'Many happy returns of the day, my dear,' replied the collector, returning the compliment.
Here was a collector of water- rates, without his book, without his pen and ink, without his double knock, without his intimidation, kissing--actually kissing--an agreeable female, and leaving taxes, summonses, notices that he had called, or announcements that he would never call again, for two quarters' due, wholly out of the question.
'Anywheres, my dear,' said the collector, 'I am not particular.'
What a meek collector! If he had been an author, who knew his place, he couldn't have been more humble.
'Mr Lillyvick,' said Kenwigs, addressing the collector, 'some friends here, sir, are very anxious for the honour of--thank you--Mr and Mrs Cutler, Mr Lillyvick.'
'"Love him," I think, my dear,' said the collector, firmly.
The young lady did as she was requested, and the three other little girls were successively hoisted up to the collector's countenance, and subjected to the same process, which was afterwards repeated on them by the majority of those present.
'That I am sure I shall' replied the collector, glancing at the punch-mixer.
This airy hall, therefore, over the Collector
's apartments, remains unfinished to this day, and, in spite of the aged cobwebs that festoon its dusky beams, appears still to await the labour of the carpenter and mason.