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The Pickwick Papers 162

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Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

Tupman, said that gentleman. My names Law, said Mr. Grummer. What? said Mr. Tupman. Law, replied Mr. Grummer--Law, civil power, and exekative; thems my titles; heres my authority. Blank Tupman, blank Pickwick--against the peace of our sufferin lord the king-- stattit in the case made and purwided--and all regular. I apprehend you Pickwick! Tupman--the aforesaid. What do you mean by this insolence? said Mr. Tupman, starting up; leave the room! Hollo, said Mr. Grummer, retreating very expeditiously to the door, and opening it an inch or two, Dubbley. Well, said a deep voice from the passage. Come forard, Dubbley. At the word of command, a dirty-faced man, something over six feet high, and stout in proportion, squeezed himself through the half-open door (making his face very red in the process), and entered the room. Is the other specials outside, Dubbley? inquired Mr. Grummer. Mr. Dubbley, who was a man of few words, nodded assent. Order in the diwision under your charge, Dubbley, said Mr. Grummer. Mr. Dubbley did as he was desired; and half a dozen men, each with a short truncheon and a brass crown, flocked into the room. Mr. Grummer pocketed his staff, and looked at Mr. Dubbley; Mr. Dubbley pocketed his staff and looked at the division; the division pocketed their staves and looked at Messrs. Tupman and Pickwick. Mr. Pickwick and his followers rose as one man. What is the meaning of this atrocious intrusion upon my privacy? said Mr. Pickwick. Who dares apprehend me? said Mr. Tupman. What do you want here, scoundrels? said Mr. Snodgrass. Mr. Winkle said nothing, but he fixed his eyes on Grummer, and bestowed a look upon him, which, if he had had any feeling, must have pierced his brain. As it was, however, it had no visible effect on him whatever. When the executive perceived that Mr. Pickwick and his friends were disposed to resist the authority of the law, they very significantly turned up their coat sleeves, as if knocking them down in the first instance, and taking them up afterwards, were a mere professional act which had only to be thought of to be done, as a matter of course. This demonstration was not lost upon Mr. Pickwick. He conferred a few moments with Mr. Tupman apart, and then signified his readiness to proceed to the mayors residence, merely begging the parties then and there assembled, to take notice, that it was his firm intention to resent this monstrous invasion of his privileges as an Englishman, the instant he was at liberty; whereat the parties then and there assembled laughed very heartily, with the single exception of Mr. Grummer, who seemed to consider that any slight cast upon the divine right of magistrates was a species of blasphemy not to be tolerated. But when Mr. Pickwick had signified his readiness to bow to the laws of his country, and just when the waiters, and hostlers, and chambermaids, and post-boys, who had anticipated a delightful commotion from his threatened obstinacy, began to turn away, disappointed and disgusted, a difficulty arose which had not been foreseen. With every sentiment of veneration for the constituted authorities, Mr. Pickwick resolutely protested against making his appearance in the public streets, surrounded and guarded by the officers of justice, like a common criminal. Mr. Grummer, in the then disturbed state of public feeling (for it was half-holiday, and the boys had not yet gone home), as resolutely protested against walking on the opposite side of the way, and taking Mr. Pickwicks parole that he would go straight to the magistrates; and both Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Tupman as strenuously objected to the expense of a post-coach, which was the only respectable conveyance that could be obtained. The dispute ran high, and the dilemma lasted long; and just as the executive were on the point of overcoming Mr. Pickwicks objection to walking to the magistrates, by the trite expedient of carrying him thither, it was recollected that there stood in the inn yard, an old sedan-chair, which, having been originally built for a gouty gentleman with funded property, would hold Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Tupman, at least as conveniently as a modern post- chaise. The chair was hired, and brought into the hall; Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Tupman squeezed themselves inside, and pulled down the blinds; a couple of chairmen were speedily found; and the procession started in grand order. The specials surrounded the body of the vehicle; Mr. Grummer and Mr. Dubbley marched triumphantly in front; Mr. Snodgrass and Mr. Winkle walked arm-in-arm behind; and the unsoaped of Ipswich brought up the rear. The shopkeepers of

The Pickwick Papers page 161        The Pickwick Papers page 163