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great deal better than wine. Not half so bilious.'
I suppose I looked doubtful, for she added:
'Tut, tut, child. If nothing worse than Ale happens to us, we are
'I should think so myself, aunt, I am sure,' said I.
'Well, then, why DON'T you think so?' said my aunt.
'Because you and I are very different people,' I returned.
'Stuff and nonsense, Trot!' replied my aunt.
MY aunt went on with a quiet enjoyment, in which there was very
little affectation, if any; drinking the warm ale with a tea-spoon,
and soaking her strips of toast in it.
'Trot,' said she, 'I don't care for strange faces in general, but
I rather like that Barkis of yours, do you know!'
'It's better than a hundred pounds to hear you say so!' said I.
'It's a most extraordinary world,' observed my aunt, rubbing her
nose; 'how that woman ever got into it with that name, is
unaccountable to me. It would be much more easy to be born a
Jackson, or something of that sort, one would think.'
'Perhaps she thinks so, too; it's not her fault,' said I.
'I suppose not,' returned my aunt, rather grudging the admission;
'but it's very aggravating. However, she's Barkis now. That's
some comfort. Barkis is uncommonly fond of you, Trot.'
'There is nothing she would leave undone to prove it,' said I.
'Nothing, I believe,' returned my aunt. 'Here, the poor fool has
been begging and praying about handing over some of her money -
because she has got too much of it. A simpleton!'
My aunt's tears of pleasure were positively trickling down into the
'She's the most ridiculous creature that ever was born,' said my