Mrs. Boffin discovers an Orphan
Wood engraving by W. T. Green
14.6 cm high x 9.3 cm wide
Dickens's Our Mutual Friend, Chapter Fifteen, "Two New Servants"[This part of the novel originally appeared in periodical form in September 1864.]
For the September 1864 instalment, Marcus Stone's second illustration realizes the moment at which the new "Secretary," John Rokesmith, and his employer, the velvet-clad Mrs. Boffin, having left the carriage in the village square, approach Betty Higden's humble cottage and encounter her toddler grandson, Johnny, playing in the doorway in chapter 16, "Minders and Reminders." Like many modern parents and grandparents, Betty has found it necessary to erect a makeshift child-gate in the doorway to prevent the child's escaping. Shortly the visitors will discover that Betty is a "child-minder," and that she has charge of a pair of neighbour children whom she has dubbed "Toddles and Poddles." The passage realized is this: [Continued below]
Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.
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