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The Pickwick Papers 237







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but Sams features were so perfectly calm and serene that the judge said nothing, and motioned Serjeant Buzfuz to proceed. Do you mean to tell me, Mr. Weller, said Serjeant Buzfuz, folding his arms emphatically, and turning half-round to the jury, as if in mute assurance that he would bother the witness yet--do you mean to tell me, Mr. Weller, that you saw nothing of this fainting on the part of the plaintiff in the arms of the defendant, which you have heard described by the witnesses? Certainly not, replied Sam; I was in the passage till they called me up, and then the old lady was not there. Now, attend, Mr. Weller, said Serjeant Buzfuz, dipping a large pen into the inkstand before him, for the purpose of frightening Sam with a show of taking down his answer. You were in the passage, and yet saw nothing of what was going forward. Have you a pair of eyes, Mr. Weller? Yes, I have a pair of eyes, replied Sam, and thats just it. If they wos a pair o patent double million magnifyin gas microscopes of hextra power, praps I might be able to see through a flight o stairs and a deal door; but bein only eyes, you see, my wision s limited. At this answer, which was delivered without the slightest appearance of irritation, and with the most complete simplicity and equanimity of manner, the spectators tittered, the little judge smiled, and Serjeant Buzfuz looked particularly foolish. After a short consultation with Dodson & Fogg, the learned Serjeant again turned towards Sam, and said, with a painful effort to conceal his vexation, Now, Mr. Weller, Ill ask you a question on another point, if you please. If you please, Sir, rejoined Sam, with the utmost good-humour. Do you remember going up to Mrs. Bardells house, one night in November last? Oh, yes, wery well. Oh, you do remember that, Mr. Weller, said Serjeant Buzfuz, recovering his spirits; I thought we should get at something at last. I rayther thought that, too, sir, replied Sam; and at this the spectators tittered again. Well; I suppose you went up to have a little talk about this trial--eh, Mr. Weller? said Serjeant Buzfuz, looking knowingly at the jury. I went up to pay the rent; but we did get a-talkin about the trial, replied Sam. Oh, you did get a-talking about the trial, said Serjeant Buzfuz, brightening up with the anticipation of some important discovery. Now, what passed about the trial; will you have the goodness to tell us, Mr. Weller? Vith all the pleasure in life, sir, replied Sam. Arter a few unimportant obserwations from the two wirtuous females as has been examined here to-day, the ladies gets into a very great state o admiration at the honourable conduct of Mr. Dodson and Fogg--them two genlmen as is settin near you now. This, of course, drew general attention to Dodson & Fogg, who looked as virtuous as possible. The attorneys for the plaintiff, said Mr. Serjeant Buzfuz. Well! They spoke in high praise of the honourable conduct of Messrs. Dodson and Fogg, the attorneys for the plaintiff, did they? Yes, said Sam, they said what a wery genrous thing it was o them to have taken up the case on spec, and to charge nothing at all for costs, unless they got em out of Mr. Pickwick. At this very unexpected reply, the spectators tittered again, and Dodson & Fogg, turning very red, leaned over to Serjeant Buzfuz, and in a hurried manner whispered something in his ear. You are quite right, said Serjeant Buzfuz aloud, with affected composure. Its perfectly useless, my Lord, attempting to get at any evidence through the impenetrable stupidity of this witness. I will not trouble the court by asking him any more questions. Stand down, sir. Would any other genlman like to ask me anythin? inquired Sam, taking up his hat, and looking round most deliberately. Not I, Mr. Weller, thank you, said Serjeant Snubbin, laughing. You may go down, sir, said Serjeant Buzfuz, waving his hand impatiently. Sam went down accordingly, after doing Messrs. Dodson & Foggs case as much harm as he conveniently could, and saying just as little respecting Mr. Pickwick as might be, which was precisely the object he had had in view all along. I have no objection to admit, my Lord, said Serjeant Snubbin, if it will save the examination of another witness, that Mr. Pickwick has retired from business, and is a gentleman of considerable independent property. Very well, said Serjeant Buzfuz, putting in the

The Pickwick Papers page 236        The Pickwick Papers page 238