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The Pickwick Papers
The Sea Wolf
mail!" With these words, overpowered by her feelings, and the exertion of sticking the young Marquess of Filletoville, she sank into my uncles arms. My uncle caught her up, and bore her to the house door. There stood the mail, with four long-tailed, flowing-maned, black horses, ready harnessed; but no coachman, no guard, no hostler even, at the horses heads. Gentlemen, I hope I do no injustice to my uncles memory, when I express my opinion, that although he was a bachelor, he had held some ladies in his arms before this time; I believe, indeed, that he had rather a habit of kissing barmaids; and I know, that in one or two instances, he had been seen by credible witnesses, to hug a landlady in a very perceptible manner. I mention the circumstance, to show what a very uncommon sort of person this beautiful young lady must have been, to have affected my uncle in the way she did; he used to say, that as her long dark hair trailed over his arm, and her beautiful dark eyes fixed themselves upon his face when she recovered, he felt so strange and nervous that his legs trembled beneath him. But who can look in a sweet, soft pair of dark eyes, without feeling queer? I cant, gentlemen. I am afraid to look at some eyes I know, and thats the truth of it. "You will never leave me," murmured the young lady. "Never," said my uncle. And he meant it too. "My dear preserver!" exclaimed the young lady. "My dear, kind, brave preserver!" "Dont," said my uncle, interrupting her. "Why?" inquired the young lady. "Because your mouth looks so beautiful when you speak," rejoined my uncle, "that Im afraid I shall be rude enough to kiss it." The young lady put up her hand as if to caution my uncle not to do so, and said-- No, she didnt say anything--she smiled. When you are looking at a pair of the most delicious lips in the world, and see them gently break into a roguish smile--if you are very near them, and nobody else by--you cannot better testify your admiration of their beautiful form and colour than by kissing them at once. My uncle did so, and I honour him for it. "Hark!" cried the young lady, starting. "The noise of wheels, and horses!" "So it is," said my uncle, listening. He had a good ear for wheels, and the trampling of hoofs; but there appeared to be so many horses and carriages rattling towards them, from a distance, that it was impossible to form a guess at their number. The sound was like that of fifty brakes, with six blood cattle in each. "We are pursued!" cried the young lady, clasping her hands. "We are pursued. I have no hope but in you!" There was such an expression of terror in her beautiful face, that my uncle made up his mind at once. He lifted her into the coach, told her not to be frightened, pressed his lips to hers once more, and then advising her to draw up the window to keep the cold air out, mounted to the box. "Stay, love," cried the young lady. "Whats the matter?" said my uncle, from the coach-box. "I want to speak to you," said the young lady; "only a word. Only one word, dearest." "Must I get down?" inquired my uncle. The lady made no answer, but she smiled again. Such a smile, gentlemen! It beat the other one, all to nothing. My uncle descended from his perch in a twinkling. "What is it, my dear?" said my uncle, looking in at the coach window. The lady happened to bend forward at the same time, and my uncle thought she looked more beautiful than she had done yet. He was very close to her just then, gentlemen, so he really ought to know. "What is it, my dear?" said my uncle. "Will you never love any one but me--never marry any one beside?" said the young lady. My uncle swore a great oath that he never would marry anybody else, and the young lady drew in her head, and pulled up the window. He jumped upon the box, squared his elbows, adjusted the ribands, seized the whip which lay on the roof, gave one flick to the off leader, and away went the four long-tailed, flowing-maned black horses, at fifteen good English miles an hour, with the old mail-coach behind them. Whew!
The Pickwick Papers page 341 The Pickwick Papers page 343