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The Pickwick Papers 221







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The Pickwick Papers

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get married, dont you fret yourself about that; I know youre a judge of these things. Order in your pipe and Ill read you the letter. There! We cannot distinctly say whether it was the prospect of the pipe, or the consolatory reflection that a fatal disposition to get married ran in the family, and couldnt be helped, which calmed Mr. Wellers feelings, and caused his grief to subside. We should be rather disposed to say that the result was attained by combining the two sources of consolation, for he repeated the second in a low tone, very frequently; ringing the bell meanwhile, to order in the first. He then divested himself of his upper coat; and lighting the pipe and placing himself in front of the fire with his back towards it, so that he could feel its full heat, and recline against the mantel-piece at the same time, turned towards Sam, and, with a countenance greatly mollified by the softening influence of tobacco, requested him to fire away. Sam dipped his pen into the ink to be ready for any corrections, and began with a very theatrical air-- "Lovely--" Stop, said Mr. Weller, ringing the bell. A double glass o the inwariable, my dear. Very well, Sir, replied the girl; who with great quickness appeared, vanished, returned, and disappeared. They seem to know your ways here, observed Sam. Yes, replied his father, Ive been here before, in my time. Go on, Sammy. "Lovely creetur," repeated Sam. Taint in poetry, is it? interposed his father. No, no, replied Sam. Wery glad to hear it, said Mr. Weller. Poetrys unnatral; no man ever talked poetry cept a beadle on boxin-day, or Warrens blackin, or Rowlands oil, or some of them low fellows; never you let yourself down to talk poetry, my boy. Begin agin, Sammy. Mr. Weller resumed his pipe with critical solemnity, and Sam once more commenced, and read as follows: "Lovely creetur I feel myself a damned--" That aint proper, said Mr. Weller, taking his pipe from his mouth. No; it aint "damned," observed Sam, holding the letter up to the light, its "shamed," theres a blot there--"I feel myself ashamed." Wery good, said Mr. Weller. Go on. "Feel myself ashamed, and completely cir-- I forget what this here word is, said Sam, scratching his head with the pen, in vain attempts to remember. Why dont you look at it, then? inquired Mr. Weller. So I am a-lookin at it, replied Sam, but theres another blot. Heres a "c," and a "i," and a "d." Circumwented, praps, suggested Mr. Weller. No, it aint that, said Sam, "circumscribed"; thats it. That aint as good a word as "circumwented," Sammy, said Mr. Weller gravely. Think not? said Sam. Nothin like it, replied his father. But dont you think it means more? inquired Sam. Vell praps its a more tenderer word, said Mr. Weller, after a few moments reflection. Go on, Sammy. "Feel myself ashamed and completely circumscribed in a- dressin of you, for you are a nice gal and nothin but it." Thats a wery pretty sentiment, said the elder Mr. Weller, removing his pipe to make way for the remark. Yes, I think it is rayther good, observed Sam, highly flattered. Wot I like in that ere style of writin, said the elder Mr. Weller, is, that there aint no callin names in it--no Wenuses, nor nothin o that kind. Wots the good o callin a young ooman a Wenus or a angel, Sammy? Ah! what, indeed? replied Sam. You might jist as well call her a griffin, or a unicorn, or a kings arms at once, which is wery well known to be a collection o fabulous animals, added Mr. Weller. Just as well, replied Sam. Drive on, Sammy, said Mr. Weller. Sam complied with the request, and proceeded as follows; his father continuing to smoke, with a mixed expression of wisdom and complacency, which was particularly edifying. "Afore I see you, I thought all women was alike." So they are, observed the elder Mr. Weller parenthetically. "But now," continued Sam, "now I find what a reglar soft- headed, inkredlous turnip I must ha been; for there aint nobody like you, though I like you better than nothin at all." I thought it best to make that rayther strong, said Sam, looking up. Mr. Weller nodded approvingly, and Sam resumed. "So I take the privilidge of the day, Mary, my dear--as the genlmn in difficulties did, ven he valked out of a Sunday--to tell you that the first and only time I see you, your likeness was took on my hart in much

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