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long study in these matters tell. Ha, ha, ha ! Now
it really will be," continued Mr. Pecksniff, clapping
his young friend on the back in his droll humor,
"an amusement to me, to see what you make of the
grammar-school."

Martin readily undertook this task, and Mr. Peck-
sniff forthwith proceeded to intrust him with the
materials necessary for its execution : dwelling
meanwhile on the magical effect of a few finishing
touches from the hand of a master ; which, indeed,
as some people said (and these were the old enemies
again !), was unquestionably very surprising, and
almost miraculous ; as there were cases on record in
which the masterly introduction of an additional
back-window, or a kitchen door, or half a dozen
steps, or even a water-spout, had made the design
of a pupil Mr. Pecksniff's own work, and had
brought substantial rewards into that gentleman's
pocket. But such is the magic of genius, which
changes all it handles into gold !

" When your mind requires to be refreshed by
change of occupation," said Mr, Pecksniff, " Thomas
Pinch will instruct you in the art of surveying the
back-garden, or in ascertaining the dead level of the
road between this house and the finger-post, or in
any other practical and pleasing pursuit. There
are a cartload of loose bricks, and a score or two of
old flower-pots, in the back-yard. If you could pile
them up, my dear Martin, into any form which
would remind me on my return — say of St. Peter's
at Rome, or the Mosque of St. Sophia at Constanti-
nople — it would be at once improving to you and



136 MAETIN CHUZZLEWIT.

agreeable to my feelings. And now," said Mr.
Pecksniff, in conclusion, " to drop, for the present,
our professional relations and advert to private
matters, I shall be glad to talk with you in my own
room, Avhile I pack up my portmanteau."

Martin attended him ; and they remained in
secret conference together for an hour or more ;
leaving Tom Pinch alone. When the young man
returned, he was very taciturn and dull, in which
state he remained all day ; so that Tom, after try-
ing him once or twice with indifferent conversa-
tion, felt a delicacy in obtruding himself upon his
thoughts, and said no more.

He would not have had leisure to say much, had
his new friend been ever so loquacious : for, first of
all, Mr. Pecksniff called him down to stand upon
the top of his portmanteau and represent ancient
statues there, until such time as it would consent
to be locked ; and then Miss Charity called him to
come and cord her trunk ; and then Miss Mercy
sent for him to come and mend her box ; and then
he wrote the fullest possible cards for all the lug-
gage ; and then he volunteered to carry it all down-
stairs ; and after that to see it safely carried on a
couple of barrows to the old finger-post at the end
of the lane ; and then to mind it till the coach came
up. In short, his day's work would have been a
pretty heavy one for a porter, but his thorough
good-will made nothing of it ; and as he sat upon
the luggage at last, waiting for the Pecksniffs, es-
corted by the new pupil, to come down the lane,
his heart was light with the hope of having pleased
his benefactor.

'* I was almost afraid," said Tom, taking a letter



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 137

from his pocket, and wiping his face, for he was
hot with bustling about though it was a cold day,
" that I shouldn't have had time to write it, and
that would have been a thousand pities : postage
from such a distance being a serious consideration,
when one's not rich. She will be glad to see my
hand, poor girl, and to hear that Pecksniff is as kind
as ever. I would have asked John Westlock to
call and see her, and tell her all about me by word
of mouth, but I was afraid he might speak against
Pecksniff to her, and make her uneasy. Besides,
they are particular people where she is, and it might
have rendered her situation uncomfortable if she
had had a visit from a young man like John. Poor
Ruth ! "

Tom Pinch seemed a little disposed to be melan-
choly for half a minute or so, but he found comfort
very soon, and pursued his ruminations thus :

"■ I'm a nice man, I don't think, as John used to
say (John was a kind, merry-hearted fellow : I wish
he had liked Pecksniff better), to be feeling low, on
account of the distance between us, when I ought
to be thinking, instead, of my extraordinary good-
luck in having ever got here. I must have been
born with a silver spoon in ray mouth, I am sure,
to have ever come across Pecksniff. And here have
I fallen again into my usual good-luck with the new
pupil ! Such an affable, generous, free fellow, as he
is, I never saw. Why, we were companions directly !
and he a relation of Pecksniff's, too, and a clever,
dashing youth who might cut his way through the
world as if it were a cheese ! Here he comes while
the words are on my lips," said Tom : " walking
down the lane as if the lane belonged to him,"



138 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

In truth, the new pupil, not at all disconcerted
by the honor of having Miss Mercy Pecksniff on
his arm, or by the affectionate adieus of that young
lady, approached as Mr. Pinch spoke, followed by
Miss Charity and Mr. Pecksniff. As the coach
appeared at the same moment, Tom lost no time in
entreating the gentleman last mentioned to under-
take the delivery of his letter.

" Oh ! " said Mr. Pecksniff, glancing at the super-
scription. *' For your sister, Thomas. Yes, oh, yes,
it shall be delivered, Mr. Pinch. Make your mind
easy upon that score. She shall certainly have it,
Mr. Pinch."

He made the promise with so much condescension
and patronage, that Tom felt he had asked a great
deal (this had not occurred to his mind before), and
thanked him earnestly. The Miss Pecksniffs, ac-
cording to a custom they had, were amused beyond
description at the mention of Mr. Pinch's sister.
Oh, the fright ! The bare idea of a Miss Pinch !
Good heavens !

Tom was greatly pleased to see them so merry,
for he took it as a token of their favor and good-
humored regard. Therefore he laughed too, and
rubbed his hands, and wished them a pleasant jour-
ney and safe return, and was quite brisk. Even
when the coach had rolled away with the olive-
branches in the boot and the family of doves inside,
he stood waving his hand and bowing: so much
gratified by the unusually courteous demeanor of
the young ladies, that he was quite regardless, for
the moment, of Martin Chuzzlewit, who stood lean-
ing thoughtfully against the finger-post, and who,
after disposing of his fair charge, had hardly lifted
his eyes from the ground.





'-~^'




I'^rr— iter+j;



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 139

The perfect silence which ensued upon the bustle
and departure of the coach, together with the sharp
air of the wintry afternoon, roused them both at
the same time. They turned, as by mutual consent,
and moved off, arm in arm.

" How melancholy you are ! " said Tom ; " what
is the matter ? "

" Nothing worth speaking of," said Martin. " Very
little more than was the matter yesterday, and much
more, I hope, than will be the matter to-morrow.
I'm out of spirits, Pinch."

" Well," cried Tom, " now do you know I am in
capital spirits to-day, and scarcely ever felt more
disposed to be good company. It was a very kind
thing in your predecessor, John, to write to me, was
it not ? "

" Why, yes," said Martin carelessly : " I should
have thought he would have had enough to do to
enjoy himself, without thinking of you, Pinch."

"Just what I felt to be so very likely," Tom
rejoined : " but no, he keeps his word, and says,
'My dear Pinch, I often think of you,' and all sorts
of kind and considerate things of that description."

" He must be a devilish good-natured fellow," said
Martin, somewhat peevishly: "because he can't
mean that, you know."

" I don't suppose he can, eh ? " said Tom, looking
wistfully in his companion's face. " He says so to
please me, you think ? "

" Why, is it likely," rejoined Martin, with greater
earnestness, " that a young man newly escaped from
this kennel of a place, and fresh to all the delights
of being his own master in London, can have much
leisure or inclination to think favorably of any-



140 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

thing or anybody lie has left behind him here ? I
put it to you, Pinch, is it natural ? "

After a short reflection, Mr. Pinch replied, in a
more subdued tone, that to be sure it was unreason-
able to expect any such thing, and that he had no
doubt Martin knew best.

" Of course I know best," Martin observed,

" Yes, I feel that," said Mr. Pinch mildly. " I
said so." And when he had made this rejoinder,
they fell into a blank silence again, which lasted
until they reached home : by which time it was
dark.

Now, Miss Charity Pecksniff, in consideration of
the inconvenience of carrying them with her in the
coach, and the impossibility of preserving them by
artificial means until the family's return, had set
forth, in a couple of plates, the fragments of yes-
terday's feast. In virtue of which liberal arrange-
ment, they had the happiness to find awaiting them
in the parlor two chaotic heaps of the remains of
last night's pleasure, consisting of certain filmy
bits of oranges, some mummied sandwiches, various
disrupted masses of the geological cake, and several
entire captain's biscuits. That choice liquor in
which to steep these dainties might not be wanting,
the remains of the two bottles of currant wine had
been poured together and corked with a curl-paper ;
so that every material was at hand for making quite
a heavy night of it.

Martin Chuzzlewit beheld these roistering prepa-
rations with infinite contempt, and stirring the fire
into a blaze (to the great destruction of Mr. Peck-
sniff's coals), sat moodily down before it, in the
most comfortable chair he could find. That he



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 141

might the better squeeze himself into the small
corner that was left for him, Mr. Pinch took up his
position on Miss Mercy Pecksniff's stool, and setting
his glass down upon the hearth-rug and putting his
plate upon his knees, began to enjoy himself.

If Diogenes coming to life again could have rolled
himself, tub and all, into Mr. Pecksniff's parlor, and
could have seen Tom Pinch as he sat on Mercy
Pecksniif's stool with his plate and glass before him,
he could not have faced it out, though in his sur-
liest mood, but must have smiled good-temperedly.
The perfect and entire satisfaction of Tom ; his
surpa.ssing appreciation of the husky sandwiches,
which crumbled in his mouth like sawdust; the
unspeakable relish with which he swallowed the
thin wine by drops, and smacked his lips, as though
it were so rich and generous that to lose an atom of
its fruity flavor were a sin ; the look with which he
paused sometimes, with his glass in his hand, pro-
posing silent toasts to himself; and the anxious
shade that came upon his contented face when after
wandering round the room, exulting in its uninvaded
snugness, his glance encountered the dull brow of
his companion ; no cynic in the world, though in
his hatred of its men a very griffin, could have
withstood these things in Thomas Pinch.

Some men would have slapped him on the back,
and pledged him in a bumper of the currant wine,
though it had been the sharpest vinegar — ay, and
liked its flavor too ; some would have seized him by
his honest hand, and thanked him for the lesson
that his simple nature taught them. Some would
have laughed with and others would have laughed
at him ; of which last class was Martin Chuzzlewit,



142 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

who, unable to restrain himself at last, laughed
loud and long.

"That's right," said Tom, nodding approvingly.
" Cheer up ! That's capital ! "

At which encouragement, young Martin laughed
again : and said, as soon as he had breath and
gravity enough, —

" I never saw such a fellow as you are. Pinch."

"Didn't you though?" said Tom. "Well, it's
very likely you do find me strange, because I have
hardly seen anything of the world, and you have
seen a good deal, I dare say ? "

"Pretty well for my time of life," rejoined Mar-
tin, drawing his chair still nearer to the fire, and
spreading his feet out on the fender. " Deuce take
it, I must talk openly to somebody. I'll talk openly
to you. Pinch."

" Do ! " said Tom. " I shall take it as being
very friendly of you."

" I'm not in your way, am I ? " inquired Martin,
glancing down at Mr. Pinch, who was by this time
looking at the fire over his leg.

" Not at all ! " cried Tom.

" You must know, then, to make short of a long
story," said Martin, beginning with a kind of effort,
as if the revelation were not agreeable to him :
"that I have been bred up from childhood with
great expectations, and have always been taught to
believe that I should be, one day, very rich. So I
should have been, but for certain brief reasons
which I am going to tell you, and which have led
to my being disinherited."

" By your father ? " inquired Mr. Pinch, with
open eyes.



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 143

"By my grandfather. I have had no parents
these many years. Scarcely within my remem-
brance."

'' Neither have I," said Tom, touching the young
man's hand with his own, and timidly withdrawing
it again. " Dear me ! "

" Why, as to that you know, Pinch," pursued the
other, stirring the fire again, and speaking in his
rapid, off-hand way : " it's all very right and proper
to be fond of parents when we have them, and to
bear them in remembrance after they're dead, if you
have ever known anything of them. But as I
never did know anything about mine personally,
you know, why, I can't be expected to be very senti-
mental about 'em. And I am not, that's the truth."

Mr. Pinch was just then looking thoughtfully at
the bars. But on his companion pausing at this
place, he started, and said " Oh ! of course " — and
composed himself to listen again.

" In a word," said Martin, " I have been bred and
reared all my life* by this grandfather of whom I
have just spoken. Now, he has a great many good
points ; there is no doubt about that ; I'll not dis-
guise the fact from you ; but he has two very great
faults, which are the staple of his bad side. In the
first place, he has the most confirmed obstinacy of
character you ever met with in any human creature.
In the second, he is most abominably selfish."

" Is he indeed ? " cried Tom.

"In those two respects," returned the other,
" there never was such a man. I have often heard
from those who know, that they have been, time out
of mind, the failings of our family ; and I believe
there's some truth in it. But I can't say of my own



144 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

knowledge. All I have to do, you know, is to be
very thankful that they haven't descended to me,
and to be very careful that I don't contract 'em."

" To be sure," said Mr. Pinch, " Very proper."

" Well, sir," resumed Martin, stirring the fire
once more, and drawing his chair still closer to it,
" his selfishness makes him exacting, you see ; and
his obstinacy makes him resolute in his exactions.
The consequence is that he has always exacted a
great deal from me in the way of respect, and sub-
mission, and self-denial when his wishes were in
question, and so forth. I have borne a great deal
from him, because I have been under obligations to
him (if one can ever be said to be under obligations
to one's own grandfather), and because I have been
really attached to him ; but we have had a great
many quarrels for all that, for I could not accommo-
date myself to his ways very often — not out of the
least reference to myself, you understand, but
because — " He stammered here, and was rather
at a loss.

Mr. Pinch, being about the worst man in the
world to help anybody out of a difficulty of this
sort, said nothing.

" Well ! as you understand me," resumed Martin
quickly, '' I needn't hunt for the precise expression
I want. Now, I come to the cream of my story,
and the occasion of my being here. I am in love,
Pinch."

Mr. Pinch looked up into his face with increased
interest.

" I say I am in love. I am in love with one of
the most beautiful girls the sun ever shone upon.
But she is wholly and entirely dependent upon the



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 145

pleasure of my grandfather ; and if he were to know
that she favored my passion, she would lose her
home and everything she possesses in the world.
There is nothing very selfish in that love, I think ? "

'' Selfish ! " cried Tom. " You have acted nobly.
To love her as I am sure you do, and yet in consid-
eration for her state of dependence, not even to
disclose — "

" What are you talking about. Pinch ? " said
Martin pettishly : '^ don't make yourself ridiculous,
my good fellow ! What do you mean by not dis-
closing ? " ,

"■ I beg your pardon," answered Tom. " I thought
you meant that or I wouldn't have said it."

" If I didn't tell her I loved her, where would be
the use of my being in love," said Martin, " unless
to keep myself in a perpetual state of worry and
vexation ? "

" That's true," Tom answered. " Well ! I can
guess what she said when you told her," he added,
glancing at Martin's handsome face.

" Why, not exactly. Pinch," he rejoined, with a
slight frown : " because she has some girlish notions
about duty and gratitude, and all the rest of it,
which are rather hard to fathom ; but in the main
you are right. Her heart was mine, I found."

'•' Just what I supposed," said Tom. " Quite
natural ! " and, in his great satisfaction, he took a
long sip out of his wineglass.

" Although I had conducted myself from the first
with the utmost circumspection," pursued Martin,
" I had not managed matters so well but that my
grandfather, who is full of jealousy and distrust,
suspected me of loving her. He said nothing to

VOL. I. -10.



146 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

her, but straigMway attacked me in private, and
charged me with designing to corrupt the fidelity
to himself (there you observe his selfishness) of a
young creature whom he had trained and educated
to be his only disinterested and faithful companion
when he should have disposed of me in marriage to
his heart's content. Upon that, I took fire imme-
diately, and told him that with his good leave I
would dispose of myself in marriage, and would
rather not be knocked down by him or any other
auctioneer to any bidder whomsoever."

Mr. Pinch opened his eyes wider and looked at
the fire harder than he had done yet.

" You may be sure," said Martin, " that this net-
tled him, and that he began to be the very reverse
of complimentary to myself. Interview succeeded
interview ; words engendered words, as they always
do ; and the upshot of it was, that I was to renounce
her, or be renounced by him. Now you must bear
in mind. Pinch, that I am not only desperately fond
of her (for though she is poor, her beauty and
intellect would reflect great credit on anybody, I
don't care of what pretensions, who might become
her husband), but that a chief ingredient in my
composition is a most determined — "

" Obstinacy," suggested Tom in perfect good
faith. But the suggestion was not so well received
as he had expected ; for the young man immediately
rejoined, with some irritation, —

" What a fellow you are. Pinch ! "

" I beg your pardon," said Tom, " I thought you
wanted a word."

"I didn't want that word," he rejoined. "I told
you obstinacy was no part of my character, did I



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 147

not? I was going to say, if you had given me
leave, that a chief ingredient in my composition is
a most determined firmness."

" Oh ! " cried Tom, screwing up his mouth, and
nodding. " Yes, yes ; I see ! "

" And being firm," pursued Martin, " of course I
was not going to yield to him, or give way by so
much as the thousandth part of an inch."

" No, no," said Tom.

" On the contrary, the more he urged, the more I
was determined to oppose him."

" To be sure ! " said Tom.

" Very well," rejoined Martin, throwing himself
back in his chair, with a careless wave of both
hands, as if the subject were qviite settled, and
nothing more could be said about it. " There is an
end of the matter, and here am I ! "

Mr. Pinch sat staring at the fire for some minutes
with a puzzled look, such as he might have assumed
if some uncommonly difficult conundrum had been
proposed, which he found it impossible to guess.
At length he said, —

" Pecksniff, of course, you had known before ? "

" Only by name. No, I had never seen him, for
my grandfather kept not only himself, but me, aloof
from all his relations. But our separation took
place in a town in the adjoining county. From
that place I came to Salisbury, and there I saw
Pecksniff's advertisement, which I answered, having
always had some natural taste, I believe, in the
matters to which it referred, and thinking it might
suit me. As soon as I found it to be his, I was
doubly bent on coming to him if possible, on account
of his being — "



148 MARTIN CHTJZZLEWIT.

''Such an excellent man," interposed Tom, rub-
bing his hands ; " so he is. You were quite right."

*' Why, not so much on that account, if the truth
must be spoken," returned Martin, " as because ray
grandfather has an inveterate dislike to him, and
after the old man's arbitrary treatment of me I had
a natural desire to run as directly counter to all his
opinions as I could. Well ! as I said before, here I
am. My engagement with the young lady I have
been telling you about is likely to be a tolerably
long one ; for neither her prospects, nor mine, are
very bright ; and of course I shall not think of
marrying until I am well able to do so. It would
never do, you know, for me to be plunging myself
into poverty and shabbiness and love in one room
up three pair of stairs, and all that sort of thing."

" To say nothing of her," remarked Tom Pinch,
in a low voice.

"Exactly so," rejoined Martin, rising to warm
his back, and leaning against the chimney-piece.
" To say nothing of her. At the same time, of
course it's not very hard upon her to be obliged to
yield to the necessity of the case ; first, because she
loves me very much ; and secondly, because I have
sacrificed a great deal on her account, and might
have done much better, you know."

It was a very long time before Tom said " Cer-
tainly ; " so long, that he might have taken a nap in
the interval, but he did say it at last.

"Xow, there is one odd coincidence connected
with this love-story," said Martin, " which brings it
to an end. You remember what you told me last
night as we were coming here, about your pretty
visitor in the church ? "



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 149

" Surely I do," said Tom, rising from his stool,
and seating himself in the chair from which the
other had lately risen, that he might see his face.
" Undoubtedly."

" That was she."

" I knew what you were going to say," cried Tom
looking fixedly at him, and speaking very softly.
" You don't tell me so ? "

"That was she," repeated the young man.
" After what I have heard from Pecksniff, I have
no doubt that she came and went with my grand-
father. — Don't you drink too much of that sour
wine, or you'll have a fit of some sort, Pinch, I
see."

"It is not very wholesome, I am afraid," said
Tom, setting down the empty glass he had for some
time held. " So that was she, was it ? "

Martin nodded assent : and adding, with a rest-
less impatience, that if he had been a few days
earlier he would have seen her ; and that now she
might be, for anything he knew, hundreds of miles
away ; threw himself, after a few turns across the
room, into a chair, and chafed like a spoiled child.

Tom Pinch's heart was very tender, and he could
not bear to see the most indifferent person in dis-
tress ; still less one who had awakened an interest
in him, and who regarded him (either in fact, or as
he supposed) with kindness, and in a spirit of
lenient construction. Whatever his own thoughts
had been a few moments before — and to judge
from his face they must have been pretty serious —
he dismissed them instantly, and gave his young
friend the best counsel and comfort that occurred
to him.



150 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

" All will be well in time," said Tom, " I have no
doubt; and some trial and adversity just now will
only serve to make you more attached to each other
in better days. I have always read that the truth
is so, and I have a feeling within me, which tells
me how natural and right it is that it should be.
What never ran smooth yet," said Tom, with a
smile, which despite the homeliness of his face, was


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