cellar saw the light on that occasion ; a thousand
bubbles, indicative of the wealth and station of
Mr. Montague in the depths of his pursuits,
were constantly rising to the surface of the con-
versation ; and they were as frank and merry
as three honest men could be. Mr. Pecksniff
thought it a pity (he said so) that Mr. Montague
should think lightly of mankind and their weak-
nesses. He was anxious upon this subject ; his
mind ran upon it ; in one way or another he
was constantly coming back to it; he must
make a convert of him, he said. And as often
as Mr. Montague repeated his sentiment about
building fortunes on the weaknesses of man-
; 4 6
MA R TIN CHUZZLE 1 J 'IT.
kind, and added frankly, "'We do it!" just as
often Mr. PecksniÂ£f repeated " Oh fie ! Oh fie,
for shame ! I am sure you don't. How ;-
you know?" laying er stress each time
on those last words.
The frequent repetition of this playful inquiry
on the part of Mr. Pecksniff, led at last to play-
ful answers on the part of Mr. Montague; but
after some little sharp-shooting on both sides,
Mr. Pecksniff became grave, almost to tears;
observing that if Mr. Montague would give him
leave, he would drink the health of his young
kinsman, Mr. Jonas : congratulating him upon
the valuable and distinguished friendship he
formed, but envying him, he would confess,
his usefulness to his fellow-creatures. For if he
understood the objects of that Institution with
which he was newly anil advantageously con-
nected â€” knowing them but imperfectly â€” they
were calculated to do Good ; and for his (Mr.
Pecksniff's) part, if he could in anyway promote
. he thought he would be able to lay his
head upon his pillow every night, with an abso-
lute certainty of going to sleep at once.
The transition from this accidental remark
(for it was quite accidental, and had fallen from
Mr. Pecksniff in the openness of his soul), to
the discussion of the subject as a matter of
business, was easy. Books, papers, statements,
tables, calculations of various kinds, were soon
spread out before them: and as they were all
framed with one object, it is not surprising that
they should all have tended to one end. But
still, whenever Montague enlarged upon the
profits of the office, and said that as long as
there were gulls upon the wing it must succeed,
Mr. Pecksniff mildly said, " Oh fie !"â€¢ â€” and might
indeed have remonstrated with him, but that he
knew he was joking. Mr. Pecksniff did know-
he was joking ; because he said so.
There nevei had been before, and there never
would be again, such an opportunity for the
investment of a considerable sum (the rate of
advantage increased in proportion to the amount
invented), as at that moment. The only time
that had at all approached it, was the time when
Jonas had come into the concern; which made
him ill-natured now, and inclined him to pick
out a doubt in this place, and a Haw in that,
and grumblingly to advise Mr. Pecksniff to think
belter of it. The sum which would complete the
proprietorship in this snug concern, was nearly
equal to Mr. Pe< ksniffs whole hoard; not count-
ing Mr. Chuzzlewit, that is to say, whom he
looked upon as money in the Bank, the posses-
sion of which inclined him the more to make a
dash with his own private sprats for the capture
of such a whale as Mr. Montague described.
The returns began almost immediately, and were
immense. The end of it was, that Mr. Peck-
sniff agreed to become the last partner and
proprietor in the Anglo-Bengalee, and made an
appointment to dine with Mr. Montague, at
Salisbury, on the next day but one, then and
there to complete the negotiation.
It took so long to bring the subject to this
head, that it was nearly midnight when they
1. When Mr. Pecksniff walked down-stairs
to the door, he found Mrs. Lupin standing there,
" Ah, my good friend '. " he said : " not a-bed
yet ! Contemplating the stars, Mrs. Lupin ?"
" It's a beautiful starlight night, sir."
" A beautiful starlight night," said Mr. Peck-
sniff, looking up. " Behold the planets, how
they shine ! Behold the those two persons
who were here this morning, have left your
house, I hope, Mrs. Lupin ? "
" Yes, sir. They are gone."
" I am glad to hear it," said Mr. Pecksniff.
" Behold the wonders of the firmament, Mrs.
Lupin ! How glorious is this scene ! When I
look up at those shining orbs, I think that each
of them is winking to the other to take notice
of the vanity of men's pursuits. My fellow-men ! "
cried Mr. Pecksniff, shaking his head in pity ;
" you are much mistaken ; my wormy relatives,
you are much deceived ! The stars are per-
fectly contented (I suppose so) in their several
spheres. Why are not you ? Oh ! do not
strive and struggle to enrich yourselves, or to
get the better of each other, my deluded friends,
but look up there, with me !"
Mrs. Lupin shook her head, and heaved a
sigh. It was very affecting.
"Look up there, with me!" repeated Mr.
Pecksniff, stretching out his hand ; " with me,
an humble individual who is also an Insect like
yourselves. Can silver, gold, or precious stones,
sparkle like those constellations ! I think not.
Then do not thirst for silver, gold, or precious
stones ; but look up there, with me !"
With these words, the good man patted Mrs.
Lupin's hand between his own, as if he would
have added, " think of this, my good woman ! "
and walked away in a sort of ecstasy or rapture,
with his hat under his arm.
Jonas sat in the altitude in which Mr. Peck-
sniff had left him, gazing moodily at his friend :
who, surrounded by a heap of documents, was
writing something on an oblong slip of paper.
" You mean to wait at Salisbury over the day
after to-morrow, do you, then?" said Jonas.
" You heard our appointment," returned
i BY THE TEMPLE FOUNTAIN.
Montague, without raising his eyes. " In any
case 1 should have waited to see after the
They appeared to have changed places again ;
Montague being in high spirits; and Jonas
gloomy and louring.
â€¢â€¢ Vou don't want me, I suppose?" said
" I want you to put your name here,'' he
returned, glancing at him with a smile, ' : as soon
as I have filled up the stamp. I may as well
have your note of hand for that extra capital.
That's all I want. If you wish to go home, I
can manage Mr. Pecksniff now, alone. There
is a perfect understanding between us."
Jonas sat scowling at him as he wrote, in
silence. When he had finished his writing, and
had dried it on the blotting-paper in his travel-
ling desk; he looked up, and tossed the pen
"What, not a day's grace, not a day's trust,
eh?" said Jonas, bitterly. " Not after the pains
I have taken with to-night's work?"
" To-night's work was a part of our bargain,"
replied Montague; "and so was this."
" You drive a hard bargain,'' said Jonas, ad-
vancing to the table. " You know best. Give
it here !"
Montague gave him the paper. After pausing
as if he could not make up his mind to put his
name to it, Jonas dipped his pen hastily in the
nearest inkstand, and began to write. But he
had scarcely marked the paper when he started
back, in a panic.
â– â€¢ Why, what the devil's this?" he said. " It's
bloody ! "
He had dipped the pen, as another moment
showed, into red ink. But he attached a strange
degree of importance to the mistake. He asked
how it had come there, who had brought it, why
it had been brought ; and looked at Montague,
at first, as if he thought he had put a trick upon
him. Even when he used a different pen, and
the right ink, he made some scratches on
another paper first, as half believing they would
turn red also.
" Black enough this time," he said, handing
the note to Montague. " Good-bye !"
" Going now ! How do you mean to get
away from here?"
" I shall cross earl}' in the morning, to the
high road before you are out of bed ; and catch
the day-coach, going up. Good-bye '."
" You are in a hurry !"
" I have something to do,"' said Jonas.
" Good-bye !"
His friend looked after him as he went out, in
surprise, which gradually gave place to an air of
satisfaction and relief.
" It happens all the better. It brings about
what I wanted, without any difficulty. I shall
travel home alone."
IX WHICH TOM PINCH AND HIS SISTER TAKE A LITTLE
PLEASURE; BUT QUITE IX A DOMESTIC WAV, AND
WITH NO CEKEMOXV ABOUT IT.
OM PINCH and his sister having
to part, for the dispatch of the
morning's business, immediately
after the dispersion of the other
actors in the scene upon the Wharf
with which the reader has been already
made acquainted, had no opportunity of
discussing the subject at that time. But
Tom in his solitary office, and Ruth, in the tri-
angular parlour, thought about nothing else all
da)' ; and, when their hour of meeting in the
afternoon approached, they were very full of it,
to be sure.
There was a little plot between them, that
Tom should always come out of the Temple by
one way; and that was past the fountain.
Coming through Fountain Court, he was just to
glance down the steps leading into Garden
Court, and to look once all round him ; and if
Ruth had come to meet him, there he would see
her; not sauntering, you understand (on account
of the clerks), but coming briskly up, with the
best little laugh upon her face that ever played
in opposition to the fountain, and beat it all to
nothing. For, fifty to one, Tom had been look-
ing for her in the wrong direction, and had quite
given her up, while she had been tripping
towards him from the first; jingling that little
reticule of hers (with all the keys in it) to attract
his wandering observation.
Whether there was life enough left in the slow
vegetation of Fountain Court for the smoky
shrubs to have any consciousness of the brightest
and purest-hearted little woman in the world, is
a question for gardeners, and those who are
learned in the loves of plants. But, that it was
a good thing for that same paved yard to have
such a delicate little figure flitting through it;
that it passed like a smile from the grimy old
houses, and the worn flagstones, and left them
duller, darker, sterner than before ; there is no
sort of doubt. The Temple fountain might
have leaped up twenty feet to greet the spring of
hopeful maidenhood, that in her person stole on,
sparkling through the dry and dusty channels of
the Law ; the chirping sparrows, bred in Temple
chinks and crannies, might have held their peace
to listen to imaginary skylarks, as so fresh a little
creature passed ; the clingy boughs, unused to
droop, otherwise than in their puny growth,
might have bent down in a kindred gracefulness,
to shed their benedictions on her graceful head ;
old love letters, shut up in iron boxes in the
neighbouring offices, and made of no account
among the heaps of family papers into which
the-)- had strayed, and of which, in their de-
generacy, they formed a part, might have stirred
and fluttered with a moment's recollection of
their ancient tenderness, as she went lightly by.
Anything might have happened that did not
happen, and never will, for the love of Ruth.
Something happened, too, upon the afternoon
of which the history treats. Not for her love.
Oh no ! quite by accident, and without the least
reference to her at all.
Either she was a little too soon, or Tom was
a little too late â€” she was so precise in general,
that she timed it to half a minute â€” but no Tom
was there. Well ! But was anybody else there,
that she blushed so deeply, after looking round,
and tripped off down the steps with such unusual
Why, the fact is, that Mr. Westlock was
passing at that moment. The Temple is a
public thoroughfare ; they may write up on the
gates that it is not, but so long as the gates are
left open it is, and will be ; and Mr. Westlock
had as good a right to be there as anybody else.
But why did she run away, then ? Not being
ill dressed, for she was much too neat for that,
why did she run away? The brown hair that
had fallen down beneath her bonnet, and had
one impertinent imp of a false flower clinging to
it, boastful of its licence before all men, that
could not have been the cause, for it looked
charming. Oh ! foolish, panting, frightened
little heart, why did she run away !
Merrily the tiny fountain played, and merrily
the dimples sparkled on its sunny face. John
Westlock hurried after her. Softly the whis-
pering water broke and fell : and roguishly the
dimples twinkled, as he stole upon her foot-
_ Oh, foolish, panting, timid little heart, why
did she feign to be unconscious of his coming !
Why wish herself so far away, yet be so flutter-
ingly happy there !
" I felt sure it was you," said John, when he-
overtook her, in the sanctuary of Garden Court.
"I knew I couldn't be mistaken."
She was so surprised.
'â€¢ You are waiting for your brother," said
John. " Let me bear you company."
So light was the touch of the coy little hand,
that he glanced down to assure himself he had
it on his arm. But his glance, stopping for an
instant at the bright eyes, forgot its first design,
and went no farther.
They walked up and down three or four times,
speaking about Tom and his mysterious em-
ployment. Now that was a very natural and
innocent subject, surely. Then why, whenever
Ruth lifted up her eyes, did she let them fall
again immediately, and seek the uncongenial
pavement of the court ? They were not such
e) es as shun the light ; they were not such eyes
as require to be hoarded to enhance their value.
They were much too precious and too genuine
to stand in need of arts like those. Somebody
must have been looking at them !
They found out Tom, though, quickly enough.
This pair of eyes descried him in the distance,
the moment he appeared. He was staring
about him, as usual, in all directions but the
right one ; and was as obstinate in not looking
towards them, as if he had intended it. As it
was plain that, being left to himself, he would
walk away home, John Westlock darted off to
This made the approach of poor little Ruth,
by herself, one of the most embarrassing of
circumstances. There was Tom, manifesting
extreme surprise (he had no presence of mind,
that Tom, on small occasions) ; there was John,
making as light of it as he could, but explaining
at the same time, with most unnecessary elabo-
ration ; and here was she, coming towards them,
with both of them looking at her, conscious of
blushing to a terrible extent, but trying to throw
up her eyebrows carelessly, and pout her rosy
lips, as if she were the coolest and most uncon-
cerned of little women.
Merrily the fountain plashed and plashed,
until the dimples, merging into one another,
swelled into a general smile, that covered the
whole surface of the basin.
" What an extraordinary meeting ! " said Tom.
" I should never have dreamed of seeing you
two together here."
" Quite accidental," John was heard to
" Exactly," cried Tom ; " that's what I nn
you know. If it wasn't accidental, there would
be nothing remarkable in it."
" To be sure,"' said John.
" Such an out-of-the-way place for you to
have met in." pursued Tom, quite delighted.
'' Such an unlikely spot !"
John rather disputed that. On the contrary,
he considered it a very likely spot, indeed. He
was constantly passing to and fro there, he said.
He shouldn't wonder if it were to happen again.
His only wonder was, that it had never hap-
By this time Ruth had got round on the
farther side of her brother, and had taken his
arm. She was squeezing it now, as much as to
say, ''Are you going to stop here all day, you
dear, old, blundering Tom ? "
Tom answered the squeeze as if it had been a
speech. "John," he said, "if you'll give my
sister your arm, we'll take her between us, and
walk on. I have a curious circumstance to
relate to you. Our meeting could not have
Merrily the fountain leaped and danced, and
merrily the smiling dimples twinkled and ex-
panded more and more, until they broke into a
laugh against the basin's rim, and vanished.
" Tom," said his friend, as they turned into
the noisy street, " I have a proposition to make.
It is, that you and your sister â€” if she will so far
honour a poor bachelor's dwelling â€” give me a
great pleasure, and come and dine with me."
" What, to-day ? " cried Tom.
" Yes, to-day. It's close by, you know.
Pray, Miss Pinch, insist upon it. It will be
very disinterested, for I have nothing to give
" Oh ! you must not believe that, Ruth," said
Tom. " He is the most tremendous fellow, in
his housekeeping, that I ever heard of, for a
single man. He ought to be Lord Mayor.
Well ! what do you say ? Shall we go ? "
" If you please, Tom," rejoined his dutiful
" But I mean," said Tom, regarding her with
smiling admiration : " is there anything you
ought to wear, and haven't got ? I am sure I
don't know, John : she may not be able to take
her bonnet off, for anything I can tell."
There was a great deal of laughing at this,
and there were divers compliments from John
Westlock â€” not compliments, he said at least
(and really he was right), but good, plain, honest
truths, which no one could deny. Ruth laughed,
and all that, but she made no objection ; so it
was an engagement.
" If I had known it a little sooner," said John,
" I would have tried another pudding. Not in
rivalry ; but merely to exalt that famous one.
I wouldn't on any account have had it made
"Why not?" asked Tom.
" Because that cookery book advises suet,"
said John Westlock ; " and ours was made with
flour and eggs."
" Oh gcoi gracious ! " cried Tom. " Ours
was made with flour and eggs, was it ? Ha, ha,
ha ! A beefsteak pudding made with flour and
eggs ! Why anybody knows better than that.
/ know better than that ! Ha, ha, ha ! "
It is unnecessary to say that Tom had been
present at the making of the pudding, and had
been a devoted believer in it all through. But
he was so delighted to have this joke against
his busy little sister, and was tickled to that
degree at having found her out, that he stopped
in Temple Bar to laugh ; and it was no more to
Tom, that he was anathematised and knocked
about by the surly passengers, than it would
have been to a post ; for he continued to ex-
claim with unabated good humour, " flour and
eggs ! a beefsteak pudding made with flour and
eggs ! " until John Westlock and his sister fairly
ran away from him, and left him to have his
laugh out by himself; which he had; and then
came dodging across the crowded street to
them, with such sweet temper and tenderness
(it was quite a tender joke of Tom's) beaming
in his face, God bless it, that it might have
purified the air, though Temple Bar had been,
as in the golden days gone by, embellished with
a row of rotting human heads.
There are snug chambers in those Inns where
the bachelors live, and, for the desolate fellows
they pretend to be, it is quite surprising how
well they get on. John was very pathetic on
the subject of his dreary life, and the deplorable
make-shifts and apologetic contrivances it in-
volved ; but he really seemed to make himself
pretty comfortable. His rooms were the per-
fection of neatness and convenience at any rate ;
and if he were anything but comfortable, the
fault was certainly not theirs.
He had no sooner ushered Tom and his sister
into his best room (where there was a beautiful
little vase of fresh floAvers on the table, all ready
for Ruth. Just as if he had expected her, Tom
said), than seizing his hat, he bustled out again,
in his most energetically bustling way ; and
presently came hurrying back, as they saw
through the half-opened door, attended by a
fiery-faced matron attired in a crunched bonnet,
with particularly long strings to it hanging down
her back ; in conjunction with whom, he in-
stantly began to lay the cloth for dinner, polish-
ing up the wine glasses with his own hands,
brightening the silver top of the pepper-castor
on his coat-sleeve, drawing corks and filling
decanters, with a skill and expedition that were
quite dazzling. And as if, in the course of this
MAR TIN CHUZZLE H IT
rubbing and polishing, he had rubbed an en-
chanted lamp or a magic ring, obedient to which
there were twenty thousand supernatural slaves
at least, suddenly there I a hieing in a
white waistcoat, carrying under his arm a nap-
kin, and attended by another being with an
oblong box upon his head, from which a ban-
quet, piping hot, was taken out and set upon
Salmon, laml innocent young potatoes,
a cool salad, sliced cucumber, a tender duckling,
and a tart â€” all there. They all came at the
right time. 'Where the) came from, didn't
appear ; but the oblong box was constantly
going and coming, and making its arrival known
to the man in the white waistcoat by bumping
modestly against the outside of the door; for,
its first appearance, it entered the room no
more. lie was never surprised, this man ; he
never seemed to wonder at the extraordinary
things he found in the box ; but took them out
with a face expressive of a steady purpose and
impenetrable character, and put them on the
table. He was a kind man ; gentle in his
manners, and much interested in what they ate
and drank. He was a learned man, and knew
the flavour of John Westlock's private sauces,
which he softly and feelingly described, as he
handed the little bottles round. He was a
grave man, and a noiseless; for dinner being
done, and wine and fruit arranged upon the
board, he vanished, box and all, like something
that had never been.
" Didn't I say he was a tremendous fellow in
his house-keeping?" cried Tom. ".Bless my
soul ! It's wonderful."
" Ah, Miss Pinch," said John. " This is the
bright side of the life we lead in such a place.
It would be a dismal life, indeed, if it didn't
brighten up to-day."'
" Don't believe a word he says," cried Tom.
"He lives here like a monarch, and woul ln'1
change his mode of life for any consideration.
He only pretends to grumble.''
No, John really did not appear to pretend ;
for he was uncommonly earnest in his desire to
have it understood, that he was as dull, solitary,
and uncomfortable on ordinary occasions as an
unfortunate young man could, in reason, be. It
was a wretched life, he said ; a miserable life.
He thought of getting rid of the chambers as
soon as possible ; and meant, in fact, to put a
bill up very shortly.
"Weil!" said Tom Pinch, "I don't know
where you can go, John, to be more comfortable.
That's all I can say. What do you say, Ruth ? "
Ruth trifled with the cherries on her plate,
and said that she thought Mr. Westlock ought
to be quite happy, and. ' : had no d
Ah, foolish, panting, frightened little heart,
how timidly she said it !
re forgetting what you have to
tell, Tom : what occurred this morning," she
d in the same breath.
" So I am," said Tom. "We have been so
talkative on other topics, that I declare I have
not had time to think of it. I'll tell it you at
once, John, in case I should forget it alto-
On Tom's relating what had passed upon the
wharf, his friend was very much surprised, and
took such a great interest in the narrative as
Tom could not quite understand. He believed
lie knew the old lady whose acquaintance they
had made, he said ; and that he might venture
to say, from their description of her, that her
name was Gamp. But of what nature the com-
munication could have been which Tom had
borne so unexpectedly ; why its delivery had
been entrusted to him ; how it happened that
the parties were involved together; and what
secret lay at the bottom of the whole affair;
perplexed him Aery much. Tom had been sure
of his taking some interest in the matter ; but
was not prepared for the strong interest he
showed. It held John Westlock to the subject,
even after Ruth had left the room ; and evidently
made him anxious to pursue it further than as a
mere subject of conversation.
" I shall remonstrate with my landlord, of
course," said Tom : " though he is a very sin
secret sort of man, and not likely to afford me
much satisfaction ; even if he knew what was in
'â€¢ Which you may swear he did," John inter
"You think so?"
" I am certain of it."
" Well !" said Tom, " I shall remonstrate with
him when T sec him (lie goes in and out in a
strange way, but I will try to catch him to-