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The Pickwick Papers 332

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Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf

becoming temper and moderation, I decline hearing any more said upon the subject. I wish to make a wery few remarks in addition to wot has been put forard by the honourable genlmn as has jist give over, said Mr. Weller, stepping forth, wich is this here: a indiwidual in company has called me a feller. That has nothing whatever to do with the matter, Sam, interposed Mr. Pickwick. Pray hold your tongue. I aint a-goin to say nothin on that ere pint, sir, replied Sam, but merely this here. Praps that genlmn may think as there wos a priory tachment; but there wornt nothin o the sort, for the young lady said in the wery beginnin o the keepin company, that she couldnt abide him. Nobodys cut him out, and it ud ha been jist the wery same for him if the young lady had never seen Mr. Vinkle. Thats what I wished to say, sir, and I hope Ive now made that ere genlmns mind easy. A short pause followed these consolatory remarks of Mr. Weller. Then Mr. Ben Allen rising from his chair, protested that he would never see Arabellas face again; while Mr. Bob Sawyer, despite Sams flattering assurance, vowed dreadful vengeance on the happy bridegroom. But, just when matters were at their height, and threatening to remain so, Mr. Pickwick found a powerful assistant in the old lady, who, evidently much struck by the mode in which he had advocated her nieces cause, ventured to approach Mr. Benjamin Allen with a few comforting reflections, of which the chief were, that after all, perhaps, it was well it was no worse; the least said the soonest mended, and upon her word she did not know that it was so very bad after all; what was over couldnt be begun, and what couldnt be cured must be endured; with various other assurances of the like novel and strengthening description. To all of these, Mr. Benjamin Allen replied that he meant no disrespect to his aunt, or anybody there, but if it were all the same to them, and they would allow him to have his own way, he would rather have the pleasure of hating his sister till death, and after it. At length, when this determination had been announced half a hundred times, the old lady suddenly bridling up and looking very majestic, wished to know what she had done that no respect was to be paid to her years or station, and that she should be obliged to beg and pray, in that way, of her own nephew, whom she remembered about five-and-twenty years before he was born, and whom she had known, personally, when he hadnt a tooth in his head; to say nothing of her presence on the first occasion of his having his hair cut, and assistance at numerous other times and ceremonies during his babyhood, of sufficient importance to found a claim upon his affection, obedience, and sympathies, for ever. While the good lady was bestowing this objurgation on Mr. Ben Allen, Bob Sawyer and Mr. Pickwick had retired in close conversation to the inner room, where Mr. Sawyer was observed to apply himself several times to the mouth of a black bottle, under the influence of which, his features gradually assumed a cheerful and even jovial expression. And at last he emerged from the room, bottle in hand, and, remarking that he was very sorry to say he had been making a fool of himself, begged to propose the health and happiness of Mr. and Mrs. Winkle, whose felicity, so far from envying, he would be the first to congratulate them upon. Hearing this, Mr. Ben Allen suddenly arose from his chair, and, seizing the black bottle, drank the toast so heartily, that, the liquor being strong, he became nearly as black in the face as the bottle. Finally, the black bottle went round till it was empty, and there was so much shaking of hands and interchanging of compliments, that even the metal-visaged Mr. Martin condescended to smile. And now, said Bob Sawyer, rubbing his hands, well have a jolly night. I am sorry, said Mr. Pickwick, that I must return to my inn. I have not been accustomed to fatigue lately, and my journey has tired me exceedingly. Youll take some tea, Mr. Pickwick? said the old lady, with irresistible sweetness. Thank you, I would rather not, replied that gentleman. The truth is, that the old ladys evidently increasing admiration was Mr. Pickwicks principal inducement for going away. He

The Pickwick Papers page 331        The Pickwick Papers page 333