'You do, my darling--that I came into the room all but uttering young Fledgeby's name.
'You must know, you dearly beloved little goose, that once upon a time there was a certain person called young Fledgeby. And this young Fledgeby, who was of an excellent family and rich, was known to two other certain persons, dearly attached to one another and called Mr and Mrs Alfred Lammle.
So this young Fledgeby goes to that Alfred Lammle and says--'
With that advantage, Sophronia flattered her and rallied her more successfully, and then the insinuating Alfred flattered her and rallied her, and promised that at any moment when she might require that service at his hands, he would take young Fledgeby out and trample on him.
'Warm weather, Mrs Lammle,' said Fascination Fledgeby. Mrs Lammle thought it scarcely as warm as it had been yesterday.
'Perhaps not,' said Fascination Fledgeby, with great quickness of repartee; 'but I expect it will be devilish warm to-morrow.'
'Some people,' said Fascination Fledgeby, 'are accustomed to take long drives; but it generally appears to me that if they make 'em too long, they overdo it.'
Mrs Lammle flew to embrace her darling little Georgy, and when the first transports were over, presented Mr Fledgeby. Mr Lammle came on the scene last, for he was always late, and so were the frequenters always late; all hands being bound to be made late, by private information about the Bourse, and Greek and Spanish and India and Mexican and par and premium and discount and three quarters and seven eighths.
Mr Lammle's utmost powers of sparkling were in requisition to-day, for Fascination Fledgeby and Georgiana not only struck each other speechless, but struck each other into astonishing attitudes; Georgiana, as she sat facing Fledgeby, making such efforts to conceal her elbows as were totally incompatible with the use of a knife and fork; and Fledgeby, as he sat facing Georgiana, avoiding her countenance by every possible device, and betraying the discomposure of his mind in feeling for his whiskers with his spoon, his wine glass, and his bread.
'I beg your pardon, Alfred, my dear, but I cannot part with Mr Fledgeby quite yet; you must wait for him a moment.
Fledgeby must have conducted it on his side with immense art, for no appearance of uttering one syllable had escaped him.
'We were discussing then,' said Mrs Lammle, 'if you MUST know, Alfred, whether Mr Fledgeby was in his usual flow of spirits.'