The Pickwick Papers
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'When do they go to Liverpool?' inquired Mr. Pickwick, half
aside to Perker.
'This evening, Sir, at seven o'clock,' said Job, taking one step
forward. 'By the heavy coach from the city, Sir.'
'Are your places taken?'
'They are, sir,' replied Job.
'You have fully made up your mind to go?'
'I have sir,' answered Job.
'With regard to such an outfit as was indispensable for Jingle,'
said Perker, addressing Mr. Pickwick aloud. 'I have taken upon
myself to make an arrangement for the deduction of a small sum
from his quarterly salary, which, being made only for one year,
and regularly remitted, will provide for that expense. I entirely
disapprove of your doing anything for him, my dear sir, which
is not dependent on his own exertions and good conduct.'
'Certainly,' interposed Jingle, with great firmness. 'Clear head
--man of the world--quite right--perfectly.'
'By compounding with his creditor, releasing his clothes from
the pawnbroker's, relieving him in prison, and paying for his
passage,' continued Perker, without noticing Jingle's observation,
'you have already lost upwards of fifty pounds.'
'Not lost,' said Jingle hastily, 'Pay it all--stick to business--
cash up--every farthing. Yellow fever, perhaps--can't help that
--if not--' Here Mr. Jingle paused, and striking the crown of
his hat with great violence, passed his hand over his eyes, and
'He means to say,' said Job, advancing a few paces, 'that if he
is not carried off by the fever, he will pay the money back again.
If he lives, he will, Mr. Pickwick. I will see it done. I know he
will, Sir,' said Job, with energy. 'I could undertake to swear it.'
'Well, well,' said Mr. Pickwick, who had been bestowing a
score or two of frowns upon Perker, to stop his summary of
benefits conferred, which the little attorney obstinately
disregarded, 'you must be careful not to play any more desperate
cricket matches, Mr. Jingle, or to renew your acquaintance with
Sir Thomas Blazo, and I have little doubt of your preserving
Mr. Jingle smiled at this sally, but looked rather foolish
notwithstanding; so Mr. Pickwick changed the subject by saying--
'You don't happen to know, do you, what has become of
another friend of yours--a more humble one, whom I saw at Rochester?'
'Dismal Jemmy?' inquired Jingle.
Jingle shook his head.
'Clever rascal--queer fellow, hoaxing genius--Job's brother.'
'Job's brother!' exclaimed Mr. Pickwick. 'Well, now I look at
him closely, there IS a likeness.'
'We were always considered like each other, Sir,' said Job,
with a cunning look just lurking in the corners of his eyes, 'only
I was really of a serious nature, and he never was. He emigrated
to America, Sir, in consequence of being too much sought after
here, to be comfortable; and has never been heard of since.'
'That accounts for my not having received the "page from the
romance of real life," which he promised me one morning when
he appeared to be contemplating suicide on Rochester Bridge,
I suppose,' said Mr. Pickwick, smiling. 'I need not inquire
whether his dismal behaviour was natural or assumed.'
'He could assume anything, Sir,' said Job. 'You may consider
yourself very fortunate in having escaped him so easily. On
intimate terms he would have been even a more dangerous
acquaintance than--' Job looked at Jingle, hesitated, and
finally added, 'than--than-myself even.'
'A hopeful family yours, Mr. Trotter,' said Perker, sealing a
letter which he had just finished writing.
'Yes, Sir,' replied Job. 'Very much so.'
'Well,' said the little man, laughing, 'I hope you are going to
disgrace it. Deliver this letter to the agent when you reach
Liverpool, and let me advise you, gentlemen, not to be too
knowing in the West Indies. If you throw away this chance, you
will both richly deserve to be hanged, as I sincerely trust you
will be. And now you had better leave Mr. Pickwick and me
alone, for we have other matters to talk over, and time is
precious.' As Perker said this, he looked towards the door, with
an evident desire to render the leave-taking as brief as possible.
It was brief enough on Mr. Jingle's part. He thanked the little
attorney in a few hurried words for the kindness and promptitude
with which he had rendered his assistance, and, turning to his
benefactor, stood for a few seconds as if irresolute what to say
or how to act. Job Trotter relieved his perplexity; for, with a
humble and grateful bow to Mr. Pickwick, he took his friend
gently by the arm, and led him away.
'A worthy couple!' said Perker, as the door closed behind them.
'I hope they may become so,' replied Mr. Pickwick. 'What do
you think? Is there any chance of their permanent reformation?'
Perker shrugged his shoulders doubtfully, but observing Mr.
Pickwick's anxious and disappointed look, rejoined--
'Of course there is a chance. I hope it may prove a good one.
They are unquestionably penitent now; but then, you know, they
have the recollection of very recent suffering fresh upon them.
What they may become, when that fades away, is a problem that
neither you nor I can solve. However, my dear Sir,' added Perker,
laying his hand on Mr. Pickwick's shoulder, 'your object is
equally honourable, whatever the result is. Whether that species
of benevolence which is so very cautious and long-sighted that
it is seldom exercised at all, lest its owner should be imposed
upon, and so wounded in his self-love, be real charity or a
worldly counterfeit, I leave to wiser heads than mine to determine.
But if those two fellows were to commit a burglary to-morrow,
my opinion of this action would be equally high.'
With these remarks, which were delivered in a much more
animated and earnest manner than is usual in legal gentlemen,
Perker drew his chair to his desk, and listened to Mr. Pickwick's
recital of old Mr. Winkle's obstinacy.
'Give him a week,' said Perker, nodding his head prophetically.
'Do you think he will come round?' inquired Mr. Pickwick.
'I think he will,' rejoined Perker. 'If not, we must try the
young lady's persuasion; and that is what anybody but you
would have done at first.'
Mr. Perker was taking a pinch of snuff with various grotesque
contractions of countenance, eulogistic of the persuasive powers
appertaining unto young ladies, when the murmur of inquiry
and answer was heard in the outer office, and Lowten tapped at
'Come in!' cried the little man.
The clerk came in, and shut the door after him, with great mystery.
'What's the matter?' inquired Perker.
'You're wanted, Sir.'
'Who wants me?'
Lowten looked at Mr. Pickwick, and coughed.
'Who wants me? Can't you speak, Mr. Lowten?'
'Why, sir,' replied Lowten, 'it's Dodson; and Fogg is with him.'
'Bless my life!' said the little man, looking at his watch, 'I
appointed them to be here at half-past eleven, to settle that
matter of yours, Pickwick. I gave them an undertaking on which
they sent down your discharge; it's very awkward, my dear
Sir; what will you do? Would you like to step into the next room?'
The next room being the identical room in which Messrs.
Dodson & Fogg were, Mr. Pickwick replied that he would
remain where he was: the more especially as Messrs. Dodson &
Fogg ought to be ashamed to look him in the face, instead of his
being ashamed to see them. Which latter circumstance he begged
Mr. Perker to note, with a glowing countenance and many marks
'Very well, my dear Sir, very well,' replied Perker, 'I can only
say that if you expect either Dodson or Fogg to exhibit any
symptom of shame or confusion at having to look you, or
anybody else, in the face, you are the most sanguine man in your
expectations that I ever met with. Show them in, Mr. Lowten.'
Mr. Lowten disappeared with a grin, and immediately returned
ushering in the firm, in due form of precedence--Dodson first,
and Fogg afterwards.
'You have seen Mr. Pickwick, I believe?' said Perker to
Dodson, inclining his pen in the direction where that gentleman
'How do you do, Mr. Pickwick?' said Dodson, in a loud voice.
'Dear me,'cried Fogg, 'how do you do, Mr. Pickwick? I hope
you are well, Sir. I thought I knew the face,' said Fogg, drawing
up a chair, and looking round him with a smile.
Mr. Pickwick bent his head very slightly, in answer to these