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“It his this 'ere ring Mr. Jacobs, which poor Miss Florence -leastways Mrs. 'Enry, wishes, or very far from that, she don't wish it, poor thing, cause the ring belonged to her great, great, great granmar, which was given to a haunt of hers by Queen Elizabeth to give to the Hurl of Hessex to bribe him to be beheaded, hand 'aving been in the family so long, she would rather do anythink than part with it, but she wants fifty guineas, hand has nothink helse worth so much."

Jacobs, who had been examining the ring through a magnifying glass, and who, from Mrs. Bousefield's tirade, had gathered quite enough to convince him that in the midst of this rigmarole was wedged one of those myriads of inedited miseries, with which the streets, thoroughfares, courts, alleys, and by-lanes of every great city are literally paved, quietly gave her back the ring, saying—

"This ring is worth considerably more than fifty guineas, therefore it would be a pity she should part with it for that, or indeed any other sum, since as you say, it's an heir-loom, and at all events it is of very rare and curious workmanship, and great intrinsic value."

"But my lady will be so terrible disappointed, you see, Mr. Jacobs, hif I return without the money; hindeed, I may tell you in conference, which hof course is honly between our two selves, that his, you and me, Mr. Jacobs-the laundress hand grocer his both howed a 'eavy bill, which she promised to settle to-morrow; and tradespeople-has you well know, being in business, hand I know, aving ben a tradeswoman myself-gets hobstroplus, hand often hinsolent, hif at least a part hof their

bills his not heridicated."

"I did not mean that the lady should go without the money; but I thought she might have something which she would be less reluctant to part with."

"She says not, hand hindeed I'm afeared hit's only too true; for we've been at this work now for a whole year. Oh! I've no patience with that 'usban of hers-'usban, indeed, BLACK

GUARD! I call him; hand I'm so tired of seeing hall her beautiful trinkets go to them 'orrid common pawnbrokers, who gives nothink for anythink, for I do bleeve hif one was to bring them the cure-in-your (!) that 'ere great big diamond has was under a glass case like Van Butchel's wife, hat the Great Hexhibition, them fellers would hactually 'ave the face to tell you, that it was of no vally hon haccount hof hit's size, so I ad oped, as I should 'ave bin hable to ave done business with you Mr. Jacobs, and heridicated away (!) this here tiresome laundress and grocer to-morrow."

"Well, I hope you will," said Jacobs, taking up his hat and putting it on; "and if you will allow me to accompany you back to Mrs. Henry's house, I have no doubt but I shall be able to find something for which I can give her the sum she wants, without depriving her of that ring. Ben," added he, calling out to his son in the inner work-room, as he unlocked a high office desk in the front shop, and taking a large black leather pocket-book from it, put the latter into the side-pocket of his coat. "Ben, I'm going out, and I shall be back in a couple of hours; but if anything should detain me longer, tell your mother not to wait supper for me.”

"I'm sure, sir, you hare hextremely kind, hand I railly feel more than I can hexpress," said Mrs. Bousefield, with one of her most captivating curtseys-but not without a secret suspicion, that it was her beaux yeux, that were leading the bewitched broker all the way to Brompton at that late hour; but all she said even to herself, was-" Well, I'm sure ladies his very fortunate, when they 'ave prudent, elever, conferdential people about them, who knows 'ow to manage their affairs for 'em, which they never do themselves, poor things-and 'ow should they?"

On quitting the shop, Mr. Jacobs did not offer his arm to the widow; but this she attributed to prudential motives; for as she remarked to herself (from whom it will be perceived she had no concealments,)—“ Hof course Jews' wives 'ave their

feelings like hother women, even hif they was Jewesses; and therefore, for her part, she was very glad that Mr. Jacobs behaved so prudent, for she should be the last to wish to cause hany honpleasantness betwixt man hand wife." At the end of the street they stopped a Knightsbridge omnibus, into which Jacobs (doubtless, in a continuation of the prudential vein she had ascribed to him), allowed Mrs. Bousefield to get, without any assistance from him; neither did she on her side, appear to entertain the same injurious suspicions of him that she had of the elderly gentleman with the divining rod of an umbrella,and yet Jacobs being a dealer and connoisseur both in antiquities and curiosities, any dispassionate judge might, and in all probability would have supposed, that she ran far greater risks of capture from him than from the other; however, as if to give him some idea of what was expected from elderly gentlemen, travelling with widows and "unprotected females," in omnibuses, she roused him from his decorous stupefaction, by narrating to him, with a series of illustrations that would not have discredited Cruikshank, all the perils and dangers she had incurred during her journey to Wardour Street; concluding with this remarkable aphorism of the late Mr. Bousefield.


"But Mr. Jacobs, I do hassure you, sir, since I've been a lone 'ooman, without a 'usban's purtection, I hoften hand hoften. think of poor dear Mr. Bousefield's words, ' Susanner,' says he, 'whenever you gets into a bus, always put a basket hor a a parcel hof each side on you, so as to let hall the squeeges come hon to them; hand thof you may be a little the worse from their bruises, hat hall events' he says-Susanner,' says he, 'hothers wont be none the better, hif so be has they was to turn theirselves into perfect lemon squeegers."

"Very true indeed, ma'am," rejoined Jacobs, almost with a laugh; and then relapsing into silence as before, Mrs. Bousefield had ample leisure (the other occupants of the omnibus being only three damp school boys and a Skye terrier, all eyes and mud), to deliberate whether in the event of anything hap

pening to Mrs. Jacobs, she could sell herself to a Jew, and put up with the dulness of Wardour Street, " and all them hold lumbering dust-traps of curosities," after the gaiety, bustle, and brilliancy of the "Fox and Fiddle," and the tumultuous rushings, crushing, drivings, and strivings of Holborn; and at length having come to the conclusion, that she was not so young "hand so hactive, nor so full of sperits" as she had been in the days of Bousefield, and as there was no likelihood of her "aving hany more dear hinfants, who of course she should like brought hup as Christians," she thought, though a Jew, he was an uncommon nice man; and would know what was due to a "female" under hall circumsTANces," and therefore, that she couldn't do better, though she might do worse; "but lawr! them Jewesses was as tough as Turks, hand lived hon to the most hunaccountablest hages, like the people in the Bible; and this thought being a poser,-the omnibus all unconsciously keeping the unities, came to a dead stop at the corner of the Fulham Road; whereupon, Mrs. Bousefield, putting her head out of the window, requested the coachman to back a little, and set her down "hat the Bell and 'Orns." Upon alighting, she told Jacobs that in taking the turn leading to Old Brompton, they should have to walk about a mile to get to Magnolia Lodge, where Mrs. Henry lived; and he then perceiving the innumerable packages with which she was laden, stretched out his hand, and offered to disencumber her of the yellow and red silk handkerchief containing the widow's cap, but she would not relinquish that highly starched golgotha, in which she still put up public sighs for "poor dear Mr. Bousefield;" therefore she resigned into his custody the basket of grapes instead; remarking with a sigh, as she drew the red and yellow kerchief and its contents closer to her "for has the Bible says, Mr. Jacobs, 'you can't get grapes from thorns,'-and these is my thorns! so you may take the grapes," a distribution of wealth, which her companion-Jew that he was-appeared infinitely to prefer, after which arrangement they walked on at a brisk

pace, Mrs. Bousefield, as usual, doing all the talking, which, somehow or other, like the getting up of her caps and collars, never was "done to her liking," unless she did do it herself. A twenty minutes' walk having brought them to a green lane, nearly opposite Drayton Place, they turned down it, and stopped at an enclosed house, which was approached by two large wooden carriage gates. Having rang the bell, which returned a hollow and lugubrious sound, Mrs. Bousefield naturally concluding that Jacobs must be blind, from the little, or more properly speaking from the non-effect, her attractions had had upon him-kindly infofmed him that it was almost dark; a remark to which he having given a confirmative reply, she again rang, expressing a suspicion that the inmates were all either dead or asleep.

At length a smaller gate, within one of the panels of the larger ones, was opened by a sort of gardener's boy, with a watering-pot slung over his right arm, and his flat, torn straw hat very much slouched over his eyes, whom the widow apostrophised as follows,

"Why, laws, Joe! whathever hare you hall hat, to keep us so long a ringing here by howl-light hat the gate?"

“I wur along with father in the fur field, giving the calf his supper, and didn't hear the bell till just now," responded Joe.

"Giving the calf its supper! I suspect it was a two-legged calf you were cramming, as usual; for I'm sure I'd rather have the seven plagues of Hegypt to do with hany day, than one boy! hand less plague too; for, has poor dear Mr. Bousefield used to say, when he had two pages hunder him hat the Dowager Countess of Coddlecat's and hall her ladyship's potecary's bills to pay,-'Boys hand blisters his a source hof con-tinual herritation!' But where hon hearth his Margaret, that she

could not hopen the gate; or Marlow?"

"They are both out; there haint nobody in but father and I," replied Joe.

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