Jeddler, that there is a green spot in the scheme about us! I believe, said Mr. Snitchey, looking at his partner, 'that I speak for Self and Craggs? Mr. Craggs having signified assent, Mr. Snitchey, somewhat freshened by his recent eloquence, observed that he would take a little more beef and another cup of tea.
'What! overcome by a story-book! said Doctor Jeddler. 'Print and paper! Well, well, it's all one. It's as rational to make a serious matter of print and paper as of anything else. But, dry your eyes, love, dry your eyes. I dare say the heroine has got home again long ago, and made it up all round and if she hasn't, a real home is only four walls; and a fictitious one, mere rags and ink.
'Ha ha ha! laughed the Doctor thoughtfully, with his hands in his pockets. 'The great farce in a hundred acts! 'You wouldn't, I am sure, said Mr. Snitchey, standing a small professional blue bag against one leg of the table, 'cut the great farce short for this actress, at all events, Doctor Jeddler. 'No, returned the Doctor. 'God forbid!
Clemency shook her head. 'I've heard, she said, 'that Doctor Jeddler is thought to know more of it than he tells. Miss Grace has had letters from her sister, saying that she was well and happy, and made much happier by her being married to Mr. Alfred: and has written letters back.
It was not our place to make inquiries of you on such a delicate subject. I had my suspicions, sir; but, it is not six months since I have known the truth, and been assured that you lost her. 'By whom? inquired his client. 'By Doctor Jeddler himself, sir, who at last reposed that confidence in me voluntarily. He, and only he, has known the whole truth, years and years.
Everybody's playing against you, you know, and you're playing against them. Oh! it's a very interesting thing. There are deep moves upon the board. You must only laugh, Dr. Jeddler, when you win and then not much. He, he, he! And then not much, repeated Snitchey, rolling his head and winking his eye, as if he would have added, 'you may do this instead!
Jeddler, till the women had done getting in the apples, could I? said Britain, his voice rising with his reasoning, so that it was very loud at last. 'Well, have they done now? replied the Doctor, looking at his watch, and clapping his hands. 'Come! make haste! where's Clemency? 'Here am I, Mister, said a voice from one of the ladders, which a pair of clumsy feet descended briskly.
Doctor Jeddler was, as I have said, a great philosopher, and the heart and mystery of his philosophy was, to look upon the world as a gigantic practical joke; as something too absurd to be considered seriously, by any rational man. His system of belief had been, in the beginning, part and parcel of the battle-ground on which he lived, as you shall presently understand. 'Well!
Craggs may possibly have considered it 'too easy. Perhaps to change the subject, Dr. Jeddler made a hasty move towards the breakfast, and they all sat down at table. Grace presided; but so discreetly stationed herself, as to cut off her sister and Alfred from the rest of the company.
Britain, handing him back the conveyance, 'just clap in the words, "and Thimble," will you be so good; and I'll have the two mottoes painted up in the parlour instead of my wife's portrait. 'And let me, said a voice behind them; it was the stranger's Michael Warden's; 'let me claim the benefit of those inscriptions. Mr. Heathfield and Dr. Jeddler, I might have deeply wronged you both.