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Chapter 39

In which another old Friend encounters Smike,
very opportunely and to some Purpose.

The night, fraught with so much bitterness to one poor soul,
had given place to a bright and cloudless summer
morning, when a north-country mail-coach traversed, with
cheerful noise, the yet silent streets of Islington, and, giving brisk
note of its approach with the lively winding of the guard’s horn,
clattered onward to its halting-place hard by the Post Office.

The only outside passenger was a burly, honest-looking
countryman on the box, who, with his eyes fixed upon the dome of
St Paul’s Cathedral, appeared so wrapt in admiring wonder, as to
be quite insensible to all the bustle of getting out the bags and
parcels, until one of the coach windows being let sharply down, he
looked round, and encountered a pretty female face which was
just then thrust out.

‘See there, lass!’ bawled the countryman, pointing towards the
object of his admiration. ‘There be Paul’s Church. ‘Ecod, he be a
soizable ’un, he be.’

‘Goodness, John! I shouldn’t have thought it could have been
half the size. What a monster!’

‘Monsther!--Ye’re aboot right theer, I reckon, Mrs Browdie,’
said the countryman good-humouredly, as he came slowly down in
his huge top-coat; ‘and wa’at dost thee tak yon place to be noo--
thot ’un owor the wa’? Ye’d never coom near it ’gin you thried for
twolve moonths. It’s na’ but a Poast Office! Ho! ho! They need to

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