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earnest, he was sure.

" I shall drink," said Anthony, " to Pecksniff.
Your father, my dears. A clever man, Pecksniff.
A wary man ! A hypocrite, though, eh ? A hypo-
crite, girls, eh ? Ha, ha, ha ! Well, so he is. Now,
among friends — he is. I don't think the worse of
him for that, unless it is that he overdoes it. You
may overdo anything, my darlings. You may
overdo even hypocrisy. Ask Jonas ! "

" You can't overdo taking care of yourself," ob-
served that hopeful gentleman Avith his mouth full.

" Do you hear that, my dears ? " cried Anthony,
quite enraptured. " Wisdom, wisdom ! A good
exception, Jonas. No. It's not easy to overdo
that."

"Except," whispered Mr. Jonas to his favorite
cousin, " except when one lives too long. Ha, ha !
Tell the other one that — I say ! "



276 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

" Good gracious me ! " said Cherry, in a petulant
manner. " You can tell her yourself, if you wish,
can't you ? "

" She seems to make such game of one," replied
Mr. Jonas.

"Then why need you trouble yourself about
her ? " said Charity. " I am sure she doesn't
trouble herself much about you,"

" Don't she, though ? " asked Jonas.

"Good gracious me, need I tell you that she
don't ? " returned the young lady.

Mr. Jonas made no verbal rejoinder, but he
glanced at Mercy with an odd expression in his
face ; and said that wouldn't break his heart, she
might depend upon it. Then he looked on Charity
with even greater favor than before, and besought
her, as his polite manner was, to "come a little
closer."

" There's another thing that's not easily overdone,
father," remarked Jonas, after a short silence.

" What's that ? " asked the father, grinning already
in anticipation.

" A bargain," said the son. " Here's the rule for
bargains — ' Do other men, for they would do you.'
That's the true business precept. All others are
counterfeits."

The delighted father applauded this sentiment to
the echo ; and was so much tickled by it, that he
was at the pains of imparting the same to his an-
cient clerk, who rubbed his hands, nodded his pal-
sied head, winked his watery eyes, and cried in his
whistling tones, " Good ! good ! Your own son, Mr.
Chuzzlewit ! " with every feeble demonstration of
delight that he was capable of making. But this



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 277

old man's enthusiasm had the redeeming quality of
being felt in sympathy with the only creature to
whom he was linked by ties of long association, and
by his present helplessness. And if there had been
anybody there who cared to think about it, some
dregs of a better nature unawakened, might perhaps
have been descried through that very medium,
melancholy though it was, yet lingering at the bot-
tom of the worn-out cask called Chuffey.

As matters stood, nobody thought or said anything
upon the subject ; so Chuffey fell back into a dark
corner on one side of the fireplace, where he always
spent his evenings, and was neither seen nor heard
again that night ; save once, when a cup of tea was
given him, in which he was seen to soak his bread
mechanically. There was no reason to suppose that
he went to sleep at these seasons, or that he heard,
or saw, or felt, or thought. He remained, as it
were, frozen up — if any term expressive of such a
vigorous process can be applied to him — until he
was again thawed for the moment by a word or
touch from Anthony.

Miss Charity made tea by desire of Mr. Jonas,
and felt and looked so like the lady of the house,
that she was in the prettiest confusion imaginable ;
the more so, from Mr. Jonas sitting close beside her,
and whispering a variety of admiring expressions
in her ear. Miss Mercy, for her part, felt the enter-
tainment of the evening to be so distinctly and
exclusively theirs, that she silently deplored the
commercial gentlemen — at that moment, no doubt,
wearying for her return — and yawned over yester-
day's newspaper. As to Anthony, he went to sleep
outright, so Jonas and Cherry had a clear stage to



278 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

themselves as long as they chose to keep possession
of it.

When the tea-tray was taken away, as it was at
last, Mr. Jonas produced a dirty pack of cards, and
entertained the sisters with divers small feats of
dexterity : whereof the main purpose of every one
was, that you were to decoy somebody into laying
a wager with you that you couldn't do it ; and were
then immediately to win and pocket his money.
Mr. Jonas informed them that these accomplish-
ments were in high vogue in the most intellectual
circles, and that large amounts were constantly
changing hands on such hazards. And it may be
remarked that he fully believed this ; for there is a
simplicity of cunning no less than a simplicity of
innocence ; and in all matters where a lively faith
in knavery and meanness was required as the
groundwork of belief, Mr. Jonas was one of the
most credulous of men. His ignorance, which was
stupendous, may be taken into account, if the reader
pleases, separately.

This fine young man had all the inclination to be
a profligate of the first water, and only lacked the
one good trait in the common catalogue of debauched
vices — open-handedness — to be a notable vagabond.
But there his griping and penurious habits stepped
in ; and as one poison will sometimes neutralize
another, when wholesome remedies would not avail,
so he was restrained by a bad passion from quaffing
his full measure of evil, when virtue might have
sought to hold him back in vain.

By the time he had unfolded all the peddling
schemes he knew upon the cards, it was growing
late in the evening ; and Mr. Pecksniff not making



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 279

his appearance, the young ladies expressed a wish
to return home. But this, Mr. Jonas, in his gal-
lantry, would by no means allow, until they had
partaken of some bread and cheese and porter ; and
even then he was excessively unwilling to allow
them to depart; often beseeching Miss Charity to
come a little closer, or to stop a little longer, and
preferring many other complimentary petitions of
that nature, in his own hospitable and earnest way.
When all his efforts to detain them were fruitless,
he put on his hat and great-coat preparatory to
escorting them to Todgers's ; remarking that he
knew they would rather walk thither than ride ;
and that for his part he was quite of their opinion.

" Good-night," said Anthony. " Good-night ; re-
member me to — ha, ha, ha ! — to Pecksniff. Take
care of your cousin, my dears ; beware of Jonas ;
he's a dangerous fellow. Don't quarrel for him, in
any case ! "

" Oh, the creature ! " cried Mercy. " The idea of
quarrelling for him! You may take him. Cherry,
my love, all to yourself. I make you a present of
my share."

" What ! I'm a sour grape, am I, cousin ? " said
Jonas.

Miss Charity was more entertained by this repartee
than one would have supposed likely, considering its
advanced age and simple character. But in her
sisterly affection she took Mr. Jonas to task for
leaning so very hard upon a broken reed, and said
that he must not be so cruel to poor Merry any
more, or she (Charity) would positively be obliged
to hate him. Mercy, who really had her share of
good-humor, only retorted with a laugh ; and they



280 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

walked home in consequence without any angry
passages of words upon the way. Mr. Jonas being
in the middle, and having a cousin on each arm,
sometimes squeezed the wrong one ; so tightly too,
as to cause her not a little inconvenience ; but as he
talked to Charity in whispers the whole time, and
paid her great attention, no doubt this was an
accidental circumstance. When they arrived at
Todgers's, and the door was opened, Mercy broke
hastily from them, and ran upstairs : but Charity
and Jonas lingered on the steps talking together
for more than five minutes ; so, as Mrs. Todgers
observed next morning to a third party, "It was
pretty clear what was going on there, and she was
glad of it, for it really was high time Miss Pecksniff
thought of settling."

And now the day was coming on when that bright
vision which had burst on Todgers's so suddenly,
and made a sunshine in the shady breast of Jinkins,
was to be seen no more ; when it was to be packed
like a brown-paper parcel, or a fish-basket, or an
oyster barrel, or a fat gentleman, or any other dull
reality of life, in a stage-coach, and carried down
into the country !

'' Never, my dear Miss Pecksniffs," said Mrs.
Todgers, when they retired to rest on the last night
of their stay ; " never have I seen an establishment
so perfectly broken-hearted as mine is at this pres-
ent moment of time. I don't believe the gentlemen
will be the gentlemen they were, or anything like it
— no, not for weeks to come. You have a great
deal to answer for ; both of you."

They modestly disclaimed any wilful agency in
this disastrous state of things, and regretted it very
much.



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 281

" Your pious pa, too ! " said Mrs. Todgers. " There's
a loss ! My dear Miss Pecksniffs, your pa is a perfect
missionary of peace and love."

Entertaining an uncertainty as to the particular
kind of love supposed to be comprised in Mr. Peck-
sniff's mission, the young ladies received the com-
pliment rather coldly.

"If I dared," said Mrs. Todgers, perceiving this,
"to violate a confidence which has been reposed in
me, and to tell you why I must beg of you to leave
the little door between your room and mine open
to-night, I think you would be interested. But I
mustn't do it, for I promised Mr. Jinkins faithfully
that I would be as silent as the tomb."

" Dear Mrs. Todgers ! what can you mean ? "

"Why then, my sweet Miss Pecksniffs," said the
lady of the house ; " my own loves, if you will allow
me the privilege of taking that freedom on the eve
of our separation, Mr. Jinkins and the gentlemen
have made up a little musical party among them-
selves, and do intend in the dead of this night to
perform a serenade upon the stairs outside the door.
I could have wished, I own," said Mrs. Todgers, with
her usual foresight, " that it had been fixed to take
place an hour or two earlier ; because, when gentle-
men sit up late, they drink, and when they drink,
they're not so musical, perhaps, as when they don't.
But this is the arrangement, and I know you will be
gratified, my dear Miss Pecksniffs, by such a mark
of their attention."

The young ladies were at first so much excited by
the news, that they vowed they couldn't think of
going to bed until the serenade was over. But half
an hour of cool waiting so altered their opinion that



282 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

they not only went to bed, but fell asleep ; and were
moreover not ecstatically charmed to be awakened
some time afterwards by certain dulcet strains break-
ing in upon the silent watches of the night.

It was very affecting — very. Nothing more dis-
mal could have been desired by the most fastidious
taste. The gentleman of a vocal turn was head
mute, or chief mourner ; Jinkins took the bass ; and
the rest took anything they could get. The young-
est gentleman blew his melancholy into a flute. He
didn't blow much out of it, but that was all the
better. If the two Miss Pecksniffs and Mrs. Todgers
had perished by spontaneous combustion, and the
serenade had been in honor of their ashes, it would
have been impossible to surpass the unutterable
despair expressed in that one chorus, " Go where
glory waits thee ! " It was a requiem, a dirge, a
moan, a howl, a wail, a lament ; an abstract of every-
thing that is sorrowful and hideous in sound. The
flute of the youngest gentleman was wild and fitful.
It came and went in gusts, like the wind. For a
long time together he seemed to have left off, and
when it was quite settled by Mrs. Todgers and the
young ladies, that, overcome by his feelings, he had
retired in tears, he unexpectedly turned up again at
the very top of the tune, gasping for breath. He
was a tremendous performer. There was no knowing
where to have him ; and exactly when you thought
he was doing nothing at all, then was he doing the
very thing that ought to astonish you most.

There were several of these concerted pieces ;
perhaps two or three too many, though that, as
Mrs. Todgers said, was a fault on the right side.
But even then, even at that solemn moment, when



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 283

the thrilling sounds may be presumed to have pene-
trated into the very depths of his nature, if he had
any depths, Jinkins couldn't leave the youngest
gentleman alone. He asked him distinctly, before
the second song began — as a personal favor too,
mark the villain in that — not to play. Yes; he
said so ; not to play. The breathing of the young-
est gentleman was heard through the keyhole of
the door. He didn't play. What vent was a flute
for the passions swelling up within his breast ? A
trombone would have been a world too mild.

The serenade approached its close. Its crowning
interest was at hand. The gentleman of a literary
turn had written a song on the departure of the
ladies, and adapted it to an old tune. They all
joined, except the youngest gentleman in company,
who, for the reasons aforesaid, maintained a fearful
silence. The song (which was of a classical nature)
invoked the oracle of Apollo, and demanded to
know what would become of Todgers's when Char-
ity and Mercy were banished from its walls. The
oracle delivered no opinion particularly worth re-
membering, according to the not infrequent practice
of oracles from the earliest ages down to the present
time. In the absence of enlightenment on that
subject, the strain deserted it, and went on to show
that the Miss Pecksniffs were nearly related to
Rule Britannia, and that if Great Britain hadn't
been an island there could have been no Miss Peck-
sniffs. And being now on a nautical tack, it closed
with this verse :

"All hail to the vessel of Pecksniff the sire!
And favoring breezes to fan ;
While Tritons flock round it, and proudly admire
The architect, artist, and man!"



284 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

As they presented this beautiful picture to the im-
agination, the gentlemen gradually withdrew to bed
to give the music the effect of distance ; and so
it died away, and Todgers's was left to its repose.

Mr. Bailey reserved his vocal offering until the
morning, when he put his head into the room as
the young ladies were kneeling before their trunks,
packing up, and treated them to an imitation of
the voice of a young dog in trying circumstances :
when that animal is supposed, by persons of a
lively fancy, to relieve his feelings by calling for
pen and ink.

*' Well, young ladies," said the youth, " so you're
a-going home, are you ; worse luck ? "

*' Yes, Bailey, we're going home," returned Mercy.

"Ain't you a-going to leave none of 'em a lock
of your hair ? " inquired the youth. " It's real,
ain't it?"

They laughed at this, and told him of course it
was.

" Oh, is it of course, though ! " said Bailey. " I
know better than that. Hers ain't. Why, I see it
hanging up once, on that nail by the winder. Be-
sides, I've gone behind her at dinner-time and pulled
it ; and she never know'd. I say, young ladies —
I'm a-going to leave. I ain't a-going to stand being
called names by her no longer."

Miss Mercy inquired what his plans for the future
might be ; in reply to whom Mr. Bailey intimated
that he thought of going, either into top-boots, or
into the army.

" Into the army ! " cried the young ladies, with a
laugh.

" Ah ! " said Bailey, " why not ? There's a many



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 285

drummers in the Tower. I'm acquainted with 'em.
Don't their country set a valley on 'em, mind you !
Not at all ! "

" You'll be shot, I see," observed Mercy.

" Well," cried Mr. Bailey, " wot if I am ? There's
something gamey in it, young ladies, ain't there ?
I'd sooner be hit with a cannon-ball than a rolling-
pin, and she's always a-catching up something of
that sort, and throwing it at me, when the gentle-
men's appetites is good. Wot," said Mr. Bailey,
stung by the recollections of his wrongs, "wot if
they do con-sume the pervishuns. It ain't m?/ fault,
is it?"

" Surely no one says it is," said Mercy.

"Don't they, though!" retorted the youth. "No.
Yes. Ah ! Oh ! No one mayn't say it is ! but some
one knows it is. But I ain't a-going to have every rise
in prices wisited on me. I ain't a-going to be killed,
because the markets is dear. I Avon't stop. And
therefore," added Mr. Bailey, relenting into a smile,
"wotever you mean to give me, you'd better give
me all at once, becos, if ever you come back agin, I
sha'n't be here : and as to the other boy, he won't
deserve nothing, 1 know."

The young ladies, on behalf of Mr. Pecksniff and
themselves, acted on this thoughtful advice ; and in
consideration of their private friendship, presented
Mr. Bailey with a gratuity so liberal, that he could
hardly do enough to show his gratitude; which
found but an imperfect vent, during the remainder
of the day, in divers secret slaps upon his pocket,
and other such facetious pantomime. Nor was it
confined to these ebullitions ; for, besides crushing
a bandbox with a bonnet in it, he seriously damaged



286 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

Mr. Pecksniff's luggage, by ardently hauling it
down from the top of the house ; and in short
evinced, by every means in his power, a lively sense
of the favors he had received from that gentleman
and his family.

Mr. Pecksniff and Mr. Jinkins came home to
dinner, arm in arm ; for the latter gentleman had
made half-holiday on purpose ; thus gaining an
immense advantage over the youngest gentleman
and the rest, whose time, as it perversely chanced,
was all bespoke, until the evening. The bottle of
wine was Mr. Pecksniff's treat, and they were very
sociable indeed ; though full of lamentations on the
necessity of parting. While they were in the
midst of their enjoyment, old Anthony and his
son were announced ; much to the surprise of Mr.
Pecksniff, and greatly to the discomfiture of Jinkins.

" Come to say good-by, you see," said Anthony, in
a low voice to Mr. Pecksniff, as they took their
seats apart at the table, while the rest conversed
among themselves. " Where's the use of a division
between you and me ? We are the two halves of a
pair of scissors, when apart, Pecksniff ; but together
we are something. Eh ? "

"Unanimity, my good sir," rejoined Mr. Pecksniff,
" is always delightful."

"I don't know about that," said the old man, "for
there are some people I would rather differ from
than agree with. But you know my opinion of
you."

Mr. Pecksniff, still having " hypocrite " in his
mind, only replied by a motion of his head, which
was something between an affirmative bow and a
negative shake.



MARTES' CHUZZLEWIT. 287

" Complimentary," said Anthony. " Compliment-
ary, upon my word. It was an involuntary tribute
to your abilities, even at the time ; and it was not
a time to suggest compliments, either. But we
agreed in the coach, you know, that we quite under-
stood each other."

" Oh, quite ! " assented Mr. Pecksniff, in a man-
ner which implied that he himself was misunder-
stood most cruelly, but would not complain.

Anthony glanced at his son as he sat beside Miss
Charity, and then at Mr. Pecksniff, and then at his
son again, very many times. It happened that Mr.
Pecksniff's glances took a similar direction ; but
when he became aware of it, he first cast down his
eyes, and then closed them ; as if he were deter-
mined that the old man should read nothing there.

" Jonas is a shrewd lad," said the old man.

*' He appears," rejoined Mr. Pecksniff in his most
candid manner, "to be ver}' shrewd."

" And careful," said the old man.

"And careful, I have no doubt," returned Mr.
Pecksniff.

"Lookye!" said Anthony in his ear. "I think
he is sweet upon your daughter."

" Tut, my good sir," said Mr. Pecksniff, with his
eyes still closed; "young people — young people —
a kind of cousins, too — no more sweetness than is
in that, sir."

"Why, there is very little sweetness in that,
according to our experience," returned Anthony.
" Isn't there a trifle more here ? "

" Impossible to say," rejoined Mr. Pecksniff.
" Quite impossible ! You surprise me."

" Yes, I know that," said the old man dryly. " It



288 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

may last ; I mean the sweetness, not the surprise ;
and it may die off. Supposing it should last, per-
haps (you having feathered your nest pretty well,
and I having done the same) we might have a
mutual interest in the matter."

Mr. Pecksniff, smiling gently, was about to speak,
but Anthony stopped him.

" I know what you are going to say. It's quite
unnecessary. You have never thought of this for
a moment ; and in a point so nearly affecting the
happiness of your dear child, you couldn't, as a
tender father, express an opinion; and so forth.
Yes, quite right. And like you ! But it seems
to me, my dear Pecksniff," added Anthony, laying
his hand upon his sleeve, "that if you and I kept
up the joke of pretending not to see this, one of us
might possibly be placed in a position of disadvan-
tage ; and as I am very unwilling to be that party
myself, you will excuse my taking the liberty of
putting the matter beyond a doubt, thus early ; and
having it distinctly understood, as it is now, that
we do see it, and do know it. Thank you for your
attention. We are now upon an equal footing ;
which is agreeable to us both, I am sure,"

He rose as he spoke ; and giving Mr. Pecksniff a
nod of intelligence, moved away from him to where
the young people were sitting : leaving that good
man somewhat puzzled and discomfited by such
very plain dealing, and not quite free from a sense
of having been foiled in the exercise of his familiar
weapons.

But the night coach had a punctual character, and
it was time to join it at the office ; which was so
near at hand, that they had already sent their lug-



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 289

gage, and arranged to walk. Thither the whole
party repaired, therefore, after no more delay than
sufficed for the equipment of the Miss Pecksniffs
and Mrs. Todgers. They found the coach already
at its starting-place, and the horses in; there, too,
were a large majority of the commercial gentlemen,
including the youngest, who was visibly agitated,
and in a state of deep mental dejection.

Nothing could equal the distress of Mrs. Todgers
in parting from the young ladies, except the strong
emotions with which she bade adieu to Mr. Peck-
sniff. Never surely was a pocket-handkerchief taken
in and out of a flat reticule so often as Mrs. Todgers's
was, as she stood upon the pavement by the coach
door, supported on either side by a commercial gen-
tleman ; and by the light of the coach lamps caught
such brief snatches and glimpses of the good man's
face, as the constant interposition of Mr. Jinkins
allowed. For Jinkins, to the last the youngest
gentleman's rock ahead in life, stood upon the coach-
step talking to the ladies. Upon the other step was
Mr. Jonas, who maintained that position in right of
his cousinship ; whereas the youngest gentleman,
who had been first upon the ground, was deep in the
booking-office among the black and red placards,
and the portraits of fast coaches, where he was
ignominiously harassed by porters, and had to con-
tend and strive perpetually with heavy baggage.
This false position, combined with his nervous ex-
citement, brought about the very consummation and
catastrophe of his miseries ; for when, in the mo-
ment of parting, he aimed a flower — a hothouse
flower, that had cost money — at the fair hand of
Mercy, it reached, instead, the coachman on the

VOL. I.-19.



290 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

box, who thanked him kindly, and stuck it in his
buttonhole.

They were off now; and Todgers's was alone
again. The two young ladies, leaning back in their
separate corners, resigned themselves to their own
regretful thoughts. But Mr. Pecksniff, dismissing
all ephemeral considerations of social pleasure and
enjoyment, concentrated his meditations on the
one great virtuous purpose before him, of casting
out that ingrate and deceiver, whose presence yet
troubled his domestic hearth, and was a sacrilege
upon the altars of his household gods.



CHAPTER XII.

WILL BE SEEN IN THE LONG RUN, IP NOT IN THE
SHORT ONE, TO CONCERN MR. PINCH AND OTHERS

NEARLY. MR. PECKSNIFF ASSERTS THE DIGNITY

OF OUTRAGED VIRTUE. YOUNG MARTIN CHUZZLE-

WIT FORMS A DESPERATE RESOLUTION.

Mr. Pinch and Martin, little dreaming of the
stormy weather that impended, made themselves


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