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The Pickwick Papers 169







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The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf




papa, my dear, said Mrs. Nupkins; how I have implored and begged that man to inquire into the captains family connections; how I have urged and entreated him to take some decisive step! I am quite certain nobody would believe it--quite. But, my dear, said Mr. Nupkins. Dont talk to me, you aggravating thing, dont! said Mrs. Nupkins. My love, said Mr. Nupkins, you professed yourself very fond of Captain Fitz-Marshall. You have constantly asked him here, my dear, and you have lost no opportunity of introducing him elsewhere. Didnt I say so, Henrietta? cried Mrs. Nupkins, appealing to her daughter with the air of a much-injured female. Didnt I say that your papa would turn round and lay all this at my door? Didnt I say so? Here Mrs. Nupkins sobbed. Oh, pa! remonstrated Miss Nupkins. And here she sobbed too. Isnt it too much, when he has brought all this disgrace and ridicule upon us, to taunt me with being the cause of it? exclaimed Mrs. Nupkins. How can we ever show ourselves in society! said Miss Nupkins. How can we face the Porkenhams? cried Mrs. Nupkins. Or the Griggs! cried Miss Nupkins. Or the Slummintowkens! cried Mrs. Nupkins. But what does your papa care! What is it to HIM! At this dreadful reflection, Mrs. Nupkins wept mental anguish, and Miss Nupkins followed on the same side. Mrs. Nupkinss tears continued to gush forth, with great velocity, until she had gained a little time to think the matter over; when she decided, in her own mind, that the best thing to do would be to ask Mr. Pickwick and his friends to remain until the captains arrival, and then to give Mr. Pickwick the opportunity he sought. If it appeared that he had spoken truly, the captain could be turned out of the house without noising the matter abroad, and they could easily account to the Porkenhams for his disappearance, by saying that he had been appointed, through the Court influence of his family, to the governor- generalship of Sierra Leone, of Saugur Point, or any other of those salubrious climates which enchant Europeans so much, that when they once get there, they can hardly ever prevail upon themselves to come back again. When Mrs. Nupkins dried up her tears, Miss Nupkins dried up hers, and Mr. Nupkins was very glad to settle the matter as Mrs. Nupkins had proposed. So Mr. Pickwick and his friends, having washed off all marks of their late encounter, were introduced to the ladies, and soon afterwards to their dinner; and Mr. Weller, whom the magistrate, with his peculiar sagacity, had discovered in half an hour to be one of the finest fellows alive, was consigned to the care and guardianship of Mr. Muzzle, who was specially enjoined to take him below, and make much of him. How de do, sir? said Mr. Muzzle, as he conducted Mr. Weller down the kitchen stairs. Why, no considerable change has taken place in the state of my system, since I see you cocked up behind your governors chair in the parlour, a little vile ago, replied Sam. You will excuse my not taking more notice of you then, said Mr. Muzzle. You see, master hadnt introduced us, then. Lord, how fond he is of you, Mr. Weller, to be sure! Ah! said Sam, what a pleasant chap he is! Aint he?replied Mr. Muzzle. So much humour, said Sam. And such a man to speak, said Mr. Muzzle. How his ideas flow, dont they? Wonderful, replied Sam; they comes a-pouring out, knocking each others heads so fast, that they seems to stun one another; you hardly know what hes arter, do you? Thats the great merit of his style of speaking, rejoined Mr. Muzzle. Take care of the last step, Mr. Weller. Would you like to wash your hands, sir, before we join the ladies! Heres a sink, with the water laid on, Sir, and a clean jack towel behind the door. Ah! perhaps I may as well have a rinse, replied Mr. Weller, applying plenty of yellow soap to the towel, and rubbing away till his face shone again. How many ladies are there? Only two in our kitchen, said Mr. Muzzle; cook and ouse- maid. We keep a boy to do the dirty work, and a gal besides, but they dine in the washus. Oh, they dines in the washus, do they? said Mr. Weller. Yes, replied Mr. Muzzle, we tried em at our table when they first come, but we couldnt keep

The Pickwick Papers page 168        The Pickwick Papers page 170