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The Pickwick Papers 124

Elisha Cuthbert Photos


Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

Bread-- knuckle o ham, reglar picter--cold beef in slices, wery good. Whats in them stone jars, young touch-and-go? Beer in this one, replied the boy, taking from his shoulder a couple of large stone bottles, fastened together by a leathern strap--cold punch in tother. And a wery good notion of a lunch it is, take it altogether, said Mr. Weller, surveying his arrangement of the repast with great satisfaction. Now, genlmn, "fall on," as the English said to the French when they fixed bagginets. It needed no second invitation to induce the party to yield full justice to the meal; and as little pressing did it require to induce Mr. Weller, the long gamekeeper, and the two boys, to station themselves on the grass, at a little distance, and do good execution upon a decent proportion of the viands. An old oak afforded a pleasant shelter to the group, and a rich prospect of arable and meadow land, intersected with luxuriant hedges, and richly ornamented with wood, lay spread out before them. This is delightful--thoroughly delightful! said Mr. Pickwick; the skin of whose expressive countenance was rapidly peeling off, with exposure to the sun. So it is--so it is, old fellow, replied Wardle. Come; a glass of punch! With great pleasure, said Mr. Pickwick; the satisfaction of whose countenance, after drinking it, bore testimony to the sincerity of the reply. Good, said Mr. Pickwick, smacking his lips. Very good. Ill take another. Cool; very cool. Come, gentlemen, continued Mr. Pickwick, still retaining his hold upon the jar, a toast. Our friends at Dingley Dell. The toast was drunk with loud acclamations. Ill tell you what I shall do, to get up my shooting again, said Mr. Winkle, who was eating bread and ham with a pocket-knife. Ill put a stuffed partridge on the top of a post, and practise at it, beginning at a short distance, and lengthening it by degrees. I understand its capital practice. I know a genlman, Sir, said Mr. Weller, as did that, and begun at two yards; but he never tried it on agin; for he blowed the bird right clean away at the first fire, and nobody ever seed a feather on him arterwards. Sam, said Mr. Pickwick. Sir, replied Mr. Weller. Have the goodness to reserve your anecdotes till they are called for. Certnly, sir. Here Mr. Weller winked the eye which was not concealed by the beer-can he was raising to his lips, with such exquisite facetiousness, that the two boys went into spontaneous convulsions, and even the long man condescended to smile. Well, that certainly is most capital cold punch, said Mr. Pickwick, looking earnestly at the stone bottle; and the day is extremely warm, and-- Tupman, my dear friend, a glass of punch? With the greatest delight, replied Mr. Tupman; and having drank that glass, Mr. Pickwick took another, just to see whether there was any orange peel in the punch, because orange peel always disagreed with him; and finding that there was not, Mr. Pickwick took another glass to the health of their absent friend, and then felt himself imperatively called upon to propose another in honour of the punch-compounder, unknown. This constant succession of glasses produced considerable effect upon Mr. Pickwick; his countenance beamed with the most sunny smiles, laughter played around his lips, and good-humoured merriment twinkled in his eye. Yielding by degrees to the influence of the exciting liquid, rendered more so by the heat, Mr. Pickwick expressed a strong desire to recollect a song which he had heard in his infancy, and the attempt proving abortive, sought to stimulate his memory with more glasses of punch, which appeared to have quite a contrary effect; for, from forgetting the words of the song, he began to forget how to articulate any words at all; and finally, after rising to his legs to address the company in an eloquent speech, he fell into the barrow, and fast asleep, simultaneously. The basket having been repacked, and it being found perfectly impossible to awaken Mr. Pickwick from his torpor, some discussion took place whether it would be better for Mr. Weller to wheel his master back again, or to leave him where he was, until they should all be ready to return. The latter course was at length decided on; and as the further expedition was not to exceed an hours duration, and as Mr. Weller begged very hard to be one of the party, it was determined to leave Mr. Pickwick asleep in the barrow, and to call for him on their return. So away

The Pickwick Papers page 123        The Pickwick Papers page 125