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The Pickwick Papers 199







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partook of the nature and qualities of both, had about him that sort of slovenly smartness, and swaggering gait, which is peculiar to young gentlemen who smoke in the streets by day, shout and scream in the same by night, call waiters by their Christian names, and do various other acts and deeds of an equally facetious description. He wore a pair of plaid trousers, and a large, rough, double-breasted waistcoat; out of doors, he carried a thick stick with a big top. He eschewed gloves, and looked, upon the whole, something like a dissipated Robinson Crusoe. Such were the two worthies to whom Mr. Pickwick was introduced, as he took his seat at the breakfast-table on Christmas morning. Splendid morning, gentlemen, said Mr. Pickwick. Mr. Bob Sawyer slightly nodded his assent to the proposition, and asked Mr. Benjamin Allen for the mustard. Have you come far this morning, gentlemen? inquired Mr. Pickwick. Blue Lion at Muggleton, briefly responded Mr. Allen. You should have joined us last night, said Mr. Pickwick. So we should, replied Bob Sawyer, but the brandy was too good to leave in a hurry; wasnt it, Ben? Certainly, said Mr. Benjamin Allen; and the cigars were not bad, or the pork-chops either; were they, Bob? Decidedly not, said Bob. The particular friends resumed their attack upon the breakfast, more freely than before, as if the recollection of last nights supper had imparted a new relish to the meal. Peg away, Bob, said Mr. Allen, to his companion, encouragingly. So I do, replied Bob Sawyer. And so, to do him justice, he did. Nothing like dissecting, to give one an appetite, said Mr. Bob Sawyer, looking round the table. Mr. Pickwick slightly shuddered. By the bye, Bob, said Mr. Allen, have you finished that leg yet? Nearly, replied Sawyer, helping himself to half a fowl as he spoke. Its a very muscular one for a childs. Is it? inquired Mr. Allen carelessly. Very, said Bob Sawyer, with his mouth full. Ive put my name down for an arm at our place, said Mr. Allen. Were clubbing for a subject, and the list is nearly full, only we cant get hold of any fellow that wants a head. I wish youd take it. No, replied Bob Sawyer; cant afford expensive luxuries. Nonsense! said Allen. Cant, indeed, rejoined Bob Sawyer, I wouldnt mind a brain, but I couldnt stand a whole head. Hush, hush, gentlemen, pray, said Mr. Pickwick, I hear the ladies. As Mr. Pickwick spoke, the ladies, gallantly escorted by Messrs. Snodgrass, Winkle, and Tupman, returned from an early walk. Why, Ben! said Arabella, in a tone which expressed more surprise than pleasure at the sight of her brother. Come to take you home to-morrow, replied Benjamin. Mr. Winkle turned pale. Dont you see Bob Sawyer, Arabella? inquired Mr. Benjamin Allen, somewhat reproachfully. Arabella gracefully held out her hand, in acknowledgment of Bob Sawyers presence. A thrill of hatred struck to Mr. Winkles heart, as Bob Sawyer inflicted on the proffered hand a perceptible squeeze. Ben, dear! said Arabella, blushing; have--have--you been introduced to Mr. Winkle? I have not been, but I shall be very happy to be, Arabella, replied her brother gravely. Here Mr. Allen bowed grimly to Mr. Winkle, while Mr. Winkle and Mr. Bob Sawyer glanced mutual distrust out of the corners of their eyes. The arrival of the two new visitors, and the consequent check upon Mr. Winkle and the young lady with the fur round her boots, would in all probability have proved a very unpleasant interruption to the hilarity of the party, had not the cheerfulness of Mr. Pickwick, and the good humour of the host, been exerted to the very utmost for the common weal. Mr. Winkle gradually insinuated himself into the good graces of Mr. Benjamin Allen, and even joined in a friendly conversation with Mr. Bob Sawyer; who, enlivened with the brandy, and the breakfast, and the talking, gradually ripened into a state of extreme facetiousness, and related with much glee an agreeable anecdote, about the removal of a tumour on some gentlemans head, which he illustrated by means of an oyster-knife and a half-quartern loaf, to the great edification of the assembled company. Then the whole train went to church, where Mr. Benjamin Allen fell fast asleep; while Mr. Bob Sawyer abstracted his thoughts from worldly matters, by the ingenious process of carving his name on the seat of the pew, in corpulent letters of four inches long. Now, said Wardle, after a substantial lunch, with the agreeable items of strong beer and cherry-brandy, had been done ample justice to,

The Pickwick Papers page 198        The Pickwick Papers page 200