9780451522504 / 0451522508

Our Mutual Friend (Signet classics)


Publisher:Signet Classics


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About the book:

Excerpt: say nothing, has an air successively of meditation, of resignation, and of desolation, backs on Brewer, makes the tour of Boots, and fades into the extreme background, feeling for his whisker, as if it might have turned up since he was there five minutes ago. But Lammle has him out again before he has so much as completely ascertained the bareness of the land. He would seem to be in a bad way, Fledgeby; for Lammle represents him as dying again. He is dying now, of want of presentation to Twemlow. Twemlow offers his hand. Glad to see him. 'Your mother, sir, was a connexion of mine.' 'I believe so,' says Fledgeby, 'but my mother and her family were two.' 'Are you staying in town?' asks Twemlow. 'I always am,' says Fledgeby. 'You like town,' says Twemlow. But is felled flat by Fledgeby's taking it quite ill, and replying, No, he don't like town. Lammle tries to break the force of the fall, by remarking that some people do not like town. Fledgeby retorting that he never heard of any such case but his own, Twemlow goes down again heavily. 'There is nothing new this morning, I suppose?' says Twemlow, returning to the mark with great spirit. Fledgeby has not heard of anything. 'No, there's not a word of news,' says Lammle. 'Not a particle,' adds Boots. 'Not an atom,' chimes in Brewer. Somehow the execution of this little concerted piece appears to raise the general spirits as with a sense of duty done, and sets the company a going. Everybody seems more equal than before, to the calamity of being in the society of everybody else. Even Eugene standing in a window, moodily swinging the tassel of a blind, gives it a smarter jerk now, as if he found himself in better case. Breakfast announced. Everything on table showy and gaudy, but with a self-assertingly temporary and nomadic air on the decorations, as boasting that they will be much more showy and gaudy in the palatial residence. Mr Lammle's own particular servant behind his chair; the Analytical behind...

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