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gratulation even in that, since we are assured that
he is not distrustful of us in regard to anything we
may say or do while he is absent. Now, that is
very soothing, is it not ? "

" Pecksniff," said Anthony, who had been watch-
ing the whole party with peculiar keenness from
the first — " don't you be a hypocrite."

" A what, my good sir ? " demanded Mr. Pecksniff.



88 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

"A hypocrite."

" Charity, my dear," said Mr. Pecksniff, " when I
take my chamber candlestick to-night, remind me
to be more than usually particular in praying for
Mr. Anthony Chuzzlewit, who has done me an
injustice."

This was said in a very bland voice, and aside, as
being addressed to his daughter's private ear.
With a cheerfulness of conscience, prompting almost
a sprightly demeanor, he then resumed, —

"All our thoughts centring in our very dear, but
unkind relative, and he being as it were beyond our
reach, we are met to-day, really as if we were a
funeral party, except — a blessed exception — that
there is no body in the house."

The strong-minded lady was not at all sure that
this was a blessed exception. Quite the contrary.

" Well, my dear madam ! " said Mr. Pecksniff.
" Be that as it may, here we are ; and being here,
we are to consider whether it is possible by any
justifiable means — "

" Why, you know as well as I," said the strong-
minded lady, "that any means are justifiable in
such a case, don't you ? "

"Very good, my dear madam, very good —
whether it is possible by any means ; we will say
by any means ; to open the eyes of our valued rel-
ative to his present infatuation. Whether it is
possible to make him acquainted by any means with
the real character and purpose of that young female
whose strange, whose very strange position, in ref-
erence to himself" — here Mr. Pecksniff sunk his
voice to an impressive whisper — "really casts a
shadow of disgrace and shame upon this family ;



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 89

and who, we know " — here he raised his voice again —
" else why is she his companion ? — harbors the very-
basest designs upon his weakness and his property."

In their strong feeling on this point, they, who
agreed in nothing else, all concurred as one mind.
Good Heaven, that she should harbor designs upon
his property ! The strong-minded lady was for
poison, her three daughters were for Bridewell and
bread and water, the cousin with the toothache advo-
cated Botany Bay, the two Miss Pecksniifs suggested
flogging. Nobody but Mr. Tigg, who, notwithstand-
ing his extreme shabbiness, was still understood to
be in some sort a lady's man, in right of his upper
lip and his frogs, indicated a doubt of the justifiable
nature of these measures ; and he only ogled the
three Miss Chuzzlewits with the least admixture of
banter in his admiration, as though he would
observe, " You are positively down upon her to too
great an extent, my sweet creatures, upon my soul
you are ! "

" Now," said Mr. Pecksniff, crossing his two fore-
fingers in a manner which was at once conciliatory
and argumentative : " I will not, upon the one hand,
go so far as to say that she deserves all the inflic-
tions which have been so very forcibly and hilariously
suggested ; " one of his ornamental sentences ; " nor
will I, upon the other, on any account compromise
my common understanding as a man by making the
assertion that she does not. What I would observe
is, that I think some practical means might be
devised of inducing our respected — shall I say our
revered — "

" No ! " interposed the strong-minded woman in a
loud voice.



90 MARTIN CHTJZZLEWIT.

" Then I will not," said Mr. Pecksniff. " You are
quite right, my dear madam, and I appreciate, and
thank you for, your discriminating objection — our
respected relative, to dispose himself to listen to
the promptings of nature, and not to the — "

" Go on, pa ! " cried Mercy.

" Why, the truth is, my dear," said Mr. Pecksniff,
smiling upon his assembled kindred, " that I am at
a loss for a word. The name of those fabulous
animals (pagan, I regret to say) who used to sing
in the water, has quite escaped me."

Mr. George Chuzzlewit suggested " Swans."

"No," said Mr. Pecksniff. "Not swans. Very
like swans, too. Thank you."

The nephew with the outline of a countenance,
speaking for the first and last time on that occasion,
propounded " Oysters."

" No," said Mr. Pecksniff, with his own peculiar
urbanity, " nor oysters. But by no means unlike
oysters ; a very excellent idea ; thank you, my dear
sir, very much. Wait ! Sirens. Dear me ! sirens,
of course. I think, I say, that means might be
devised of disposing our respected relative to listen
to the promptings of nature, and not to the siren-
like delusions of art. Now we must not lose sight
of the fact that our esteemed friend has a grandson,
to whom he was, until lately, very much attached,
and whom I could have wished to see here to-day,
for I have a real and deep regard for him. A fine
young man : a very fine young man ! I would sub-
mit to you, whether we might not remove Mr.
Chuzzlewit's distrust of us and vindicate our own
disinterestedness by — "

" If Mr. George Chuzzlewit has anything to say



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 91

to we," interposed the strong-miuded woman
sternly, " I beg him to speak out, like a man ; and
not to look at me and my daughters as if he could
eat us."

" As to looking, I have heard it said, Mrs. Ned,"
returned Mr. George angrily, " that a cat is free to
contemplate a monarch ; and therefore I hope I have
some right, having been born a member of this
family, to look at a person who only came into it by
marriage. As to eating, I beg to say, whatever
bitterness your jealousies and disappointed expecta-
tions may suggest to you, that I am not a cannibal,
ma'am."

" I don't know that ! " cried the strong-minded
woman.

"At all events, if I was a cannibal," said Mr.
George Chuzzlewit, greatly stimulated by this retort,
" I think it would occur to me that a lady who had
outlived three husbands, and suffered so very little
from their loss, must be most uncommonly tough."

The strong-minded woman immediately rose.

" And I will further add," said Mr. George, nod-
ding his head violently at every second syllable ;
"naming no names, and therefore hurting nobody
but those whose consciences tell them they are
alluded to, that I think it would be much more
decent and becoming, if those who hooked and
crooked themselves into this family by getting on
the blind side of some of its members before mar-
riage, and manslaughtering them afterwards by
crowing over them to that strong pitch that they
were glad to die, would refrain from acting the part
of vultures in regard to other members of this fam-
ily who are living. I think it would be full as well,



92 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

if not better, if those individuals would keep at
home, contenting themselves with what they have
got (luckily for them) already ; instead of hovering
about, and thrusting their fingers into, a family pie,
which they flavor much more than enough, I can
tell them, when they are fifty miles away."

"I might have been prepared for this ! " cried the
strong-minded woman, looking about her with a dis-
dainful smile as she moved towards the door, fol-
lowed by her three daughters : " indeed I was fully
prepared for it, from the first. What else could I
expect in such an atmosphere as this ? "

"Don't direct your half-pay-officer's gaze at me,
ma'am, if you please," interposed Miss Charity;
" for I won't bear it."

This was a smart stab at a pension enjoyed by
the strong-minded woman during her second widow-
hood, and before her last coverture. It told im-
mensely.

" I passed from the memory of a grateful country,
you very miserable minx," said Mrs. Ned, " when I
entered this family ; and I feel now, though I did
not feel then, that it served me right, and that I
lost my claim upon the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland when I so degraded myself.
Now, my dears, if you're quite ready, and have
sufficiently improved yourselves by taking to heart
the genteel example of these two young ladies, I
think we'll go. Mr. Pecksniff, we are very much
obliged to you, really. We came to be entertained,
and you have far surpassed our utmost expectations,
in the amusement you have provided for us. Thank
you. Good-by ! "

With such departing words did this strong-



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 93

minded female paralyze the Pecksniffian energies ;
and so she swept out of the room, and out of the
house, attended by her daughters, who, as with one
accord, elevated their three noses in the air, and
joined in a contemptuous titter. As they passed
the parlor window on the outside, they were seen
to counterfeit a perfect transport of delight among
themselves ; and with this final blow and great
discouragement for those within, they vanished.

Before Mr. Pecksniff or any of his remaining
visitors could offer a remark, another figure passed
this window, coming, at a great rate, in the oppo-
site direction : and immediately afterwards, Mr.
Spottletoe burst into the chamber. Compared with
his present state of heat, he had gone out a man of
snow or ice. His head distilled such oil upon his
whiskers, that they were rich and clogged with
unctuous drops ; his face was violently inflamed, his
limbs trembled; and he gasped and strove for
breath.

" My good sir ! " cried Mr. Pecksniff.

" Oh, yes ! " returned the other. " Oh, yes, cer-
tainly ! Oh, to be sure ! Oh, of course ! You hear
him ? You hear him ? all of you ? "

" What's the matter ? " cried several voices.

"Oh, nothing!" cried Spottletoe, still gasping.
" Nothing at all ! It's of no consequence ! Ask
him! ^e'ZZ tell you!"

" I do not understand our friend," said Mr. Peck-
sniff, looking about him in utter amazement, " I
assure you that he is quite unintelligible to me."

" Unintelligible, sir ! " cried the other. " Unin-
telligible ! Do you mean to say, sir, that you don't
know what has happened? That you haven't



94 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

decoyed us here, and laid a plot and a plan against
us ? Will you venture to say that you didn't know
Mr. Chuzzlewit was going, sir, and that you don't
know he's gone, sir ? "

" Gone ! " was the general cry.

" Gone," echoed Mr. Spottletoe. " Gone while we
were sitting here. Gone. Nobody knows where
he's gone. Oh, of course not ! Nobody knew he
was going. Oh, of course not ! The landlady
thought up to the very last moment that they were
merely going for a ride ; she had no other suspicion.
Oh, of course not ! She's not this fellow's creature.
Oh, of course not ! "

Adding to these exclamations a kind of ironical
howl, and gazing upon the company for one brief
instant afterwards, in a sudden silence, the irritated
gentleman started off again at the same tremendous
pace, and was seen no more.

It was in vain for Mr. Pecksniff to assure them
that this new and opportune evasion of the family
was at least as great a shock and surprise to him as
to anybody else. Of all the bullyings and denunci-
ations that were ever heaped on one unlucky head,
none can ever have exceeded in energy and hearti-
ness those with which he was complimented by each
of his remaining relatives, singly, upon bidding him
farewell.

The moral position taken by Mr. Tigg was some-
thing quite tremendous ; and the deaf cousin, who
had the complicated aggravation of seeing all the
proceedings and hearing nothing but the catastro-
phe, actually scraped her shoes upon the scraper, and
afterwards distributed impressions of them all over
the top step, in token that she shook the dust from



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 95

her feet before quitting that dissembling and per-
fidious mansion.

Mr. Pecksniff had, in short, but one comfort, and
that was the knowledge that all these his relations
and friends had hated him to the very utmost extent
before ; and that he, for his part, had not distributed
among them any more love than, with his ample
capital in that respect, he could comfortably afford
to part with. This view of his affairs yielded him
great consolation ; and the fact deserves to be noted,
as showing with what ease a good man may be con-
soled under circumstances of failure and disappoint-
ment.



CHAPTER V.

CONTAINING A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE INSTALLA-
TION OF MR. Pecksniff's new pupil into the

BOSOM OF MR. PECKSNIFF's FAMILY. WITH ALL

THE FESTIVITIES HELD ON THAT OCCASION, AND
THE GREAT ENJOYMENT OF MR. PINCH.

The best of architects and land surveyors kept a
horse, in whom the enemies already mentioned more
than once in these pages, pretended to detect a fan-
ciful resemblance to his master. Not in his out-
ward person, for he was a raw-boned, haggard horse,
always on a much shorter allowance of corn than
Mr. Pecksniff ; but in his moral character, wherein,
said they, he was full of promise, but of no per-
formance. He was always, in a manner, going to
go, and never going. When at his slowest rate of
travelling, he would sometimes lift up his legs so
high, and display such mighty action, that it was
difficult to believe he was doing less than fourteen
miles an hour ; and he was forever so perfectly sat-
isfied with his own speed, and so little disconcerted
by opportunities of comparing himself with the
fastest trotters, that the illusion was the more diffi-
cult of resistance. He was a kind of animal who
infused into the breasts of strangers a lively sense



MARTIX CHUZZLEWIT. 97

of hope, and possessed all those who knew him
better with a grim despair. In what respect, having
these points of character, he might be fairly likened
to his master, that good man's slanderers only can
explain. But it is a melancholy truth, and a deplor-
able instance of the uncharitableness of the world,
that they made the comparison.

In this horse, and the hooded vehicle, Avhatever
its proper name might be, to which he was usually
harnessed — it was more like a gig with a tumor
than anything else — all Mr. Pinch's thoughts and
wishes centred, one bright frosty morning : for with
this gallant equipage he was about to drive to Salis-
bury alone, there to meet with the new pupil, and
thence to bring him home in triumph.

Blessings on thy simple heart, Tom Pinch, how
proudly dost thou button up that scanty coat, called
by a sad misnomer, for these many years, a '' great "
one ; and how thoroughly as with thy cheerful voice
thou pleasantly adjurest Sam the hostler ''not to
let him go yet," dost thou believe that quadruped
desires to go, and would go if he might J Who could
repress a smile — of love for thee, Tom Pinch, and
not in jest at thy expense, for thou art poor enough
already. Heaven knows — to think that such a holi-
day as lies before thee, should awaken that quick
flow and hurry of the spirits, in which thou settest
down again, almost untasted, on the kitchen win-
dow-sill, that great white mug (put by, by thy own
hands last night, that breakfast might not hold thee
late), and layest yonder crust upon the seat beside
thee to be eaten on the road, when thou art calmer
in thy high rejoicing ? Who, as thou drivest off a
happy man, and noddest with a grateful lovingness

VOL. I. -7.



98 MAETIN CHUZZLEWIT.

to Pecksniff in his nightcap at his chamber window,
wouhl not cry, " Heaven speed thee, Tom, and send
that thou wert going off forever to some quiet home
where thou mightst live at peace, and sorrow should
not touch thee " ?

What better time for driving, riding, walking,
moving through the air by any means, than a fresh
frosty morning, when hope runs cheerily through
the veins with the brisk blood, and tingles in the
frame from head to foot ? This was the glad com-
mencement of a bracing day in early winter, such
as may put the languid summer season (speaking of
it when it can't be had) to the blush, and shame the
spring for being sometimes cold by halves. Tlie
sheep-bells rang as clearly in the vigorous air, as if
they felt its wholesome influence like living crea-
tures ; the trees, in lieu of leaves or blossoms, shed
upon the ground a frosty rime that sparkled as it
fell, and might have been the dust of diamonds.
So it was, to Tom. From cottage chimneys, smoke
went streaming up high, high, as if the earth had
lost its grossness, being so fair, and must not be
oppressed by heavy vapor. The crust of ice on the
else rippling brook was so transparent, and so thin
in texture, that the lively water might, of its OAvn
free will, have stopped — in Tom's glad mind it had
— to look upon the lovely morning. And lest the
sun should break this charm too eagerly, there
moved between him and the ground a mist like that
which waits upon the moon on summer nights — the
very same to Tom — and wooed him to dissolve it
gently.

Tom Pinch went on ; not fast, but with a sense of
rapid motion, which did just as well ; and as he



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 99

went, all kinds of things occurred to keep him
happy. Thus when he came within sight of the
turnpike, and was — oh, a long way off ! — he saw
the tollman's wife, who had that moment checked a
wagon, run back into the little house again like
mad, to say (she knew) that Mr. Pinch was coming
up. And she was right, for when he drew within
hail of the gate, forth rushed the tollman's children,
shrieking in tiny chorus, *' Mr. Pinch ! " — to Tom's
intense delight. The very tollman, though an ugly
chap in general, and one whom folks were rather
shy of handling, came out himself to take the toll,
and give him rough good-morning: and that with
all this, and a glimpse of the family breakfast on a
little round table before the fire, the crust Tom
Pinch had brought away with him acquired as rich
a flavor as though it had been cut from off a fairy
loaf.

But there was more than this. It was not only
the married people and the children who gave Tom
Pinch a welcome as he passed. Xo, no. Sparkling
eyes and snowy breasts came hurriedly to many an
upper casement as he clattered by, and gave him
back his greeting : not stinted either, but sevenfold,
good measure. They were all merry. They all
laughed. And some of the wickedest among them
even kissed their hands as Tom looked back. For
who minded poor Mr. Pinch ? There was no harm
in him.

And now the morning grew so fair, and all things
were so wide awake and gay, that the sun seeming
to say — Tom had no doubt he said — "I can't stand
it any longer : I must have a look " — streamed out
in radiant majesty. The mist, too shy and gentle



100 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

for sucli lusty company, fled off, quite scared, before
it ; and as it swept away, the hills and mounds and
distant pasture lands, teeming with placid sheep
and noisy crows, came out as bright as though they
were unrolled brand-new for the occasion. In com-
pliment to which discover}^, the brook stood still no
longer, but ran briskly off to bear the tidings to the
water-mill, three miles away.

Mr. Pinch was jogging along, full of pleasant
thoughts and cheerful influences, when he saw, upon
the path before him, going in the same direction
with himself, a traveller on foot, who walked with
a light, quick step, and sang as he went — for cer-
tain in a very loud voice, but not unmusically. He
was a young fellow of some five or six and twenty
perhaps, and was dressed in such a free and fly-
away fashion, that the long ends of his loose red
neckcloth were streaming out behind him quite as
often as before ; and the bunch of bright winter
berries in the buttonhole of his velveteen coat was
as visible to Mr. Pinch's rearward observation as if
he had worn that garment wrong side foremost. He
continued to sing with so much energy, that he did
not hear the sound of wheels until it was close
behind him ; when he turned a whimsical face and
very merry pair of blue eyes on Mr. Pinch, and
checked himself directly.

" Why, Mark ! " said Tom Pinch, stopping, "who'd
have thought of seeing you here ? Well ! this is
surprising ! "

Mark touched his hat, and said, with a very sud-
den decrease of vivacity, that he was going to
Salisbury.

" And how spruce you are, too ! " said Mr. Pinch,



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 101

surveying him with great pleasure, "Really, I
didn't think you were half such a tight-made
fellow, Mark!"

"Thankee, Mr. Pinch. Pretty well for that, I
believe. It's not my fault, you know. With regard
to being spruce, sir, that's where it is, you see."
And here he looked particularly gloomy.

" Where what is ? " Mr. Pinch demanded.

"Where the aggravation of it is. Any man may
be in good spirits and good temper when he's well
dressed. There ain't much credit in that. If I
was very ragged and very jolly, then I should begin
to feel I had gained a point, Mr. Pinch."

" So you were singing just now, to bear up, as it
were, against being well dressed, eh, Mark ? " said
Pinch.

" Your conversation's always equal to print, sir,"
rejoined Mark, with a broad grin. " That was it."

" Well ! " cried Pinch, " you are the strangest
young man, Mark, I ever knew in my life. I
always thought so ; but now I am quite certain of
it. I am going to Salisbury, too. Will you get
in ? I shall be very glad of your company."

The young fellow made his acknowledgments and
accepted the offer; stepping into the carriage di-
rectly, and seating himself on the very edge of the
seat, with his body half out of it, to express his
being there on sufferance, and by the politeness of
Mr. Pinch. As they went along, the conversation
proceeded after this manner.

" I more than half believed, just now, seeing you
so very smart," said Pinch, "that you must be
going to be married, Mark."

"Well, sir, I've thought of that too," he replied.



102 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

"There might be some credit in being jolly with a
wife, 'specially if the children had the measles and
that, and was very fractious indeed. But I'm a'most
afraid to try it. I don't see my way clear."

" You're not very fond of anybody, perhaps ? "
said Pinch.

" Not particular, sir, I think."

" But the way would be, you know, Mark, accord-
ing to your views of things," said Mr. Pinch, "to
marry somebody you didn't like, and who was very
disagreeable."

" So it would, sir, but that might be carrying out
a principle a little too far, mightn't it ? "

"Perhaps it might," said Mr. Pinch. At which
they both laughed gayly.

" Lord bless you, sir," said Mark, " you don't
half kuow me, though. I don't believe there ever
was a man as could come out so strong under cir-
cumstances that would make other men miserable,
as I could, if I could only get a chance. But I
can't get a chance. It's my opinion that nobody
never will know half of what's in me, unless some-
thing very unexpected turns up. And I don't see
any prospect of that. I'm a-going to leave the
Dragon, sir."

" Going to leave the Dragon ! " cried Mr. Pinch,
looking at him with great astonishment. "Why,
Mark, you take my breath away ! "

"Yes, sir," he rejoined, looking straight before
him and a long way off, as men do sometimes when
they cogitate profoundly. " What's the use of my
stopping at the Dragon ? It ain't at all the sort of
place for me. When I left London (I'm a Kentish
man by birth, though), and took that sitivation here,



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 103

I quite made tip my mind that it was the dullest
little out-of-the-way corner in England, and that
there would be some credit in being jolly under
such circumstances. But, Lord, there's no dulness
at the Dragon ! Skittles, cricket, quoits, ninepins,
comic songs, choruses, company round the chimney
corner every winter's evening — any man could be
jolly at the Dragon. There's no credit in that."

" But if common report be true for once, Mark, as
I think it is, being able to confirm it by what I
know myself," said Mr. Pinch, " you are the cause
of half this merriment, and set it going."

"There may be something in that, too, sir,"
answered Mark. " But that's no consolation."

" Well ! " said Mr. Pinch, after a short silence,
his usually subdued tone being even more subdued
than ever. " I can hardly think enough of what
you tell me. Why, what will become of Mrs.
Lupin, Mark ? "

Mark looked more fixedly before him, and further
off still, as he answered that he didn't suppose it
would be much of an object to her. There were
plenty of smart young fellows as would be glad of
the place. He knew a dozen himself.

" That's probable enough," said Mr. Pinch, " but
I am not at all sure that Mrs. Lupin would be glad
of them. Why, I always supposed that Mrs. Lupin



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