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The Pickwick Papers 203







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a symptom of rheumatism about him; which proves, as Mr. Bob Sawyer very justly observed, that there is nothing like hot punch in such cases; and that if ever hot punch did fail to act as a preventive, it was merely because the patient fell into the vulgar error of not taking enough of it. The jovial party broke up next morning. Breakings-up are capital things in our school-days, but in after life they are painful enough. Death, self-interest, and fortunes changes, are every day breaking up many a happy group, and scattering them far and wide; and the boys and girls never come back again. We do not mean to say that it was exactly the case in this particular instance; all we wish to inform the reader is, that the different members of the party dispersed to their several homes; that Mr. Pickwick and his friends once more took their seats on the top of the Muggleton coach; and that Arabella Allen repaired to her place of destination, wherever it might have been--we dare say Mr. Winkle knew, but we confess we dont--under the care and guardianship of her brother Benjamin, and his most intimate and particular friend, Mr. Bob Sawyer. Before they separated, however, that gentleman and Mr. Benjamin Allen drew Mr. Pickwick aside with an air of some mystery; and Mr. Bob Sawyer, thrusting his forefinger between two of Mr. Pickwicks ribs, and thereby displaying his native drollery, and his knowledge of the anatomy of the human frame, at one and the same time, inquired-- I say, old boy, where do you hang out? Mr. Pickwick replied that he was at present suspended at the George and Vulture. I wish youd come and see me, said Bob Sawyer. Nothing would give me greater pleasure, replied Mr. Pickwick. Theres my lodgings, said Mr. Bob Sawyer, producing a card. Lant Street, Borough; its near Guys, and handy for me, you know. Little distance after youve passed St. Georges Church-- turns out of the High Street on the right hand side the way. I shall find it, said Mr. Pickwick. Come on Thursday fortnight, and bring the other chaps with you, said Mr. Bob Sawyer; Im going to have a few medical fellows that night. Mr. Pickwick expressed the pleasure it would afford him to meet the medical fellows; and after Mr. Bob Sawyer had informed him that he meant to be very cosy, and that his friend Ben was to be one of the party, they shook hands and separated. We feel that in this place we lay ourself open to the inquiry whether Mr. Winkle was whispering, during this brief conversation, to Arabella Allen; and if so, what he said; and furthermore, whether Mr. Snodgrass was conversing apart with Emily Wardle; and if so, what HE said. To this, we reply, that whatever they might have said to the ladies, they said nothing at all to Mr. Pickwick or Mr. Tupman for eight-and-twenty miles, and that they sighed very often, refused ale and brandy, and looked gloomy. If our observant lady readers can deduce any satisfactory inferences from these facts, we beg them by all means to do so.

CHAPTER XXXI

WHICH IS ALL ABOUT THE LAW, AND SUNDRY GREAT AUTHORITIES LEARNED THEREIN

Scattered about, in various holes and corners of the Temple, are certain dark and dirty chambers, in and out of which, all the morning in vacation, and half the evening too in term time, there may be seen constantly hurrying with bundles of papers under their arms, and protruding from their pockets, an almost uninterrupted succession of lawyers clerks. There are several grades of lawyers clerks. There is the articled clerk, who has paid a premium, and is an attorney in perspective, who runs a tailors bill, receives invitations to parties, knows a family in Gower Street, and another in Tavistock Square; who goes out of town every long vacation to see his father, who keeps live horses innumerable; and who is, in short, the very aristocrat of clerks. There is the salaried clerk--out of door, or in door, as the case may be--who devotes the major part of his thirty shillings a week to his Personal pleasure and adornments, repairs half-price to the Adelphi Theatre at least three times a week, dissipates majestically at the cider cellars afterwards, and is a dirty caricature of the fashion which expired six months ago. There is the middle- aged copying clerk, with a large family, who is always shabby, and often drunk.

The Pickwick Papers page 202        The Pickwick Papers page 204