Home / News
Chapter 61 (continued)
'My good sir,' said he, 'pray let me get an answer. This is the sixth time I have been here. I was here five times yesterday. My house is threatened with destruction. It is to be burned down to-night, and was to have been last night, but they had other business on their hands. Pray let me get an answer.'
'My good sir,' returned Mr Haredale, shaking his head, 'my house is burned to the ground. But heaven forbid that yours should be. Get your answer. Be brief, in mercy to me.'
'Now, you hear this, my lord?'--said the old gentleman, calling up the stairs, to where the skirt of a dressing-gown fluttered on the landing-place. 'Here is a gentleman here, whose house was actually burnt down last night.'
'Dear me, dear me,' replied a testy voice, 'I am very sorry for it, but what am I to do? I can't build it up again. The chief magistrate of the city can't go and be a rebuilding of people's houses, my good sir. Stuff and nonsense!'
'But the chief magistrate of the city can prevent people's houses from having any need to be rebuilt, if the chief magistrate's a man, and not a dummy--can't he, my lord?' cried the old gentleman in a choleric manner.
'You are disrespectable, sir,' said the Lord Mayor--'leastways, disrespectful I mean.'
'Disrespectful, my lord!' returned the old gentleman. 'I was respectful five times yesterday. I can't be respectful for ever. Men can't stand on being respectful when their houses are going to be burnt over their heads, with them in 'em. What am I to do, my lord? AM I to have any protection!'
'I told you yesterday, sir,' said the Lord Mayor, 'that you might have an alderman in your house, if you could get one to come.'
'What the devil's the good of an alderman?' returned the choleric old gentleman.
This is page 535 of 724. [Mark this Page]
Mark any page to add this title to Your Bookshelf. (0 / 10 books on shelf)
Buy a copy of Barnaby Rudge at Amazon.com
Customize text appearance:
(c) 2003-2012 LiteraturePage.com and Michael Moncur.
For information about public domain texts appearing here, read the copyright information and disclaimer.