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But if there were not many matters immediately without the
doors of Cheeryble Brothers, to engage the attention or distract
the thoughts of the young clerk, there were not a few within, to
interest and amuse him. There was scarcely an object in the place,
animate or inanimate, which did not partake in some degree of the
scrupulous method and punctuality of Mr Timothy Linkinwater.
Punctual as the counting-house dial, which he maintained to be
the best time-keeper in London next after the clock of some old,
hidden, unknown church hard by, (for Tim held the fabled
goodness of that at the Horse Guards to be a pleasant fiction,
invented by jealous West-enders,) the old clerk performed the
minutest actions of the day, and arranged the minutest articles in
the little room, in a precise and regular order, which could not
have been exceeded if it had actually been a real glass case, fitted
with the choicest curiosities. Paper, pens, ink, ruler, sealing-wax,
wafers, pounce-box, string-box, fire-box, Timís hat, Timís
scrupulously-folded gloves, Timís other coat--looking precisely
like a back view of himself as it hung against the wall--all had
their accustomed inches of space. Except the clock, there was not
such an accurate and unimpeachable instrument in existence as
the little thermometer which hung behind the door. There was not
a bird of such methodical and business-like habits in all the world,
as the blind blackbird, who dreamed and dozed away his days in a
large snug cage, and had lost his voice, from old age, years before
Tim first bought him. There was not such an eventful story in the
whole range of anecdote, as Tim could tell concerning the
acquisition of that very bird; how, compassionating his starved
and suffering condition, he had purchased him, with the view of
humanely terminating his wretched life; how he determined to

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