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Pickwick as the aggressor, he set up an appalling and semi-earthly kind of howling, and butting for
"TAKE THIS LITTLE VILLAIN AWAY!"
ward 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.
“Take this little villain away,” said the agonized Mr. Pickwick, "he's mad.”
“What is the matter?” said the three tonguetied Pickwickians.
"I don't know,” replied Mr. Pickwick, pettishly. “Take away the boy” (here Mr. Winkle carried the interesting boy, screaming and struggling, to the further end of the apartment). "Now, help me lead this woman down stairs."
“Oh, I am 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 downstairs she was led accordingly, accompanied by her affectionate son.
"I cannot conceive-” said Mr. Pickwick when his friend returned—“I cannot 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. This behaviour 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 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.
Mr. Snodgrass did as he was desired; and Mr. Samuel Weller forthwith presented himself.
“Oh-you remember me, I suppose?” said Mr. Pickwick.
"I should think so,” replied Sam, with a patronizing wink.
“I want to speak to you about something,” said Mr. Pickwick. “Sit down."
“Thank’ee, sir,” said Sam. And down he sat without farther bidding, having previously deposited his old white hat on the landing outside the door.
“Ta’nt a werry good ’un to look at,” said Sam, "but it's an astonishin' 'un to wear; and before the brim went, it was a werry handsome tile. Hows'ever it's lighter without it, that's one thing, and every hole lets in some air, that's another-wentilation gossamer I calls it.” On the delivery of this sentiment, Mr. Weller smiled agreeably upon the assembled Pickwickians.
“Now with regard to the matter on which I, with the concurrence of these gentlemen, sent for you,” said Mr. Pickwick.
“That's the pint, sir,” interposed Sam; "out vith it, as the father said to the child, wen he swallowed a farden."7
“We want to know, in the first place,” said Mr. Pickwick, “whether you have any reason to be discontented with your present situation.”
“Afore I answers that 'ere question, gen'Im'n,” replied Mr. Weller, “I should like to know, in the first place, whether you're a goin' to purwide me with a better.”
A sunbeam of placid benevolence played on Mr. Pickwick's features as he said, “I have half made up my mind to engage you myself.”
“Have you, though?” said Sam. Mr. Pickwick nodded in the affirmative. “Wages?” inquired Sam. “Twelve pounds8 a year,” replied Mr. Pickwick. “Clothes?” "Two suits.” “Work?”
"To attend upon me; and travel about with me and these gentlemen here."
“Take the bill down,” said Sam, emphatically. “I'm let to a single gentleman, and the terms is agreed upon.”
“You accept the situation?” inquired Mr. Pickwick.
“Cert'nly,” replied Sam. “If the clothes fits me half as well as the place, they'll do.”
“You can get a character of course?” said Mr. Pickwick.
“Ask the landlady o' the White Hart about that, sir,” replied Sam.
“Can you come this evening?”
“I'll get into the clothes this minute, if they're here,” said Sam with great alacrity.
“Call at eight this evening,” said Mr. Pickwick; "and if the enquiries are satisfactory, they shall be provided.”
8. Twelve pounds equal about sixty dollars.
9. Sam alludes to the bills “Boy Wanted” or “Man Wanted," that are often seen in the windows of stores and offices in the city. 10. A brass button with the initials "P. C.,” Pickwick Club.
The history of Mr. Weller's conduct was so very blameless, that Mr. Pickwick felt fully justified in closing the engagement that very evening. With the promptness and energy which characterized not only the public proceedings, but all the private actions of this extraordinary man, he at once led his new attendant to one of those convenient emporiums where gentlemen's new and second-hand clothes are provided, and the troublesome and inconvenient formality of measurement dispensed with; and before night had closed in, Mr. Weller was furnished with a gray coat with the P. C. button, 10 a black hat with a cockade to it, a pink striped waistcoat, light breeches and gaiters, and a variety of other necessaries, too numerous to recapitulate.
“Well,” said the suddenly-transformed individual, “I wonder whether I'm meant to be a foot
a man, or a groom, or a gamekeeper, or a seedsman. I looks like a sort of compo of every one on 'em. Never mind; there's change of air, plenty to see, and little to do; and all this suits my complaint uncommon; so, long life to the Pickvicks, says I!”
time, and stopped to look at almost
without further explanation it does appear surprising that his eyes should have no