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Mr. Tapley, with a comical mixture of delight and
chagrin, " where's the credit of a man's being jolly
under such circumstances ? Who could help it,
when things come about like this ? "

For some moments, Martin stood gazing at him,
as if he really doubted the evidence of his senses,
and could not believe that Mark stood there, in the
body before him. At length he asked him whether,
if the young lady were still in London, he thought
he could contrive to deliver a letter to her se-

VOL. I. -23.


" Do I think I can ! " cried Mark. '•' Think I
can ! Here, sit down, sir. Write it out, sir ! "

With that he cleared the table by the summary
process of tilting everything upon it into the fire-
place ; snatched some writing materials from the
mantel-shelf ; set Martin's chair before them ; forced
him down into it ; dipped a pen into the ink ; and
put it in his hand.

" Cut away, sir ! " cried Mark. "Make it strong,
sir. Let it be wery pinted, sir. Do I think so ? I
should think so. Go to work, sir ! "

Martin required no further adjuration, but went
to work at a great rate ; while Mr. Tapley, install-
ing himself without any more formalities into the
functions of his valet and general attendant, di-
vested himself of his coat, and went on to clear the
fireplace and arrange the room : talking to himself
in a low voice the whole time.

" Jolly sort of lodgings," said Mark, rubbing his
nose with the knob at the end of the fire-shovel,
and looking round the poor chamber: "that's a
comfort. The rain's come through the roof too.
That ain't bad. A lively old bedstead, I'll be
bound; popilated by lots of wampires, no doubt.
Come ! my spirits is a-getting up again. An un-
common ragged nightcap this. A very good sign.
We shall do yet ! Here, Jane, my dear," calling
down the stairs, " bring up that there hot tumbler
for my master, as was a-mixing when I come in.
That's right, sir," to Martin. " Go at it as if you
meant it, sir. Be very tender, sir, if you please.
You can't make it too strong, sir ! "


HIS love; and honors an obscure INDIVID-

The letter being duly signed, sealed, and deliv-
ered, was handed to Mark Tapley, for immediate
conveyance if possible. And he succeeded so well
in his embassy as to be enabled to return that same
night, just as the house was closing ; with the wel-
come intelligence that he had sent it upstairs to the
young lady, enclosed in a small manuscript of his
own, purporting to contain his further petition to
be engaged in Mr. Chuzzlewit's service; and that
she had herself come down and told him, in great
haste and agitation, that she would meet the gentle-
man at eight o'clock to-morrow morning in St.
James's Park. It was then agreed between the
new master and the new man, that Mark should be
in waiting near the hotel in good time, to escort the
young lady to the place of appointment ; and when
they had parted for the night with this understand-
ing, Martin took up his pen again ; and before he
Avent to bed wrote another letter, whereof more
will be seen presently.


He was up before daybreak, and came upon the
Park with the morning, which was clad with the
least engaging of the three hundred and sixty-five
dresses in the wardrobe of the year. It was raw,
damp, dark, and dismal ; the clouds were as muddy
as the ground : and the short perspective of every
street and avenue was closed up by the mist as by
a filthy curtain.

"Fine weather indeed," Martin bitterly solilo-
quized, "to be wandering up and down here in,
like a thief ! Fine weather indeed, for a meeting
of lovers in the open air, and in a public walk ! I
need be departing, with all speed, for another
country ; for I have come to a pretty pass in
this ! "

He might perhaps have gone on to reflect that of
all mornings in the year, it was not the best calcu-
lated for a young lady's coming forth on such an
errand, either. But he was stopped on the road to
this reflection, if his thoughts tended that way, by
her appearance at a short distance, on which he
hurried forward to meet her. Her squire, Mr.
Tapley, at the same time, fell discreetly back, and
surveyed the fog above him with an appearance of
attentive interest.

" My dear Martin," said Mary.

"My dear Mary," said Martin; and lovers are
such a singular kind of people that this is all they
did say just then, though Martin took her arm, and
her hand too, and they paced up and down a short
walk that was least exposed to observation, half a
dozen times.

" If you have changed at all, my love, since we
parted," said Martin at length, as he looked upon


her with a proud delight, " it is only to be more
beautiful than ever ! "

Had she been of the common metal of love-worn
young ladies, she would have denied this in her
most interesting manner ; and would have told him
that she knew she had become a perfect fright : or
that she had wasted away with weeping and anx-
iety ; or that she was dwindling gently into an
early grave; or that her mental sufferings were
unspeakable ; or would, either by tears or words,
or a mixture of both, have furnished him with
some other information to that effect, and made
him as miserable as possible. But she had been
reared up in a sterner school than the minds of
most young girls are formed in ; she had had her
nature strengthened by the hands of hard endur-
ance and necessity ; had come out from her young
trials constant, self-denying, earnest, and devoted ;
had acquired in her maidenhood — whether happily
in the end, for herself or him, is foreign to our
present purpose to inquire — something of that
nobler quality of gentle hearts which is developed
often by the sorrows and struggles of matronly
years, but often by their lessons only. Unspoiled,
unpampered in her joys or griefs ; with frank, and
full, and deep affection for the object of her early
love ; she saw in him one who for her sake was an
outcast from his home and fortune, and she had no
more idea of bestowing that love upon him in other
than cheerful and sustaining words, full of high
hope and grateful trustfulness, than she had of
being unworthy of it, in her lightest thought or
deed, for any base temptation that the world could


"What change is there in you, Martin," she re-
plied ; " for that concerns me nearest ? You look
more anxious and more thoughtful than you used."

" Why, as to that, my love," said Martin, as he
drew her waist within his arm, first looking round
to see that there were no observers near, and be-
holding Mr. Tapley more intent than ever on the
fog; "it would be strange if I did not; for my
life — especially of late — has been a hard one."

"I know it must have been," she answered.
" When have I forgotten to think of it and you ? "

" Not often, I hope," said Martin. " Not often,
I am sure. Not often, I have some right to expect,
Mary ; for I have undergone a great deal of vexa-
tion and privation, and I naturally look for that
return, you know."

" A very, very poor return," she answered, with a
fainter smile. " But you have it, and will have it
always. You have paid a dear price for a poor
heart, Martin ; but it is at least your own, and a
true one."

"Of course I feel quite certain of that," said
Martin, "or I shouldn't have put myself in my
present position. And don't say a poor heart,
Mary, for I say a rich one. Now, I am about to
break a design to you, dearest, which will startle
you at first, but which is undertaken for your sake.
I am going," he added slowly, looking far into the
deep wonder of her bright dark eyes, " abroad."

" Abroad, Martin ! "

" Only to America. See now — how you droop
directly ! "

"If I do, or, I hope I may say, if I did," she
answered, raising her head after a short silence, and


looking once more into his face, " it was for grief to
think of what you are resolved to undergo for me.
I would not venture to dissuade you, Martin ; but it
is a long, long distance ; there is a wide ocean to be
crossed ; illness and want are sad calamities in any
place, but in a foreign country dreadful to endure.
Have you thought of all this ? "

"Thought of it!" cried Martin, abating, in his
fondness — and he was very fond of her — hardly
an iota of his usual impetuosity. " What am I to
do ? It's very well to say, ' Have I thought of it ? '
my love ; but you should ask me in the same breath,
have I thought of starving at home ; have I thought
of doing porter's work for a living ; have I thought
of holding horses in the streets to earn my roll of
bread from day to day ? Come, come," he added, in
a gentler tone, " do not hang down your head, my
dear, for I need the encouragement that your sweet
face alone can give me. Why, that's well ! Now
you are brave again."

" I am endeavoring to be," she answered, smiling
through her tears.

"Endeavoring to be anything that's good, and
being it, is, with you, all one. Don't I know that
of old ? " cried Martin gayly. " So ! That's famous !
Now I can tell you all my plans as cheerfully as if
you were my little wife already, Mary."

She hung more closely on his arm, and looking
upward in his face, bade him speak on.

" You see," said Martin, playing with the little
hand upon his wrist, " that my attempts to advance
myself at home have been baffled and rendered
abortive. I will not say by whom, Mary, for that
would give pain to us both. But so it is. Have


you heard him speak of late of any relative of mine
or his, called Pecksniff ? Only tell me what I ask
you, no more."

" I have heard, to my surprise, that he is a better
man than was supposed."

'' I thought so," interrupted Martin.

" And that it is likely we may come to know him,
if not to visit and reside with him, and — I think —
his daughters. He has daughters, has he, love ? "

"A pair of them," Martin answered. "A pre-
cious pair ! Gems of the first water ! "

" Ah ! You are jesting ! "

"There is a sort of jesting which is very much in
earnest, and includes some pretty serious disgust,"
said Martin. *'I jest in reference to Mr. Pecksniff
(at whose house I have been living as his assistant,
and at whose hands I have received insult and
injury), in that vein. Whatever betides, or how-
ever closely you may be brought into communica-
tion with his family, never forget that, Mary ; and
never for an instant, whatever appearances may
seem to contradict me, lose sight of this assurance
— Pecksniff is a scoundrel."

" Indeed ! "

" In thought, and in deed, a-nd in everything else.
A scoundrel from the topmost hair of his head to
the nethermost atom of his heel. Of his daughters
I will only say that, to the best of my knowledge
and belief, they are dutiful young ladies, and take
after their father closely. This is a digression from
the main point, and yet it brings me to what I Avas
going to say."

He stopped to look into her eyes again, and see-
ing, in a hasty glance over his shoulder, that there


was no one near, and that Mark was still intent upon
the fog, not only looked at her lips too, but kissed
them into the bargain.

" Now, I'm going to America, with great prospects
of doing well, and of returning home myself very
soon ; it may be to take you there for a few years,
but, at all events, to claim you for my wife ; which,
after such trials, I should do with no fear of your
still thinking it a duty to cleave to him who will
not suffer me to live (for this is true), if he can help
it, in my own land. How long I may be absent is,
of course, uncertain ; but it shall not be very long.
Trust me for that."

"In the meantime, dear Martin — "

" That's the very thing I am coming to. In the
meantime you shall hear constantly of all my goings-
on. Thus."

He paused to take from his pocket the letter he
had written over-night, and then resumed, —

" In this fellow's employment, and living in this
fellow's house (by fellow, I mean Mr. Pecksniff, of
course), there is a certain person of the name of
Pinch — don't forget it ; a poor, strange, simple
oddity, Mary ; but thoroughly honest and sincere ;
full of zeal, and with a cordial regard for me ; which
I mean to return one of these days, by setting him
up in life in some way or other."

" Your old kind nature, Martin ! "

" Oh ! " said Martin, " that's not worth speaking
of, my love. He's very grateful and desirous to
serve me ; and I am more than repaid. Now one
night I told this Pinch my history, and all about
myself and you ; in which he was not a little inter-
ested, I can tell you, for he knows you ! Ay, you


may look surprised — and the longer the better, for
it becomes you — but you have heard him play the
organ in the church of that village before now ; and
he has seen you listening to his music; and has
caught his inspiration from you, too ! "

" Was he the organist ? " cried Mary. " I thank
him from my heart."

"Yes, he was," said Martin, "and is, and gets
nothing for it, either. There never was such a
simple fellow ! Quite an infant ! But a very good
sort of creature, I assure you."

" I am sure of that," she said, with great earnest-
ness. " He must be ! "

"Oh, yes, no doubt at all about it," rejoined
Martin, in his usual careless way. " He is. Well !
It has occurred to me — but stay, if I read you what
I have written and intend sending to him by post
to-night, it will explain itself. ' My dear Tom Pinch.'
That's rather familiar, perhaps," said Martin, sud-
denly remembering that he was proud when they
had last met, " but I call him my dear Tom Pinch,
because he likes it, and it pleases him."

" Very right, and very kind," said Mary.

" Exactly so ! " cried Martin. " It's as well to be
kind whenever one can; and, as I said before, he
really is an excellent fellow. ' My dear Tom Pinch,
— I address this under cover to Mrs. Lupin, at the
Blue Dragon, and have begged her in a short note
to deliver it to you without saying anything about
it elsewhere; and to do the same with all future
letters she may receive from me. My reason for
so doing will be at once apparent to you ' — I don't
know that it will be, by the by," said Martin, break-
ing off, " for he's slow of comprehension, poor fel-


low ; but he'll find it out in time. My reason simply
is, that I don't want my letters to be read by other
people ; and .particularly by the scoundrel whom he
thinks an angel."

" ]\Ir. Pecksniff again ? " asked Mary.

" The same," said Martin : " ' — will be at once
apparent to you. I have completed my arrange-
ments for going to America ; and you will be sur-
prised to hear that I am to be accompanied by
Mark Tapley, upon whom I have stumbled strangely
in London, and who insists on putting himself
under my protection' — meaning, ray love," said
Martin, breaking off again, "our friend in the rear,
of course."

She was delighted to hear this, and bestowed a
kind glance upon Mark, which he brought his eyes
down from the fog to encounter, and received with
immense satisfaction. She said in his hearing too,
that he was a good soul and a merry creature, and
would be faithful, she was certain ; commendations
which Mr. Tapley inwardly resolved to deserve from
such lips, if he died for it.

" * Now, my dear Pinch,' " resumed Martin, pro-
ceeding with his letter ; " ' I am going to repose
great trust in you, knowing that I may do so with
perfect reliance on your honor and secrecy, and
having nobody else just now to trust in.' "

" I don't think I would say that, Martin."

"Wouldn't you? Well ! Pll take that out. It's
perfectly true, though."

" But it might seem ungracious, perhaps."

" Oh, I don't mind Pinch," said Martin. " There's
no occasion to stand on any ceremony with him.
However, I'll take it out, as you wish it, and make


the full stop at ' secrecy.' Very well ! ' I shall not
only' — this is the letter again, you know."

" I understand."

" ' I shall not only enclose my letters to the young
lady of whom I have told you, to your charge, to be
forwarded as she may request ; but I most earnestly
commit her, the young lady herself, to your care
and regard, in the event of your meeting in my
absence. I have reason to think that the probabili-
ties of your encountering each other — perhaps very
frequently — are now neither remote nor few; and
although in your position you can do very little to
lessen the uneasiness of hers, I trust to you im-
plicitly to do that much, and so deserve the confi-
dence I have reposed in you.' You see, my dear
Mary," said Martin, " it will be a great consolation
to you to have anybody, no matter how simple, with
whom you can speak about me ; and the very first
time you talk to Pinch, you'll feel at once, that
there is no more occasion for any embarrassment or
hesitation in talking to him, than if he were an old

"However that may be," she returned, smiling,
" he is your friend, and that is enough."

"Oh, yes, he's my friend," said Martin, "cer-
tainly. In fact, I have told him in so many words
that we'll always take notice of him, and protect
him : and it's a good trait in his character that he's
grateful — very grateful indeed. You'll like him
of all things, my love, I know. You'll observe very
much that's comical and old-fashioned about Pinch,
but you needn't mind laughing at him ; for he'll not
care about it. He'll rather like it, indeed ! "

"I don't think I shall put that to the test,


"You won't if you can help it, of course," he
said, " but I think you'll find him a little too much
for your gravity. However, that's neither here nor
there, and it certainly is not the letter; which ends
thus : ' Knowing that I need not impress the nature
and extent of that confidence upon you at any
greater length, as it is already sufficiently estab-
lished in your mind, I will only say in bidding you
farewell, and looking forward to our next meeting,
that I shall charge myself from this time, through
all changes for the better, with your advancement
and happiness, as if they were my own. You may
rely upon that. And always believe me, my dear
Tom Pinch, faithfully your friend, Martin Chuzzle-
wit. P. S. I enclose the amount which you so
kindly ' — Oh," said Martin, checking himself,
and folding up the letter, "that's nothing!"

At this crisis Mark Tapley interposed, with an
apology for remarking that the clock at the Horse
Guards was striking.

" Which I shouldn't have said nothing about, sir,"
added Mark, " if the young lady hadn't begged me
to be particular in mentioning it."

" I did," said Mary. " Thank you. You are quite
right. In another minute I shall be ready to return.
We have time for a very few words more, dear
Martin, and although I had much to say, it must
remain unsaid until the happy time of our next
meeting. Heaven send it may come speedily and
prosperously ! But I have no fear of that."

" Fear ! " cried Martin. " Why, who has ? What
are a few months ? What is a whole year ? When
I come gayly back, with a road through life hewn
out before me, then indeed, looking back upon this


parting, it may seem a dismal one. But now! I
swear I wouldn't have it happen under more favor-
able auspices, if I could : for then I should be less
inclined to go, and less impressed with the ne-

" Yes, yes. I feel that too. When do you go ? "

" To-night. We leave for Liverpool to-night. A
vessel sails from that port, as I hear, in three days.
In a month, or less, we shall be there. Why, what's
a month ? How many months have flown by since
our last parting ! "

"Long to look back upon," said Mary, echoing
his cheerful tone, " but nothing in their course ! "

'' Nothing at all ! " cried Martin. " I shall have
change of scene and change of place : change of
people, change of manners, change of cares and
hopes ! Time will wear wings indeed ! I can bear
anything, so that I have swift action, Mary."

Was he thinking solely of her care for him, when
he took so little heed of her share in the separation ;
of her quiet monotonous endurance, and her slow
anxiety from day to day ? Was there nothing jar-
ring and discordant even in his tone of courage, with
this one note " self " forever audible, however high
the strain ? Not in her ears. It had been better
otherwise, perhaps, but so it was. She heard the
same bold spirit which had flung away as dross all
gain and profit for her sake, making light of peril
and privation that she might be calm and happy ;
and she heard no more. That heart where self has
found no place and raised no throne, is slow to
recognize its ugly presence when it looks upon it.
As one possessed of an evil spirit was held in old
time to be alone conscious of the lurking demon in


the breasts of other men, so kindred vices know
each other in their hiding-places every day, when
Virtue is incredulous and blind.

" The quarter's gone ! " cried Mr. Tapley, in a
voice of admonition.

"I shall be ready to return immediately," she
said. " One thing, dear Martin, I am bound to tell
you. You entreated me a few minutes since only
to answer what you asked me in reference to one
theme, but you should and must know — otherwise
I could not be at ease — that since that separation
of which I was the unhappy occasion, he has never
once uttered your name ; has never coupled it, or
any faint allusion to it, with passion or reproach ;
and has never abated in his kindness to me."

"I thank him for that last act," said Martin,
" and for nothing else. Though on consideration I
may thank him for his other forbearance also, inas-
much as I neither expect nor desire that he will
mention my name again. He may once, perhaps —
to couple it with reproach — in his will. Let him,
if he please ! By the time it reaches me, he will be
in his grave : a satire on his own anger, God help
him ! "

" Martin ! If you would but sometimes, in some
quiet hour ; beside the winter fire ; in the summer
air ; when you hear gentle music, or think of Death,
or Home, or Childhood; if you would at such a
season resolve to think, but once a month, or even
once a year, of him, or any one who ever wronged
you, you would forgive him in your heart, I
know ! "

" If I believed that to be true, Mary," he replied,
"I would resolve at no such time to bear him in my


mind : wishing to spare myself the shame of such a
weakness. I was not born to be the toy and puppet
of any man, far less his ; to whose pleasure and
caprice, in return for any good he did me, my whole
youth was sacrificed. It became between us two a
fair exchange — a barter — and no more ; and there
is no such balance against me that I need throw in
a mawkish forgiveness to poise the scale. He has
forbidden all mention of me to you, I know," he
added hastily. " Come ! Has he not ? "

" That was long ago," she returned ; " immediately
after your parting ; before you had left the house.
He has never done so since."

" He has never done so since, because he has seen
no occasion," said Martin ; " but that is of little con-
sequence, one way or other. Let all allusion to
him between you and me be interdicted from this
time forth. And therefore, love " — he drew her
quickly to him, for the time of parting had now
come — '•' in the first letter that you write to me
through the Post Office, addressed to New York ;
and in all the others that you send through Pinch ;
remember he has no existence, but has become to
us as one who is dead. Now, God bless you ! This
is a strange place for such a meeting and such a
parting ; but our next meeting shall be in a better,
and our next and last parting in a worse."

" One other question, Martin, I must ask. Have
you provided money for this journey ? "

" Have I ? " cried Martin ; it might have been in
his pride ; it might have been in his desire to set
her mind at ease. " Have I provided money ? Why,
there's a question for an emigrant's wife ! How
could I move on land or sea without it, love ? "


" I mean, enough."

" Enough ! More than enough. Twenty times
more than enough. A pocketful. Mark and I, for
all essential ends, are quite as rich as if we had the

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