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The Pickwick Papers 381







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The Pickwick Papers

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usual place of meeting at the appointed time; even he wore a pair of gloves and a clean shirt, much frayed at the collar and wristbands by frequent washings. A quarter to two, said Pell, looking at the parlour clock. If we are with Mr. Flasher at a quarter past, we shall just hit the best time. What should you say to a drop o beer, genlmn? suggested the mottled-faced man. And a little bit o cold beef, said the second coachman. Or a oyster, added the third, who was a hoarse gentleman, supported by very round legs. Hear, hear! said Pell; to congratulate Mr. Weller, on his coming into possession of his property, eh? Ha! ha! Im quite agreeable, genlmn, answered Mr. Weller. Sammy, pull the bell. Sammy complied; and the porter, cold beef, and oysters being promptly produced, the lunch was done ample justice to. Where everybody took so active a part, it is almost invidious to make a distinction; but if one individual evinced greater powers than another, it was the coachman with the hoarse voice, who took an imperial pint of vinegar with his oysters, without betraying the least emotion. Mr. Pell, Sir, said the elder Mr. Weller, stirring a glass of brandy-and-water, of which one was placed before every gentleman when the oyster shells were removed--Mr. Pell, Sir, it wos my intention to have proposed the funs on this occasion, but Samivel has vispered to me-- Here Mr. Samuel Weller, who had silently eaten his oysters with tranquil smiles, cried, Hear! in a very loud voice. --Has vispered to me, resumed his father, that it vould be better to dewote the liquor to vishin you success and prosperity, and thankin you for the manner in which youve brought this here business through. Heres your health, sir. Hold hard there, interposed the mottled-faced gentleman, with sudden energy; your eyes on me, genlmn! Saying this, the mottled-faced gentleman rose, as did the other gentlemen. The mottled-faced gentleman reviewed the company, and slowly lifted his hand, upon which every man (including him of the mottled countenance) drew a long breath, and lifted his tumbler to his lips. In one instant, the mottled-faced gentleman depressed his hand again, and every glass was set down empty. It is impossible to describe the thrilling effect produced by this striking ceremony. At once dignified, solemn, and impressive, it combined every element of grandeur. Well, gentlemen, said Mr. Pell, all I can say is, that such marks of confidence must be very gratifying to a professional man. I dont wish to say anything that might appear egotistical, gentlemen, but Im very glad, for your own sakes, that you came to me; thats all. If you had gone to any low member of the profession, its my firm conviction, and I assure you of it as a fact, that you would have found yourselves in Queer Street before this. I could have wished my noble friend had been alive to have seen my management of this case. I dont say it out of pride, but I think-- However, gentlemen, I wont trouble you with that. Im generally to be found here, gentlemen, but if Im not here, or over the way, thats my address. Youll find my terms very cheap and reasonable, and no man attends more to his clients than I do, and I hope I know a little of my profession besides. If you have any opportunity of recommending me to any of your friends, gentlemen, I shall be very much obliged to you, and so will they too, when they come to know me. Your healths, gentlemen. With this expression of his feelings, Mr. Solomon Pell laid three small written cards before Mr. Wellers friends, and, looking at the clock again, feared it was time to be walking. Upon this hint Mr. Weller settled the bill, and, issuing forth, the executor, legatee, attorney, and umpires, directed their steps towards the city. The office of Wilkins Flasher, Esquire, of the Stock Exchange, was in a first floor up a court behind the Bank of England; the house of Wilkins Flasher, Esquire, was at Brixton, Surrey; the horse and stanhope of Wilkins Flasher, Esquire, were at an adjacent livery stable; the groom of Wilkins Flasher, Esquire, was on his way to the West End to deliver some game; the clerk of Wilkins Flasher, Esquire, had gone to his dinner; and so Wilkins Flasher, Esquire, himself, cried, Come in, when Mr. Pell and his companions knocked at the counting-house door. Good-morning, Sir, said Pell, bowing obsequiously.

The Pickwick Papers page 380        The Pickwick Papers page 382