"The Signore is not well?" he remarked, standing to gaze at me. I replied that I was not quite well; would he give me the milk, and remove from my sight as quickly as possible all the other things on the tray. A glimpse of butter in its cheese-rind had given me an unpleasant sensation. The goat's milk I swallowed thankfully, and, glad of the daylight, lay somewhat more at my ease awaiting Dr.
Here she had got up an extempore dining-table, by placing a pasting board across two chairs. Seating herself upon a stool, she jerked off the lid of the kettle, and, to her horror and dismay, found not the favourite haricot, but a piece of cheese-rind, a crust of dry bread, and a cold potatoe.
"When I go into their kitchen to court Jacintha a bit, instead of finding a good supper there, which a man has a right to, courting a cook, if I don't take one in my pocket, there is no supper, not to say supper, for either her or me. I don't call a salad and a bit of cheese-rind SUPPER. Beggars in silk and satin! Every sou they have goes on to their backs, instead of into their bellies."
I must have sat, making a fool of myself, a considerable time in this way, thinking of George's poor wife and children, and wondering what would become of them, instead of setting to work at once to know what was become of him. I took up a piece of cheese-rind, showing a perfect impression of his fine front teeth, and I put it in my pocketbook, as the last thing he had touched.
To the left were the gentlemen-mice, stroking their whiskers with their fore-paws; and in the centre of the hall could be seen the bridal pair, standing side by side, in a hollow cheese-rind, and kissing each other, while all eyes were upon them; for they had already been betrothed, and were soon to be married.
"Yes," said Charlie, in a deliberate tone, "and a very good one too, I should say; if you can't eat that dinner, you ought to starve; it's one of mother's best haricots." "You don't call this cold potatoe and cheese-rind haricot, do you?" asked Caddy, angrily. At this Charlie looked up, and saw before her the refuse scraps, which she had indignantly emptied upon the table.
But it is not every one who would care to leave her family, or her happy corner by the fire-side at home, even to be made queen. It is not always easy to find bacon and cheese-rind in foreign lands every day, and it is not pleasant to have to endure hunger, and be perhaps, after all, eaten up alive by the cat."