'It would have occurred to most men,' said Mrs Chick, 'that poor dear Fanny being no more, - those words of mine will always be a balm and comfort to me,' here she dried her eyes; 'it becomes necessary to provide a Nurse.'
'Oh! Ah!' said Mr Chick. 'Toor-ru! - such is life, I mean. I hope you are suited, my dear.'
'Indeed I am not,' said Mrs Chick; 'nor likely to be, so far as I can see, and in the meantime the poor child seems likely to be starved to death. Paul is so very particular - naturally so, of course, having set his whole heart on this one boy - and there are so many objections to everybody that offers, that I don't see, myself, the least chance of an arrangement. Meanwhile, of course, the child is - '
'Going to the Devil,' said Mr Chick, thoughtfully, 'to be sure.'
Admonished, however, that he had committed himself, by the indignation expressed in Mrs Chick's countenance at the idea of a Dombey going there; and thinking to atone for his misconduct by a bright suggestion, he added:
'Couldn't something temporary be done with a teapot?'
If he had meant to bring the subject prematurely to a close, he could not have done it more effectually. After looking at him for some moments in silent resignation, Mrs Chick said she trusted he hadn't said it in aggravation, because that would do very little honour to his heart. She trusted he hadn't said it seriously, because that would do very little honour to his head. As in any case, he couldn't, however sanguine his disposition, hope to offer a remark that would be a greater outrage on human nature in general, we would beg to leave the discussion at that point.
Mrs Chick then walked majestically to the window and peeped through the blind, attracted by the sound of wheels. Mr Chick, finding that his destiny was, for the time, against him, said no more, and walked off. But it was not always thus with Mr Chick. He was often in the ascendant himself, and at those times punished Louisa roundly. In their matrimonial bickerings they were, upon the whole, a well-matched, fairly-balanced, give-and-take couple. It would have been, generally speaking, very difficult to have betted on the winner. Often when Mr Chick seemed beaten, he would suddenly make a start, turn the tables, clatter them about the ears of Mrs Chick, and carry all before him. Being liable himself to similar unlooked for checks from Mrs Chick, their little contests usually possessed a character of uncertainty that was very animating.
Miss Tox had arrived on the wheels just now alluded to, and came running into the room in a breathless condition. 'My dear Louisa,'said Miss Tox, 'is the vacancy still unsupplied?'
'You good soul, yes,' said Mrs Chick.
'Then, my dear Louisa,' returned Miss Tox, 'I hope and believe - but in one moment, my dear, I'll introduce the party.'
Running downstairs again as fast as she had run up, Miss Tox got the party out of the hackney-coach, and soon returned with it under convoy.