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The Pickwick Papers 98







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Books:

Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf




literature. There was the young lady who did the poetry in the Eatanswill GAZETTE, in the garb of a sultana, leaning upon the arm of the young gentleman who did the review department, and who was appropriately habited in a field-marshals uniform--the boots excepted. There were hosts of these geniuses, and any reasonable person would have thought it honour enough to meet them. But more than these, there were half a dozen lions from London--authors, real authors, who had written whole books, and printed them afterwards--and here you might see em, walking about, like ordinary men, smiling, and talking--aye, and talking pretty considerable nonsense too, no doubt with the benign intention of rendering themselves intelligible to the common people about them. Moreover, there was a band of music in pasteboard caps; four something-ean singers in the costume of their country, and a dozen hired waiters in the costume of THEIR country--and very dirty costume too. And above all, there was Mrs. Leo Hunter in the character of Minerva, receiving the company, and overflowing with pride and gratification at the notion of having called such distinguished individuals together. Mr. Pickwick, maam, said a servant, as that gentleman approached the presiding goddess, with his hat in his hand, and the brigand and troubadour on either arm. What! Where! exclaimed Mrs. Leo Hunter, starting up, in an affected rapture of surprise. Here, said Mr. Pickwick. Is it possible that I have really the gratification of beholding Mr. Pickwick himself! ejaculated Mrs. Leo Hunter. No other, maam, replied Mr. Pickwick, bowing very low. Permit me to introduce my friends--Mr. Tupman--Mr. Winkle --Mr. Snodgrass--to the authoress of "The Expiring Frog." Very few people but those who have tried it, know what a difficult process it is to bow in green velvet smalls, and a tight jacket, and high-crowned hat; or in blue satin trunks and white silks, or knee-cords and top-boots that were never made for the wearer, and have been fixed upon him without the remotest reference to the comparative dimensions of himself and the suit. Never were such distortions as Mr. Tupmans frame underwent in his efforts to appear easy and graceful--never was such ingenious posturing, as his fancy-dressed friends exhibited. Mr. Pickwick, said Mrs. Leo Hunter, I must make you promise not to stir from my side the whole day. There are hundreds of people here, that I must positively introduce you to. You are very kind, maam, said Mr. Pickwick. In the first place, here are my little girls; I had almost forgotten them, said Minerva, carelessly pointing towards a couple of full-grown young ladies, of whom one might be about twenty, and the other a year or two older, and who were dressed in very juvenile costumes--whether to make them look young, or their mamma younger, Mr. Pickwick does not distinctly inform us. They are very beautiful, said Mr. Pickwick, as the juveniles turned away, after being presented. They are very like their mamma, Sir, said Mr. Pott, majestically. Oh, you naughty man, exclaimed Mrs. Leo Hunter, playfully tapping the editors arm with her fan (Minerva with a fan!). Why now, my dear Mrs. Hunter, said Mr. Pott, who was trumpeter in ordinary at the Den, you know that when your picture was in the exhibition of the Royal Academy, last year, everybody inquired whether it was intended for you, or your youngest daughter; for you were so much alike that there was no telling the difference between you. Well, and if they did, why need you repeat it, before strangers? said Mrs. Leo Hunter, bestowing another tap on the slumbering lion of the Eatanswill GAZETTE. Count, count, screamed Mrs. Leo Hunter to a well-whiskered individual in a foreign uniform, who was passing by. Ah! you want me? said the count, turning back. I want to introduce two very clever people to each other, said Mrs. Leo Hunter. Mr. Pickwick, I have great pleasure in introducing you to Count Smorltork. She added in a hurried whisper to Mr. Pickwick--The famous foreigner--gathering materials for his great work on England--hem!--Count Smorltork, Mr. Pickwick. Mr. Pickwick saluted the count with all the reverence due to so great a man, and the count drew forth a set of tablets. What you say, Mrs. Hunt? inquired the count, smiling graciously on the gratified Mrs. Leo Hunter, Pig Vig or Big Vig--what you call--lawyer--eh? I see--that is it. Big Vig-- and the count was proceeding to enter Mr. Pickwick in his tablets, as a gentleman of the long robe, who derived his name from the profession to which he belonged, when Mrs. Leo Hunter interposed. No, no,

The Pickwick Papers page 97        The Pickwick Papers page 99