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The Pickwick Papers 316







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smiling to the end of the interview. The gentleman with the uncombed head appeared quite satisfied with this mute announcement of their business, and, producing a flat stone bottle, which might hold about a couple of quarts, from beneath his bedstead, filled out three glasses of gin, which Job Trotter and Sam disposed of in a most workmanlike manner. Any more? said the whistling gentleman. No more, replied Job Trotter. Mr. Pickwick paid, the door was unbolted, and out they came; the uncombed gentleman bestowing a friendly nod upon Mr. Roker, who happened to be passing at the moment. From this spot, Mr. Pickwick wandered along all the galleries, up and down all the staircases, and once again round the whole area of the yard. The great body of the prison population appeared to be Mivins, and Smangle, and the parson, and the butcher, and the leg, over and over, and over again. There were the same squalor, the same turmoil and noise, the same general characteristics, in every corner; in the best and the worst alike. The whole place seemed restless and troubled; and the people were crowding and flitting to and fro, like the shadows in an uneasy dream. I have seen enough, said Mr. Pickwick, as he threw himself into a chair in his little apartment. My head aches with these scenes, and my heart too. Henceforth I will be a prisoner in my own room. And Mr. Pickwick steadfastly adhered to this determination. For three long months he remained shut up, all day; only stealing out at night to breathe the air, when the greater part of his fellow-prisoners were in bed or carousing in their rooms. His health was beginning to suffer from the closeness of the confinement, but neither the often-repeated entreaties of Perker and his friends, nor the still more frequently-repeated warnings and admonitions of Mr. Samuel Weller, could induce him to alter one jot of his inflexible resolution.

CHAPTER XLVI

RECORDS A TOUCHING ACT OF DELICATE FEELING, NOT UNMIXED WITH PLEASANTRY, ACHIEVED AND PERFORMED BY Messrs. DODSON AND FOGG

It was within a week of the close of the month of July, that a hackney cabriolet, number unrecorded, was seen to proceed at a rapid pace up Goswell Street; three people were squeezed into it besides the driver, who sat in his own particular little dickey at the side; over the apron were hung two shawls, belonging to two small vixenish-looking ladies under the apron; between whom, compressed into a very small compass, was stowed away, a gentleman of heavy and subdued demeanour, who, whenever he ventured to make an observation, was snapped up short by one of the vixenish ladies before-mentioned. Lastly, the two vixenish ladies and the heavy gentleman were giving the driver contradictory directions, all tending to the one point, that he should stop at Mrs. Bardells door; which the heavy gentleman, in direct opposition to, and defiance of, the vixenish ladies, contended was a green door and not a yellow one. Stop at the house with a green door, driver, said the heavy gentleman. Oh! You perwerse creetur! exclaimed one of the vixenish ladies. Drive to the ouse with the yellow door, cabmin. Upon this the cabman, who in a sudden effort to pull up at the house with the green door, had pulled the horse up so high that he nearly pulled him backward into the cabriolet, let the animals fore-legs down to the ground again, and paused. Now vere am I to pull up? inquired the driver. Settle it among yourselves. All I ask is, vere? Here the contest was renewed with increased violence; and the horse being troubled with a fly on his nose, the cabman humanely employed his leisure in lashing him about on the head, on the counter-irritation principle. Most wotes carries the day! said one of the vixenish ladies at length. The ouse with the yellow door, cabman. But after the cabriolet had dashed up, in splendid style, to the house with the yellow door, making, as one of the vixenish ladies triumphantly said, acterrally more noise than if one had come in ones own carriage, and after the driver had dismounted to assist the ladies in getting out, the small round head of Master Thomas Bardell was thrust out of the one-pair window of a house with a red door, a few numbers off. Aggrawatin thing! said the vixenish lady last-mentioned, darting a withering glance at the heavy gentleman. My dear, its not my fault, said the gentleman. Dont talk

The Pickwick Papers page 315        The Pickwick Papers page 317