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The Pickwick Papers 99







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Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf




count, said the lady, Pick-wick. Ah, ah, I see, replied the count. Peek--christian name; Weeks--surname; good, ver good. Peek Weeks. How you do, Weeks? Quite well, I thank you, replied Mr. Pickwick, with all his usual affability. Have you been long in England? Long--ver long time--fortnight--more. Do you stay here long? One week. You will have enough to do, said Mr. Pickwick smiling, to gather all the materials you want in that time. Eh, they are gathered, said the count. Indeed! said Mr. Pickwick. They are here, added the count, tapping his forehead significantly. Large book at home--full of notes--music, picture, science, potry, poltic; all tings. The word politics, sir, said Mr. Pickwick, comprises in itself, a difficult study of no inconsiderable magnitude. Ah! said the count, drawing out the tablets again, ver good --fine words to begin a chapter. Chapter forty-seven. Poltics. The word poltic surprises by himself-- And down went Mr. Pickwicks remark, in Count Smorltorks tablets, with such variations and additions as the counts exuberant fancy suggested, or his imperfect knowledge of the language occasioned. Count, said Mrs. Leo Hunter. Mrs. Hunt, replied the count. This is Mr. Snodgrass, a friend of Mr. Pickwicks, and a poet. Stop, exclaimed the count, bringing out the tablets once more. Head, potry--chapter, literary friends--name, Snowgrass; ver good. Introduced to Snowgrass--great poet, friend of Peek Weeks--by Mrs. Hunt, which wrote other sweet poem--what is that name?--Fog--Perspiring Fog--ver good--ver good indeed. And the count put up his tablets, and with sundry bows and acknowledgments walked away, thoroughly satisfied that he had made the most important and valuable additions to his stock of information. Wonderful man, Count Smorltork, said Mrs. Leo Hunter. Sound philosopher, said Mr. Pott. Clear-headed, strong-minded person, added Mr. Snodgrass. A chorus of bystanders took up the shout of Count Smorltorks praise, shook their heads sagely, and unanimously cried, Very! As the enthusiasm in Count Smorltorks favour ran very high, his praises might have been sung until the end of the festivities, if the four something-ean singers had not ranged themselves in front of a small apple-tree, to look picturesque, and commenced singing their national songs, which appeared by no means difficult of execution, inasmuch as the grand secret seemed to be, that three of the something-ean singers should grunt, while the fourth howled. This interesting performance having concluded amidst the loud plaudits of the whole company, a boy forthwith proceeded to entangle himself with the rails of a chair, and to jump over it, and crawl under it, and fall down with it, and do everything but sit upon it, and then to make a cravat of his legs, and tie them round his neck, and then to illustrate the ease with which a human being can be made to look like a magnified toad --all which feats yielded high delight and satisfaction to the assembled spectators. After which, the voice of Mrs. Pott was heard to chirp faintly forth, something which courtesy interpreted into a song, which was all very classical, and strictly in character, because Apollo was himself a composer, and composers can very seldom sing their own music or anybody elses, either. This was succeeded by Mrs. Leo Hunters recitation of her far-famed Ode to an Expiring Frog, which was encored once, and would have been encored twice, if the major part of the guests, who thought it was high time to get something to eat, had not said that it was perfectly shameful to take advantage of Mrs. Hunters good nature. So although Mrs. Leo Hunter professed her perfect willingness to recite the ode again, her kind and considerate friends wouldnt hear of it on any account; and the refreshment room being thrown open, all the people who had ever been there before, scrambled in with all possible despatch-- Mrs. Leo Hunters usual course of proceedings being, to issue cards for a hundred, and breakfast for fifty, or in other words to feed only the very particular lions, and let the smaller animals take care of themselves. Where is Mr. Pott? said Mrs. Leo Hunter, as she placed the aforesaid lions around her. Here I am, said the editor, from the remotest end of the room; far beyond all hope of food, unless something was done for him by the hostess. Wont you come up here? Oh, pray dont mind him, said Mrs. Pott, in the most obliging voice--you give yourself a great deal of unnecessary trouble, Mrs. Hunter. Youll do very well there, wont you--dear? Certainly--love, replied the unhappy Pott, with a grim smile. Alas for the knout! The nervous arm that

The Pickwick Papers page 98        The Pickwick Papers page 100