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The Pickwick Papers 227







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dont let that influence you--I RATHER think the plaintiffs the man." Upon this, two or three other men are sure to say that they think so too--as of course they do; and then they get on very unanimously and comfortably. Ten minutes past nine! said the little man, looking at his watch.Time we were off, my dear sir; breach of promise trial-court is generally full in such cases. You had better ring for a coach, my dear sir, or we shall be rather late. Mr. Pickwick immediately rang the bell, and a coach having been procured, the four Pickwickians and Mr. Perker ensconced themselves therein, and drove to Guildhall; Sam Weller, Mr. Lowten, and the blue bag, following in a cab. Lowten, said Perker, when they reached the outer hall of the court, put Mr. Pickwicks friends in the students box; Mr. Pickwick himself had better sit by me. This way, my dear sir, this way. Taking Mr. Pickwick by the coat sleeve, the little man led him to the low seat just beneath the desks of the Kings Counsel, which is constructed for the convenience of attorneys, who from that spot can whisper into the ear of the leading counsel in the case, any instructions that may be necessary during the progress of the trial. The occupants of this seat are invisible to the great body of spectators, inasmuch as they sit on a much lower level than either the barristers or the audience, whose seats are raised above the floor. Of course they have their backs to both, and their faces towards the judge. Thats the witness-box, I suppose? said Mr. Pickwick, pointing to a kind of pulpit, with a brass rail, on his left hand. Thats the witness-box, my dear sir, replied Perker, disinterring a quantity of papers from the blue bag, which Lowten had just deposited at his feet. And that, said Mr. Pickwick, pointing to a couple of enclosed seats on his right, thats where the jurymen sit, is it not? The identical place, my dear Sir, replied Perker, tapping the lid of his snuff-box. Mr. Pickwick stood up in a state of great agitation, and took a glance at the court. There were already a pretty large sprinkling of spectators in the gallery, and a numerous muster of gentlemen in wigs, in the barristers seats, who presented, as a body, all that pleasing and extensive variety of nose and whisker for which the Bar of England is so justly celebrated. Such of the gentlemen as had a brief to carry, carried it in as conspicuous a manner as possible, and occasionally scratched their noses therewith, to impress the fact more strongly on the observation of the spectators. Other gentlemen, who had no briefs to show, carried under their arms goodly octavos, with a red label behind, and that under-done-pie-crust-coloured cover, which is technically known as law calf. Others, who had neither briefs nor books, thrust their hands into their pockets, and looked as wise as they conveniently could; others, again, moved here and there with great restlessness and earnestness of manner, content to awaken thereby the admiration and astonishment of the uninitiated strangers. The whole, to the great wonderment of Mr, Pickwick, were divided into little groups, who were chatting and discussing the news of the day in the most unfeeling manner possible--just as if no trial at all were coming on. A bow from Mr. Phunky, as he entered, and took his seat behind the row appropriated to the Kings Counsel, attracted Mr. Pickwicks attention; and he had scarcely returned it, when Mr. Serjeant Snubbin appeared, followed by Mr. Mallard, who half hid the Serjeant behind a large crimson bag, which he placed on his table, and, after shaking hands with Perker, withdrew. Then there entered two or three more Serjeants; and among them, one with a fat body and a red face, who nodded in a friendly manner to Mr. Serjeant Snubbin, and said it was a fine morning. Whos that red-faced man, who said it was a fine morning, and nodded to our counsel? whispered Mr. Pickwick. Mr. Serjeant Buzfuz, replied Perker. Hes opposed to us; he leads on the other side. That gentleman behind him is Mr. Skimpin, his junior. Mr. Pickwick was on the point of inquiring, with great abhorrence of the mans cold-blooded villainy, how Mr, Serjeant Buzfuz, who was counsel for the opposite party, dared to presume to tell Mr. Serjeant Snubbin, who was counsel for him, that it was a fine morning, when he was interrupted by

The Pickwick Papers page 226        The Pickwick Papers page 228