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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 oʻthat 'ere gen'l'man, and a wery good service it is." “Little to do, and plenty to gět, I suppose ?" said Sergeant Buzfuz, with joculăr'ity. “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 evibence.” “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. “Yěs 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 witnèss yět—“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 & 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 yệt saw nothing of what was going forward. Have you a pair of eyes, Mr. Weller ?” “Yěs, 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 learnèd 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, yěs; 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 gěts 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, drew 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?” “Yěs,” said Sam; “they said what a wery gen'rous thing it was o' them to have taken
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 věry red, leaned over to Sergeant Buzfuz, and in a húrried manner whispered something in his ear.
“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, bear. ing 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 pub. lications, “Dombey and Son,” “David Copperfield,” “Bleak House,” and “Little 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 now 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 örator, 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. Yět here was the Mayor getting on iněx'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
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-par States Consul at Liverpool, gives ties.
spectral phenomenon, for it was not I, in my proper and natre ral self, that sat there at table or subsequently rose to speak.
4. At the moment, then, if the choice had been offered me whether the Mayor should let off a speech at my head or a pistol, I should unhesitatingly have taken the latter alternative. I had really nothing to say, not an idea in my head, nor, which was a good deal worse, any flowing words or embroidered sentences in which to dress out that empty Nothing, and give it a cunning aspect of intelligence, such as might last the poor vacuity the little time it had to live.
5. But time pressed ; the Mayor brought his remarks, affectionately eūlogistic of the United States and highly complimentary to their distinguished representative at that table, to a close, ămid a vast deal of cheering ; and the band struck up “Hail Columbia," I believe, though it might have been “Old Hundred," or "God save the Queen" over again, for anything that I should have known or cared. When the music ceased, there was an intensely disagreeable instant, during which I seemed to rend ăwāy and fling off the habit of a lifetime, and rose, still void of ideas, but with preternatural composure, to make a speech.
6. The guests rattled on the table, and cried “Hear!” most vociferously, as if now, at length, in this foolish and idly garrulous world, had come the long-expected moment when one golden word was to be spoken ; and in that imminent crisis, I caught a glimpse of a little bit of an effusion of internătional sentiment which it might and must and should do to utter.
7. Well ; it was nothing, as the Sergeant had said. What surprised me most was the sound of my own voice, which I had never before heard at a declamatory pitch, and which impressed me as belonging to some other person, who, and not myself, would be responsible for the speech : a prodigious consolation and encouragement under the cir'cumstances !
8. I went on without the slightest embarrassment, and sat down amid great applause, wholly urdeserved by anything that I had spoken, but well won from Englishmen, methought, by the new development of pluck that alone had enabled me to speak at all. “It was handsomely done!” quoth Sergeant Wilkins; and I felt like a recruit who had been for the first time under fire.