Charles Dickens, Bleak House: Ch. 25

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The present effect of this flight of oratory—much admired for its general power by Mr. Chadband's followers—being not only to make Mr. Chadband unpleasantly warm, but to represent the innocent Mr. Snagsby in the light of a determined enemy to virtue, with a forehead of brass and a heart of adamant, that unfortunate tradesman becomes yet more disconcerted and is in a very advanced state of low spirits and false position when Mr. Chadband accidentally finishes him.

"My friends," he resumes after dabbing his fat head for some time—and it smokes to such an extent that he seems to light his pocket-handkerchief at it, which smokes, too, after every dab—"to pursue the subject we are endeavouring with our lowly gifts to improve, let us in a spirit of love inquire what is that Terewth to which I have alluded.  For, my young friends," suddenly addressing the 'prentices and Guster, to their consternation, "if I am told by the doctor that calomel or castor-oil is good for me, I may naturally ask what is calomel, and what is castor-oil.  I may wish to be informed of that before I dose myself with either or with both.  Now, my young friends, what is this Terewth then?  Firstly (in a spirit of love), what is the common sort of Terewth—the working clothes—the every-day wear, my young friends?  Is it deception?"

"Ah—h!" from Mrs. Snagsby.

"Is it suppression?"

A shiver in the negative from Mrs. Snagsby.

"Is it reservation?"

A shake of the head from Mrs. Snagsby—very long and very tight.

"No, my friends, it is neither of these.  Neither of these names belongs to it.  When this young heathen now among us—who is now, my friends, asleep, the seal of indifference and perdition being set upon his eyelids; but do not wake him, for it is right that I should have to wrestle, and to combat and to struggle, and to conquer, for his sake—when this young hardened heathen told us a story of a cock, and of a bull, and of a lady, and of a sovereign, was THAT the Terewth?  No.  Or if it was partly, was it wholly and entirely?  No, my friends, no!"

If Mr. Snagsby could withstand his little woman's look as it enters at his eyes, the windows of his soul, and searches the whole tenement, he were other than the man he is.  He cowers and droops.

"Or, my juvenile friends," says Chadband, descending to the level of their comprehension with a very obtrusive demonstration in his greasily meek smile of coming a long way downstairs for the purpose, "if the master of this house was to go forth into the city and there see an eel, and was to come back, and was to call unto him the mistress of this house, and was to say, 'Sarah, rejoice with me, for I have seen an elephant!' would THAT be Terewth?"

Mrs. Snagsby in tears.

"Or put it, my juvenile friends, that he saw an elephant, and returning said 'Lo, the city is barren, I have seen but an eel,' would THAT be Terewth?"

Mrs. Snagsby sobbing loudly.

"Or put it, my juvenile friends," said Chadband, stimulated by the sound, "that the unnatural parents of this slumbering heathen—for parents he had, my juvenile friends, beyond a doubt—after casting him forth to the wolves and the vultures, and the wild dogs and the young gazelles, and the serpents, went back to their dwellings and had their pipes, and their pots, and their flutings and their dancings, and their malt liquors, and their butcher's meat and poultry, would THAT be Terewth?"