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The Pickwick Papers 229

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Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

while the judge was visibly affected, and several of the beholders tried to cough down their emotion. Very good notion that indeed, whispered Perker to Mr. Pickwick. Capital fellows those Dodson and Fogg; excellent ideas of effect, my dear Sir, excellent. As Perker spoke, Mrs. Bardell began to recover by slow degrees, while Mrs. Cluppins, after a careful survey of Master Bardells buttons and the button-holes to which they severally belonged, placed him on the floor of the court in front of his mother--a commanding position in which he could not fail to awaken the full commiseration and sympathy of both judge and jury. This was not done without considerable opposition, and many tears, on the part of the young gentleman himself, who had certain inward misgivings that the placing him within the full glare of the judges eye was only a formal prelude to his being immediately ordered away for instant execution, or for transportation beyond the seas, during the whole term of his natural life, at the very least. Bardell and Pickwick, cried the gentleman in black, calling on the case, which stood first on the list. I am for the plaintiff, my Lord, said Mr. Serjeant Buzfuz. Who is with you, Brother Buzfuz? said the judge. Mr. Skimpin bowed, to intimate that he was. I appear for the defendant, my Lord, said Mr. Serjeant Snubbin. Anybody with you, Brother Snubbin? inquired the court. Mr. Phunky, my Lord, replied Serjeant Snubbin. Serjeant Buzfuz and Mr. Skimpin for the plaintiff, said the judge, writing down the names in his note-book, and reading as he wrote; for the defendant, Serjeant Snubbin and Mr. Monkey. Beg your Lordships pardon, Phunky. Oh, very good, said the judge; I never had the pleasure of hearing the gentlemans name before. Here Mr. Phunky bowed and smiled, and the judge bowed and smiled too, and then Mr. Phunky, blushing into the very whites of his eyes, tried to look as if he didnt know that everybody was gazing at him, a thing which no man ever succeeded in doing yet, or in all reasonable probability, ever will. Go on, said the judge. The ushers again called silence, and Mr. Skimpin proceeded to open the case; and the case appeared to have very little inside it when he had opened it, for he kept such particulars as he knew, completely to himself, and sat down, after a lapse of three minutes, leaving the jury in precisely the same advanced stage of wisdom as they were in before. Serjeant Buzfuz then rose with all the majesty and dignity which the grave nature of the proceedings demanded, and having whispered to Dodson, and conferred briefly with Fogg, pulled his gown over his shoulders, settled his wig, and addressed the jury. Serjeant Buzfuz began by saying, that never, in the whole course of his professional experience--never, from the very first moment of his applying himself to the study and practice of the law--had he approached a case with feelings of such deep emotion, or with such a heavy sense of the responsibility imposed upon him--a responsibility, he would say, which he could never have supported, were he not buoyed up and sustained by a conviction so strong, that it amounted to positive certainty that the cause of truth and justice, or, in other words, the cause of his much-injured and most oppressed client, must prevail with the high-minded and intelligent dozen of men whom he now saw in that box before him. Counsel usually begin in this way, because it puts the jury on the very best terms with themselves, and makes them think what sharp fellows they must be. A visible effect was produced immediately, several jurymen beginning to take voluminous notes with the utmost eagerness. You have heard from my learned friend, gentlemen, continued Serjeant Buzfuz, well knowing that, from the learned friend alluded to, the gentlemen of the jury had heard just nothing at all--you have heard from my learned friend, gentlemen, that this is an action for a breach of promise of marriage, in which the damages are laid at #1,500. But you have not heard from my learned friend, inasmuch as it did not come within my learned friends province to tell you, what are the facts and circumstances of the case. Those facts and circumstances, gentlemen, you shall hear detailed by me, and proved by the unimpeachable female whom I will place in that box before you. Here, Mr. Serjeant Buzfuz, with a tremendous emphasis on the word box, smote his table with a mighty sound, and glanced at Dodson and Fogg, who nodded admiration of

The Pickwick Papers page 228        The Pickwick Papers page 230