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and you would make a match of it, Mark : and so
did every one, as far as I know."

"I never," Mark replied, in some confusion,
"said nothing as was in a direct way courting-like
to her, nor she to me, but I don't know what I
mightn't do one of these odd times, and what she
mightn't say in answer. Well, sir, that wouldn't
suit."



104 MARTIN CHTJZZLEWIT.

"Not to be landlord of the Dragon, Mark?"
cried Mr. Pinch.

" No, sir, certainly not," returned the other, with-
drawing his gaze from the horizon, and looking at
his fellow-traveller. " Why, that would be the ruin
of a man like me. I go and sit down comfortably
for life, and no man never finds me out. What
would be the credit of the landlord of the Dragon's
being jolly ? Why, he couldn't help it if he tried."

" Does Mrs. Lupin know you are going to leave
her ? " Mr. Pinch inquired.

" I haven't broke it to her yet, sir, but I must.
I'm looking out this morning for something new
and suitable," he said, nodding towards the city.

"What kind of thing now?" Mr. Pinch de-
manded.

"I was thinking," Mark replied, "of something
in the grave-digging way."

" Good Gracious, Mark ! " cried Mr. Pinch.

" It's a good, damp, wormy sort of business, sir,"
said Mark, shaking his head, argumentatively, "and
there might be some credit in being jolly, with one's
mind in that pursuit, unless grave-diggers is usually
given that way ; which would be a drawback. You
don't happen to know how that is in general, do
you, sir ? "

" No," said Mr. Pinch, " I don't indeed. I never
thought upon the subject."

" In case of that not turning out as well as one
could wish, you know," said Mark, musing again,
"there's other businesses. Undertaking now. That's
gloomy. There might be credit to be gained there.
A broker's man in a poor neighborhood wouldn't be
bad perhaps. A jailer sees a deal of misery. A



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 105

doctor's man is in the very midst of murder. A
bailiff's ain't a lively office nat'rally. Even a tax-
gatherer must find his feelings rather worked upon,
at times. There's lots of trades in which I should
have an opportunity, I think ? "

Mr. Pinch was so perfectly overwhelmed by these
remarks that he could do nothing but occasionally
exchange a word or two on some indifferent subject,
and cast sidelong glances at the bright face of his
odd friend (who seemed quite unconscious of his
observation), until they reached a certain corner of
the road, close upon the outskirts of the city, when
Mark said he would jump down there, if he pleased.

"But bless my soul, Mark," said Mr. Pinch, who
in the progress of his observation just then made
the discovery that the bosom of his companion's
shirt was as much exposed as if it were midsummer,
and was ruffled by every breath of air, " why don't
you wear a waistcoat ? "

" What's the good of one, sir ? " asked Mark.

" Good of one ? " said Mr. Pinch. " Why, to keep
your chest warm."

"Lord love you, sir!" cried Mark, "you don't
know me. My chest don't want no warming. Even
if it did, what would no waistcoat bring it to ? In-
flammation of the lungs, perhaps ? Well, there'd be
some credit in being jolly, with an inflammation of
the lungs."

As Mr. Pinch returned no other answer than such
as was conveyed in his drawing his breath very hard,
and opening his eyes very wide, and nodding his
head very much, Mark thanked him for his ride,
and without troubling him to stop, jumped lightly
down. And away he fluttered, with his red neck-



106 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

ercliief and his open coat, down a cross-lane : turn-
ing back from time to time to nod to Mr. Pinch,
and looking one of the most careless, good-humored,
comical fellows in life. His late companion, with a
thoughtful face, pursued his way to Salisbury.

Mr. Pinch had a shrewd notion that Salisbury was
a very desperate sort of place ; an exceeding wild
and dissipated city ; and when he had put up the
horse, and given the hostler to understand that he
would look in again in the course of an hour or two
to see him take his corn, he set forth on a stroll
about the streets with a vague and not unpleasant
idea that they teemed with all kinds of mystery and
bedevilment. To one of his quiet habits this little
delusion was greatly assisted by the circumstance of
its being market-day, and the thoroughfares about
the market-place being filled with carts, horses,
donkeys, baskets, wagons, garden-stuff, meat, tripe,
pies, poultry, and hucksters' wares of every oppo-
site description and possible variety of character.
Then there were young farmers and old farmers,
with smock-frocks, brown great-coats, drab great-
coats, red worsted comforters, leather-leggings, won-
derful-shaped hats, hunting-whips, and rough sticks,
standing about in groups, or talking noisily together
on the tavern steps, or paying and receiving huge
amounts of greasy wealth, with the assistance of
such bulky pocket-books that when they were in
their pockets it was apoplexy to get them out, and
when they were out, it was spasms to get them in
again. Also there were farmers' wives in beaver
bonnets and red cloaks, riding shaggy horses purged
of all earthly passions, who went soberly into all
manner of places without desiring to know why, and



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 107

"who, if required, would have stood stock-still in a
china shop, with a complete dinner service at each
hoof. Also a great many dogs, who were strongly-
interested in the state of the market and the bar-
gains of their masters ; and a great confusion of
tongues, both brute and human.

Mr. Pinch regarded everything exposed for sale
with great delight, and was particularly struck by the
itinerant cutlery, which he considered of the very
keenest kind, insomuch that he purchased a pocket-
knife with seven blades in it, and not a cut (as he
afterwards found out) among them. When he had
exhausted the market-place, and watched the farm-
ers safe into the market dinner, he went back to
look after the horse. Having seen him eat unto his
heart's content, he issued forth again, to wander
round the town and regale himself with the shop-
windows : previously taking a long stare at the
bank, and wondering in what direction underground
the caverns might be where they kept the money ;
and turning to look back at one or two young men
who passed him, whom he knew to be articled to
solicitors in the town ; and who had a sort of fear-
ful interest in his eyes, as jolly dogs who knew a
thing or two, and kept it up tremendously.

But the shops. First of all, there were the jew-
ellers' shops, with all the treasures of the earth
displayed therein, and such large silver watches
hanging up in every pane of glass, that if they were
anything but first-rate goers it certainly was not
because the works could decently complain of want
of room. In good sooth they were big enough, and
perhaps, as the saying is, ugly enough, to be the
most correct of all mechanical performers ; in Mr.



108 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

Pinch's eyes, however, they were smaller than
Geneva ware ; and when he saw one very bloated
watch announced as a repeater, gifted with the un-
common power of striking every quarter of an hour
inside the pocket of its happy owner, he almost
wished that he were rich enough to buy it.

But what were even gold and silver, precious
stones and clockwork, to the bookshops, whence a
pleasant smell of paper freshly pressed came issuing
forth, awakening instant recollections of some new
grammar had at school, long time ago, with " Mas-
ter Pinch, Grove House Academy," inscribed in
faultless writing on the fly-leaf ? That whiff of
Russia leather, too, and all those rows on rows of
volumes, neatly ranged within — what happiness did
they suggest ! And in the window were the spick-
and-span new works from London, with the title-
pages, and sometimes even the first page of the
first chapter, laid wide open : tempting unwary men
to begin to read the book, and then, in the impossi-
bility of turning over, to rush blindly in and buy it.
Here too were the dainty frontispiece and trim
vignette, pointing, like hand-posts on the outskirts
of great cities, to the rich stock of incident beyond ;
and store of books, with many a grave portrait and
time-honored name, whose matter he knew well, and
would have given mines to have, in any form, upon
the narrow shelf beside his bed at Mr. Pecksniff's.
What a heart-breaking shop it was !

There was another ; not quite so bad at first, but
still a trying shop ; where children's books were
sold, and where poor Robinson Crusoe stood alone
in his might, with dog and hatchet, goatskin cap
and fowling-pieces ; calmly surveying Philip Quarll



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 109

and the host of imitators round him, and calling Mr.
Pinch to witness that he, of all the crowd, impressed
one solitary footprint on the shore of boyish mem-
ory, whereof the tread of generations should not
stir the lightest grain of sand. And there too were
the Persian tales, with flying chests, and students
of enchanted books shut up for years in caverns :
and there too was Abudah, the merchant, with the
terrible little old woman hobbling out of the box in
his bedroom : and there the mighty talisman — the
rare Arabian Nights — with Cassim Baba, divided by
four, like the ghost of a dreadful sura, hanging up,
all gory, in the robbers' cave. Which matchless
wonders, coming fast on Mr. Pinch's mind, did so
rub up and chafe that wonderful lamp within him,
that when he turned his face towards the busy
street, a crowd of phantoms waited on his pleasure,
and he lived again, wath new delight, the happy
days before the Pecksniff era.

He had less interest now in the chemists' shops,
with their great glowing bottles (with smaller re-
positories of brightness in their very stoppers) ; and
in their agreeable compromises between medicine
and perfumery, in the shape of toothsome lozenges
and virgin honey. Neither had he the least regard
(but he never had much) for the tailors', where the
newest metropolitan waistcoat patterns were hang-
ing up, which, by some strange transformation,
always looked amazing there, and never appeared
at all like the same thing anywhere else. But he
stopped to read the playbill at the theatre, and
surveyed the doorway with a kind of awe, which
was not diminished when a sallow gentleman with
long dark hair came out, and told a boy to run



110 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

home to his lodgings and bring down his broad-
sword. Mr. Pinch stood rooted to the spot on hear-
ing this, and might have stood there until dark, but
that the old cathedral bell began to ring for vesper
service, on which he tore himself away.

Now, the organist's assistant was a friend of Mr.
Pinch's, which was a good thing, for he too was a
very quiet, gentle soul, and had been, like Tom,
a kind of old-fashioned boy at school, though well
liked by the noisy fellows too. As good luck would
have it (Tom always said he had great good luck),
the assistant chanced that very afternoon to be on
duty by himself, with no one in the dusty organ-
loft but Tom : so while he played, Tom helped him
Avith the stops ; and finally, the service being just
over, Tom took the organ himself. It was then
turning dark, and the yellow light that streamed in
through the ancient windows in the choir was min-
gled with a murky red. As the grand tones re-
sounded through the church, they seemed, to Tom,
to find an echo in the depth of every ancient tomb,
no less than in the deep mystery of his own heart.
Great thoughts and hopes came crowding on his
mind as the rich music rolled upon the air, and yet
among them — something more grave and solemn in
their purpose, but the same — were all the images
of that day, down to its very lightest recollection
of childhood. The feeling that the sounds awak-
ened, in the moment of their existence, seemed to
include his whole life and being ; and as the sur-
rounding realities of stone and wood and glass
grew dimmer in the darkness, these visions grew so
much the brighter that Tom might have forgotten
the new pupil and the expectant master, and have



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. Ill

sat there pouring out his grateful heart till mid-
night, but for a very earthy old verger insisting on
locking up the cathedral forthwith. So he took
leave of his friend, with many thanks, groped his
way out, as well as he could, into the now lamp-
lighted streets, and hurried off to get his dinner.

All the farmers being by this time jogging home-
wards, there was nobody in the sanded parlor of
the tavern where he had left the horse ; so he had
his little table drawn out close before the fire, and
fell to work upon a well-cooked steak and smoking
hot potatoes, with a strong appreciation of their
excellence, and a very keen sense of enjoyment.
Beside him, too, there stood a jug of most stupen-
dous Wiltshire beer ; and the effect of the whole was
so transcendent, that he was obliged every now and
then to lay down his knife and fork, rub his hands,
and think about it. By the time the cheese and
celery came, Mr. Pinch had taken a book out of his
pocket, and could afford to trifle with the viands ;
now eating a little, now drinking a little, now read-
ing a little, and now stopping to wonder what sort
of a young man the new pupil would turn out to be.
He had passed from this latter theme, and was
deep in his book again, when the door opened, and
another guest came in, bringing with him such a
quantity of cold air, that he positively seemed at
first to put the fire out.

" Very hard frost to-night, sir," said the new-
comer, courteously acknowledging Mr. Pinch's with^
drawal of the little table, that he might have place.
" Don't disturb yourself, I beg."

Though he said this with a vast amount of con-
sideration for Mr. Pinch's comfort, he dra^rared one



112 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

of the great leather-bottomed chairs to the very-
centre of the hearth, notwithstanding ; and sat
down in front of the fire, with a foot on each hob.

" My feet are quite numbed. Ah ! Bitter cold
to be sure."

"You have been in the air some considerable
time, I dare say ? " said Mr. Pinch.

" All day. Outside a coach, too."

" That accounts for his making the room so cool,"
thought Mr. Pinch. "Poor fellow! How thor-
oughly chilled he must be ! "

The stranger became thoughtful likewise, and sat
for five or ten minutes looking at the fire in silence.
At length he rose and divested himself of his shawl
and great-coat, which (far different from Mr. Pinch's)
was a very warm and thick one ; but he was not a
whit more conversational out of his great-coat than
in it, for he sat down again in the same place and
attitude, and leaning back in his chair, began to
bite his nails. He was young — one and twenty,
perhaps — and handsome; with a keen dark eye,
and a quickness of look and manner which made
Tom sensible of a great contrast in his own bear-
ing, and caused him to feel even more shy than
usual.

There was a clock in the room, which the stranger
often turned to look at. Tom made frequent refer-
ence to it also ; partly from a nervous sympathy
with its taciturn companion; and partly because
•the new pupil was to inquire for him at half after
six, and the hands were getting on towards that
hour. Whenever the stranger caught him looking
at this clock, a kind of confusion came upon Tom
as if he had been found out in something ; and it



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 113

was a perception of his uneasiness which caused
the younger man to say, perhaps, with a smile, —

" We both appear to be rather particular about
the time. The fact is, I have an engagement to
meet a gentleman here."

« So have I," said Mr. Pinch.

" At half-past six," said the stranger.

"At half-past six," said Tom in the very same
breath; whereupon the other looked at him with
some surprise.

" The young gentleman I expect," remarked Tom,
timidly, " was to inquire at that time for a person
by the name of Pinch."

" Dear me ! " cried the other, jumping up. " And
I have been keeping the fire from you all this
while ! I had no idea you were Mr. Pinch. I am
the Mr. Martin for whom you were to inquire.
Pray excuse me. How do you do ? Oh, do draw
nearer, pray ! "

" Thank you," said Tom, " thank you. I am not
at all cold ; and you are ; and we have a cold ride
before us. Well, if you wish it, I will. I — I am
very glad," said Tom, smiling with an embarrassed
frankness peculiarly his, and which was as plainly
a confession of his own imperfections, and an appeal
to the kindness of the person he addressed, as if he
had drawn one up in simple language and committed
it to paper : " I am very glad indeed that you turn
out to be the party I expected. I was thinking, but a
minute ago, that I could wish him to be like you."

"I am very glad to hear it," returned Martin,
shaking hands with him again ; " for I assure you,
I was thinking there could be no such luck as Mr.
Pinch's turning out like youP

VOL. I.-8.



114 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

" No, really ! " said Tom, with great pleasure.
" Are you serious ? "

" Upon my word I am," replied his new acquaint-
ance. "You and I will get on excellently well, I
know : which it's no small relief to me to feel, for
to tell you the truth, I am not at all the sort of
fellow who could get on with everybody, and that's
the point on which I had the greatest doubts. But
they're quite relieved now. — Do me the favor to
ring the bell, will you ? "

Mr. Pinch rose, and complied with great alacrity
— the handle hung just over Martin's head, as he
warmed himself — and listened with a smiling face
to what his friend went on to say. It was, —

"If you like punch, you'll allow me to order a
glass apiece, as hot as it can be made, that we may
usher in our friendship in a becoming manner. To
let you into a secret, Mr. Pinch, I never was so
much in want of something warm and cheering in
my life ; but I didn't like to run the chance of being
found drinking it, without knowing what kind of
person you were ; for first impressions, you know,
often go a long way, and last a long time."

Mr. Pinch assented, and the punch was ordered.
In due course it came ; hot and strong. After
drinking to each other in the steaming mixture,
they became quite confidential.

" I'm a sort of relation of Pecksniff's, you know,"
said the young man.

" Indeed ! " cried Mr. Pinch.

" Yes. My grandfather is his cousin, so he's
kith and kin to me, somehow, if you can make that
out. / can't."

" Then Martin is your Christian name ? " said
Mr. Pinch thoughtfully. " Oh ! "



MAKTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 115

" Of course it is," returned his friend : " I wish
it was my surname, for my own is not a very pretty
one, and it takes a long time to sign. Chuzzlewit is
my name."

" Dear me ! " cried Mr. Pinch, with an involun-
tary start.

" You're not surprised at my having two names, I
suppose ? " returned the other, setting his glass to
his lips. " Most people have."

" Oh, no," said Mr. Pinch, " not at all. Oh, dear,
no ! Well ! " And then remembering that Mr.
Pecksniff had privately cautioned him to say noth-
ing in reference to the old gentleman of the same
name who had lodged at the Dragon, but to reserve
all mention of that person for him, he had no better
means of hiding his confusion than by raising his
own glass to his mouth. They looked at each other
out of their respective tumblers for a few seconds,
and then put them down empty.

" I told them in the stable to be ready for us ten
minutes ago," said Mr. Pinch, glancing at the clock
again. " Shall we go ? "

" If you please," returned the other.

" Would you like to drive ? " said Mr. Pinch ;
his whole face beaming with a consciousness of the
splendor of his offer. " You shall, if you wish."

"Why, that depends, Mr. Pinch," said Martin,
laughing, "upon what sort of horse you have.
Because if he's a bad one, I would rather keep my
hands warm by holding them comfortably in my
great-coat pockets."

He appeared to think this such a good joke, that
Mr. Pinch was quite sure it must be a capital one.
Accordingly, he laughed too, and was fully per-



116 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

suaded that lie enjoj^ed it very much. Then he
settled his bill, and Mr. Chuzzlewit paid for the
punch; and having wrapped themselves up, to the
extent of their respective means, they went out
together to the front-door, where Mr. Pecksniff's
property stopped the way.

" I won't drive, thank you, Mr. Pinch," said
Martin, getting into the sitter's place. " By the
by, there's a box of mine. Can we manage to
take it ? "

" Oh, certainly," said Tom. " Put it in, Dick,
anywhere ! "

It was not precisely of that convenient size which
would admit of its being squeezed into any odd cor-
ner, but Dick the hostler got it in somehow, and
Mr. Chuzzlewit helped him. It was all on Mr.
Pinch's side, and Mr. Chuzzlewit said he was very
much afraid it would encumber him ; to which Tom
said, " Not at all ; " though it forced him into such
an awkward position, that he had much ado to see
anything but his own knees. But it is an ill wind
that blows nobody any good; and the wisdom of
the saying was verified in this instance ; for the
cold air came from Mr. Pinch's side of the carriage,
and by interposing a perfect wall of box and man
between it and the new pupil, he shielded that
young gentleman effectually : which was a great
comfort.

It was a clear evening, with a bright moon. The
whole landscape was silvered by its light and by
the hoar-frost ; and everything looked exquisitely
beautiful. At first, the great serenity and peace
through which they travelled, disposed them both
to silence ; but in a very short time the punch



MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. 117

within them, and the healthful air without, made
them loquacious, and they talked incessantly. When
they were half-way home, and stopped to give the
horse some water, Martin (who was very generous
with his money) ordered another glass of punch,
which they drank between them, and which had not
the effect of making them less conversational than
before. Their principal topic of discourse was
naturally Mr. Pecksniff and his family ; of whom,
and of the great obligations they had heaped upon
him, Tom Pinch, with the tears standing in his
eyes, drew such a picture as would have inclined
any one of common feeling almost to revere them :
and of which Mr. Pecksniff had not the slightest
foresight or preconceived idea, or he certainly (being
very humble) would not have sent Tom Pinch to
bring the pupil home.

In this way they went on, and on, and on — in
the language of the story-books — until at last the
village lights appeared before them, and the church
spire cast a long reflection on the graveyard grass :
as if it were a dial (alas, the truest in the world !)
marking, whatever light shone out of Heaven, the
flight of days and weeks and years, by some new
shadow on that solemn ground.

" A pretty church ! " said Martin, observing that
his companion slackened the pace of the horse as
they approached.

" Is it not ? " cried Tom with great pride.
"There's the sweetest little organ there you ever
heard. I play it for them."

" Indeed ? " said Martin. " It is hardly worth
the trouble, I should think. What do you get for
that, now ? "



118 MAKTIN CHUZZLEWIT.

" Nothing," answered Tom.

"Well," returned his friend, "you are a very
strange fellow ! "

To which remark there succeeded a brief silence.

" When I say nothing," observed Mr. Pinch
cheerfully, "I am wrong, and don't say what I
mean, because I get a great deal of pleasure from
it, and the means of passing some of the happiest
hours I know. It led to something else the other
day — but you will not care to hear about that, I
dare say ? "

" Oh, yes, I shall. What ? "

" It led to my seeing," said Tom, in a lower
voice, "one of the loveliest and most beautiful
faces you can possibly picture to yourself."

" And yet I am able to picture a beautiful one,"
said his friend thoughtfully, "or should be, if I
have any memory."

" She came," said Tom, laying his hand upon the
other's arm, " for the first time, very early in the
morning, when it was hardly light ; and when I saw
her, over my shoulder, standing just within the
porch, I turned quite cold, almost believing her
to be a spirit. A moment's reflection got the better
of that of course, and fortunately it came to my
relief so soon, that I didn't leave off playing."

" Why fortunately ? "

" Why ? Because she stood there, listening. I
had my spectacles on, and saw her through the



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