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The Pickwick Papers 219







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Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf




when a young boy of about three feet high, or thereabouts, in a hairy cap and fustian overalls, whose garb bespoke a laudable ambition to attain in time the elevation of an hostler, entered the passage of the George and Vulture, and looked first up the stairs, and then along the passage, and then into the bar, as if in search of somebody to whom he bore a commission; whereupon the barmaid, conceiving it not improbable that the said commission might be directed to the tea or table spoons of the establishment, accosted the boy with-- Now, young man, what do you want? Is there anybody here, named Sam? inquired the youth, in a loud voice of treble quality. Whats the tother name? said Sam Weller, looking round. How should I know? briskly replied the young gentleman below the hairy cap. Youre a sharp boy, you are, said Mr. Weller; only I wouldnt show that wery fine edge too much, if I was you, in case anybody took it off. What do you mean by comin to a hot-el, and asking arter Sam, vith as much politeness as a vild Indian? Cos an old genlmn told me to, replied the boy. What old genlmn? inquired Sam, with deep disdain. Him as drives a Ipswich coach, and uses our parlour, rejoined the boy. He told me yesterday mornin to come to the George and Wultur this arternoon, and ask for Sam. Its my father, my dear, said Mr. Weller, turning with an explanatory air to the young lady in the bar; blessed if I think he hardly knows wot my other name is. Well, young brockiley sprout, wot then? Why then, said the boy, you was to come to him at six oclock to our ouse, cos he wants to see you--Blue Boar, Leadenall Markit. Shall I say youre comin? You may wenture on that ere statement, Sir, replied Sam. And thus empowered, the young gentleman walked away, awakening all the echoes in George Yard as he did so, with several chaste and extremely correct imitations of a drovers whistle, delivered in a tone of peculiar richness and volume. Mr. Weller having obtained leave of absence from Mr. Pickwick, who, in his then state of excitement and worry, was by no means displeased at being left alone, set forth, long before the appointed hour, and having plenty of time at his disposal, sauntered down as far as the Mansion House, where he paused and contemplated, with a face of great calmness and philosophy, the numerous cads and drivers of short stages who assemble near that famous place of resort, to the great terror and confusion of the old-lady population of these realms. Having loitered here, for half an hour or so, Mr. Weller turned, and began wending his way towards Leadenhall Market, through a variety of by-streets and courts. As he was sauntering away his spare time, and stopped to look at almost every object that met his gaze, it is by no means surprising that Mr. Weller should have paused before a small stationers and print-sellers window; but without further explanation it does appear surprising that his eyes should have no sooner rested on certain pictures which were exposed for sale therein, than he gave a sudden start, smote his right leg with great vehemence, and exclaimed, with energy, if it hadnt been for this, I should ha forgot all about it, till it was too late! The particular picture on which Sam Wellers eyes were fixed, as he said this, was a highly-coloured representation of a couple of human hearts skewered together with an arrow, cooking before a cheerful fire, while a male and female cannibal in modern attire, the gentleman being clad in a blue coat and white trousers, and the lady in a deep red pelisse with a parasol of the same, were approaching the meal with hungry eyes, up a serpentine gravel path leading thereunto. A decidedly indelicate young gentleman, in a pair of wings and nothing else, was depicted as superintending the cooking; a representation of the spire of the church in Langham Place, London, appeared in the distance; and the whole formed a valentine, of which, as a written inscription in the window testified, there was a large assortment within, which the shopkeeper pledged himself to dispose of, to his countrymen generally, at the reduced rate of one-and-sixpence each. I should ha forgot it; I should certainly ha forgot it! said Sam; so saying, he at once stepped into the stationers shop, and requested to be served with a sheet

The Pickwick Papers page 218        The Pickwick Papers page 220