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The Pickwick Papers 166







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and discharge him. Accordingly, the special was abused, vehemently, for a quarter of an hour, and sent about his business; and Grummer, Dubbley, Muzzle, and all the other specials, murmured their admiration of the magnanimity of Mr. Nupkins. Now, Mr. Jinks, said the magistrate, swear Grummer. Grummer was sworn directly; but as Grummer wandered, and Mr. Nupkinss dinner was nearly ready, Mr. Nupkins cut the matter short, by putting leading questions to Grummer, which Grummer answered as nearly in the affirmative as he could. So the examination went off, all very smooth and comfortable, and two assaults were proved against Mr. Weller, and a threat against Mr. Winkle, and a push against Mr. Snodgrass. When all this was done to the magistrates satisfaction, the magistrate and Mr. Jinks consulted in whispers. The consultation having lasted about ten minutes, Mr. Jinks retired to his end of the table; and the magistrate, with a preparatory cough, drew himself up in his chair, and was proceeding to commence his address, when Mr. Pickwick interposed. I beg your pardon, sir, for interrupting you, said Mr. Pickwick; but before you proceed to express, and act upon, any opinion you may have formed on the statements which have been made here, I must claim my right to be heard so far as I am personally concerned. Hold your tongue, Sir, said the magistrate peremptorily. I must submit to you, Sir-- said Mr. Pickwick. Hold your tongue, sir, interposed the magistrate, or I shall order an officer to remove you. You may order your officers to do whatever you please, Sir, said Mr. Pickwick; and I have no doubt, from the specimen I have had of the subordination preserved amongst them, that whatever you order, they will execute, Sir; but I shall take the liberty, Sir, of claiming my right to be heard, until I am removed by force. Pickvick and principle! exclaimed Mr. Weller, in a very audible voice. Sam, be quiet, said Mr. Pickwick. Dumb as a drum vith a hole in it, Sir, replied Sam. Mr. Nupkins looked at Mr. Pickwick with a gaze of intense astonishment, at his displaying such unwonted temerity; and was apparently about to return a very angry reply, when Mr. Jinks pulled him by the sleeve, and whispered something in his ear. To this, the magistrate returned a half-audible answer, and then the whispering was renewed. Jinks was evidently remonstrating. At length the magistrate, gulping down, with a very bad grace, his disinclination to hear anything more, turned to Mr. Pickwick, and said sharply, What do you want to say? First, said Mr. Pickwick, sending a look through his spectacles, under which even Nupkins quailed, first, I wish to know what I and my friend have been brought here for? Must I tell him? whispered the magistrate to Jinks. I think you had better, sir, whispered Jinks to the magistrate. An information has been sworn before me, said the magistrate, that it is apprehended you are going to fight a duel, and that the other man, Tupman, is your aider and abettor in it. Therefore--eh, Mr. Jinks? Certainly, sir. Therefore, I call upon you both, to--I think thats the course, Mr. Jinks? Certainly, Sir. To--to--what, Mr. Jinks? said the magistrate pettishly. To find bail, sir. Yes. Therefore, I call upon you both--as I was about to say when I was interrupted by my clerk--to find bail. Good bail, whispered Mr. Jinks. I shall require good bail, said the magistrate. Towns-people, whispered Jinks. They must be townspeople, said the magistrate. Fifty pounds each, whispered Jinks, and householders, of course. I shall require two sureties of fifty pounds each, said the magistrate aloud, with great dignity, and they must be householders, of course. But bless my heart, Sir, said Mr. Pickwick, who, together with Mr. Tupman, was all amazement and indignation; we are perfect strangers in this town. I have as little knowledge of any householders here, as I have intention of fighting a duel with anybody. I dare say, replied the magistrate, I dare say--dont you, Mr. Jinks? Certainly, Sir. Have you anything more to say? inquired the magistrate. Mr. Pickwick had a great deal more to say, which he would no doubt have said, very little to his own advantage, or the magistrates satisfaction, if he had not, the moment he ceased speaking, been pulled by the sleeve by Mr. Weller, with whom he was immediately engaged in so earnest a conversation, that he suffered the magistrates inquiry to pass wholly unnoticed. Mr. Nupkins was not the man to ask a question of the kind twice over; and so, with another preparatory cough, he proceeded, amidst the reverential and

The Pickwick Papers page 165        The Pickwick Papers page 167