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The Pickwick Papers 161

Elisha Cuthbert Photos


Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

the law is weak and paralysed. They shall be made an example of. Draw up the warrants, Mr. Jinks. Muzzle! Yes, your Worship. Is Grummer downstairs? Yes, your Worship. Send him up. The obsequious Muzzle retired, and presently returned, introducing the elderly gentleman in the top-boots, who was chiefly remarkable for a bottle-nose, a hoarse voice, a snuff- coloured surtout, and a wandering eye. Grummer, said the magistrate. Your Wash-up. Is the town quiet now? Pretty well, your Wash-up, replied Grummer. Poplar feeling has in a measure subsided, consekens o the boys having dispersed to cricket. Nothing but vigorous measures will do in these times, Grummer, said the magistrate, in a determined manner. if the authority of the kings officers is set at naught, we must have the riot act read. If the civil power cannot protect these windows, Grummer, the military must protect the civil power, and the windows too. I believe that is a maxim of the constitution, Mr. Jinks? Certainly, sir, said Jinks. Very good, said the magistrate, signing the warrants. Grummer, you will bring these persons before me, this afternoon. You will find them at the Great White Horse. You recollect the case of the Middlesex Dumpling and the Suffolk Bantam, Grummer? Mr. Grummer intimated, by a retrospective shake of the head, that he should never forget it--as indeed it was not likely he would, so long as it continued to be cited daily. This is even more unconstitutional, said the magistrate; this is even a greater breach of the peace, and a grosser infringement of his Majestys prerogative. I believe duelling is one of his Majestys most undoubted prerogatives, Mr. Jinks? Expressly stipulated in Magna Charta, sir, said Mr. Jinks. One of the brightest jewels in the British crown, wrung from his Majesty by the barons, I believe, Mr. Jinks? said the magistrate. Just so, Sir, replied Mr. Jinks. Very well, said the magistrate, drawing himself up proudly, it shall not be violated in this portion of his dominions. Grummer, procure assistance, and execute these warrants with as little delay as possible. Muzzle! Yes, your Worship. Show the lady out. Miss Witherfield retired, deeply impressed with the magistrates learning and research; Mr. Nupkins retired to lunch; Mr. Jinks retired within himself--that being the only retirement he had, except the sofa-bedstead in the small parlour which was occupied by his landladys family in the daytime--and Mr. Grummer retired, to wipe out, by his mode of discharging his present commission, the insult which had been fastened upon himself, and the other representative of his Majesty--the beadle --in the course of the morning. While these resolute and determined preparations for the conservation of the kings peace were pending, Mr. Pickwick and his friends, wholly unconscious of the mighty events in progress, had sat quietly down to dinner; and very talkative and companionable they all were. Mr. Pickwick was in the very act of relating his adventure of the preceding night, to the great amusement of his followers, Mr. Tupman especially, when the door opened, and a somewhat forbidding countenance peeped into the room. The eyes in the forbidding countenance looked very earnestly at Mr. Pickwick, for several seconds, and were to all appearance satisfied with their investigation; for the body to which the forbidding countenance belonged, slowly brought itself into the apartment, and presented the form of an elderly individual in top-boots--not to keep the reader any longer in suspense, in short, the eyes were the wandering eyes of Mr. Grummer, and the body was the body of the same gentleman. Mr. Grummers mode of proceeding was professional, but peculiar. His first act was to bolt the door on the inside; his second, to polish his head and countenance very carefully with a cotton handkerchief; his third, to place his hat, with the cotton handkerchief in it, on the nearest chair; and his fourth, to produce from the breast-pocket of his coat a short truncheon, surmounted by a brazen crown, with which he beckoned to Mr. Pickwick with a grave and ghost-like air. Mr. Snodgrass was the first to break the astonished silence. He looked steadily at Mr. Grummer for a brief space, and then said emphatically, This is a private room, Sir. A private room. Mr. Grummer shook his head, and replied, No rooms private to his Majesty when the street doors once passed. Thats law. Some people maintains that an Englishmans house is his castle. Thats gammon. The Pickwickians gazed on each other with wondering eyes. Which is Mr. Tupman? inquired Mr. Grummer. He had an intuitive perception of Mr. Pickwick; he knew him at once. My names

The Pickwick Papers page 160        The Pickwick Papers page 162