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The Pickwick Papers 308







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The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf




May God forgive me! He has seen my solitary, lingering death. He folded his hands, and murmuring something more they could not hear, fell into a sleep--only a sleep at first, for they saw him smile. They whispered together for a little time, and the turnkey, stooping over the pillow, drew hastily back. He has got his discharge, by G--! said the man. He had. But he had grown so like death in life, that they knew not when he died.

CHAPTER XLIV

DESCRIPTIVE OF AN AFFECTING INTERVIEW BETWEEN Mr. SAMUEL WELLER AND A FAMILY PARTY. Mr. PICKWICK MAKES A TOUR OF THE DIMINUTIVE WORLD HE INHABITS, AND RESOLVES TO MIX WITH IT, IN FUTURE, AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE

A few mornings after his incarceration, Mr. Samuel Weller, having arranged his masters room with all possible care, and seen him comfortably seated over his books and papers, withdrew to employ himself for an hour or two to come, as he best could. It was a fine morning, and it occurred to Sam that a pint of porter in the open air would lighten his next quarter of an hour or so, as well as any little amusement in which he could indulge. Having arrived at this conclusion, he betook himself to the tap. Having purchased the beer, and obtained, moreover, the day-but-one-before-yesterdays paper, he repaired to the skittle- ground, and seating himself on a bench, proceeded to enjoy himself in a very sedate and methodical manner. First of all, he took a refreshing draught of the beer, and then he looked up at a window, and bestowed a platonic wink on a young lady who was peeling potatoes thereat. Then he opened the paper, and folded it so as to get the police reports outwards; and this being a vexatious and difficult thing to do, when there is any wind stirring, he took another draught of the beer when he had accomplished it. Then, he read two lines of the paper, and stopped short to look at a couple of men who were finishing a game at rackets, which, being concluded, he cried out wery good, in an approving manner, and looked round upon the spectators, to ascertain whether their sentiments coincided with his own. This involved the necessity of looking up at the windows also; and as the young lady was still there, it was an act of common politeness to wink again, and to drink to her good health in dumb show, in another draught of the beer, which Sam did; and having frowned hideously upon a small boy who had noted this latter proceeding with open eyes, he threw one leg over the other, and, holding the newspaper in both hands, began to read in real earnest. He had hardly composed himself into the needful state of abstraction, when he thought he heard his own name proclaimed in some distant passage. Nor was he mistaken, for it quickly passed from mouth to mouth, and in a few seconds the air teemed with shouts of Weller! Here! roared Sam, in a stentorian voice. Wots the matter? Who wants him? Has an express come to say that his country house is afire? Somebody wants you in the hall, said a man who was standing by. Just mind that ere paper and the pot, old feller, will you? said Sam. Im a-comin. Blessed, if they was a-callin me to the bar, they couldnt make more noise about it! Accompanying these words with a gentle rap on the head of the young gentleman before noticed, who, unconscious of his close vicinity to the person in request, was screaming Weller! with all his might, Sam hastened across the ground, and ran up the steps into the hall. Here, the first object that met his eyes was his beloved father sitting on a bottom stair, with his hat in his hand, shouting out Weller! in his very loudest tone, at half-minute intervals. Wot are you a-roarin at? said Sam impetuously, when the old gentleman had discharged himself of another shout; making yourself so precious hot that you looks like a aggrawated glass- blower. Wots the matter? Aha! replied the old gentleman, I began to be afeerd that youd gone for a walk round the Regency Park, Sammy. Come, said Sam, none o them taunts agin the wictim o avarice, and come off that ere step. Wot arc you a-settin down there for? I dont live there. Ive

The Pickwick Papers page 307        The Pickwick Papers page 309