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The Pickwick Papers 296







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anybody? inquired Mr. Weller anxiously. George nodded in the affirmative. Vell, thats all right, said Mr. Weller. Coach taken care on, also? Con-signed in a safe quarter, replied George, wringing the heads off half a dozen shrimps, and swallowing them without any more ado. Wery good, wery good, said Mr. Weller. Alvays see to the drag ven you go downhill. Is the vay-bill all clear and straight forerd? The schedule, sir, said Pell, guessing at Mr. Wellers meaning, the schedule is as plain and satisfactory as pen and ink can make it. Mr. Weller nodded in a manner which bespoke his inward approval of these arrangements; and then, turning to Mr. Pell, said, pointing to his friend George-- Ven do you take his cloths off? Why, replied Mr. Pell, he stands third on the opposed list, and I should think it would be his turn in about half an hour. I told my clerk to come over and tell us when there was a chance. Mr. Weller surveyed the attorney from head to foot with great admiration, and said emphatically-- And whatll you take, sir? Why, really, replied Mr. Pell, youre very-- Upon my word and honour, Im not in the habit of-- Its so very early in the morning, that, actually, I am almost-- Well, you may bring me threepennorth of rum, my dear. The officiating damsel, who had anticipated the order before it was given, set the glass of spirits before Pell, and retired. Gentlemen, said Mr. Pell, looking round upon the company, success to your friend! I dont like to boast, gentlemen; its not my way; but I cant help saying, that, if your friend hadnt been fortunate enough to fall into hands that-- But I wont say what I was going to say. Gentlemen, my service to you. Having emptied the glass in a twinkling, Mr. Pell smacked his lips, and looked complacently round on the assembled coachmen, who evidently regarded him as a species of divinity. Let me see, said the legal authority. What was I a-saying, gentlemen? I think you was remarkin as you wouldnt have no objection to another o the same, Sir, said Mr. Weller, with grave facetiousness. Ha, ha! laughed Mr. Pell. Not bad, not bad. A professional man, too! At this time of the morning, it would be rather too good a-- Well, I dont know, my dear--you may do that again, if you please. Hem! This last sound was a solemn and dignified cough, in which Mr. Pell, observing an indecent tendency to mirth in some of his auditors, considered it due to himself to indulge. The late Lord Chancellor, gentlemen, was very fond of me, said Mr. Pell. And wery creditable in him, too, interposed Mr. Weller. Hear, hear, assented Mr. Pells client. Why shouldnt he be? Ah! Why, indeed! said a very red-faced man, who had said nothing yet, and who looked extremely unlikely to say anything more. Why shouldnt he? A murmur of assent ran through the company. I remember, gentlemen, said Mr. Pell, dining with him on one occasion; there was only us two, but everything as splendid as if twenty people had been expected--the great seal on a dumb- waiter at his right hand, and a man in a bag-wig and suit of armour guarding the mace with a drawn sword and silk stockings --which is perpetually done, gentlemen, night and day; when he said, "Pell," he said, "no false delicacy, Pell. Youre a man of talent; you can get anybody through the Insolvent Court, Pell; and your country should be proud of you." Those were his very words. "My Lord," I said, "you flatter me."--"Pell," he said, "if I do, Im damned." Did he say that? inquired Mr. Weller. He did, replied Pell. Vell, then, said Mr. Weller, I say Parliament ought to ha took it up; and if hed been a poor man, they would ha done it. But, my dear friend, argued Mr. Pell, it was in confidence. In what? said Mr. Weller. In confidence. Oh! wery good, replied Mr. Weller, after a little reflection. If he damned hisself in confidence, o course that was another thing. Of course it was, said Mr. Pell. The distinctions obvious, you will perceive. Alters the case entirely, said Mr. Weller. Go on, Sir. No, I will not go on, Sir, said Mr. Pell, in a low and serious tone. You have reminded me, Sir, that this conversation was private--private and confidential, gentlemen. Gentlemen, I am a professional man. It may be

The Pickwick Papers page 295        The Pickwick Papers page 297