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MY name is Meek. I am, in fact, Mr.
Meek. That son is mine and Mrs Meek's.
When I saw the announcement in the Times,
I dropped the paper. I had put it in, myself,
and paid for it, but it looked so noble that it
overpowered me.

As soon as I could compose my feelings, I
took the paper up to Mrs. Meek's bedside.
"Maria Jane," said I (I allude to Mrs. Meek),
"you are now a public character." We read
the review of our child, several times, with
feelings of the strongest emotion; and I sent
the boy who cleans the boots and shoes, to the
office, for fifteen copies. No reduction was
made on taking that quantity.

It is scarcely necessary for me to say, that
our child had been expected. In fact, it had
been expected, with comparative confidence,
for some months. Mrs. Meek's mother, who
resides with usof the name of Bigbyhad
made every preparation for its admission to
our circle.

I hope and believe I am a quiet man. I
will go farther. I know I am a quiet man.
My constitution is tremulous, my voice was
never loud, and, in point of stature, I have
been from infancy, small. I have the greatest
respect for Maria Jane's Mama. She is a
most remarkable woman. I honour Maria
Jane's Mama. In my opinion she would
storm a town, single-handed, with a hearth-
broom, and carry it. I have never known
her to yield any point whatever, to mortal
man. She is calculated to terrify the stoutest

Stillbut I will not anticipate.

The first intimation I had, of any preparations
being in progress, on the part of Maria
Jane's Mama, was one afternoon, several
months ago. I came home earlier than
usual from the office, and, proceeding into the
dining-room, found an obstruction behind the
door, which prevented it from opening freely.
It was an obstruction of a soft nature. On
looking in, I found it to be a female.

The female in question stood in the corner
behind the door, consuming Sherry Wine.
From the nutty smell of that beverage
pervading the apartment, I have no doubt she
was consuming a second glassful. She wore
a black bonnet of large dimensions, and was
copious in figure. The expression of her
countenance was severe and discontented.
The words to which she gave utterance on
seeing me, were these, "Oh git along with
you, Sir, if you please; me and Mrs. Bigby
don't want no male parties here!"

That female was Mrs. Prodgit.

I immediately withdrew, of course. I was
rather hurt, but I made no remark. Whether
it was that I showed a lowness of spirits after
dinner, in consequence of feeling that I seemed
to intrude, I cannot say. But, Maria Jane's
Mama said to me on her retiring for the night:
in a low distinct voice, and with a look of
reproach that completely subdued me: "George
Meek, Mrs. Prodgit is your wife's nurse!"

I bear no ill-will towards Mrs. Prodgit.
Is it likely that I, writing this with tears in
my eyes, should be capable of deliberate
animosity towards a female, so essential to the
welfare of Maria Jane? I am willing to
admit that Fate may have been to blame, and
not Mrs. Prodgit; but, it is undeniably true,
that the latter female brought desolation and
devastation into my lowly dwelling.

We were happy after her first appearance;
we were sometimes exceedingly so. But,
whenever the parlor door was opened, and
"Mrs. Prodgit!" announced (and she was
very often announced), misery ensued. I could
not bear Mrs. Prodgit's look. I felt that I was
far from wanted, and had no business to exist
in Mrs. Prodgit's presence. Between Maria
Jane's Mama, and Mrs. Prodgit, there was
a dreadful, secret, understandinga dark
mystery and conspiracy, pointing me out as a being
to be shunned. I appeared to have done
something that was evil. Whenever Mrs. Prodgit
called, after dinner, I retired to my dressing-
roomwhere the temperature is very low,
indeed, in the wintry time of the yearand
sat looking at my frosty breath as it rose before
me, and at my rack of boots: a serviceable
article of furniture, but never, in my opinion,
an exhilarating object. The length of the
councils that were held with Mrs. Prodgit,
under these circumstances, I will not attempt
to describe. I will merely remark, that Mrs.
Prodgit always consumed Sherry Wine while
the deliberations were in progress; that they
always ended in Maria Jane's being in
wretched spirits on the sofa; and that Maria
Jane's Mama always received me, when I

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