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you can have fine feelings for everybody but those belonging to you. I wish people knew you, as I do — that's all. You like to be called liberal — and your poor family pays for it.
“ All the girls want bonnets, and where they're to come from I can't tell. Half five pounds would have bought 'em - but now they must go without. Of course, they belong to you: and anybody but your own flesh and blood, Mr. Caudle!
“The man called for the water-rate to-day; but I should like to know how people are to pay taxes, who throw away five pounds to every fellow that asks them?
“ Perhaps you don't know that Jack, this morning, knocked his shuttle-cock through his bedroom window. I was going to send for the glazier to mend it; but after you lent that five pounds I was sure we couldn't afford it. Oh, no! the window must go as it is; and pretty weather for a dear child to sleep with a broken window. He's got a cold already on his lungs, and I shouldn't at all wonder if that broken window settled him. If the dear boy dies, his death will be upon his father's head; for I'm sure we can't now pay to mend windows. We might though, and do a good many more things, too, if people didn't throw away their five pounds.
“ Next Tuesday the fire-insurance is due. I should like to know how it's to be paid ? Why, it can't be paid at all! That five pounds would have more than done it - and now, insurance is out of the question. And there never were so many fires as there are now. I shall never close my eyes all night, but what's that to you, so people can call you liberal, Mr. Caudle? Your wife and children may all be burnt alive in their beds --- as all of us to a certainty shall be, for the insurance must drop. And after we've
And after we've insured for so many years ! But how, I should like to know, are people to insure who make ducks and drakes of their five pounds?
“ I did think we might go to Margate this summer. There's poor little Caroline, I'm sure she wants the sea. But no, dear creature! she must stop at home — all of us must stop at home - she'll go into a consumption, there's no doubt of that; yes — sweet little angel! - I've made up my mind to lose her, now. The child might have been saved; but people can't save their children and throw away their five pounds too.
“I wonder where poor little Mopsy is ? While you were lending that five pounds, the dog ran out of the shop. You know, I never let it go into the street, for fear it should be bit by some mad dog, and come home and bite all the children. It wouldn't now at all astonish me if the animal was to come back with the hydrophobia, and give it to all the family. However, what's your family to you, so you can play the liberal creature with five pounds ?
“Do you hear that shutter, how it's banging to and fro? Yes, — I know what it wants as well as you; it wants a new fastening. I was going to send for the blacksmith to-day, but now it's out of the question: now it must bang of nights, since you've thrown away five pounds.
“Ha! there's the soot falling down the chimney. If I hate the smell of anything, it's the smell of soot. And you know it; but what are my feelings to you? Sweep the chimney! Yes, it's all very fine to say, sweep the chimney — but how are chimneys to be swept - how are they to be paid for by people who don't take care of their five pounds ?
“Do you hear the mice running about the room? I hear them. If they were to drag only you out of bed, it would be po matter. Set a trap for them! Yes, it's easy enough to say - set a trap for 'em. But how are people to afford mousetraps, when every day they lose five pounds ?
“ Hark! I'm sure there's a noise down stairs. It wouldn't at all surprise me if there were thieves in the house. Well, it may
be the cat; but thieves are pretty sure to come in some night. There's a wretched fastening to the back door; but these are not times to afford bolts and bars, when people won't take care of their five pounds.
“Mary Anne ought to have gone to the dentist's to-morrow. She wants three teeth taken out. Now, it can't be done. Three teeth that quite disfigure the child's mouth. But there they must stop, and spoil the sweetest face that was ever made. Otherwise, she'd have been a wife for a lord. Now, when she grows up, who'll have her? Nobody. We shall die, and leave her alone and unprotected in the world. But what do you care for that? Nothing ; so you can squander away five pounds."
“ And thus," comments Caudle, “according to my wife, she - dear soul!- couldn't have a satin gown - the girls couldn't have new bonnets — the water-rate must stand over - Jack must get his death through a broken window-our fire-insurance couldn't be paid, so that we should all fall victims to the devouring element — we couldn't go to Margate,
and Caroline would go to an early grave — the dog would come home and bite us all mad -- the shutter would go banging for ever - the soot would always fall — the mice never let us have a wink of sleep - thieves be always breaking in the house — our dear Mary Anne be forever left an unprotected maid, — and with other evils falling upon us, all, all because I would go on lending five pounds ! ”
MR. CAUDLE HAS LENT AN ACQUAINTANCE THE FAMILY
UMBRELLA. “That's the third umbrella gone since Christmas. What were you to do? Why let him go home in the rain, to be sure. I'm very certain there was nothing about him that could spoil. Take cold, indeed! He doesn't look like one of the sort to take cold. Besides, he'd have better taken cold than take our only umbrella. Do you hear the rain, Mr. Caudle? I say, do you hear the rain ? And as I'm alive, if it isn't St. Swithin's day! Do you hear it against the windows ? Nonsense ; you don't impose upon me. You can't be asleep with such a shower as that! Do you hear it, I say? Oh, you do hear it! Well, that's a pretty flood, I think, to last for six weeks; and no stirring all the time out of the house. Pooh! don't think me a fool, Mr. Caudle. Don't insult me. He return the umbrella! Anybody would think you were born yesterday. As if any. body ever did return an umbrella! There — do you hear it? Worse and worse? Cats and dogs, and for six weeks — always six weeks. And no umbrella !
" I should like to know how the children are to go to school to-morrow? They sha'n't go through such weather, I'm determined. No: they shall stop at home and never learn anything - the blessed creatures ! — sooner than go and get wet. And when they grow up, I wonder who they'll have to thank for knowing nothing — who, indeed, but their father? People who can't feel for their own children ought never to be fathers.
“But I know why you lent the umbrella. Oh, yes ; I know very well. I was going out to tea at dear mother's to-morrow
you knew that; and you did it on purpose. Don't tell me; you hate me to go there, and take every mean advantage to hinder me. But don't you think it, Mr. Caudle. No, sir; if it comes down in buckets-full, I'll go all the more. No: and I won't have a cab. Where do you think the money's to come from? You've got nice high notions at that club of yours. A cab, indeed! Cost me sixteen-pence at least-sixteen-pence! two-and-eightpence! for there's back again. Cabs, indeed! I should like to know who's to pay for 'em; I can't pay for 'em, and I'm sure you can't, if you go on as you do; throwing away your property, and beggaring your children — buying umbrellas!
“Do you hear the rain, Mr. Caudle? I say, do you hear it? But I don't care I'll
to mother's to-morrow: I will; and what's more, I'll walk every step of the way, — and you know that will give me my death. Don't call me a foolish woman, it's you that's the foolish man. . You know I can't wear clogs; and with no umbrella, the wet's sure to give me a cold - it always does. But what do you care for that! Nothing at all. I may be laid up for what you care, as I dare say I shall — and a pretty doctor's bill there'll be. I hope there will! It will teach you to lend your umbrellas again. I shouldn't wonder if I caught my death; yes : and that's what you lent the umbrella for. Of course!
“Nice clothes, I shall get too, trapesing through weather like this. My gown and bonnet will be spoilt quite. Needn't I wear 'em then? Indeed, Mr. Caudle, I shall wear 'em. No, sir, I'm not going out a dowdy to please you or anybody else. Gracious knows! It isn't often that I step over the threshold; indeed, I might as well be a slave at once, — better, I should say. But when I do go out, Mr. Caudle, I choose to go like a lady. Oh! that rain - if it isn't enough to break in the windows.
“Ugh! I do look forward with dread for to-morrow! How I am to go to mother's I'm sure I can't tell. But if I die, I'll do it. No, sir; I won't borrow an umbrella. No; and you sha'n't buy one. Now, Mr. Caudle, only listen to this: if you bring home another umbrella, l’ll throw it in the street. I'll have my own umbrella, or none at all.
“Ha! and it was only last week I had a new nozzle put to that umbrella. I'm sure, if I'd have known as much as I do now, it might have gone without one for me. Paying for new nozzles, for other people to laugh at you. Oh, it's all very well for you — you can go to sleep. You've no thought of your poor patient wife, and your own dear children. You think of nothing but lending umbrellas.
" Men, indeed! — call themselves lords of the creation ! pretty lords, when they can't even take care of an umbrella!
“I know that walk to-morrow will be the death of me. But that's what you want — then you may go to your club, and do as you like — and then, nicely my poor dear children will be used — but then, sir, then you'll be happy. Oh, don't tell me! I know you will. Else you'd never have lent the umbrella!
“You have to go on Thursday about that summons; and, of course, you can't go. No, indeed, you don't go without the umbrella. You may lose the debt for what I care — it won't be so much as spoiling your clothes --- better lose it: people deserve to lose debts who lend umbrellas!
“And I should like to know how I'm to go to mother's without the umbrella? Oh, don't tell me that I said I would go - that's nothing to do with it; nothing at all. She'll think I'm neglecting her, and the little money we were to have, we sha'n't have at all - because we've no umbrella.
“The children, too! Dear things! They'll be sopping wet; for they sha'n't stop at home — they sha’n't lose their learning; it's all their father will leave 'em, I'm sure. But they shall go to school. Don't tell me I said they shouldn't: you are so aggravating, Caudle; you'd spoil the temper of an angel. They shall go to school ; mark that. And if they get their deaths of cold, it's not my fault-I didn't lend the umbrella."
"At length,” writes Caudle, “I fell asleep; and dreamt that the sky was turned into green calico, with whalebone ribs; that, in fact, the whole world turned round under a tremendous umbrella!"
ON MR. CAUDLE'S SHIRT BUTTONS. “ WELL, Mr. Caudle, I hope you're in a little better temper than you were this morning? There — you needn't begin to whistle: people don't come to bed to whistle. But it's like you. I can't speak that you don't try to insult me. Once, I used to say you were the best creature living: now, you get quite a fiend. Do let you rest? No, I won't let you rest. It's the only time I have to talk to you, and you shall hear me. I'm put upon all day long : it's very hard if I can't speak a word at night: besides it isn't often I open my mouth, goodness knows !