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The Pickwick Papers 222







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The Pickwick Papers

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quicker time and brighter colours than ever a likeness was took by the profeel macheen (wich praps you may have heerd on Mary my dear) altho it DOES finish a portrait and put the frame and glass on complete, with a hook at the end to hang it up by, and all in two minutes and a quarter." I am afeerd that werges on the poetical, Sammy, said Mr. Weller dubiously. No, it dont, replied Sam, reading on very quickly, to avoid contesting the point-- "Except of me Mary my dear as your walentine and think over what Ive said.--My dear Mary I will now conclude." Thats all, said Sam. Thats rather a Sudden pull-up, aint it, Sammy? inquired Mr. Weller. Not a bit on it, said Sam; shell vish there wos more, and thats the great art o letter-writin. Well, said Mr. Weller, theres somethin in that; and I wish your mother-in-law ud only conduct her conwersation on the same gen-teel principle. Aint you a-goin to sign it? Thats the difficulty, said Sam; I dont know what to sign it. Sign it--"Veller", said the oldest surviving proprietor of that name. Wont do, said Sam. Never sign a walentine with your own name. Sign it "Pickwick," then, said Mr. Weller; its a wery good name, and a easy one to spell. The wery thing, said Sam. I COULD end with a werse; what do you think? I dont like it, Sam, rejoined Mr. Weller. I never knowd a respectable coachman as wrote poetry, cept one, as made an affectin copy o werses the night afore he was hung for a highway robbery; and he wos only a Cambervell man, so even thats no rule. But Sam was not to be dissuaded from the poetical idea that had occurred to him, so he signed the letter-- Your love-sick Pickwick. And having folded it, in a very intricate manner, squeezed a downhill direction in one corner: To Mary, Housemaid, at Mr. Nupkinss, Mayors, Ipswich, Suffolk; and put it into his pocket, wafered, and ready for the general post. This important business having been transacted, Mr. Weller the elder proceeded to open that, on which he had summoned his son. The first matter relates to your governor, Sammy, said Mr. Weller. Hes a-goin to be tried to-morrow, aint he? The trials a-comin on, replied Sam. Vell, said Mr. Weller, Now I spose hell want to call some witnesses to speak to his character, or prhaps to prove a alleybi. Ive been a-turnin the bisness over in my mind, and he may make his-self easy, Sammy. Ive got some friends asll do either for him, but my adwice ud be this here--never mind the character, and stick to the alleybi. Nothing like a alleybi, Sammy, nothing. Mr. Weller looked very profound as he delivered this legal opinion; and burying his nose in his tumbler, winked over the top thereof, at his astonished son. Why, what do you mean? said Sam; you dont think hes a-goin to be tried at the Old Bailey, do you? That aint no part of the present consideration, Sammy, replied Mr. Weller. Verever hes a-goin to be tried, my boy, a alleybis the thing to get him off. Ve got Tom Vildspark off that ere manslaughter, with a alleybi, ven all the big vigs to a man said as nothing couldnt save him. And my pinion is, Sammy, that if your governor dont prove a alleybi, hell be what the Italians call reglarly flummoxed, and thats all about it. As the elder Mr. Weller entertained a firm and unalterable conviction that the Old Bailey was the supreme court of judicature in this country, and that its rules and forms of proceeding regulated and controlled the practice of all other courts of justice whatsoever, he totally disregarded the assurances and arguments of his son, tending to show that the alibi was inadmissible; and vehemently protested that Mr. Pickwick was being wictimised. Finding that it was of no use to discuss the matter further, Sam changed the subject, and inquired what the second topic was, on which his revered parent wished to consult him. Thats a pint o domestic policy, Sammy, said Mr. Weller. This here Stiggins-- Red-nosed man? inquired Sam. The wery same, replied Mr. Weller. This here red-nosed man, Sammy, wisits your mother-in-law vith a kindness and constancy I never see equalled. Hes sitch a friend o the family, Sammy, that wen hes avay from us, he cant be comfortable unless he

The Pickwick Papers page 221        The Pickwick Papers page 223