"Well, get it, then; and don't be an ass."
"Yes, Sir." If the old man were not humoured he would have a fit, perhaps!
And the old man sat quietly staring at the hyacinths. He felt happy, his whole being lined and warmed and drowsed--and there was more to come! What had the holy folk to give you compared with the comfort of a good dinner? Could they make you dream, and see life rosy for a little? No, they could only give you promissory notes which never would be cashed. A man had nothing but his pluck--they only tried to undermine it, and make him squeal for help. He could see his precious doctor throwing up his hands: "Port after a bottle of champagne--you'll die of it!" And a very good death too--none better. A sound broke the silence of the closed-up room. Music? His daughter playing the piano overhead. Singing too! What a trickle of a voice! Jenny Lind! The Swedish nightingale--he had never missed the nights when she was singing--Jenny Lind!
"It's very hot, sir. Shall I take it out of the case?"
"Touch of butter, and the cayenne!"
He ate it slowly, savouring each mouthful; had never tasted a better. With cheese--port! He drank one glass, and said:
And settled there before the fire with decanter and glass and hand- bell on the little low table by his side, he murmured:
"Bring coffee, and my cigar, in twenty minutes."