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...could not well refuse. He had laid out a few of his shillings upon her wardrobe, so that she was neatly dressed, and, indeed, she looked very pretty and so good that I could hardly be surprised at Ernest's infatuation when the other circumstances of the case were taken into consideration. Of course we hated one another instinctively from the first moment we set eyes on one another, but we each told Ernest that we had been most favourably impressed.
Then I was taken to see the shop.An empty house is like a stray dog or a body from which life has departed.Decay sets in at once in every part of it, and what mould and wind and weather would spare, street boys commonly destroy. Ernest's shop in its untenanted state was a dirty unsavoury place enough. The house was not old, but it had been run up by a jerry-builder and its constitution had no stamina whatever. It was only by being kept warm and quiet that it would remain in health for many months together. Now it had been empty for some weeks and the cats had got in by night, while the... Butler, Samuel
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