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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens


gayer than that excellent woman.

I suppose - I never ventured to inquire, but I suppose - that Mrs.
Crupp, after frying the soles, was taken ill. Because we broke
down at that point. The leg of mutton came up very red within, and
very pale without: besides having a foreign substance of a gritty
nature sprinkled over it, as if if had had a fall into the ashes of
that remarkable kitchen fireplace. But we were not in condition to
judge of this fact from the appearance of the gravy, forasmuch as
the 'young gal' had dropped it all upon the stairs - where it
remained, by the by, in a long train, until it was worn out. The
pigeon-pie was not bad, but it was a delusive pie: the crust being
like a disappointing head, phrenologically speaking: full of lumps
and bumps, with nothing particular underneath. In short, the
banquet was such a failure that I should have been quite unhappy -
about the failure, I mean, for I was always unhappy about Dora - if
I had not been relieved by the great good humour of my company, and
by a bright suggestion from Mr. Micawber.

'My dear friend Copperfield,' said Mr. Micawber, 'accidents will
occur in the best-regulated families; and in families not regulated
by that pervading influence which sanctifies while it enhances the
- a - I would say, in short, by the influence of Woman, in the
lofty character of Wife, they may be expected with confidence, and
must be borne with philosophy. If you will allow me to take the
liberty of remarking that there are few comestibles better, in
their way, than a Devil, and that I believe, with a little division
of labour, we could accomplish a good one if the young person in
attendance could produce a gridiron, I would put it to you, that
this little misfortune may be easily repaired.'

There was a gridiron in the pantry, on which my morning rasher of
bacon was cooked. We had it in, in a twinkling, and immediately
applied ourselves to carrying Mr. Micawber's idea into effect. The
division of labour to which he had referred was this: - Traddles
cut the mutton into slices; Mr. Micawber (who could do anything of
this sort to perfection) covered them with pepper, mustard, salt,
and cayenne; I put them on the gridiron, turned them with a fork,
and took them off, under Mr. Micawber's direction; and Mrs.
Micawber heated, and continually stirred, some mushroom ketchup in
a little saucepan. When we had slices enough done to begin upon,
we fell-to, with our sleeves still tucked up at the wrist, more
slices sputtering and blazing on the fire, and our attention
divided between the mutton on our plates, and the mutton then
preparing.
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens



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