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system of correspondence, artfully contrived by Pickwick with a view to his contemplated desertion? And what does this allusion to the slow coach mean? For aught I know, it may be a reference to Pickwick himself, who has most unquestionably been a criminally slow coach during the whole of this transaction, but whose speed will now be very unexpectedly accelerated, and whose wheels, Gentlemen, as he will find to his cost, will very soon be greased by you!
8. But enough of this, Gentlemen. It is difficult to smile with an aching heart. My client's hopes and prospects are ruined, and it is no figure of speech to say that her occupation is gone indeed. The bill is down; but there is no tenant! Eligible single gentlemen pass and repass; but there is no invitation for them to inquire within, or without! All is gloom and silence in the house even the voice of the child is hushed; his infant sports are disregarded, when his mother weeps.
9. But Pickwick, Gentlemen, Pickwick, the ruthless destroyer of this domestic o'asis in the desert of Goswell street,-Pickwick, who has choked up the well, and thrown ashes on the sward,-Pickwick, who comes before you to-day with his heartless tomato-sauce and warming-pans,-Pickwick still rears his head with unblushing effrontery, and gazes without a sigh on the ruin he has made! Damages, Gentlemen, heavy damages, is the only punishment with which you can visit him,--the only recompense you can award to my client! And for those damages she now appeals to an enlightened, a high-minded, a right-feeling, a conscientious, a dispassionate, a sympathizing, a contemplative Jury of her civilized countrymen!
142. SCENES FROM PICKWICK.
SAM WELLER AS WITNESS.
HAT'S your name, sir?" inquired the judge. Weller, my lord," replied that gentleman. spell it with a 'V' or a 'W?" inquired the judge. "That depends upon the taste and fancy of the speller, my lord," replied Sam; "I never had occasion to spell it more than once or twice in my life, but I spells it with a 'V." Here a voice in the gallery exclaimed aloud,-"Quite right, too, Samivel; quite right.
Put it down a we, my lord, put it down a we." "Who is that that dares to address the court?" said the little judge looking up ;-"Usher!" "Yes, my lord!" "Bring that person here instantly." "Yes, my lord."
2. But, as the usher didn't find the person, he didn't bring him; and, after a great commotion, all the people who had got up to look for the culprit, sat down again. The little judge turned to the witness as soon as his indignation would allow him to speak, and said "Do you know who that was, sir?" "I rather suspect it was my father, my lord," replied Sam. "Do you see him here now?" said the judge. "No, I don't, my lord," replied Sam, staring right up into the lantern in the roof of the court. "If you could have pointed him out, I would have committed him instantly," said the judge. Sam bowed his acknowledgments, and turned with unimpaired cheerfulness of countenance toward Sergeant' Buzfuz.
3. "Now, Mr. Weller," said Sergeant Buzfuz. "Now, sir," replied Sam. "I believe you are in the service of Mr. Pickwick, the defendant in this case. Speak up, if you please, Mr. Weller." "I mean to speak up, sir," replied Sam. "I am in the service o' that 'ere gen'l'man, and a wery good service it is." "Little to do, and plenty to get, I suppose?" said Sergeant Buzfuz, with joculărʼity. “Oh, quite enough to get, sir, as the soldier said ven they ordered him three hundred and fifty lashes," replied Sam. "You must not tell us what the soldier or any other man said, sir," interposed the judge; "it's not evidence." "Wery good, my lord,” replied Sam.
4. "Do you recollect anything particular happening on the morning when you were first engaged by the defendant, eh, Mr. Weller?" said Sergeant Buzfuz. Yes I do, sir,” replied Sam. "Have the goodness to tell the jury what it was.” “I had a reg'lar new fit out o' clothes that mornin', gen'l'men of the jury," said Sam, "and that was a wery particler and uncommon circumstance vith me in those days."
5. Hereupon there was a general laugh; and the little judge, looking with an angry countenance over his desk, said, “You had better be careful, sir." "So Mr. Pickwick said at the time, my lord,” replied Sam, "and I was wery careful o' that 'ere suit o' clothes; wery careful, indeed, my lord." The judge looked
'Sergeant, (sår'jent), a lawyer of the highest rank.
sternly at Sam for full two minutes, but Sam's features were so perfectly calm and serene that he said nothing, and motioned Sergeant Buzfuz to proceed.
6. "Do you mean to tell me, Mr. Weller," said Sergeant Buzfuz, folding his arms emphatically, and turning half round to the jury, as if in mute assurance he would bother the witness yet—“Do you mean to tell me, Mr. Weller, that you saw nothing of this fainting on the part of the plaintiff in the arms of the defendant, which you have heard described by the witnesses?" "Certainly not," replied Sam. "I was in the passage till they called me up, and then the old lady was not there."
7. "Now attend, Mr. Weller," said Sergeant Buzfuz, dipping a large pen into the inkstand before him, for the purpose of frightening Sam with a show of taking down his answer, “you were in the passage and yet saw nothing of what was going forward. Have you a pair of eyes, Mr. Weller?" "Yes, I have a pair of eyes," replied Sam, "and that's just it. If they wos a pair o' patent double million magnifyin' gas microscopes of hextra power, p'raps I might be able to see through a flight o' stairs and a deal door; but bein' only eyes, you see, my wision's limited.”
8. At this answer, which was delivered without the slightest appearance of irritation, and with the most complete simplicity and equanimity of manner, the spectators tittered, the little judge smiled, and Sergeant Buzfuz looked particularly foolish. After a short consultation with Dodson and Fogg, the learned sergeant again turned to Sam, and said, with a painful effort to conceal his vexation,-"Now, Mr. Weller, I'll ask you a question on another point, if you please." "If you please, sir," rejoined Sam, with the utmost good-humor.
9. "Do you remember going up to Mrs. Bardell's house, one night in November last?" Oh, yes; wery well." Oh, you do remember that, Mr. Weller," said Sergeant Buzfuz, recovering his spirits, "I thought we should get at something at last.” "I rather thought that, too, sir," replied Sam; and at this the spectators tittered again. "Well; I suppose you went up to have a little talk about this trial-eh, Mr. Weller?" said Sergeant Buzfuz, looking knowingly at the jury. "I went up to pay the rent; but we did get a talking about the trial," replied Sam. "Oh, you did get a talking about the trial," said Sergeant Buzfuz, brightening up with the anticipation of some
important discovery. "Now what passed about the trial; will you have the goodness to tell us, Mr. Weller?"
10. "Vith all the pleasure in my life, sir," replied Sam. "Arter a few unimportant observations from the two wirtuous females as has been examined here to-day, the ladies gets into a wery great state o' admiration at the honorable conduct of Mr. Dodson and Fogg-them two gen'l'men as is sittin' near you now.” This, of course, drow general attention to Dodson and Fogg, who looked as virtuous as possible. "The attorneys for the plaintiff," said Mr. Sergeant Buzfuz; "well, they spoke in high praise of the honorable conduct of Messrs. Dodson and Fogg, the attorneys for the plaintiff, did they?" "Yes,” said Sam ; "they said what a wery gen'rous thing it was o' them to have taken up the case on spec, and to charge nothin' at all for costs, unless they got 'em out of Mr. Pickwick."
11. At this very unexpected reply, the spectators tittered again, and Dodson and Fogg, turning very red, leaned over to Sergeant Buzfuz, and in a hurried manner whispered something in his ear. 66 You are quite right," said Sergeant Buzfuz aloud, with affected composure. "It's perfectly useless, my lord, attempting to get at any evidence through the impenetrable stupidity of this witness. I will not trouble the court by asking him any more questions. Stand down, sir."
12. "Would any other gen'l'man like to ask me anythin'?" inquired Sam, taking up his hat, and looking round most deliberately. "Not I, Mr. Weller, thank you," said Sergeant Snubbin, laughing. "You may go down, sir," said Sergeant Buzfuz, waving his hand impatiently. Sam went down accordingly, after doing Messrs. Dodson and Fogg's case as much harm as he conveniently could, and saying just as little respecting Mr. Pickwick as might be, which was precisely the object he had in view all along. DICKENS.
CHARLES DICKENS, the famous English novelist, was born at Portsmouth, in February, 1812. At an early period he became reporter for the newspaper press of London, and thus escaped the cramping necessity of depending for subsistence upon his first purely literary labors. His earliest works, "Sketches by Boz," first written for periodicals, were collected and published in two volumes, bearing respectively the dates of 1836 and 1837. His works immediately succeeding, "Pickwick," "Oliver Twist," and "Nicholas Nickleby," fully established his reputation. The "Pickwick Papers," from which the preceding scenes were selected, is one of his best works. He has probably never drawn a character more original in conception and more happily sustained than that of Sam Weller.
The career of Dickens has been one of uniform success. His more recent publications, "Dombey and Son," ," "David Copperfield," "Bleak House," and "Lit-, tle Dorrit," prove conclusively that, far from having "written himself out," the resources of his mind are well-nigh inexhaustible. His genius, which has peopled our literature with such a crowd of living and moving characters, gives promise of as many new creations, equally varied and true to nature. He is now editor of "All the Year Round," a first class magazine.
143. MY ORATORICAL EXPERIENCE.'
HE Mayor had got up to propose another toast; and, listening rather inattentively to the first sentence or two, I soon became sensible of a drift in his Worship's remarks that made me glance apprehensively toward Sergeant Wilkins. "Yes," grumbled that gruff personage, shoving a decanter of Port toward me, "it is your turn next"; and seeing in my face, I suppose, the consternation of a wholly unpracticed orator, he kindly added, "It is nothing. A mere acknowledgment will answer the purpose. The less you say, the better they will like it." That being the case, I suggested that perhaps they would like it best if I said nothing at all. But the Sergeant shook his head.
2. Now, on first receiving the Mayor's invitation to dinner, it had occurred to me that I might possibly be brought into my present predicament; but I had dismissed the ide'a from my mind as too disagreeable to be entertained, and, moreover, as so alien from my disposition and character that Fate surely could not keep such a misfortune in store for me. If nothing else prevented, an earthquake or the crack of doom would certainly interfere before I need rise to speak. Yet here was the Mayor getting on inex'orably,-and, indeed, I heartily wished that he might get on and on forever, and of his wordy wanderings find no end.
3. If the gentle reader, my kindèst friend and closest confidant, deigns to desire it, I can impart to him my own experience as a public speaker quite as indifferently as if it concerned another person. Indeed, it does concern another, or a mere
1 The author, in an article which the following humorous account describes the Civic Banquets, which of the oratorical ordeal he passed he attended in London, while United at one of the Mayor's dinner-parStates Consul at Liverpool, gives ties.