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The Pickwick Papers 167

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Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

admiring silence of the constables, to pronounce his decision. He should fine Weller two pounds for the first assault, and three pounds for the second. He should fine Winkle two pounds, and Snodgrass one pound, besides requiring them to enter into their own recognisances to keep the peace towards all his Majestys subjects, and especially towards his liege servant, Daniel Grummer. Pickwick and Tupman he had already held to bail. Immediately on the magistrate ceasing to speak, Mr. Pickwick, with a smile mantling on his again good-humoured countenance, stepped forward, and said-- I beg the magistrates pardon, but may I request a few minutes private conversation with him, on a matter of deep importance to himself? What? said the magistrate. Mr. Pickwick repeated his request. This is a most extraordinary request, said the magistrate. A private interview? A private interview, replied Mr. Pickwick firmly; only, as a part of the information which I wish to communicate is derived from my servant, I should wish him to be present. The magistrate looked at Mr. Jinks; Mr. Jinks looked at the magistrate; the officers looked at each other in amazement. Mr. Nupkins turned suddenly pale. Could the man Weller, in a moment of remorse, have divulged some secret conspiracy for his assassination? It was a dreadful thought. He was a public man; and he turned paler, as he thought of Julius Caesar and Mr. Perceval. The magistrate looked at Mr. Pickwick again, and beckoned Mr. Jinks. What do you think of this request, Mr. Jinks? murmured Mr. Nupkins. Mr. Jinks, who didnt exactly know what to think of it, and was afraid he might offend, smiled feebly, after a dubious fashion, and, screwing up the corners of his mouth, shook his head slowly from side to side. Mr. Jinks, said the magistrate gravely, you are an ass. At this little expression of opinion, Mr. Jinks smiled again-- rather more feebly than before--and edged himself, by degrees, back into his own corner. Mr. Nupkins debated the matter within himself for a few seconds, and then, rising from his chair, and requesting Mr. Pickwick and Sam to follow him, led the way into a small room which opened into the justice-parlour. Desiring Mr. Pickwick to walk to the upper end of the little apartment, and holding his hand upon the half-closed door, that he might be able to effect an immediate escape, in case there was the least tendency to a display of hostilities, Mr. Nupkins expressed his readiness to hear the communication, whatever it might be. I will come to the point at once, sir, said Mr. Pickwick; it affects yourself and your credit materially. I have every reason to believe, Sir, that you are harbouring in your house a gross impostor! Two, interrupted Sam. Mulberry agin all natur, for tears and willainny! Sam, said Mr. Pickwick, if I am to render myself intelligible to this gentleman, I must beg you to control your feelings. Wery sorry, Sir, replied Mr. Weller; but when I think o that ere Job, I cant help opening the walve a inch or two. In one word, Sir, said Mr. Pickwick, is my servant right in suspecting that a certain Captain Fitz-Marshall is in the habit of visiting here? Because, added Mr. Pickwick, as he saw that Mr. Nupkins was about to offer a very indignant interruption, because if he be, I know that person to be a-- Hush, hush, said Mr. Nupkins, closing the door. Know him to be what, Sir? An unprincipled adventurer--a dishonourable character--a man who preys upon society, and makes easily-deceived people his dupes, Sir; his absurd, his foolish, his wretched dupes, Sir, said the excited Mr. Pickwick. Dear me, said Mr. Nupkins, turning very red, and altering his whole manner directly. Dear me, Mr.-- Pickvick, said Sam. Pickwick, said the magistrate, dear me, Mr. Pickwick--pray take a seat--you cannot mean this? Captain Fitz-Marshall! Dont call him a capen, said Sam, nor Fitz-Marshall neither; he aint neither one nor tother. Hes a strolling actor, he is, and his names Jingle; and if ever there was a wolf in a mulberry suit, that ere Job Trotters him. It is very true, Sir, said Mr. Pickwick, replying to the magistrates look of amazement; my only business in this town, is to expose the person of whom we now speak. Mr. Pickwick proceeded to pour into the horror-stricken ear of Mr. Nupkins, an abridged account of all Mr. Jingles atrocities. He related how he had first met him; how he had eloped with Miss Wardle; how he had cheerfully resigned the lady for a pecuniary consideration; how he had

The Pickwick Papers page 166        The Pickwick Papers page 168