Hard Times Book 2 Chapter 1 Page 14

ma’am,’ returned Bitzer, with a demonstration of great respect for Mrs. Sparsit’s oracular authority. ‘You couldn’t put it clearer, I am sure, ma’am.’

As this was his usual hour for having a little confidential chat with Mrs. Sparsit, and as he had already caught her eye and seen that she was going to ask him something, he made a pretence of arranging the rulers, inkstands, and so forth, while that lady went on with her tea, glancing through the open window, down into the street.

‘Has it been a busy day, Bitzer?’ asked Mrs. Sparsit.

‘Not a very busy day, my lady. About an average day.’ He now and then slided into my lady, instead of ma’am, as an