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The Pickwick Papers 302







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The Pickwick Papers

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quarter of a minit fore the time to waylay the boy as wos a-comin in with the evenin paper, which hed read with sich intense interest and persewerance as worked the other customers up to the wery confines o desperation and insanity, specially one i-rascible old genlmn as the vaiter wos always obliged to keep a sharp eye on, at sich times, fear he should be tempted to commit some rash act with the carving-knife. Vell, Sir, here hed stop, occupyin the best place for three hours, and never takin nothin arter his dinner, but sleep, and then hed go away to a coffee-house a few streets off, and have a small pot o coffee and four crumpets, arter wich hed walk home to Kensington and go to bed. One night he wos took very ill; sends for a doctor; doctor comes in a green fly, with a kind o Robinson Crusoe set o steps, as he could let down wen he got out, and pull up arter him wen he got in, to perwent the necessity o the coachmans gettin down, and thereby undeceivin the public by lettin em see that it wos only a livery coat as hed got on, and not the trousers to match. "Wots the matter?" says the doctor. "Wery ill," says the patient. "Wot have you been a-eatin on?" says the doctor. "Roast weal," says the patient. "Wots the last thing you dewoured?" says the doctor. "Crumpets," says the patient. "Thats it!" says the doctor. "Ill send you a box of pills directly, and dont you never take no more of em," he says. "No more o wot?" says the patient--"pills?" "No; crumpets," says the doctor. "Wy?" says the patient, starting up in bed; "Ive eat four crumpets, evry night for fifteen year, on principle." "Well, then, youd better leave em off, on principle," says the doctor. "Crumpets is NOT wholesome, Sir," says the doctor, wery fierce. "But theyre so cheap," says the patient, comin down a little, "and so wery fillin at the price." "Theyd be dear to you, at any price; dear if you wos paid to eat em," says the doctor. "Four crumpets a night," he says, "vill do your business in six months!" The patient looks him full in the face, and turns it over in his mind for a long time, and at last he says, "Are you sure o that ere, Sir?" "Ill stake my professional reputation on it," says the doctor. "How many crumpets, at a sittin, do you think ud kill me off at once?" says the patient. "I dont know," says the doctor. "Do you think half-a-crowns wurth ud do it?" says the patient. "I think it might," says the doctor. "Three shillins wurth ud be sure to do it, I spose?" says the patient. "Certainly," says the doctor. "Wery good," says the patient; "good-night." Next mornin he gets up, has a fire lit, orders in three shillins wurth o crumpets, toasts em all, eats em all, and blows his brains out. What did he do that for? inquired Mr. Pickwick abruptly; for he was considerably startled by this tragical termination of the narrative. Wot did he do it for, Sir? reiterated Sam. Wy, in support of his great principle that crumpets wos wholesome, and to show that he wouldnt be put out of his way for nobody! With such like shiftings and changings of the discourse, did Mr. Weller meet his masters questioning on the night of his taking up his residence in the Fleet. Finding all gentle remonstrance useless, Mr. Pickwick at length yielded a reluctant consent to his taking lodgings by the week, of a bald-headed cobbler, who rented a small slip room in one of the upper galleries. To this humble apartment Mr. Weller moved a mattress and bedding, which he hired of Mr. Roker; and, by the time he lay down upon it at night, was as much at home as if he had been bred in the prison, and his whole family had vegetated therein for three generations. Do you always smoke arter you goes to bed, old cock? inquired Mr. Weller of his landlord, when they had both retired for the night. Yes, I does, young bantam, replied the cobbler. Will you allow me to in-quire wy you make up your bed under that ere deal table? said Sam. Cause I was always used to a

The Pickwick Papers page 301        The Pickwick Papers page 303