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The Pickwick Papers 327







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you know, I think? said Mr. Pickwick, presenting that gentleman. I know the rascal, replied Perker good-humouredly. See after your friend, and be in the way to-morrow at one. Do you hear? Now, is there anything more? Nothing, rejoined Mr. Pickwick. You have delivered the little parcel I gave you for your old landlord, Sam? I have, Sir, replied Sam. He bust out a-cryin, Sir, and said you wos wery genrous and thoughtful, and he only wished you could have him innockilated for a gallopin consumption, for his old friend as had lived here so long wos dead, and hed noweres to look for another. Poor fellow, poor fellow! said Mr. Pickwick. God bless you, my friends! As Mr. Pickwick uttered this adieu, the crowd raised a loud shout. Many among them were pressing forward to shake him by the hand again, when he drew his arm through Perkers, and hurried from the prison, far more sad and melancholy, for the moment, than when he had first entered it. Alas! how many sad and unhappy beings had he left behind! A happy evening was that for at least one party in the George and Vulture; and light and cheerful were two of the hearts that emerged from its hospitable door next morning. The owners thereof were Mr. Pickwick and Sam Weller, the former of whom was speedily deposited inside a comfortable post-coach, with a little dickey behind, in which the latter mounted with great agility. Sir, called out Mr. Weller to his master. Well, Sam, replied Mr. Pickwick, thrusting his head out of the window. I wish them horses had been three months and better in the Fleet, Sir. Why, Sam? inquired Mr. Pickwick. Wy, Sir, exclaimed Mr. Weller, rubbing his hands, how they would go if they had been!

CHAPTER XLVIII

RELATES HOW Mr. PICKWICK, WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF SAMUEL WELLER, ESSAYED TO SOFTEN THE HEART OF Mr. BENJAMIN ALLEN, AND TO MOLLIFY THE WRATH OF Mr. ROBERT SAWYER

Mr. Ben Allen and Mr. Bob Sawyer sat together in the little surgery behind the shop, discussing minced veal and future prospects, when the discourse, not unnaturally, turned upon the practice acquired by Bob the aforesaid, and his present chances of deriving a competent independence from the honourable profession to which he had devoted himself. Which, I think, observed Mr. Bob Sawyer, pursuing the thread of the subject--which, I think, Ben, are rather dubious. Whats rather dubious? inquired Mr. Ben Allen, at the same time sharpening his intellect with a draught of beer. Whats dubious? Why, the chances, responded Mr. Bob Sawyer. I forgot, said Mr. Ben Allen. The beer has reminded me that I forgot, Bob--yes; they ARE dubious. Its wonderful how the poor people patronise me, said Mr. Bob Sawyer reflectively. They knock me up, at all hours of the night; they take medicine to an extent which I should have conceived impossible; they put on blisters and leeches with a perseverance worthy of a better cause; they make additions to their families, in a manner which is quite awful. Six of those last-named little promissory notes, all due on the same day, Ben, and all intrusted to me! Its very gratifying, isnt it? said Mr. Ben Allen, holding his plate for some more minced veal. Oh, very, replied Bob; only not quite so much so as the confidence of patients with a shilling or two to spare would be. This business was capitally described in the advertisement, Ben. It is a practice, a very extensive practice--and thats all. Bob, said Mr. Ben Allen, laying down his knife and fork, and fixing his eyes on the visage of his friend, Bob, Ill tell you what it is. What is it? inquired Mr. Bob Sawyer. You must make yourself, with as little delay as possible, master of Arabellas one thousand pounds. Three per cent. consolidated bank annuities, now standing in her name in the book or books of the governor and company of the Bank of England, added Bob Sawyer, in legal phraseology. Exactly so, said Ben. She has it when she comes of age, or marries. She wants a year of coming of age, and if you plucked up a spirit she neednt want a month of being married. Shes a very charming and delightful creature, quoth Mr. Robert Sawyer, in reply; and has only one fault that I know of, Ben. It happens, unfortunately, that that single blemish is a want of taste. She dont like me. Its my opinion that

The Pickwick Papers page 326        The Pickwick Papers page 328