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The Pickwick Papers 238

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Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

two letters to be read, then thats my case, my Lord. Serjeant Snubbin then addressed the jury on behalf of the defendant; and a very long and a very emphatic address he delivered, in which he bestowed the highest possible eulogiums on the conduct and character of Mr. Pickwick; but inasmuch as our readers are far better able to form a correct estimate of that gentlemans merits and deserts, than Serjeant Snubbin could possibly be, we do not feel called upon to enter at any length into the learned gentlemans observations. He attempted to show that the letters which had been exhibited, merely related to Mr. Pickwicks dinner, or to the preparations for receiving him in his apartments on his return from some country excursion. It is sufficient to add in general terms, that he did the best he could for Mr. Pickwick; and the best, as everybody knows, on the infallible authority of the old adage, could do no more. Mr. Justice Stareleigh summed up, in the old-established and most approved form. He read as much of his notes to the jury as he could decipher on so short a notice, and made running- comments on the evidence as he went along. If Mrs. Bardell were right, it was perfectly clear that Mr. Pickwick was wrong, and if they thought the evidence of Mrs. Cluppins worthy of credence they would believe it, and, if they didnt, why, they wouldnt. If they were satisfied that a breach of promise of marriage had been committed they would find for the plaintiff with such damages as they thought proper; and if, on the other hand, it appeared to them that no promise of marriage had ever been given, they would find for the defendant with no damages at all. The jury then retired to their private room to talk the matter over, and the judge retired to HIS private room, to refresh himself with a mutton chop and a glass of sherry. An anxious quarter of a hour elapsed; the jury came back; the judge was fetched in. Mr. Pickwick put on his spectacles, and gazed at the foreman with an agitated countenance and a quickly-beating heart. Gentlemen, said the individual in black, are you all agreed upon your verdict? We are, replied the foreman. Do you find for the plaintiff, gentlemen, or for the defendant? For the plaintiff. With what damages, gentlemen? Seven hundred and fifty pounds. Mr. Pickwick took off his spectacles, carefully wiped the glasses, folded them into their case, and put them in his pocket; then, having drawn on his gloves with great nicety, and stared at the foreman all the while, he mechanically followed Mr. Perker and the blue bag out of court. They stopped in a side room while Perker paid the court fees; and here, Mr. Pickwick was joined by his friends. Here, too, he encountered Messrs. Dodson & Fogg, rubbing their hands with every token of outward satisfaction. Well, gentlemen, said Mr. Pickwick. Well, Sir, said Dodson, for self and partner. You imagine youll get your costs, dont you, gentlemen? said Mr. Pickwick. Fogg said they thought it rather probable. Dodson smiled, and said theyd try. You may try, and try, and try again, Messrs. Dodson and Fogg, said Mr. Pickwick vehemently,but not one farthing of costs or damages do you ever get from me, if I spend the rest of my existence in a debtors prison. Ha! ha! laughed Dodson. Youll think better of that, before next term, Mr. Pickwick. He, he, he! Well soon see about that, Mr. Pickwick, grinned Fogg. Speechless with indignation, Mr. Pickwick allowed himself to be led by his solicitor and friends to the door, and there assisted into a hackney-coach, which had been fetched for the purpose, by the ever-watchful Sam Weller. Sam had put up the steps, and was preparing to jump upon the box, when he felt himself gently touched on the shoulder; and, looking round, his father stood before him. The old gentlemans countenance wore a mournful expression, as he shook his head gravely, and said, in warning accents-- I knowd what ud come o this here mode o doin bisness. Oh, Sammy, Sammy, vy wornt there a alleybi!



But surely, my dear sir, said little Perker, as he stood in Mr. Pickwicks apartment on the morning after the trial, surely you dont really mean--really and seriously now, and irritation apart--that you wont pay these costs and damages? Not one halfpenny, said

The Pickwick Papers page 237        The Pickwick Papers page 239