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The Pickwick Papers 26







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Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf




unwillingly consigned it to his master. Thats right--look sharp. Now the tongue--now the pigeon pie. Take care of that veal and ham--mind the lobsters--take the salad out of the cloth--give me the dressing. Such were the hurried orders which issued from the lips of Mr. Wardle, as he handed in the different articles described, and placed dishes in everybodys hands, and on everybodys knees, in endless number. Now aint this capital? inquired that jolly personage, when the work of destruction had commenced. Capital! said Mr. Winkle, who was carving a fowl on the box. Glass of wine? With the greatest pleasure. Youd better have a bottle to yourself up there, hadnt you? Youre very good. Joe! Yes, Sir. (He wasnt asleep this time, having just succeeded in abstracting a veal patty.) Bottle of wine to the gentleman on the box. Glad to see you, Sir. Thankee. Mr. Winkle emptied his glass, and placed the bottle on the coach-box, by his side. Will you permit me to have the pleasure, Sir? said Mr. Trundle to Mr. Winkle. With great pleasure, replied Mr. Winkle to Mr. Trundle, and then the two gentlemen took wine, after which they took a glass of wine round, ladies and all. How dear Emily is flirting with the strange gentleman, whispered the spinster aunt, with true spinster-aunt-like envy, to her brother, Mr. Wardle. Oh! I dont know, said the jolly old gentleman; all very natural, I dare say--nothing unusual. Mr. Pickwick, some wine, Sir? Mr. Pickwick, who had been deeply investigating the interior of the pigeon-pie, readily assented. Emily, my dear, said the spinster aunt, with a patronising air, dont talk so loud, love. Lor, aunt! Aunt and the little old gentleman want to have it all to themselves, I think, whispered Miss Isabella Wardle to her sister Emily. The young ladies laughed very heartily, and the old one tried to look amiable, but couldnt manage it. Young girls have such spirits, said Miss Wardle to Mr. Tupman, with an air of gentle commiseration, as if animal spirits were contraband, and their possession without a permit a high crime and misdemeanour. Oh, they have, replied Mr. Tupman, not exactly making the sort of reply that was expected from him. Its quite delightful. Hem! said Miss Wardle, rather dubiously. Will you permit me? said Mr. Tupman, in his blandest manner, touching the enchanting Rachaels wrist with one hand, and gently elevating the bottle with the other. Will you permit me? Oh, sir! Mr. Tupman looked most impressive; and Rachael expressed her fear that more guns were going off, in which case, of course, she should have required support again. Do you think my dear nieces pretty? whispered their affectionate aunt to Mr. Tupman. I should, if their aunt wasnt here, replied the ready Pickwickian, with a passionate glance. Oh, you naughty man--but really, if their complexions were a little better, dont you think they would be nice-looking girls-- by candlelight? Yes; I think they would, said Mr. Tupman, with an air of indifference. Oh, you quiz--I know what you were going to say. What? inquired Mr. Tupman, who had not precisely made up his mind to say anything at all. You were going to say that Isabel stoops--I know you were-- you men are such observers. Well, so she does; it cant be denied; and, certainly, if there is one thing more than another that makes a girl look ugly it is stooping. I often tell her that when she gets a little older shell be quite frightful. Well, you are a quiz! Mr. Tupman had no objection to earning the reputation at so cheap a rate: so he looked very knowing, and smiled mysteriously. What a sarcastic smile, said the admiring Rachael; I declare Im quite afraid of you. Afraid of me! Oh, you cant disguise anything from me--I know what that smile means very well. What? said Mr. Tupman, who had not the slightest notion himself. You mean, said the amiable aunt, sinking her voice still lower--you mean, that you dont think Isabellas stooping is as bad as Emilys boldness. Well, she is bold! You cannot think how wretched it makes me sometimes--Im sure I cry about it for hours together--my dear brother is SO good, and so unsuspicious, that he never sees it; if he did, Im quite certain it would break his heart. I wish I could think it was only manner--I hope it may be-- (Here the affectionate relative heaved a deep sigh, and shook her head despondingly). Im sure aunts talking about us, whispered Miss Emily Wardle to her sister--Im quite certain of

The Pickwick Papers page 25        The Pickwick Papers page 27