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THE tidings of my high fortunes having had a
heavy fall, had got down to my native place and
its neighbourhood, before I got there. I found
the Blue Boar in possession of the intelligence,
and I found that it made a great change in the
Boar's demeanour. Whereas the Boar had
cultivated my good opinion with warm assiduity
when I was coming into property, the Boar was
exceedingly cool on the subject now that I was
going out of property.

It was evening when I arrived, much fatigued
by the journey I had so often made so easily.
The Boar could not put me into my usual
bedroom, which was engaged (probably by some
one who had expectations), and could only
assign me a very indifferent chamber among the
pigeons and post-chaises up the yard. But, I
had as sound a sleep in that lodging as in the
most superior accommodation the Boar could
have given me, and the quality of my dreams
was about the same as in the best bedroom.

Early in the morning while my breakfast was
getting ready, I strolled round by Satis House.
There were printed bills on the gate, and on bits
of carpet hanging out of the windows,
announcing a sale by auction of the Household
Furniture and Effects, next week. The House
itself was to be sold as old building materials
and pulled down. LOT 1 was marked in
whitewashed knock-kneed letters on the brewhouse;
LOT 2 on that part of the main building which
had been so long shut up. Other lots were
marked off on other parts of the structure, and
the ivy had been torn down to make room for
the inscriptions, and much of it trailed low in
the dust and was withered already. Stepping
in for a moment at the open gate and looking
around me with the uncomfortable air of a
stranger who had no business there, I saw the
auctioneer's clerk walking on the casks and
telling them off for the information of a
catalogue-compiler, pen in hand, who made a
temporary desk of the wheeled chair I had so often
pushed along to the tune of Old Clem.

When I got back to my breakfast in the
Boar's coffee-room, I found Mr. Pumblechook
conversing with the landlord. Mr. Pumblechook
(not improved in appearance by his late
nocturnal adventure) was waiting for me, and
addressed me in the following terms.

"Young man, I am sorry to see you brought
low. But what else could be expected! What
else could be expected!"

As he extended his hand with a magnificently
forgiving air, and as I was broken by illness
and unfit to quarrel, I took it.

"William," said Mr. Pumblechook to the
waiter, "put a muffin on table. And has it
come to this! Has it come to this!"

I frowningly sat down to my breakfast. Mr.
Pumblechook stood over me, and poured out my
teabefore I could touch the teapotwith the
air of a benefactor who was resolved to be true
to the last.

"William," said Mr. Pumblechook, mournfully,
"put the salt on. In happier times,"
addressing me, "I think you took sugar? And
did you take milk? You did. Sugar and milk.
William, bring a watercress."

"Thank you," said I, shortly, "but I don't
eat watercresses."

"You don't eat 'em," returned Mr. Pumblechook,
sighing and nodding his head several
times, as if he might have expected that, and as
if abstinence from watercresses were consistent
with my downfal. "True. The simple fruits
of the earth. No. You needn't bring any,

I went on with my breakfast, and Mr. Pumblechook
continued to stand over me, staring fishily
and breathing noisily, as he always did.

"Little more than skin and bone!" mused
Mr. Pumblechook, aloud. "And yet when he
went away from here (I may say with my blessing),
and I spread afore him my humble store,
like the Bee, he was as plump as a Peach!"

This reminded me of the wonderful difference
between the servile manner in which he had
offered his hand in my new prosperity, saying,
"May I?" and the ostentatious clemency with
which he had just now exhibited the same fat
five fingers.

"Hah!" he went on, handing me the bread-
and-butter. "And air you a going to Joseph?"

"In Heaven's name," said I, firing in spite
of myself, "what does it matter to you where I
am going? Leave that teapot alone."

It was the worst course I could have taken,
because it gave Pumblechook the opportunity
he wanted.

"Yes, young man," said he, releasing the

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