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The Pickwick Papers 287







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not be particular under such circumstances, and that, for his part, he was not too proud to drink out of the jug. In which, to show his sincerity, he forthwith pledged the company in a draught which half emptied it. An excellent understanding having been by these means promoted, Mr. Smangle proceeded to entertain his hearers with a relation of divers romantic adventures in which he had been from time to time engaged, involving various interesting anecdotes of a thoroughbred horse, and a magnificent Jewess, both of surpassing beauty, and much coveted by the nobility and gentry of these kingdoms. Long before these elegant extracts from the biography of a gentleman were concluded, Mr. Mivins had betaken himself to bed, and had set in snoring for the night, leaving the timid stranger and Mr. Pickwick to the full benefit of Mr. Smangles experiences. Nor were the two last-named gentlemen as much edified as they might have been by the moving passages narrated. Mr. Pickwick had been in a state of slumber for some time, when he had a faint perception of the drunken man bursting out afresh with the comic song, and receiving from Mr. Smangle a gentle intimation, through the medium of the water-jug, that his audience was not musically disposed. Mr. Pickwick then once again dropped off to sleep, with a confused consciousness that Mr. Smangle was still engaged in relating a long story, the chief point of which appeared to be that, on some occasion particularly stated and set forth, he had done a bill and a gentleman at the same time.

CHAPTER XLII

ILLUSTRATIVE, LIKE THE PRECEDING ONE, OF THE OLD PROVERB, THAT ADVERSITY BRINGS A MAN ACQUAINTED WITH STRANGE BEDFELLOWS--LIKEWISE CONTAINING Mr. PICKWICKS EXTRAORDINARY AND STARTLING ANNOUNCEMENT TO Mr. SAMUEL WELLER

When Mr. Pickwick opened his eyes next morning, the first object upon which they rested was Samuel Weller, seated upon a small black portmanteau, intently regarding, apparently in a condition of profound abstraction, the stately figure of the dashing Mr. Smangle; while Mr. Smangle himself, who was already partially dressed, was seated on his bedstead, occupied in the desperately hopeless attempt of staring Mr. Weller out of countenance. We say desperately hopeless, because Sam, with a comprehensive gaze which took in Mr. Smangles cap, feet, head, face, legs, and whiskers, all at the same time, continued to look steadily on, with every demonstration of lively satisfaction, but with no more regard to Mr. Smangles personal sentiments on the subject than he would have displayed had he been inspecting a wooden statue, or a straw-embowelled Guy Fawkes. Well; will you know me again? said Mr. Smangle, with a frown. Id svear to you anyveres, Sir, replied Sam cheerfully. Dont be impertinent to a gentleman, Sir, said Mr. Smangle. Not on no account, replied Sam. if youll tell me wen he wakes, Ill be upon the wery best extra-super behaviour! This observation, having a remote tendency to imply that Mr. Smangle was no gentleman, kindled his ire. Mivins! said Mr. Smangle, with a passionate air. Whats the office? replied that gentleman from his couch. Who the devil is this fellow? Gad, said Mr. Mivins, looking lazily out from under the bed-clothes, I ought to ask YOU that. Hasnt he any business here? No, replied Mr. Smangle. Then knock him downstairs, and tell him not to presume to get up till I come and kick him, rejoined Mr. Mivins; with this prompt advice that excellent gentleman again betook himself to slumber. The conversation exhibiting these unequivocal symptoms of verging on the personal, Mr. Pickwick deemed it a fit point at which to interpose. Sam, said Mr. Pickwick. Sir, rejoined that gentleman. Has anything new occurred since last night? Nothin partickler, sir, replied Sam, glancing at Mr. Smangles whiskers; the late prewailance of a close and confined atmosphere has been rayther favourable to the growth of veeds, of an alarmin and sangvinary natur; but vith that ere exception things is quiet enough. I shall get up, said Mr. Pickwick; give me some clean things. Whatever hostile intentions Mr. Smangle might have entertained, his thoughts were speedily diverted by the unpacking of the portmanteau; the contents of which appeared to impress him at once with a most favourable opinion, not only of Mr. Pickwick, but of Sam also, who, he took an early opportunity of declaring in a tone of voice loud enough for that eccentric personage to overhear, was a regular thoroughbred original, and consequently the very man after his own heart. As to Mr. Pickwick, the affection he conceived for

The Pickwick Papers page 286        The Pickwick Papers page 288