Samuel Butler: The Way of All Flesh

53. CHAPTER LIII (continued)

This lady occupied the whole ground floor. In the front kitchen there was a tinker. The back kitchen was let to a bellows-mender. On the first floor came Ernest, with his two rooms which he furnished comfortably, for one must draw the line somewhere. The two upper floors were parcelled out among four different sets of lodgers: there was a tailor named Holt, a drunken fellow who used to beat his wife at night till her screams woke the house; above him there was another tailor with a wife but no children; these people were Wesleyans, given to drink but not noisy. The two back rooms were held by single ladies, who it seemed to Ernest must be respectably connected, for well-dressed gentlemanly-looking young men used to go up and down stairs past Ernest's rooms to call at any rate on Miss Snow--Ernest had heard her door slam after they had passed. He thought, too, that some of them went up to Miss Maitland's. Mrs Jupp, the landlady, told Ernest that these were brothers and cousins of Miss Snow's, and that she was herself looking out for a situation as a governess, but at present had an engagement as an actress at the Drury Lane Theatre. Ernest asked whether Miss Maitland in the top back was also looking out for a situation, and was told she was wanting an engagement as a milliner. He believed whatever Mrs Jupp told him.

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