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2. In which Timely Provision is made for an Emergency that
will sometimes arise in the best-regulated Families
'I shall never cease to congratulate myself,' said Mrs Chick,' on having said, when I little
thought what was in store for us, - really as if I was inspired by something, - that I
forgave poor dear Fanny everything. Whatever happens, that must always be a comfort
to me!'
Mrs Chick made this impressive observation in the drawing-room, after having
descended thither from the inspection of the mantua-makers upstairs, who were busy
on the family mourning. She delivered it for the behoof of Mr Chick, who was a stout
bald gentleman, with a very large face, and his hands continually in his pockets, and
who had a tendency in his nature to whistle and hum tunes, which, sensible of the
indecorum of such sounds in a house of grief, he was at some pains to repress at
'Don't you over-exert yourself, Loo,' said Mr Chick, 'or you'll be laid up with spasms, I
see. Right tol loor rul! Bless my soul, I forgot! We're here one day and gone the next!'
Mrs Chick contented herself with a glance of reproof, and then proceeded with the
thread of her discourse.
'I am sure,' she said, 'I hope this heart-rending occurrence will be a warning to all of us,
to accustom ourselves to rouse ourselves, and to make efforts in time where they're
required of us. There's a moral in everything, if we would only avail ourselves of it. It will
be our own faults if we lose sight of this one.'
Mr Chick invaded the grave silence which ensued on this remark with the singularly
inappropriate air of 'A cobbler there was;' and checking himself, in some confusion,
observed, that it was undoubtedly our own faults if we didn't improve such melancholy
occasions as the present.
'Which might be better improved, I should think, Mr C.,' retorted his helpmate, after a
short pause, 'than by the introduction, either of the college hornpipe, or the equally
unmeaning and unfeeling remark of rump-te-iddity, bow-wow-wow!' - which Mr Chick
had indeed indulged in, under his breath, and which Mrs Chick repeated in a tone of
withering scorn.
'Merely habit, my dear,' pleaded Mr Chick.
'Nonsense! Habit!' returned his wife. 'If you're a rational being, don't make such
ridiculous excuses. Habit! If I was to get a habit (as you call it) of walking on the ceiling,
like the flies, I should hear enough of it, I daresay.