A Storyby George Gissing
The Great Bell at Westminster was striking nine.
Sunlight streamed into the garret window, bathing a robust, comely girl, who stood half-dressed before a looking-glass and combed out her tawny hair. In bed lay another girl, seemingly asleep, and on the pillow beside her perched a baby boy of eighteen months, munching at a biscuit.
‘Now then, Liz!’ cried the girl who was dressing, as she took a hairpin from between her lips. ‘Goin’ to loy there all d’y? Wike up, do!’ She began to sing in a strident voice, ‘ “J’yful, j’yful will that meetin’ be,—when from sin our ’arts are pure and free.” Jacky, give mummy one on the ’ead. Liz, git up! ’Ow d’yer suppose we’re goin’ to git to London Bridge by eleven?’ Again she sang: ‘ “You can ’ear ’em soigh, an’ wish to doy, an’ see them wink the other eye,—at the man that browk the benk at Monty Car—lo!” Say, Liz, did you ’ear Mr Tunks come ’ome last night? Same old capers; fallin’ down all the time he was goin’ up—Wike up, I tell yer!’