The Cricket on the Hearth
"I wish you wouldn't call me Dot, John. I don't like it," said Mrs. Peerybingle: pouting in a way that clearly showed she did like it very much.
"Why, what else are you?" returned John, looking down upon her with a smile, and giving her waist as light a squeeze as his huge hand and arm could give. "A dot and"--here he glanced at the baby--"a dot and carry--I won't say it, for fear I should spoil it; but I was very near a joke. I don't know as ever I was nearer."
He was often near to something or other very clever, by his own account: this lumbering, slow, honest John; this John so heavy, but so light of spirit; so rough upon the surface, but so gentle at the core; so dull without, so quick within; so stolid, but so good! Oh, Mother Nature, give thy children the true poetry of heart that hid itself in this poor Carrier's breast--he was but a Carrier, by the way--and we can bear to have them talking prose, and leading lives of p