frontispiece and title page
The New York Public Library, Berg Collection of
English and American Literature

"The little old Lady."
This original pen-and-ink drawing by "Phiz" of a scene at the end of chapter 3 in Bleak House, the first of his forty illustrations for the novel, shows the half-crazed Miss Flite coming upon Ada Clare, Esther Summerson and Richard Carstone, who have just left the Lord Chancellor. Like Richard, poor Miss Flite is a suitor in Chancery, and has been for many, many years. She greets the three young people:

The wards in Jarndyce! Ve-ry happy, I am sure, to have the honour! It is a good omen for youth, and hope, and beauty, when they find themselves in this place, and don't know what's to come of it.... I have the honour to attend Court regularly. With my documents. I expect a judgment. Shortly. On the Day of Judgment. I have discovered that the sixth seal mentioned in the Revelations is the Great Seal. It has been open a long time! Pray accept my blessing.

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