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BEING THE EXTRA CHRISTMAS NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLD WORDS
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS.
CONTAINING THE AMOUNT OF ONE REGULAR NUMBER AND A HALF.
CHRISTMAS, 1858. Price 3d.
CONTENTS OF THE HOUSE TO LET.

Over the Way      .     .     . Page1   Three Evenings in the House  .Page23
The Manchester Marriage  ."6Trottle's Report    .         .      ."26
Going into Society .    .     ."18Let at Last   .      .       .         ."32
OVER THE WAY.

I HAD been living at Tunbridge Wells and
nowhere else, going on for ten years, when
my medical manvery clever in his profession,
and the prettiest player I ever saw
in my life of a hand at Long Whist,
which was a noble and a princely game
before Short was heard ofsaid to me, one
day, as he sat feeling my pulse on the
actual sofa which my poor dear sister Jane
worked before her spine came on, and laid her
on a board for fifteen months at a stretch
the most upright woman that ever lived
said to me, " What we want, ma'am, is a fillip."

"Good gracious, goodness gracious, Doctor
Towers" says I, quite startled at the man,
for he was so christened himself: " don't talk
as if you were alluding to people's names; but
say what you mean."

"I mean, my dear ma'am, that we want a
little change of air and scene."

"Bless the man!" said I; "does he mean
we or me!"

"I mean you, ma'am."

"Then Lard, forgive you, Doctor Towers,"
I said; "why don't you get into a habit of
expressing yourself in a straightforward
manner, like a loyal subject of our gracious
Queen Victoria, and a member of the Church
of England?"

Towers laughed, as he generally does when
he has fidgetted me into any of my impatient
waysone of my states, as I call themand
then he began,—

"Tone, ma'am, Tone, is all you require!"
He appealed to Trottle, who just then came
in with the coal-scuttle, looking, in his nice
black suit, like an amiable man putting on
coals from motives of benevolence.

Trottle (whom I always call my right
hand) has been in my service two and thirty
years. He entered rny service, far away from

England. He is the best of creatures, and
the most respectable of me; but,
opinionated.

"What you want, ma'am," says Trottle,
making up the fire in his quiet and skilful
way, "is Tone."

"Lard forgive you both! " says I, bursting
out a-laughing; "I see you are in a
conspiracy against me, so I suppose you must do
what you like with me, and take me to
London for a change."

For some weeks Towers had hinted at
London, and consequently I was prepared
for him. When we had got to this point, we
got on so expeditiously, that Trottle was
packed off to London next day but one, to
find some sort of place for me to lay my
troublesome old head in.

Trottle came back to me at the Wells after
two days' absence, with accounts of a charming
place that could be taken for six months
certain, with liberty to renew on the same
terms for another six, and which really did
afford every accommodation that I wanted.

"Could you really find no fault at all in
the rooms, Trottle?" I asked him.

"Not a single one, ma'am. They are
exactly suitable to you. There is not a fault
in them. There is but one fault outside of
them."

"And what's that?"

"They are opposite a House to Let."

"O! " I said, considering of it. "But is that
such a very great objection?"

"I think it my duty to mention it, ma'am.
It is a dull object to look at. Otherwise, I
was so greatly pleased with the lodging that
I should have closed with the terms at once,
as I had your authority to do."

Trottle thinking so highly of the place, in
my interest, I wished not to disappoint him.
Consequently I said:

"The empty House may let, perhaps."

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