This quotation is a description of Mrs. Lupin, the landlady of the Blue Dragon public house.
Character Profile: Mrs. Lupin.
In the Charles Dickens novel Martin Chuzzlewit, Mrs. Lupin runs the Blue Dragon, a public house in a village just outside the Wiltshire town of Salisbury. Widowed early, she retains youthful good looks and a self-assurance capable of running the business by herself. Lupin employs the good-humoured Mark Tapley, and later marries him, after which the inn is renamed the Jolly Tapley.
As they retired from the bed, he drew forth the writing which had occupied him so long, and holding it in the flame of the taper burnt it to ashes. That done, he extinguished the light, and turning his face away with a heavy sigh, drew the coverlet about his head, and lay quite still.
This destruction of the paper, both as being strangely inconsistent with the labour he had devoted to it, and as involving considerable danger of fire to the Dragon, occasioned Mrs Lupin not a little consternation. But the young lady evincing no surprise, curiosity, or alarm, whispered her, with many thanks for her solicitude and company, that she would remain there some time longer; and that she begged her not to share her watch, as she was well used to being alone, and would pass the time in reading.
Mrs Lupin had her full share and dividend of that large capital of curiosity which is inherited by her sex, and at another time it might have been difficult so to impress this hint upon her as to induce her to take it. But now, in sheer wonder and amazement at these mysteries, she withdrew at once, and repairing straightway to her own little parlour below stairs, sat down in her easy-chair with unnatural composure. At this very crisis, a step was heard in the entry, and Mr Pecksniff, looking sweetly over the half-door of the bar, and into the vista of snug privacy beyond, murmured:
‘Good evening, Mrs Lupin!’
‘Oh dear me, sir!’ she cried, advancing to receive him, ‘I am so very glad you have come.’
‘And I am very glad I have come,’ said Mr Pecksniff, ‘if I can be of service. I am very glad I have come. What is the matter, Mrs Lupin?’
‘A gentleman taken ill upon the road, has been so very bad upstairs, sir,’ said the tearful hostess.
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