lady, as she came into the back room, and sat
wearily down, with her basket on her knees, and
her hands folded upon it, " what a trial of tem-
per it is to keep a house like this ! You must
have heard most of what has just passed. Now
did you ever hear the like ?"
"Never!" said the two Miss Pecksniffs.
" Of all the ridiculous young fellows that ever
I had to deal with," resumed Mrs. Todgers,
" that is the most ridiculous and unreasonable.
Mr. Jinkins is hard upon him sometimes, but
not half as hard as he deserves. To mention
such a gentleman as Mr. Jinkins, in the same
breath with him — you know it's too much ! and
yet he's as jealous of him, bless you, as if he
was his equal."
The young ladies were greatly entertained by
Mrs. Todgers's account, no less than with cer-
tain anecdotes illustrative of the youngest
gentleman's character, which she went on to
tell them. Cut Mr. Pecksniff looked quite stern
and angry : and when she had concluded, said
in a solemn voice :
" Pray, Mrs. Todgers, if I may inquire, what
does that young gentleman contribute towards
the support of these premises?"
" Why, sir, for what he has, he pays about
eighteen shillings a week," said Mrs. Todgers.
"Eighteen shillings a week !" repeated Mr.
"Taking one week with another; as near
that as possible," said Mrs. Todgers.
Mr. Pecksniff rose from his chair, folded his
arms, looked at her, and shook his head. _
" And do you mean to say, ma'am — is it pos-
sible, Mrs. Todgers — that for such a miserable
consideration as eighteen shillings a week, a
female of your understanding can so far demean
herself as to wear a double face, even for an
"I am forced to keep things on the square if
I can, sir," faltered Mrs. Todgers. " I must
preserve peace among them, and keep my con-
nexion together, if possible, Mr. Pecksniff.
The profit is very small."
"The profit!" cried that gentleman, laying
great stress upon the word. "The profit, Mrs.
Todgers ! You amaze me !"
He was so severe, that Mrs. Todgers shed
" The profit !" repeated Mr. Pecksniff. " The
profit of dissimulation ! To worship the golden
calf of Baal, for eighteen shillings a week ! "
" Don't in your own goodness be too hard
upon me, Mr. Pecksniff," cried Mrs. Todgers,
taking out her handkerchief.
" Oh, Calf, Calf!" cried Mr. Pecksniff mourn-
fully. " Oh, Baal, Baal ! oh my friend Mrs.
Todgers ! To barter away that precious jewel,
self-esteem, and cringe to any mortal creature —
for eighteen shillings a week ! "
He was so subdued and overcome by the
reflection, that he immediately took down his
hat from its peg in the passage, and went out
for a walk, to compose his feelings. Anybody
passing him in the street might have known him
for a good man at first sight ; for his whole
figure teemed with a consciousness of the moral
homily he had read to Mrs. Todgers.
Eighteen shillings a week ! Just, most just,
thy censure, upright Pecksniff! Had it been
for the sake of a ribbon, star, or garter ; sleeves
of lawn, a great man's smile, a seat in parlia-
ment, a tap upon the shoulder from a courtly
sword ; a place, a party, or a thriving lie, or
eighteen thousand pounds, or even eighteen
hundred ; — but to worship the golden calf for
eighteen shillings a week ! oh pitiful, pitiful !
WHEREIN A CERTAIN GENTLEMAN BECOMES PAR-
TICULAR IN HIS ATTENTIONS TO A CERTAIN LADY;
AND MORE COMING EVENTS THAN ONE, CAST THEIR
HE family were within two or three
days of their departure from Mrs.
Todgers's, and the commercial gen-
tlemen were to a man despondent
and not to be comforted, because
: iC) of the approaching separation, when Bai-
► ley junior, at the jocund time of noon,
Ha? presented himself before Miss Charity
Pecksniff, then sitting with her sister in the ban-
quet chamber, hemming six new pocket hand-
kerchiefs for Mr. Jinkins ; and having expressed
a hope, preliminary and pious, that he might be
blest, gave her, in his pleasant way, to under-
stand that a visitor attended to pay his respects
to her, and was at that moment waiting in the
drawing-room. Perhaps this last announcement
showed in a more striking point of view than
many lengthened speeches could have done,
the trustfulness and faith of Bailey's nature ;
since he had, in fact, last seen the visitor upon
the door-mat, where, after signifying to him that
he would do well to go up-stairs, he had left
him to the guidance of his own sagacity.
Hence it was at least an even chance that the
visitor was then wandering on the roof of the
house, or vainly seeking to extricate himself
from a maze of bedrooms ; Todgers's being
precisely that kind of establishment in which
an unpiloted stranger is pretty sure to find him-
self in some place where he least expects and
least desires to be.
" A gentleman for me !" cried Charity, pausing
in her work ; " my gracious, Bailey ! "
"Ah!" said Bailey. "It is my gracious,
an't it ? Wouldn't I be gracious neither, not if
I wos him ! "
The remark was rendered somewhat obscure
in itself, by reason (as the reader may have
observed) of a redundancy of negatives ; but
accompanied by action expressive of a faithful
couple walking arm-in-arm towards a parochial
church, mutually exchanging looks of love, it
clearly signified this youth's conviction that the
caller's purpose was of an amorous tendency.
Miss Charity affected to reprove so great a
liberty; but she could not help smiling. He
was a strange boy to be sure. There was always
some ground of probability and likelihood
mingled with his absurd behaviour. That was
the best of it !
" But I don't know any gentleman, Bailey,"
said Miss Pecksniff. " I think you must have
made a mistake."
Mr. Bailey smiled at the extreme kindness of
such a supposition ; and regarded the young
ladies with unimpaired affability.
" My dear Merry," said Charity, " who can it
be ? Isn't it odd ? I have a great mind not to
go to him really. So very strange you know !"
The younger sister plainly considered that this
appeal had its origin in the pride of being called
upon and asked for ; and that it was intended as
an assertion of superiority, and a retaliation upon
her for having captured the commercial gentle-
men. Therefore, she replied, with great affec-
tion and politeness, that it was, no doubt, very
strange indeed ; and that she was totally at a
loss to conceive what the ridiculous person un-
known could mean by it.
"Quite impossible to divine!" said Charity,
with some sharpness, " though still, at the same
time, you needn't be angry, my dear."
MR. BAILEY PRACTISES THE FROGS HORNPIPE.
" Thank you," retorted Merry, singing at
her needle. " I am quite aware of that, my
" I am afraid your head is turned, you silly
thing," said Cherry.
" Do you know, my dear," said Merry, with
engaging* candour, "that I have been afraid of
that, myself, all along ! So much incense and
nonsense, and all the rest of it, is enough to
turn a stronger head than mine. What a relief
it must be to you, my dear, to be so very com-
fortable in that respect, and not to be worried
by those odious men \ How do you do it,
This artless inquiry might have led to turbu-
lent results, but for the strong emotions of de-
light evinced by Bailey junior, whose relish in
the turn the conversation had lately taken was
so acute, that it impelled and forced him to the
instantaneous performance of a dancing step,
extremely difficult in its nature, and only to be
achieved in a moment of ecstasy, which is com-
monly called The Frog's Hornpipe. A mani-
festation so lively, brought to their immediate
" THE DOOR OF A SMALL GLASS OFFICE, WHICH WAS PARTITIONED OFF FROM THE REST OF THE ROOM, WAS
SLOWLY OPENED, AND A LITTLE BLEAR-EYED, WEAZEN-FACED, ANCIENT MAN CAME CREEPING OUT."
recollection the great virtuous precept, " Keep
up appearances whatever you do," in which they
had been educated. They forbore at once,
and jointly signified to Mr. Bailey that if he
should presume to practise that figure any more
in their presence, they would instantly acquaint
Mrs. Todgers with the fact, and would demand
his condign punishment at the hands of that
lady. The young gentleman having expressed
the bitterness of his contrition by affecting to
wipe away scalding tears with his apron, and
afterwards feigning to wring a vast amount of
water from that garment, held the door open
while Miss Charity passed out ; and so that
damsel went in state up-stairs to receive her
By some strange concurrence of favourable
circumstances he had found out the drawing-
room, and was sitting there alone.
" Ah, cousin !" he said. " Here I am, you see.
You thought I was lost, I'll be bound. Well !
how do you find yourself by this time?"
Miss Charity replied that she was quite
well ; and gave Mr. Jonas Chuzzlewit her
" That's right," said Mr. Jonas, " and you've
MARTIN C NUZZLE WIT.
got over the fatigues of the journey, have you ?
I say — how's the other one?"
" My sister is very well, I believe," returned
the young lady. '• I have not heard her com-
plain of any indisposition, sir. Perhaps you
would like to see her, and ask her yourself?"
•• Xo, no, cousin !" said Mr. Jonas, sitting
down beside her on the window-seat. " Don't
be in a hurry. There's no occasion for that, you
know. "What a cruel girl you are !"
" It's impossible for you to know," said Cherry,
" whether I am or not."
" Well, perhaps it is," said Mr. Jonas. " I
say — did you think I was lost? You haven't
told me that."
"I didn't think at all about it," answered
" Didn't you, though ?" said Jonas, pondering
upon this strange reply. " — Did the other one ? "
" I am sure it's impossible for me to say what
my sister may, or may not have thought on such
a subject," cried Cherry. " She never said any-
thing to me about it one way or other."
" Didn't she laugh about it ?" inquired Jonas.
" Xo. She didn't even laugh about it," an-
" She's a terrible one to laugh, an't she ?" said
Jonas, lowering his voice.
" She is very lively," said Cherry.
" Liveliness is a pleasant thing — when it
don't lead to spending money. An't it ?" asked
" Very much so, indeed," said Cherry, with a
demureness of manner that gave a very disin-
terested character to her assent.
" Such liveliness as yours I mean, you know,"
observed Mr. Jonas, as he nudged her with his
elbow. " I should have come to see you before,
but I didn't knew where you was. How quick
you hurried off, that morning !"
" I was amenable to my Papa's directions,"
said Miss Charity.
" I wish he had given me his direction," re-
turned her cousin, "and then I should have
found you out before. Why, I shouldn't have
found you even now, if I hadn't met him in the
street this morning. What a sleek, sly chap he
is ! Just like a tom-cat, an't he?"
" I must trouble you to have the goodness to
speak more respectfully of my Papa, Mr. Jonas,"
said Charity. " I can't allow such a tone as
that, even in jest."
"Ecod, you may say what you like of my
r, then, and so I give you leave," said Jonas.
" I think it's liquid aggravation that circulates
through his veins, and not regular blood. How
old should you think my father was, cousin ?"
" 01d.no doubt," replied Miss Charity; "but
a fine old gentleman.''
"A fine old gentleman!" repeated Jon 1 ;.
giving the crown of his hat an angry knock.
" Ah ! It's time he was thinking of being drawn
out a little finer too. Why he's eighty !"
" Is he indeed?" said the young lady.
"And ecod," cried Jonas, "now he's gone so
far without giving in, I don't see much to prevent
his being ninety ; no, nor even a hundred. Why,
a man with any feeling ought to be ashamed of
being eighty — let alone -more. Where's his re-
ligion I should like to know, when he goes flying
in the face of the Bible like that ! Three-score-
and-ten's the mark; and no man with a con-
science, and a proper sense of what's expected
of him, has any business to live longer."
Is any one surprised at Mr. Jonas making
such a reference to such a book for such a pur-
pose ? Does any one doubt the old saw, that
the Devil (being a layman) quotes Scripture for
his own ends ? If he will take the trouble to
look about him, he may find a greater number
of confirmations of the fact, in the occurrences
of any single day, than the steam-gun can dis-
charge balls in a minute.
" But there's enough of my father," said Jonas ;
" it's of no use to go putting one's-self out of the
way by talking about him. I called to ask you
to come and take a walk, cousin, and see some of
the sights ; and to come to our house afterwards,
and have a bit of something. Pecksniff will
most likely look in in the evening, he says, and
bring you home. See, here's his writing; I
made him put it down this morning, when he
told me he shouldn't be back before I came here ;
in case you wouldn't believe me. There's nothing
like proof, is there ? Ha, ha ! I say — you'll
bring the other one, you know ! "
Miss Charity cast her eyes upon her father's
autograph, which merely said — " Go, my chil-
dren, with your cousin. Let there be union
among us when it is possible ;" and after enough
of hesitation to impart a proper value to her
consent, withdrew, to prepare her sister and her-
self for the excursion. She soon returne 1,
accompanied by Miss Mercy, who was by no
means pleased to leave the brilliant triumphs of
Todgers's for the society of Mr. Jonas and his
"Aha!" cried Jonas. "There you are, are
" Yes, fright," said Mercy, "here I am ; and I
would much rather be anywhere else, I assure you."
" You don't mean that," cried Mr. Jonas.
" You can't, you know. It isn't possible."
" You can have what opinion you like, fright,"
ANTHONY CHUZZLEWIT AND SON
retorted Mercy. " I am content to keep mine;
and mine is that you are a very unpleasant,
odious, disagreeable person." Here she laughed
hear; - 1 semed to enjoy herself very much.
" Oh, you're a sharp gal!" said Mr. Jonas.
"She's a regular teaser, an't she, cousin ?"
Miss Charity replied in effect, that she was
unable to say what the habits and propensities
of a regular' teaser might be, and that even if
she possessed such information, it would ill be-
come her to admit the existence of any creature
with such an unceremonious name in her family j
far less in the person of a beloved sister, "what-
ever," added Cherry with an angry glance, " what-
ever her real nature may be."
" Well, my dear !" said Merry, " the only ob-
servation I have to make, is, that if we don't go
out at once, I shall certainly take my bonnet
off again, and stay at home."
This threat had the desired effect of prevent-
ing any further altercation, for Mr. Jonas imme-
diately proposed an adjournment, and the same
being carried unanimously, they departed from
the house straightway. On the door-step, Mr.
Jonas gave an arm to each cousin ; which act
of gallantry being observed by Bailey junior,
from the garret window, was by him saluted
with a loud and violent fit of coughing, to which
paroxysm he was still the victim when they
turned the corner.
Mr. Jonas inquired in the first instance if
they were good walkers, and being answered
" Yes," submitted their pedestrian powers to a
pretty severe test ; for he showed them as many
sights, in the way of bridges, churches, streets,
outsides of theatres, and other free spectacles,
in that one forenoon, as most people see in a
twelvemonth. It was observable in this gentle-
man that he had an insurmountable distaste to
the insides of buildings ; and that he was per-
fectly acquainted with the merits of all shows, in
respect of which there was any charge for ad-
mission, which it seemed were every one detest-
able, and of the very lowest grade of merit. He
was so thoroughly possessed with this opinion,
that when Miss Charity happened to mention
the circumstance of their having been twice or
thrice to the theatre with Mr. Jinkins and party,
he inquired, as a matter of course, " where the
orders came from?" and being told that Mr.
Jinkins and party paid, was beyond description
entertained, observing that " they must be nice
flats, certainly;" and often in the course of the
walk, bursting out again into a perfect convul-
sion of laughter at the surpassing silliness of
those gentlemen, and (doubtless) at his own
When they had been out for some hours
were thoroughly fatigued, it being by that time
twilight, Mr. Jonas intimated that he would
show them one of the best pieces of fun with
which he was acquainted. This joke was of a
practical kind, and its humour lay in taking a
hackney-coach to the extreme limits of possi-
bility for a shilling. Happily it brought them
to the place where Mr. Jonas dwelt, or the
young ladies might have rather missed the point
and cream of the jest.
The old-established firm of Anthony Chuzzle-
wit and Son, Manchester Warehousemen, and
so forth, had its place of business in a very
narrow street somewhere behind the Post
Office ; where every house was in the brightest
summer morning very gloomy ; and where light
porters watered the pavement, each before his
own employer's premises, in fantastic patterns,
in the dog-days ; and where spruce gentlemen
with their hands in the pockets of symmetrical
trousers, were always to be seen in warm wea-
ther, contemplating their undeniable boots in
dusty warehouse doorways, which appeared to
be the hardest work they did, except now and
then carrying pens behind their ears. A dim,
dirty, smoky, tumble-down, rotten old house it
was, as anybody would desire to see ; but there
the firm of Anthony Chuzzlewit and Son trans-
acted all their business and their pleasure too,
such as it was ; for neither the young man nor
the old had any other residence, or any care or
thought beyond its narrow limits.
Business, as may. be readily supposed, was
the main thing in this establishment ; insomuch
indeed that it shouldered comfort out of doors,
and jostled the domestic arrangements at every
turn. Thus in the miserable bedrooms there
were files of moth-eaten letters hanging up
against the walls ; and linen rollers, and frag-
ments of old patterns, and odds and ends of
spoiled goods, strewn upon the ground ; while
the meagre bedsteads, washing-stands, and
scraps of carpet, were huddled away into cor-
ners as objects of secondary consideration, not
to be thought of but as disagreeable necessities,
furnishing no profit, and intruding on the one
affair of life. The single sitting-room was on
the same principle, a chaos of boxes and old
papers, and had more counting-house stools in
it than chairs : not to mention a great monster
of a desk straddling over the middle of the
floor, and an iron safe sunk into the wall above
the fire-place. The solitary little table for pur-
poses of refection and social enjoyment, bore as
fair a proportion to the desk and other business
furniture, as the graces and harmless relaxations
of life had ever done, in die persons of the old
man and his son, to their pursuit of wealth. It
was meanly laid out, now, for dinner ; and in a
chair before the fire, sat Anthony himself, who
rose to greet his son and his fair cousins as they
An ancient proverb warns us that we should
not expect to find old heads upon young shoul-
ders ; to which it may be added that we seldom
meet with that unnatural combination, but we
feel a strong desire to knock them off; merely
from an inherent love we have of seeing tilings
in their right places. It is not improbable that
many men, in no wise choleric by nature, felt
this impulse rising up within them, when they
first made the acquaintance of Mr. Jonas ; but
if they had known him more intimately in his
own house, and had sat with him at his own
board, it would assuredly have been paramount
to all other considerations.
"Well, ghost !" said Mr. Jonas, dutifully ad-
dressing his parent by that title. " Is dinner
nearly ready ?"
" I should think it was," rejoined the old
"What's the good of that?" rejoined the
son. " I should think it was. I want to
" Ah ! I don't know for certain," said An-
" You don't know for certain," rejoined his
son in a lower tone. " No. You don't know
anything for certain, you don't. Give me your
candle here. I want it for the gals."
Anthony handed him a battered old office
candlestick, with which Mr. Jonas preceded the
young ladies to the nearest bedroom, where he
left them to take off their shawls and bonnets ;
and returning, occupied himself in opening a
bottle of wine, sharpening the carving-knife,
and muttering compliments to his father, until
they and the dinner appeared together. The
repast consisted of a hot leg of mutton with
greens and potatoes ; and the dishes having
been set upon the table by a slipshod old
woman, they were left to enjoy it after their own
" Bachelor's Hall you know, cousin," said
Mr. Jonas to Charity. "I say — the other one
will be having a laugh at this when she gets
home, won't she ? Here ; you sit on the right
side of me, and I'll have her upon the left.
Other one, will you come here?"
" You're such a fright," replied Mercy, " that
I know I shall have no appetite if I sit so near
you : but I suppose I must."
"An't she lively?" whispered Mr. Jonas to
the elder sister, with his favourite elbow em-
" Oh I really don't know !" replied Miss Peck-
sniff, tartly. " I am tired of being asked such
ridiculous questii ns."
" What's that precious old father of mine about
now?" said Mr. Jonas, seeing that his parent
was travelling up and down the room, instead of
taking his seat at table. " What are you look-
ing for ? "
" I've lost my glasses, Jonas," said old An-
" Sit down without your glasses, can't you ?''
returned his son. " You don't eat or drink out
of 'em, I think ; and where's that sleepy-headed
old Chuffey got to ! Now, stupid. Oh ! you
know your name, do you ?"
It would seem that he didn't, for he didn't
come until the father called. As he spoke, the
door of a small glass office, which was partitioned
off from the rest of the room, was slowly opened,
and a little blear-eyed, weazen-faced, ancient
man came creeping out. He was of a remote
fashion, and dusty, like the rest of the furniture ;
he was dressed in a decayed suit of black ; with
breeches garnished at the knees with rusty
wisps of ribbon, the very paupers of shoe-
strings; on the lower portion of his spindle
legs were dingy worsted stockings of the same
colour. He looked as if he had been put
away and forgotten half a century before, and
somebody had just found him in a lumber-
Such as he was, he came slowly creeping on
towards the table, until at last he crept into the
vacant chair, from which, as his dim faculties
became conscious of the presence of strangers,
and those strangers ladies, he rose again, ap-
parently intending to make a bow. But he sat
down once more, without having made it, and
breathing on his shrivelled hands to warm
them, remained with his poor blue nose im-
movable above his plate, looking at nothing,
with eyes that saw nothing, and a face that
meant nothing. Take him in that state, and
he was an embodiment of nothing. Nothing
" Our clerk," said Mr. Jonas, as host and
master of the ceremonies : " Old Chuffey."
"Is he deaf?" inquired one of the young
" No, I don't know that he is. He an't deaf,
is he, father?"
" I never heard him say he was," replied the
" Blind ?" inquired the young ladies.
" N — no. I never understood that he was at
all blind," said Jonas, carelessly. "You don't
consider him so, do you, father?"
" Certainly not," replied Anthony.
" What is he then ?"
" Why, I'll tell you what he is," said Mr.
Jonas, apart to the young ladies, " he's precious
old, for one thing ; and I an't best pleased with
him for that, for I think my father must have
caught it of him. He's a strange old chap, for
another," he added in a louder voice, " and don't
understand any one hardly, but him I" He
pointed to his honoured parent with the carving-
fork, in order that they might know whom he
" How very strange !" cried the sisters.
" Why, you see," said Mr. Jonas, " he's been
addling his old brains with figures and book-