« السابقةمتابعة »
said Mr. Pickwick. “Bless his heart,” interposed Mrs. Bardell, with a maternal sob. “He, too, will have a companion,” resumed Mr. Pickwick, “a lively one, who'll teach him, I'll be bound, more tricks in a week, than he would ever learn in a year.” And Mr. Pickwick smiled placidly.
9. “Oh you dear,” said Mrs. Bardell. Mr. Pickwick started. “Oh you kind, good, playful dear," said Mrs. Bardell ; and without more ado, she rose from her chair, and flung her arms round Mr. Pickwick's neck, with a cataract of tears, and a chorus of sobs. “Bless my soul,” cried the astonished Mr. Pickwick ;-“Mrs. Bardell, my good woman-dear me, what a situation-pray consider. Mrs. Bardell, don't—if anybody should come
“Oh, let them come,” exclaimed Mrs. Bardell, frantically ; "I'll never leave you—dear, kind, good, soul;" and, with these words, Mrs. Bardell clung the tighter.
10. “Mercy upon me," said Mr. Pickwick, struggling violently, “I hear somebody coming up the stairs. Don't, don't, there's a good creature, don't.” But entreaty and remonstrance were ălīke unavailing : for Mrs. Bardell had fainted in Mr. Pickwick's arms ; and before he could gain time to deposit her on a chair, Master Bardell entered the room, ushering in Mr. Tupman, Mr. Winkle, and Mr. Snodgrass. Mr. Pickwick was struck motionless and speechless. He stood with his lovely burden in his arms, gazing vacantly on the countenances of his friends, without the slightest attempt at recognition or explanation. They, in their turn, stared at him; and Master Bardell, in his turn, stared at everybody.
11. The astonishment of the Pickwickians was so absorbing, and the perplexity of Mr. Pickwick was so extreme, that they might have remained in exactly the same relative situation until the suspended animation of the lady was restored, had it not been for a most beautiful and touching expression of filial affection on the part of her youthful son. Clad in a tight suit of corduroy, spangled with brass buttons of a very considerable size, he at first stood at the door astounded and uncertain ; but by degrees, the impression that his mother must have suffered some personal damage, pervaded his partially developed mind, and considering Mr. Pickwick the aggressor, he set up an appalling and semi-earthly kind of howling, and butting forward, with his head, commenced assailing that immortal gentleman
about the back and legs, with such blows and pinches as the strength of his arm, and the violence of his excitement allowed.
12. Take this little villain ăway,” said the agonized Mr. Pickwick, “he's mad.” “What is the matter?" said the three tongue-tied Pickwickians. “I don't know," replied Mr. Pickwick, pettishly. "Take away the boy--(here Mr. Winkle carried the in'teresting boy, screaming and struggling, to the farther end of the apartment.) Now help me to lead this woman down stairs.” “Oh, I'm better now," said Mrs. Bardell, faintly. “Let me lead you down stairs," said the ever gallant Mr. Tupman. “Thank you, sir—thank you;" exclaimed Mrs. Bardell, hysterically. And down stairs she was led accordingly, accompanied by her affectionate son.
13. “I can not conceive”_said Mr. Pickwick, when his friend returned—“I can not conceive what has been the matter with that woman. I had merely announced to her my intention of keeping a man-servant, when she fell into the extraordinary paroxysm in which you found her. Very extraordinary thing." “Very,” said his three friends. “ Placed me in such an extremely awkward situation,"continued Mr. Pickwick. “Very;" was the reply of his followers, as they coughed slightly, and looked dubiously at each other.
4. This behavior was not lost upon Mr. Pickwick. He remarked their incredulity. They evidently suspected him.“There is a man in the passage, now,” said Mr. Tupman. “It's the man that I spoke to you about,” said Mr. Pickwick, “I sent for him to the Borough this morning. Have the goodness to call him up, Snodgrass.'
141. SCENES FROM PICKWICK.
SPEECH OF SERGEANT BUZFUZ.
Y a ,
COU heard from my learned friend, Gentlemen of the Jury,
in which the damages are laid at fifteen hundred pounds. The plaintiff, Gentlemen, is a widow; yes, Gentlemen, a widow. The late Mr. Bardell, some time before his death, became the father, Gentlemen, of a little boy. With this little boy, the only pledge of her departed exciseman, Mrs. Bardell shrunk from the world
and courted the retirement and tranquillity of Goswell street: and here she placed in her front parlor-window a written placard', bearing this inscription,-"APARTMENTS FURNISHED FOR A SINGLE GENTLEMAN. INQUIRE WITHIN.”
2. Mrs. Bardell's opinions of the opposite sex, Gentlemen, were derived from a long contemplation of the ines'timable qualities of her lost husband. She had no fear, she had no distrust,
-all was confidence and reliance. “Mr. Bardell,” said the widow, was a man of honor,-Mr. Bardell was a man of his word, Mr. Bardell was no deceiver,-Mr. Bardell was once a single gentleman himself : to single gentlemen I look for protection, for assistance, for comfort, and consolation; in single gentlemen I shall perpetually see something to remind me of what Mr. Bardell was, when he first won my young and untried affections ; to a single gentleman, then, shall my lodgings be let."
3. Actuated by this beautiful and touching impulse (among the best impulses of our imperfect nature, Gentlemen), the lonely and desolate widow dried her tears, furnished her first floor, caught her innocent boy to her maternal bosom, and put the bill up in her parlör-window. Did it remain there lõng? No. The serpent was on the watch, the train was laid, the mine was preparing, the sapper and miner was at work! Before the bill had been in the parlor-window three days,-three days, Gentleman,-a being, erect upon two legs, and bearing all the outward semblance of a man, and not of a monster, knocked at the door of Mrs. Bardell's house! He inquired within ; he took the lodgings; and on the věry next day he entered into possession of them. This man was Pickwick,-Pickwick, the defendant!
4. Of this man I will say little. The subject presents but few attractions ; and I, Gentlemen, am not the man, nor are you, Gentlemen, the men, to delight in the contemplation of revolting heartlessness, and of systematic villainy. I say systematic villainy, Gentlemen ; and when I say systematic villainy, let me tell the defendant Pickwick, if he be in court, as I am informed he is, that it would have been more decent in him, more becoming, if he had stopped away. Let me tell him, further, that a counsel, in the discharge of his duty, is nēither to be intimidated, nor bullied, nor put down; and that any attempt to do either the one or the other will recoil on the head of the attempter, be he plaintiff or be he defendant, be his name
Pickwick, or Noakes, or Stoakes, or Stiles, or Brown, or Thompson.
5. I shall show you, Gentlemen, that for two years Pickwick continued to reside constantly, and without interruption or intermission, at Mrs. Bardell's house. I shall show you that Mrs. Bardell, during the whole of that time, waited on him, attended to his comforts, cooked his meals, looked out his linen for the washerwoman when it went abroad, darned, aired, and prepared it for wear when it came home, and, in short, enjoyed his fullèst trust and confidence. I shall show you that, on many occasions, he gave half-pence, and on some occasions even sixpence, to her little boy. I shall prove to you, that on one occasion, when he returned from the country, he distinctly and in terms offered her marriage, previously, however, taking special care that there should be no witnèssès to their solemn contract; and I am in a situation to prove to you, on the testimony of three of his own friends,-most unwilling witnesses, Gentlemen-most unwilling witnesses,—that on that morning he was discovered by them holding the plaintiff in his arms, and soothing her agitation by his caresses and endearments.
6. And now, Gentlemen, but one word more. Two letters have passed between these parties,-letters that must be viewed with a cautious and suspicious eye,-letters that were evidently intended, at the time, by Pickwick, to mislead and delude any third parties into whose hands they might fall. Let me read the first :-“Garraway's, twelve o'clock.—Dear Mrs. B.—Chops and Tomāto sauce. Yours, Pickwick.” Gentleman, what does this mean? Chops and Tomato sauce! Yours, Pickwick! Chops! Gracious heavens! And Tomato sauce! Gentlemen, is the happiness of a sensitive and confiding female to be trified away by such shallow artifices as these ?
7. The next has no date whatever, which is in itself suspicious :
Dear Mrs. B., I shall not be at home to morrow. Slow coach.” And then follows this very remarkable expression, “Don't trouble yourself about the warming-pan.” The warming-pan! Why, Gentlemen, who does trouble himself about & warming-pan? Why is Mrs. Bardell so earnestly entreated not to agitate herself about this warming-pan, unless (as is no doubt the case) it is a mere cover for hidden fire-a mere substitute for some endearing word or promise, agreeably to a preconcerted
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 reference to Pickwick himself, who has most unquestionably been a criminally slow eoach 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 emile 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 domestico'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 tomāto-sauce and warming-pans,-Pickwick still rears bis 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. "Sam
Weller, my lord,” replied that gentleman. “Do you 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.