperfull: firstly, no doubt,
because it was not my name; and secondly, I am inclined to think,
in some indistinct association with a washing-day.

'What makes you suppose there is any young lady in the case, Mrs.
Crupp?' said I.
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