Our Mutual Friend HTML version

2. Still Educational
The person of the house, doll's dressmaker and manufacturer of ornamental
pincushions and pen-wipers, sat in her quaint little low arm-chair, singing in the
dark, until Lizzie came back. The person of the house had attained that dignity
while yet of very tender years indeed, through being the only trustworthy person
IN the house.
'Well Lizzie-Mizzie-Wizzie,' said she, breaking off in her song. 'what's the news
out of doors?'
'What's the news in doors?' returned Lizzie, playfully smoothing the bright long
fair hair which grew very luxuriant and beautiful on the head of the doll's
'Let me see, said the blind man. Why the last news is, that I don't mean to marry
your brother.'
'No-o,' shaking her head and her chin. 'Don't like the boy.'
'What do you say to his master?'
'I say that I think he's bespoke.'
Lizzie finished putting the hair carefully back over the misshapen shoulders, and
then lighted a candle. It showed the little parlour to be dingy, but orderly and
clean. She stood it on the mantelshelf, remote from the dressmaker's eyes, and
then put the room door open, and the house door open, and turned the little low
chair and its occupant towards the outer air. It was a sultry night, and this was a
fine-weather arrangement when the day's work was done. To complete it, she
seated herself in a chair by the side of the little chair, and protectingly drew under
her arm the spare hand that crept up to her.
'This is what your loving Jenny Wren calls the best time in the day and night,'
said the person of the house. Her real name was Fanny Cleaver; but she had
long ago chosen to bestow upon herself the appellation of Miss Jenny Wren.
'I have been thinking,' Jenny went on, 'as I sat at work to-day, what a thing it
would be, if I should be able to have your company till I am married, or at least
courted. Because when I am courted, I shall make Him do some of the things
that you do for me. He couldn't brush my hair like you do, or help me up and
down stairs like you do, and he couldn't do anything like you do; but he could