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chinks in the curtains as plainly as I see you ; and
she was beautiful. After a while she glided off,
and I continued to play until she was out of

" Why did you do that ? "


" Don't you see ? " responded Tom. " Because
she might suppose I hadn't seen her; and might

''And did she?"

<' Certainly she did. Next morning, and next
evening too : but always when there were no people
about, and always alone. I rose earlier, and sat
there later, that when she came, she might find the
church-door open, and the organ playing, and might
not be disappointed. She strolled that way for
some days, and always stayed to listen. But she is
gone now, and of all unlikely things in this wide
world, it is perhaps the most improbable that I
shall ever look upon her face again."

" You don't know anything more about her ? "


"And you never followed her when she went
away ? "

" Why should I distress her by doing that ? "
said Tom Pinch. " Is it likely that she wanted my
company ? She came to hear the organ, not to see
me ; and would you have had me scare her from a
place she seemed to grow quite fond of ? Now,
Heaven bless her ! " cried Tom, " to have given her
but a minute's pleasure every day, I would have
gone on playing the organ at those times until I
was an old man : quite contented if she sometimes
thought of a poor fellow like me, as a part of the
music; and more than recompensed if she ever
mixed me up with anything she liked as well as
she liked that ! "

The new pupil was clearly very much amazed by
Mr. Pinch's weakness, and would probably have
told him so, and given him some good advice, but


for their opportune arrival at Mr. Pecksniff's door :
the front-door this time, on account of the occasion
being one of ceremony and rejoicing. The same
man was in waiting for the horse who had been
adjured by Mr. Pinch in the morning not to yield to
his rabid desire to start ; and after delivering the
animal into his charge, and beseeching Mr. Chuzzle-
wit in a whisper never to reveal a syllable of what
he had just told him in the fulness of his heart,
Tom led the pupil in, for instant presentation.

Mr. Pecksniff had clearly not expected them for
hours to come : for he was surrounded by open
books, and was glancing from volume to volume,
with a black-lead pencil in his mouth, and a pair of
compasses in his hand, at a vast number of mathe-
matical diagrams, of such extraordinary shapes that
they looked like designs for fireworks. Neither
had Miss Charity expected them, for she was busied,
with a capacious wicker basket before her, in mak-
ing impracticable nightcaps for the poor. Neither
had Miss Mercy expected them, for she was sitting
upon her stool, tying on the — oh, good gracious ! —
the petticoat of a large doll that she was dressing
for a neighbor's child : really, quite a grown-up doll,
which made it more confusing : and had its little
bonnet dangling by the ribbon from one of her fair
curls, to which she had fastened it, lest it should be
lost, or sat upon. It would be difficult, if not im-
possible, to conceive a family so thoroughly taken
by surprise as the Pecksniffs were on this occa-

" Bless my life ! " said Mr. Pecksniff, looking up,
and gradually exchanging his abstracted face for
one of joyful recognition. " Here already ! Martin,


my dear boy, I am delighted to welcome you to my
poor house ! "

With this kind greeting, Mr. Pecksniff fairly
took him to his arms, and patted him several times
upon the back with his right hand the while, as if
to express that his feelings during the embrace
were too much for utterance.

" But here," he said, recovering, " are my daugh-
ters, Martin : my two only children, whom (if you
ever saw them) you have not beheld — ah, these
sad family divisions ! — since you were infants to-
gether. Nay, my dears, why blush at being detected
in your every-day pursuits ? We had prepared to
give you the reception of a visitor, Martin, in our
little room of state," said Mr. Pecksniff, smiling,
" but I like this better — I like this better ! "

Oh, blessed star of Innocence, wherever you may
be, how did you glitter in your home of ether, when
the two Miss Pecksniffs put forth each her lily
hand, and gave the same, with mantling cheeks, to
Martin ! How did you twinkle, as if fluttering with
sympathy, when Mercy, reminded of the bonnet in
her hair, hid her fair face and turned her head
aside : the while her gentle sister plucked it out,
and smote her, with a sister's soft reproof, upon her
buxom shoulder !

"And how," said Mr. Pecksniff, turning round
after the contemplation of these passages, and
taking Mr. Pinch in a friendly manner by the
elbow, " how has our friend here used you,
Martin ? "

"Very well indeed, sir. We are on the best
terms, I assure you."

"Old Tom Pinch!" said Mr. Pecksniff, looking


on him with affectionate sadness. " Ah ! It seems
but yesterday that Thomas was a boy, fresh from a
scholastic course. Yet years have passed, I think,
since Thomas Pinch and I first walked the world
together ! "

Mr. Pinch could say nothing. He was too much
moved. But he pressed his master's hand, and
tried to thank him.

" And Thomas Pinch and I," said Mr. Pecksniff,
in a deeper voice, "will walk it yet, in mutual
faithfulness and friendship! And if it comes to
pass that either of us be run over, in any of those
busy crossings which divide the streets of life, the
other will convey him to the hospital in Hope, and
sit beside his bed in Bounty !

" Well, well, well ! " he added in a happier tone,
as he shook Mr. Pinch's elbow hard. " No more of
this ! Martin, my dear friend, that you may be at
home within these walls, let me show you how we
live, and where. Come ! "

With that he took up a lighted candle, and,
attended by his young relative, prepared to leave
the room. At the door, he stopped.

'< You'll bear us company, Tom Pinch ? "
Ay, cheerfully, though it had been to death, would
Tom have followed him : glad to lay down his life
for such a man !

" This," said Mr. Pecksniff, opening the door of
an opposite parlor, "is the little room of state I
mentioned to you. My girls have pride in it,
Martin ! This," opening another door, " is the
little chamber in which my works (slight things at
best) have been concocted. Portrait of myself by
Spiller. Bust by Spoker. The latter is considered


a good likeness. I seem to recognize something
about the left-hand corner of the nose, myself."

Martin thought it was very like, but scarcely
intellectual enough. Mr. Pecksniff observed that
the same fault had been found with it before. It
was remarkable it should have struck his young
relation too. He was glad to see he had an eye for

" Various books you observe," said Mr. Pecksniff,
waving his hand towards the wall, "connected with
our pursuit. I have scribbled myself, but have not
yet published. Be careful how you come upstairs.
This," opening another door, "is my chamber. I
read here when the family suppose I have retired
to rest. Sometimes I injure my health, rather
more than I can quite justify to myself, by doing
so ; but art is long and time is short. Every facility,
you see, for jotting down crude notions, even here."

These latter words were explained by his pointing
to a small round table on which were a lamp, divers
sheets of paper, a piece of india-rubber, and a case
of instruments : all put ready, in case an architect-
ural idea should come into Mr. Pecksniff's head in
the night ; in which event he would instantly leap
out of bed, and fix it forever.

Mr. Pecksniff opened another door on the same
floor, and shut it again, all at once, as if it were a
Blue Chamber. But before he had well done so,
he looked smilingly round, and said, " Why not ? "

Martin couldn't say why not, because he didn't
know anything at all about it. So Mr. Pecksniff
answered himself, by throwing open the door, and
saying, —

"My daughters' room. A poor first-floor to us,


but a bower to them. Very neat. Very airy.
Plants, you observe ; hyacinths ; books again ;
birds." These birds, by the by, comprised in all
one staggering old sparrow without a tail, which
had been borrowed expressly from the kitchen.
" Such trifles as girls love are here. Nothing more.
Those who seek heartless splendor, would seek here
in vain."

With that he led them to the floor above.

"This," said Mr. Pecksniff, throwing wide the
door of the memorable two-pair front, " is a room
where some talent has been developed, I believe.
This is a room in which an idea for a steeple
occurred to me, that I may one day give to the
world. We work here, my dear Martin. Some
architects have been bred in this room : a few, I
think, Mr. Pinch?"

Tom fully assented; and, what is more, fully
believed it.

" You see," said Mr. Pecksniff, passing the candle
rapidly from roll to roll of paper, " some traces of
our doings here. Salisbury Cathedral from the
north. From the south. From the east. From
the west. From the south-east. From the nor'-
west. A bridge. An almshouse. A jail. A church.
A powder-magazine. A wine-cellar, A portico. A
summer-house. An ice-house. Plans, elevations,
sections, every kind of thing. And this," he added,
having by this time reached another large chamber
on the same story, with four little beds in it, " this is
your room, of which Mr. Pinch here is the quiet
sharer. A southern aspect; a charming prospect;
Mr. Pinch's little library, you perceive ; everything
agreeable and appropriate. If there is any addi-


tional comfort you would desire to have here at
any time, pray mention it. Even to strangers —
far less to you, my dear Martin — there is no
restriction on that point."

It was undoubtedly true, and may be stated in
corroboration of Mr. Pecksniff, that any pupil had
the most liberal permission to mention anything in
this way that suggested itself to his fancy. Some
young gentlemen had gone on mentioning the very
same thing for five years without ever being stopped.

" The domestic assistants," said Mr. Pecksniff,
" sleep above ; and that is all." After which, and
listening complacently, as he went, to the encomiums
passed by his young friend on the arrangements gen-
erally, he led the way to the parlor again.

Here a great change had taken place ; for festive
preparations on a rather extensive scale were already
completed, and the two Miss Pecksniffs were await-
ing their return with hospitable looks. There were
two bottles of currant wine — white and red ; a dish
of sandwiches (very long and very slim) ; another
of apples ; another of captain's biscuits (which are
always a moist and jovial sort of viand) ; a plate of
oranges cut up small, and gritty with powdered
sugar; and a highly geological home-made cake.
The magnitude of these preparations quite took
away Tom Pinch's breath : for though the new
pupils were usually let down softly, as one may
say, particularly in the wine department, which had
so many stages of declension, that sometimes a
young gentleman was a whole fortnight in getting
to the pump, still this was a banquet : a sort of Lord
Mayor's feast in private life : a something to think
of, and hold on by, afterwards.


To this entertainment, which, apart from its own
intrinsic merits, had the additional choice quality
that it was in strict keeping with the night, being
both light and cool, Mr. Pecksniff besought the
company to do full justice.

" Martin," he said, " will seat himself between
you two, my dears, and Mr. Pinch will come by me.
Let us drink to our new inmate, and may we be
happy together ! Martin, my dear friend, my love
to you ! Mr. Pinch, if you spare the bottle we shall

And trying (in his regard for the feelings of the
rest) to look as if the wine were not acid and didn't
make him wink, Mr. Pecksniff did honor to his
own toast.

" This," he said, in allusion to the party, not the
wine, " is a mingling that repays one for much dis-
appointment and vexation. Let us be merry."
Here he took a captain's biscuit. "It is a poor
heart that never rejoices ; and our hearts are not
poor. No ! "

With such stimulants to merriment did he beguile
the time, and do the honors of the table ; while Mr,
Pinch, perhaps to assure himself that what he saw
and heard was holiday reality, and not a charming
dream, ate of everything, and in particular disposed
of the slim sandwiches to a surprising extent. Nor
was he stinted in his draughts of wine ; but on the
contrary, remembering Mr. Pecksniff's speech, at-
tacked the bottle with such vigor, that every time
he filled his glass anew. Miss Charity, despite her
amiable resolves, could not repress a fixed and stony
glare, as if her eyes had rested on a ghost. Mr.
Pecksniff also became thoughtful at those moments,


not to say dejected : but, as he knew the vintage, it
is very likely he may have been speculating on the
probable condition of Mr. Pinch upon the morrow,
and discussing within himself the best remedies for

Martin and the young ladies were excellent friends
already, and compared recollections of their childish
days, to their mutual liveliness and entertainment.
Miss Mercy laughed immensely at everything that
was said ; and sometimes, after glancing at the
happy face of Mr. Pinch, was seized with such fits
of mirth as brought her to the very confines of hys-
terics. But, for these bursts of gayety, her sister,
in her better sense, reproved her : observing, in an
angry whisper, that it was far from being a theme
for jest ; and that she had no patience with the
creature ; though it generally ended in her laughing
too — but much more moderately — and saying, that
indeed it was a little too ridiculous and intolerable
to be serious about.

At length it became high time to remember the
first clause of that great discovery made by the
ancient philosopher, for securing health, riches, and
wisdom ; the infallibility of which has been for
generations verified by the enormous fortunes con-
stantly amassed by chimney-sweepers and other
persons who get up early and go to bed betimes.
The young ladies accordingly rose, and having taken
leave of Mr. Chuzzlewit with much sweetness, and
of their father with much duty, and of Mr. Pinch
with much condescension, retired to their bower.
Mr. Pecksniff insisted on accompanying his young
friend upstairs, for personal superintendence of his
comforts ; and taking him by the arm, conducted


him once more to his bedroom, followed by Mr.
Pinch, who bore the light.

" Mr. Pinch," said Pecksniff, seating himself with
folded arms on one of the spare beds, " I don't see
any snuffers in that candlestick. Will you oblige
me by going down, and asking for a pair ? "

Mr. Pinch, only too happy to be useful, went off

" You will excuse Thomas Pinch's want of polish,
Martin," said Mr. Pecksniff, with a smile of patron-
age and pity, as soon as he had left the room.
''He means well."

" He is a very good fellow, sir."

" Oh, yes," said Mr. Pecksniff. " Yes. Thomas
Pinch means well. He is very grateful. I have
never regretted having befriended Thomas Pinch."

" I should think you never would, sir."

"No," said Mr. Pecksniff. "No. I hope not.
Poor fellow, he is always disposed to do his best ;
but he is not gifted. You will make him useful to
you, Martin, if you please. If Thomas has a fault,
it is that he is sometimes a little apt to forget his
position. But that is soon checked. Worthy soul !
You will find him easy to manage. Good-night ! "

"Good-night, sir."

By this time Mr. Pinch had returned with the

"And good-night to you, Mr. Pinch," said Peck-
sniff. " And sound sleep to you both. Bless you !
Bless you ! "

Invoking this benediction on the heads of his
young friends with great fervor, he withdrew to his
own room ; while they, being tired, soon fell asleep.
If Martin dreamed at all, some clew to the matter


of his visions may possibly be gathered from the
after-pages of this history. Those of Thomas Pinch
were all of holidays, church organs, and seraphic
Pecksniffs. It was some time before Mr. Pecksniff
dreamed at all, or even sought his pillow, as he sat
for full two hours before the fire in his own cham-
ber, looking at the coals and thinking deeply. But
he, too, slept and dreamed at last. Thus, in the
quiet hours of the night, one house shuts in as
many incoherent and incongruous fancies as a mad-
man's head.

VOL. I.-9.



It was morning; and the beautiful Aurora, of
whom so much hath been written, said, and sung,
did, with her rosy fingers, nip and tweak Miss Peck-
sniff's nose. It was the frolicsome custom of the
Goddess, in her intercourse with the fair Cherry, so
to do; or, in more prosaic phrase, the tip of that
feature in the sweet girl's countenance was always
very red at breakfast-time. For the most part,
indeed, it wore, at that season of the day, a scraped
and frosty look, as if it had been rasped ; while a
similar phenomenon developed itself in her humor,
which was then observed to be of a sharp and acid
quality, as though an extra lemon (figuratively
speaking) had been squeezed into the nectar of her
disposition, and had rather damaged its flavor.

This additional pungency on the part of the fair
young creature led, on ordinary occasions, to such
slight consequences as the copious dilution of Mr.
Pinch's tea, or to his coming off uncommonly short


in respect of butter, or to other the like results.
But on the morning after the Installation Banquet,
she suffered him to wander to and fro among the
eatables and drinkables, a perfectly free and un-
checked man ; so utterly to Mr. Pinch's wonder and
confusion that like the wretched captive who recov-
ered his liberty in his old age, he could make but
little use of his enlargement, and fell into a strange
kind of flutter for want of some kind hand to scrape
his bread, and cut him off in the article of sugar
with a lump, and pay him those other little atten-
tions to which he was accustomed. There was some-
thing almost awful, too, about the self-possession of
the new pupil; who "troubled" Mr. Pecksniff for
the loaf, and helped himself to a rasher of that
gentleman's own particular and private bacon, with
all the coolness in life. He even seemed to think
that he was doing quite a regular thing, and to
expect that Mr. Pinch would follow his example,
since he took occasion to observe of that young man
" that he didn't get on : " a speech of so tremendous
a character, that Tom cast down his eyes involun-
tarily, and felt as if he himself had committed some
horrible deed and heinous breach of Mr. Pecksniff's
confidence. Indeed, the agony of having such an
indiscreet remark addressed to him before the assem-
bled family, was breakfast enough in itself, and
would, without any other matter of reflection, have
settled Mr. Pinch's business and quenched his appe-
tite for one meal, though he had been never so

The young ladies, however, and Mr. Pecksniff
likewise, remained in the very best of spirits in
spite of these severe trials, though with something


of a mysterious understanding among themselves.
When the meal was nearly over, Mr. Pecksniff
smilingly explained the cause of their common

"It is not often," he said, "Martin, that my
daughters and I desert our quiet home to pursue
the giddy round of pleasures that revolves abroad.
But we think of doing so to-day."

" Indeed, sir ! " cried the new pupil.

" Yes," said Mr. Pecksniff, tapping his left hand
with a letter which he held in his right. " I have a
summons here to repair to London ; on professional
business, my dear Martin ; strictly on professional
business ; and I promised my girls, long ago, that
whenever that happened again, they should accom-
pany me. We shall go forth to-night by the heavy
coach — like the dove of old, my dear Martin — and
it will be a week before we again deposit our olive-
branches in the passage. When I say olive-branches,"
observed Mr. Pecksniff, in explanation, "I mean,
our unpretending luggage."

" I hope the young ladies will enjoy their trip,"
said Martin.

" Oh ! that I'm sure we shall ! " cried Mercy,
clapping her hands. "Good gracious. Cherry, my
darling, the idea of London ! "

" Ardent child ! " said Mr. Pecksniff, gazing on
her in a dreamy way. " And yet there is a melan-
choly sweetness in these youthful hopes ! It is
pleasant to know that they never can be realized. I
remember thinking once myself, in the days of my
childhood, that pickled onions grew on trees, and
that every elephant was born with an impregnable
castle on his back. I have not found the fact to be


SO ; far from it ; and yet those visions have com-
forted me under circumstances of trial. Even when
I have had the anguish of discovering that I have
nourished in my breast an ostrich, and not a human
pupil — even in that hour of agony, they have
soothed me."

At this dread allusion to John Westlock, Mr.
Pinch precipitately choked in his tea ; for he had
that very morning received a letter from him, as
Mr. Pecksniff very well knew.

" You will take care, my dear Martin," said Mr.
Pecksniff, resuming his former cheerfulness, " that
the house does not run away in our absence. We
leave you in charge of everything. There is no
mystery ; all is free and open. Unlike the young
man in the Eastern tale — who is described as a
one-eyed almanac, if I am not mistaken, Mr.
Pinch — "

" A one-eyed calender, I think, sir," faltered Tom.

"They are pretty nearly the same thing, I
believe," said Mr. Pecksniff, smiling compassion-
ately ; " or they used to be in my time. Unlike
that young man, my dear Martin, you are forbidden
to enter no corner of this house ; but are requested
to make yourself perfectly at home in every part of
it. You will be jovial, my dear Martin, and will
kill the fatted calf if you please ! "

There was not the least objection, doubtless, to
the young man's slaughtering and appropriating to
his own use any calf, fat or lean, that he might
happen to find upon the premises ; but as no such
animal chanced at that time to be grazing on Mr.
Pecksniff's estate, this request must be considered
rather as a polite compliment than a substantial


hospitality. It was the finishing ornament of the
conversation; for when he had delivered it, Mr.
Pecksniff rose, and led the way to that hotbed of
architectural genius, the two-pair front.

"Let me see," he said, searching among the
papers, " how you can best employ yourself, Martin,
while I am absent. Suppose you were to give me
your idea of a monument to a Lord Mayor of Lon-
don ; or a tomb for a sheriff ; or your notion of a
cow-house to be erected in a nobleman's park. Do
you know, now," said Mr. Pecksniff, folding his
hands, and looking at his young relation with an
air of pensive interest, " that I should very much
like to see your notion of a cow-house ? "

But Martin by no means appeared to relish this

" A pump," said Mr. Pecksniff, " is very chaste
practice. I have found that a lamp-post is calcu-
lated to refine the mind and give it a classical tend-
ency. An ornamental turnpike has a remarkable
effect upon the imagination. What do you say to
beginning with an ornamental turnpike ? "

"Whatever Mr. Pecksniff pleased," said Martin

" Stay," said that gentleman. " Come ! as you're
ambitious, and are a very neat draughtsman, you
shall — ha, ha ! — you shall try your hand on these
proposals for a grammar-school : regulating your
plan, of course, by the printed particulars. Upon
my word, now," said Mr. Pecksniff merrily, " I shall
be very curious to see what you make of the gram-
mar-school. Who knows but a young man of your
taste might hit upon something, impracticable and
unlikely in itself, but which I could put into shape ?


For it really is, my dear Martin, it really is in the
finishing touches alone, that great experience and

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