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The Pickwick Papers 286

Elisha Cuthbert Photos


Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

for, now that the excitement was over, he began to feel rather cool about the legs. Allow me the H-onour, said the gentleman with the whiskers, presenting his dexter hand, and aspirating the h. With much pleasure, sir, said Mr. Pickwick; and having executed a very long and solemn shake, he got into bed again. My name is Smangle, sir, said the man with the whiskers. Oh, said Mr. Pickwick. Mine is Mivins, said the man in the stockings. I am delighted to hear it, sir, said Mr. Pickwick. Hem, coughed Mr. Smangle. Did you speak, sir? said Mr. Pickwick. No, I did not, sir, said Mr. Smangle. All this was very genteel and pleasant; and, to make matters still more comfortable, Mr. Smangle assured Mr. Pickwick a great many more times that he entertained a very high respect for the feelings of a gentleman; which sentiment, indeed, did him infinite credit, as he could be in no wise supposed to understand them. Are you going through the court, sir? inquired Mr. Smangle. Through the what? said Mr. Pickwick. Through the court--Portugal Street--the Court for Relief of-- You know. Oh, no, replied Mr. Pickwick. No, I am not. Going out, perhaps? suggested Mr. Mivins. I fear not, replied Mr. Pickwick. I refuse to pay some damages, and am here in consequence. Ah, said Mr. Smangle, paper has been my ruin. A stationer, I presume, Sir? said Mr. Pickwick innocently. Stationer! No, no; confound and curse me! Not so low as that. No trade. When I say paper, I mean bills. Oh, you use the word in that sense. I see, said Mr. Pickwick. Damme! A gentleman must expect reverses, said Smangle. What of that? Here am I in the Fleet Prison. Well; good. What then? Im none the worse for that, am I? Not a bit, replied Mr. Mivins. And he was quite right; for, so far from Mr. Smangle being any the worse for it, he was something the better, inasmuch as to qualify himself for the place, he had attained gratuitous possession of certain articles of jewellery, which, long before that, had found their way to the pawnbrokers. Well; but come, said Mr. Smangle; this is dry work. Lets rinse our mouths with a drop of burnt sherry; the last-comer shall stand it, Mivins shall fetch it, and Ill help to drink it. Thats a fair and gentlemanlike division of labour, anyhow. Curse me! Unwilling to hazard another quarrel, Mr. Pickwick gladly assented to the proposition, and consigned the money to Mr. Mivins, who, as it was nearly eleven oclock, lost no time in repairing to the coffee-room on his errand. I say, whispered Smangle, the moment his friend had left the room; what did you give him? Half a sovereign, said Mr. Pickwick. Hes a devilish pleasant gentlemanly dog, said Mr. Smangle;-- infernal pleasant. I dont know anybody more so; but-- Here Mr. Smangle stopped short, and shook his head dubiously. You dont think there is any probability of his appropriating the money to his own use? said Mr. Pickwick. Oh, no! Mind, I dont say that; I expressly say that hes a devilish gentlemanly fellow, said Mr. Smangle. But I think, perhaps, if somebody went down, just to see that he didnt dip his beak into the jug by accident, or make some confounded mistake in losing the money as he came upstairs, it would be as well. Here, you sir, just run downstairs, and look after that gentleman, will you? This request was addressed to a little timid-looking, nervous man, whose appearance bespoke great poverty, and who had been crouching on his bedstead all this while, apparently stupefied by the novelty of his situation. You know where the coffee-room is, said Smangle; just run down, and tell that gentleman youve come to help him up with the jug. Or--stop--Ill tell you what--Ill tell you how well do him, said Smangle, with a cunning look. How? said Mr. Pickwick. Send down word that hes to spend the change in cigars. Capital thought. Run and tell him that; dye hear? They shant be wasted, continued Smangle, turning to Mr. Pickwick. ILL smoke em. This manoeuvring was so exceedingly ingenious and, withal, performed with such immovable composure and coolness, that Mr. Pickwick would have had no wish to disturb it, even if he had had the power. In a short time Mr. Mivins returned, bearing the sherry, which Mr. Smangle dispensed in two little cracked mugs; considerately remarking, with reference to himself, that a gentleman must

The Pickwick Papers page 285        The Pickwick Papers page 287