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The Pickwick Papers 362







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The Pickwick Papers

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reasoned Mr. Weller, do you spose as that ere jury ud ever ha conwicted him, sposin it possible as the matter could ha gone to that extremity? They dustnt ha done it. Wy not? said Sam, rather disparagingly. Wy not! rejoined Mr. Weller; cos it ud ha gone agin their consciences. A reglar coachmans a sort o con-nectin link betwixt singleness and matrimony, and every practicable man knows it. Wot! You mean, theyre genral favorites, and nobody takes adwantage on em, praps? said Sam. His father nodded. How it ever come to that ere pass, resumed the parent Weller, I cant say. Wy it is that long-stage coachmen possess such insiniwations, and is alvays looked up to--a-dored I may say--by evry young ooman in evry town he vurks through, I dont know. I only know that so it is. Its a regulation of natur --a dispensary, as your poor mother-in-law used to say. A dispensation, said Sam, correcting the old gentleman. Wery good, Samivel, a dispensation if you like it better, returned Mr. Weller; I call it a dispensary, and its always writ up so, at the places vere they gives you physic for nothin in your own bottles; thats all. With these words, Mr. Weller refilled and relighted his pipe, and once more summoning up a meditative expression of countenance, continued as follows-- Therefore, my boy, as I do not see the adwisability o stoppin here to be married vether I vant to or not, and as at the same time I do not vish to separate myself from them interestin members o society altogether, I have come to the determination o driving the Safety, and puttin up vunce more at the Bell Savage, vich is my natral born element, Sammy. And wots to become o the bisness? inquired Sam. The bisness, Samivel, replied the old gentleman, good-vill, stock, and fixters, vill be sold by private contract; and out o the money, two hundred pound, agreeable to a rekvest o your mother-in-laws to me, a little afore she died, vill be invested in your name in--What do you call them things agin? Wot things? inquired Sam. Them things as is always a-goin up and down, in the city. Omnibuses? suggested Sam. Nonsense, replied Mr. Weller. Them things as is alvays a-fluctooatin, and gettin theirselves inwolved somehow or another vith the national debt, and the chequers bill; and all that. Oh! the funds, said Sam. Ah! rejoined Mr. Weller, the funs; two hundred pounds o the money is to be inwested for you, Samivel, in the funs; four and a half per cent. reduced counsels, Sammy. Wery kind o the old lady to think o me, said Sam, and Im wery much obliged to her. The rest will be inwested in my name, continued the elder Mr. Weller; and wen Im took off the road, itll come to you, so take care you dont spend it all at vunst, my boy, and mind that no widder gets a inklin o your fortun, or youre done. Having delivered this warning, Mr. Weller resumed his pipe with a more serene countenance; the disclosure of these matters appearing to have eased his mind considerably. Somebodys a-tappin at the door, said Sam. Let em tap, replied his father, with dignity. Sam acted upon the direction. There was another tap, and another, and then a long row of taps; upon which Sam inquired why the tapper was not admitted. Hush, whispered Mr. Weller, with apprehensive looks, dont take no notice on em, Sammy, its vun o the widders, praps. No notice being taken of the taps, the unseen visitor, after a short lapse, ventured to open the door and peep in. It was no female head that was thrust in at the partially-opened door, but the long black locks and red face of Mr. Stiggins. Mr. Wellers pipe fell from his hands. The reverend gentleman gradually opened the door by almost imperceptible degrees, until the aperture was just wide enough to admit of the passage of his lank body, when he glided into the room and closed it after him, with great care and gentleness. Turning towards Sam, and raising his hands and eyes in token of the unspeakable sorrow with which he regarded the calamity that had befallen the family, he carried the high-backed chair to his old corner by the fire, and, seating himself on the very edge, drew forth a brown pocket-handkerchief, and applied the same to his optics. While this was going forward, the elder Mr. Weller sat back in his chair, with his eyes wide open, his hands planted on his knees,

The Pickwick Papers page 361        The Pickwick Papers page 363