From Chapter XXXVIII of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens: ‘How Mr. Winkle, When He Stepped Out of the Frying-Pan, Walked Gently and Comfortable into the Fire’:
“And a very snug little business you have, no doubt?” said Mr. Winkle knowingly.
“Very,” replied Bob Sawyer [a medical gentleman]. “So snug, that at the end of a few years you might put all the profits in a wine-glass, and cover ’em over with a gooseberry leaf.”
“You cannot surely mean that?” said Mr. Winkle. “The stock itself—”
“Dummies, my dear boy,” said Bob Sawyer; “half the drawers have nothing in ’em, and the other half don’t open.”
“Nonsense!” said Mr. Winkle.
“Fact—honour!” returned Bob Sawyer, stepping out into the shop, and demonstrating the veracity of the assertion by divers hard pulls at the little gilt knobs on the counterfeit drawers. “Hardly anything real in the shop but the leeches, and they
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