Little Dorrit Vol.1 f.013 recto




Status: Complete

father’s birds. Fie, then! Look at the birds [????], my [???? ????], my pretty,look at the birds.”

He looked [????] sharply at the birds [????]himself, as he held the child up at the grate , : [?????]especially at the little [?????]bird, [?????] whose activity he seemed to mistrust.[???] “I have [??????]brought your bread[?????????], Signor John Baptist,” said he (they all spoke in French, but the little man was an Italian); “and if I might recommend you not to game—”

You don’t recommend the master! [???]” said [???????] John Ca[??????????] John Baptist, [???????????] showing his teeth as he smiled.

[????????]“Oh! but the master wins,” returned the jailer, with a passing look [?????????????]of no particular liking at the other man, “and you lose. It's[?????] It’s quite another thing. You [????????????] get husky bread [???????????????] of and sour drink by it; and he gets [????????]sausage of Lyons, [???]veal [?????????????????] in savoury jelly, white bread, strachino cheese, and good wine by it. Look at the birds, my pretty!” Poor birds!

“Poor birds!” said the child.

The fair little face, touched with [???]divine compassion , as it [???] it [????] shrinkingly [??????????] [???]peeped shrinkingly through the grate,and [???] chuckle [????] was [???????]like an angel’s in the prison. John Baptist [???] rose and moved towards it ,as if it had a good [????] [?????] attraction for [????]him. The other man bird remained as before, [???] [??????] except for [???] an impatient [??????]glance at the basket.

“Stay!” said the jailer, putting his little daughter on the outer ledge of the grate, “she shall feed the birds. This big loaf is for Signor John Baptist. We must break it to get it through into the cage. So, there’s a tame bird to kiss the little hand! This sausage in a vine leaf is for Monsieur Rigaud. Again—this veal in savoury jelly is for Monsieur Rigaud. Again—these three white little loaves are for Monsieur Rigaud. Again, this cheese—again, this wine—again, this tobacco—all for Monsieur Rigaud. Lucky bird!”

The child put all these things between the bars into the soft, Smooth, well-shaped hand, with evident dread—more than once drawing back her own and looking at the man with her fair brow roughened into an expression half of fright and half of anger. Whereas she had put the lump of coarse bread into the swart, scaled, knotted hands of John Baptist (who had scarcely as much nail on his eight fingers and two thumbs as would have made out one for Monsieur Rigaud), with ready confidence; and, when he kissed her hand, had herself passed it caressingly over his face. Monsieur Rigaud, indifferent to this distinction, propitiated the father by laughing and nodding at the daughter as often as she gave him anything; and, so soon as he had all his viands about him in convenient nooks of the ledge on which he rested, began to eat with an appetite.

When Monsieur Rigaud laughed, a change took place in his face, that was more remarkable than prepossessing. His moustache went up under his nose, and his nose came down over his moustache, in a very sinister and cruel manner.

“There!” said the jailer, turning his basket upside down to beat the crumbs out, “I have expended all the money I received; here is the note of it, and that’s a thing accomplished. Monsieur Rigaud, as I expected yesterday, the President will look for the pleasure of your society at an hour after mid-day, to-day.”

“To try me, eh?” said Rigaud, pausing, knife in hand and morsel in mouth.

“You have said it. To try you.”

“There is no news for me?” asked John Baptist, who had begun, contentedly, to munch

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