Dombey and Son
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perfectly blissful in a matrimonial life, as I am myself, you'll have
nothing to desire.'
'I don't forget my old friends, you see,' said Mr Feeder. 'I ask em
to my wedding, Toots.'
'Feeder,' replied Mr Toots gravely, 'the fact is, that there were
several circumstances which prevented me from communicating with you
until after my marriage had been solemnised. In the first place, I had
made a perfect Brute of myself to you, on the subject of Miss Dombey;
and I felt that if you were asked to any wedding of mine, you would
naturally expect that it was with Miss Dombey, which involved
explanations, that upon my word and honour, at that crisis, would have
knocked me completely over. In the second place, our wedding was
strictly private; there being nobody present but one friend of myself
and Mrs Toots's, who is a Captain in - I don't exactly know in what,'
said Mr Toots, 'but it's of no consequence. I hope, Feeder, that in
writing a statement of what had occurred before Mrs Toots and myself
went abroad upon our foreign tour, I fully discharged the offices of
'Toots, my boy,' said Mr Feeder, shaking his hands, 'I was joking.'
'And now, Feeder,' said Mr Toots, 'I should be glad to know what
you think of my union.'
'Capital!' returned Mr Feeder.
'You think it's capital, do you, Feeder?'said Mr Toots solemnly.
'Then how capital must it be to Me! For you can never know what an
extraordinary woman that is.'
Mr Feeder was willing to take it for granted. But Mr Toots shook
his head, and wouldn't hear of that being possible.
'You see,' said Mr Toots, 'what I wanted in a wife was - in short,
was sense. Money, Feeder, I had. Sense I - I had not, particularly.'
Mr Feeder murmured, 'Oh, yes, you had, Toots!' But Mr Toots said:
'No, Feeder, I had not. Why should I disguise it? I had not. I knew
that sense was There,' said Mr Toots, stretching out his hand towards
his wife, 'in perfect heaps. I had no relation to object or be
offended, on the score of station; for I had no relation. I have never
had anybody belonging to me but my guardian, and him, Feeder, I have
always considered as a Pirate and a Corsair. Therefore, you know it
was not likely,' said Mr Toots, 'that I should take his opinion.'
'No,' said Mr Feeder.
'Accordingly,' resumed Mr Toots, 'I acted on my own. Bright was the
day on which I did so! Feeder! Nobody but myself can tell what the
capacity of that woman's mind is. If ever the Rights of Women, and all
that kind of thing, are properly attended to, it will be through her
powerful intellect - Susan, my dear!' said Mr Toots, looking abruptly
out of the windows 'pray do not exert yourself!'
'My dear,' said Mrs Toots, 'I was only talking.'
'But, my love,' said Mr Toots, 'pray do not exert yourself. You
really must be careful. Do not, my dear Susan, exert yourself. She's
so easily excited,' said Mr Toots, apart to Mrs Blimber, 'and then she
forgets the medical man altogether.'
Mrs Blimber was impressing on Mrs Toots the necessity of caution,
when Mr Feeder, B.A., offered her his arm, and led her down to the
carriages that were waiting to go to church. Doctor Blimber escorted
Mrs Toots. Mr Toots escorted the fair bride, around whose lambent
spectacles two gauzy little bridesmaids fluttered like moths. Mr
Feeder's brother, Mr Alfred Feeder, M.A., had already gone on, in
advance, to assume his official functions.
The ceremony was performed in an admirable manner. Cornelia, with
her crisp little curls, 'went in,' as the Chicken might have said,
with great composure; and Doctor Blimber gave her away, like a man who
had quite made up his mind to it. The gauzy little bridesmaids
appeared to suffer most. Mrs Blimber was affected, but gently so; and
told the Reverend Mr Alfred Feeder, M.A., on the way home, that if she
could only have seen Cicero in his retirement at Tusculum, she would
not have had a wish, now, ungratified.
There was a breakfast afterwards, limited to the same small party;
at which the spirits of Mr Feeder, B.A., were tremendous, and so
communicated themselves to Mrs Toots that Mr Toots was several times
heard to observe, across the table, 'My dear Susan, don't exert
yourself!' The best of it was, that Mr Toots felt it incunbent on him
to make a speech; and in spite of a whole code of telegraphic
dissuasions from Mrs Toots, appeared on his legs for the first time in
'I really,' said Mr Toots, 'in this house, where whatever was done
to me in the way of - of any mental confusion sometimes - which is of
no consequence and I impute to nobody - I was always treated like one
of Doctor Blimber's family, and had a desk to myself for a
considerable period - can - not - allow - my friend Feeder to be - '
Mrs Toots suggested 'married.'
'It may not be inappropriate to the occasion, or altogether
uninteresting,' said Mr Toots with a delighted face, 'to observe that
my wife is a most extraordinary woman, and would do this much better
than myself - allow my friend Feeder to be married - especially to - '
Mrs Toots suggested 'to Miss Blimber.'
'To Mrs Feeder, my love!' said Mr Toots, in a subdued tone of
private discussion: "'whom God hath joined," you know, "let no man" -
don't you know? I cannot allow my friend Feeder to be married -
especially to Mrs Feeder - without proposing their - their - Toasts;
and may,' said Mr Toots, fixing his eyes on his wife, as if for
inspiration in a high flight, 'may the torch of Hymen be the beacon of
joy, and may the flowers we have this day strewed in their path, be
the - the banishers of- of gloom!'
Doctor Blimber, who had a taste for metaphor, was pleased with
this, and said, 'Very good, Toots! Very well said, indeed, Toots!' and
nodded his head and patted his hands. Mr Feeder made in reply, a comic
speech chequered with sentiment. Mr Alfred Feeder, M.A, was afterwards
very happy on Doctor and Mrs Blimber; Mr Feeder, B.A., scarcely less
so, on the gauzy little bridesmaids. Doctor Blimber then, in a
sonorous voice, delivered a few thoughts in the pastoral style,
relative to the rushes among which it was the intention of himself and
Mrs Blimber to dwell, and the bee that would hum around their cot.
Shortly after which, as the Doctor's eyes were twinkling in a
remarkable manner, and his son-in-law had already observed that time
was made for slaves, and had inquired whether Mrs Toots sang, the
discreet Mrs Blimber dissolved the sitting, and sent Cornelia away,
very cool and comfortable, in a post-chaise, with the man of her heart
Mr and Mrs Toots withdrew to the Bedford (Mrs Toots had been there
before in old times, under her maiden name of Nipper), and there found
a letter, which it took Mr Toots such an enormous time to read, that
Mrs Toots was frightened.
'My dear Susan,' said Mr Toots, 'fright is worse than exertion.
Pray be calm!'
'Who is it from?' asked Mrs Toots.
'Why, my love,' said Mr Toots, 'it's from Captain Gills. Do not
excite yourself. Walters and Miss Dombey are expected home!'
'My dear,' said Mrs Toots, raising herself quickly from the sofa,
very pale, 'don't try to deceive me, for it's no use, they're come
home - I see it plainly in your face!'
'She's a most extraordinary woman!' exclaimed Mr Toots, in
rapturous admiration. 'You're perfectly right, my love, they have come
home. Miss Dombey has seen her father, and they are reconciled!'
'Reconciled!' cried Mrs Toots, clapping her hands.
'My dear,' said Mr Toots; 'pray do not exert yourself. Do remember
the medical man! Captain Gills says - at least he don't say, but I
imagine, from what I can make out, he means - that Miss Dombey has
brought her unfortunate father away from his old house, to one where
she and Walters are living; that he is lying very ill there - supposed
to be dying; and that she attends upon him night and day.'
Mrs Toots began to cry quite bitterly.
'My dearest Susan,' replied Mr Toots, 'do, do, if you possibly can,
remember the medical man! If you can't, it's of no consequence - but
do endeavour to!'
His wife, with her old manner suddenly restored, so pathetically
entreated him to take her to her precious pet, her little mistress,
her own darling, and the like, that Mr Toots, whose sympathy and
admiration were of the strongest kind, consented from his very heart
of hearts; and they agreed to depart immediately, and present
themselves in answer to the Captain's letter.
Now some hidden sympathies of things, or some coincidences, had
that day brought the Captain himself (toward whom Mr and Mrs Toots
were soon journeying) into the flowery train of wedlock; not as a
principal, but as an accessory. It happened accidentally, and thus:
The Captain, having seen Florence and her baby for a moment, to his
unbounded content, and having had a long talk with Walter, turned out
for a walk; feeling it necessary to have some solitary meditation on
the changes of human affairs, and to shake his glazed hat profoundly
over the fall of Mr Dombey, for whom the generosity and simplicity of
his nature were awakened in a lively manner. The Captain would have
been very low, indeed, on the unhappy gentleman's account, but for the
recollection of the baby; which afforded him such intense satisfaction
whenever it arose, that he laughed aloud as he went along the street,
and, indeed, more than once, in a sudden impulse of joy, threw up his
glazed hat and caught it again; much to the amazement of the
spectators. The rapid alternations of light and shade to which these
two conflicting subjects of reflection exposed the Captain, were so
very trying to his spirits, that he felt a long walk necessary to his
composure; and as there is a great deal in the influence of harmonious
associations, he chose, for the scene of this walk, his old
neighbourhood, down among the mast, oar, and block makers,
ship-biscuit bakers, coal-whippers, pitch-kettles, sailors, canals,
docks, swing-bridges, and other soothing objects.
These peaceful scenes, and particularly the region of Limehouse
Hole and thereabouts, were so influential in calming the Captain, that
he walked on with restored tranquillity, and was, in fact, regaling