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The Pickwick Papers 101







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Books:

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The Pickwick Papers

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the outside of a stage-coach, were every succeeding minute placing a less and less distance between themselves and the good old town of Bury St. Edmunds.

CHAPTER XVI

TOO FULL OF ADVENTURE TO BE BRIEFLY DESCRIBED

There is no month in the whole year in which nature wears a more beautiful appearance than in the month of August. Spring has many beauties, and May is a fresh and blooming month, but the charms of this time of year are enhanced by their contrast with the winter season. August has no such advantage. It comes when we remember nothing but clear skies, green fields, and sweet-smelling flowers--when the recollection of snow, and ice, and bleak winds, has faded from our minds as completely as they have disappeared from the earth--and yet what a pleasant time it is! Orchards and cornfields ring with the hum of labour; trees bend beneath the thick clusters of rich fruit which bow their branches to the ground; and the corn, piled in graceful sheaves, or waving in every light breath that sweeps above it, as if it wooed the sickle, tinges the landscape with a golden hue. A mellow softness appears to hang over the whole earth; the influence of the season seems to extend itself to the very wagon, whose slow motion across the well-reaped field is perceptible only to the eye, but strikes with no harsh sound upon the ear. As the coach rolls swiftly past the fields and orchards which skirt the road, groups of women and children, piling the fruit in sieves, or gathering the scattered ears of corn, pause for an instant from their labour, and shading the sun-burned face with a still browner hand, gaze upon the passengers with curious eyes, while some stout urchin, too small to work, but too mischievous to be left at home, scrambles over the side of the basket in which he has been deposited for security, and kicks and screams with delight. The reaper stops in his work, and stands with folded arms, looking at the vehicle as it whirls past; and the rough cart- horses bestow a sleepy glance upon the smart coach team, which says as plainly as a horses glance can, Its all very fine to look at, but slow going, over a heavy field, is better than warm work like that, upon a dusty road, after all. You cast a look behind you, as you turn a corner of the road. The women and children have resumed their labour; the reaper once more stoops to his work; the cart-horses have moved on; and all are again in motion. The influence of a scene like this, was not lost upon the well- regulated mind of Mr. Pickwick. Intent upon the resolution he had formed, of exposing the real character of the nefarious Jingle, in any quarter in which he might be pursuing his fraudulent designs, he sat at first taciturn and contemplative, brooding over the means by which his purpose could be best attained. By degrees his attention grew more and more attracted by the objects around him; and at last he derived as much enjoyment from the ride, as if it had been undertaken for the pleasantest reason in the world. Delightful prospect, Sam, said Mr. Pickwick. Beats the chimbley-pots, Sir, replied Mr. Weller, touching his hat. I suppose you have hardly seen anything but chimney-pots and bricks and mortar all your life, Sam, said Mr. Pickwick, smiling. I wornt always a boots, sir, said Mr. Weller, with a shake of the head. I wos a vaginers boy, once. When was that? inquired Mr. Pickwick. When I wos first pitched neck and crop into the world, to play at leap-frog with its troubles, replied Sam. I wos a carriers boy at startin; then a vaginers, then a helper, then a boots. Now Im a genlmns servant. I shall be a genlmn myself one of these days, perhaps, with a pipe in my mouth, and a summer-house in the back-garden. Who knows? I shouldnt be surprised for one. You are quite a philosopher, Sam, said Mr. Pickwick. It runs in the family, I blieve, sir, replied Mr. Weller. My fathers wery much in that line now. If my mother-in-law blows him up, he whistles. She flies in a passion, and breaks his pipe; he steps out, and gets another. Then she screams wery loud, and falls into sterics; and he smokes wery comfortably

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