and was fain to wander out alone, and look for
some. He succeeded, after great trouble, in
engaging two garrets for himself and Mark,
situated in a court in the Strand, not far from
Temple Bar. Their luggage, which was waiting
for them at a coach-office, he conveyed to this
new place of refuge ; and it was with a glow of
satisfaction, which as a selfish man he never
could have known and never had, that, thinking
how much pains and trouble he had saved Mark,
and how pleased and astonished Mark would
be, he afterwards walked up and down, in the
Temple, eating a meat-pie for his dinner.
IN WHICH MRS. HARRIS, ASSISTED BY A TEA-POT, IS
THE CAUSE OF A DIVISION BETWEEN FRIENDS.
MRS. GAMP'S apartment in Kingsgate-
street, High Holborn, wore, metaphori-
cally speaking, a robe of state. It was swept
MAR TIN CHUZZLE J! IT.
and garnished for the reception of a visitor.
That visitor was Betsey Prig : Mrs. Prig of Bar-
tlemy's ; or as some said Barklemy's, or as some
said Bardlemy's: for by all these endearing
and familiar appellations, had the hospital of
Saint Bartholomew become a household word
among the sisterhood whi< h Betsey l'rigadorned.
Mrs. (lamp's apartment was not a spacious
one, but, to a contented mind, a closet is a
palace ; and the first-floor front at Mr. Sweedle-
pipe's may have been, in the imagination of Mrs.
Gamp, a stately pile. If it were not exactly
that, to restless intellects, it at least comprised
much accommodation as any person, not
sanguine to insanity, could have looked for, in a
room of its dimensions. For only keep the
bedstead always in your mind ; and you were
safe. That was the grand secret. Remembering
the bedstead, you might even stoop to look
under the little round table for anything you had
dropped, without hurting yourself much against
the chest of drawers, or qualifying as a patient
of Saint Bartholomew, by falling into the fire.
Visitors were much assisted in their cautious
efforts to preserve an unflagging recollection of
this piece of furniture, by its size ; which was
great. It was not a turn-up bedstead, nor yet a
French bedstead, nor yet a four-post bedstead,
but what is poetically called a tent : the sacking
whereof, was low and bulgy, insomuch that Mrs.
Gamp's box would not go under it, but stopped
half way, in a manner which while it did violence
to the reason, likewise endangered the legs, of a
stranger. The frame too, which would have
supported the canopy and hangings if there had
been any, was ornamented with divers pippins
carved in timber, which on the slightest provo-
cation and frequently on none at all, came
tumbling down ; harassing the peaceful guest
with inexplicable terrors.
The bed itself was decorated with a patch-
work quilt of great antiquity ; and at the upper
end, upon the side nearest to the door, hung a
scanty curtain of blue check, which prevented
the Zephyrs that were abroad in Kingsgate-
strcet from visiting Mrs. Gamp's head too roughly.
Some rusty gowns and other articles of that lady's
wardrobe depended from the posts ; and these
had so adapted themselves by long usage to her
figure, that more than one impatient husband
coming in precipitately, at about the lime of
twilight, had been for an instant stricken dumb
by the supposed discovery that Mrs. Gamp hail
hanged heiself. One gentleman, coming on the
usual hast)- errand, had said indeed, that they
looked like guardian angels " watching of her in
her sleep." But that, as Mrs. Gamp said, "was
his first ;" and he never repeated the sentiment
though he often repeated his visit.
The (hairs in Mrs. Gamp's apartment were
extremely large and broad-backed, which was
more than a sufficient reason for their being but
two in number. They were both elbow-chairs,
of ancient mahogany ; and were chiefly valuable
for the slippery nature of their seats, which had
been originally horse-hair, but were now covered
with a shiny substance of a bluish tint, from
which the visitor began to slide away with a dis-
mayed countenance, immediately after sitting
down. What .Mrs. Gamp wanted in chairs she
made up in bandboxes ; of which she had a
great collection devoted to the reception of
various miscellaneous valuables, which were not,
however, as well protected as the good woman,
by a pleasant fiction, seemed to think : for,
though every bandbox had a carefully closed
lid, not one among them had a bottom : owing
to which cause, the property within was merely,
as it were extinguished. The chest of drawers
having been originally made to stand upon the
top of another chest, had a dwarfish, elfin look,
alone ; but, in regard of its security, it had a
great advantage over the bandboxes, for as all
the handles had been long ago pulled off, it was
very difficult to get at its contents. This indeed
was only to be done by one of two devices ;
either by tilting the whole structure forward until
all the drawers fell out together, or by opening
them singly with knives, like oysters.
Mrs. Gamp stored all her household matters
in a little cupboard by the fire-place ; begin-
ning below the surface (as in nature) with the
coals, and mounting gradually upwards to the
spirits, which, from motives of delicacy, she
kept in a tea-pot.. The chimney-piece was orna-
mented with a small almanack, marked here
and there in Mrs. Gamp's own hand, with a
memorandum of the date at which some lady
was expected to fall due. It was also embel-
lished with three profiles : one, in colours, of
Mrs. Gamp herself in early life ; one, in bronze,
of a lady in feathers, supposed to be Mrs. Harris,
as she appeared when dressed for a ball; and
one, in black, of Mr. Gamp, deceased. The
last was a full length, in order that the like-
ness, might be rendered more obvious and
forcible, by the introduction of the wooden leg.
A pair of bellows, a pair of pattens, a
toasting-fork, a kettle, a pap-boat, a spoon
for the administration of medicine to the re-
fractory, and lastly, Mrs. Gamp's umbrella,
which as something of great price and rarity
was displayed with particular ostentation, com-
pleted the decorations of the chimney-piece and
MR. SWEEDLEPIPE BRINGS NEWS FROM THE CITY.
adjacent wall. Towards these objects, Mrs.
Gamp raised her eyes in satisfaction when she
had arranged the tea-board, and had concluded
her arrangements for the reception of Betsey
Prig, even unto the setting forth of two pounds
of Newcastle salmon, intensely pickled.
" There ! Now drat you, Betsey, don't be
long!" said Mrs. Gamp, apostrophising her
absent friend. " For I can't abear to wait, I
do assure you. To wotever place I goes, I
sticks to this one mortar, ' I'm easy pleased ;
it is but little as I wants ; but I must have
that little of the best, and to the minit when
the clock strikes, else we do not part as I could
wish, but bearin' malice in our arts.'"
Her own preparations were of the best, for
they comprehended a delicate new loaf, a plate
of fresh butter, a basin of fine white sugar and
other arrangements on the same scale. Even
the snuff with which she now refreshed herself,
was so choice in quality, that she took a second
" There's the little bell a ringing now," said
Mrs. Gamp, hurrying to the stair-head and look-
ing over. " Betsey Prig, my — why it's that
there disapintin' Sweedlepipes, I do believe."
"Yes, it's me," said the barber in a faint
voice ; " I've just come in."
" You're always a comin' in, I think," mut-
tered Mrs. Gamp to herself, " except wen
you're a going out. I ha'n't no patience with
that man !"
" Mrs. Gamp," said the barber. " I say !
Mrs. Gamp ! "
" Well," cried Mrs. Gamp, impatiently, as
she descended the stairs. " What is it ? Is
the Thames a-fire, and cooking its own fish,
Mr. Sweedlepipes? Why wot's the man gone
and been a-doin' of to himself ? He's as white
as chalk !"
She added the latter clause of inquiry, when
she got down-stairs, and found him seated in
the shaving-chair, pale and disconsolate.
" You recollect," said Poll. " You recollect
young — "
"Not young Wilkins !" cried Mrs. Gamp.
" Don't say young Wilkins, wotever you do.
If young Wilkins's wife is took — "
"It isn't anybody's wife," exclaimed the little
barber. " Bailey, young Bailey !"
" Why, wot do you mean to say that chit's
been a-doin' of?" retorted Mrs. Gamp, sharply.
"Stuff and nonsense, Mr. Sweedlepipes !"
" He hasn't been a-doing anything !" ex-
claimed poor Poll, quite desperate. " What do
you catch me up so short for, when you see
me put out to that extent that I can hardly
speak ! He'll never do anything again. He's
done for. He's killed. The first time I ever
see that boy," said Poll, " I charged him too
much for a redpoll. I asked him three-half-
pence for a penny one, because I was afraid
he'd beat me down. But he didn't. And now
he's dead ; and if you was to crowd all the
steam-engines and electric fluids that ever was,
into this shop, and set 'em every one to work
their hardest, they couldn't square the account,
though it's only a ha'penny !"
Mr. Sweedlepipe turned aside to the towel,
and wiped his eyes with it.
"And what a clever boy he was !" he said.
" What a surprising young chap he was ! How
he talked ! and what a deal he know'd !
Shaved in this very chair he was ; only for
fun ; it was all his fun ; he was full of it. Ah !
to think that he'll never be shaved in earnest !
The birds might every one have died, and wel-
come," cried the little barber, looking round
him at the cages, and again applying to the
towel, "sooner than I'd have heard this
news ! "
" How did you ever come to hear it ? " said
Mrs. Gamp. " Who told you ?"
" I went out," returned the little barber, " into
the city, to meet a sporting Gent upon the
Stock Exchange, that wanted a few slow pigeons
to practise at ; and when I'd done with him,
I went to get a little drop of beer, and there I
heard everybody a-talking about it. It's in the
" You are in a nice state of confugion, Mr.
Sweedlepipes, you are!" said Mrs. Gamp, shak-
ing her head ; " and my opinion is, as half-a-
dudgeon fresh young lively leeches on your
temples, wouldn't be too much to clear your
mind, which so I tell you. Wot were they a-
talkin' on, and wot was in the papers ?"
"All about it!" cried the barber. "What
else do you suppose? Him and his master
were upset on a journey, and he was carried to
Salisbury, and was breathing his last when the
account came away. He never spoke after-
wards. Not a single word. That's the worst
of it to me ; but that ain't all. His master
can't be found. The other manager of their
office in the city : Crimple, David Crimple :
has gone off with the money, and is advertised
for, with a reward, upon the walls. Mr. Mon-
tague, poor young Bailey's master (what a boy
he was !) is advertised for too. Some say he's
slipped off, to join his friend abroad ; some say
he mayn't have got away yet ; and they're look-
ing for him high and low. Their office is a
smash ; a swindle altogether. But what's a
MAR TIN CHUZZLE WIT.
Life Insurance Office to a Life ! And what a
Life Young Bailey's was !"
" He was born into a wale," said Mrs. Gamp,
with philosophical coolness ; " and he lived in a
wale; and he must take the consequences of
sech a sitiwation. But don't you hear nothink
of Mr. Chuzzlewit in all this?"
"No," said Poll, "nothing to speak of. His
name wasn't printed as one of the board, though
some people say it was just going to be. Some
believe he was took in, and some believe he
was one of the takers-in ; but however that
may be, they can't prove nothing against him.
This morning he went up of his own accord
afore the Lord Mayor or some of them city big-
wigs, and complained that he'd been swindled,
and that these two persons had gone off and
cheated him, and that he had just found out
that Montague's name wasn't even Montague,
but something else. And they do say that he
looked like Death, owing to his losses. But
Lord forgive me," cried the barber, coming
back again to the subject of his individual grief,
" what's his looks to me ! He might have
died and welcome, fifty times, and not been
such a loss as Bailey !"
At this juncture the little bell rang, and the
deep voice of Mrs. Prig struck into the conver-
"Oh! You're a-talkin' about it, are you!"
observed that lady. " Well, I hope you have
got it over, for I ain't interested in it myself."
" My precious Betsey," said Mrs. Gamp,
" how late you are !"
The worthy Mrs. Prig replied, with some
asperity, "that if perwerse people went off dead,
when they was least expected, it warn't no fault
of her'n." And further, "that it was quite
aggrawation enough to be made late when one
was dropping for one's tea, without hearing on
Mrs. Gamp, deriving from this exhibition of
repartee some clue to the state of Mrs. Prig's
feelings, instantly conducted her up-stairs :
deeming that the sight of pickled salmon might
work a softening change.
But Betsey Prig expected pickled salmon.
It was obvious that she did ; for her first words,
after glancing at the table, were :
" I know'd she wouldn't have a coucumber !"
Mrs. Gamp changed colour, and sat down
upon the bedstead.
" Lord bless you, Betsey Prig, your words is
true. I quite forgot it !'"
Mrs. Prig, looking steadfastly at her friend,
put her hand in her pocket, and with an air of
surly triumph, drew forth either the oldest of
lettuces or youngest of cabbages, but at any
rate, a green vegetable of an expansive nature,
and of such magnificent proportions that she
was obliged to shut it up like an umbrella before
she could pull it out. She also produced a
handful of mustard and cress, a trifle of the herb
called dandelion, three bunches of radishes, an
onion rather larger than an average turnip, three
substantial slices of beet root, and a short prong
or antler of celery ; the whole of this garden-
stuff having been publicly exhibited, but a short
time before, as a twopenny salad, and purchased
by Mrs. Prig, on condition that the vendor
could get it all into her pocket. Which had
been happily accomplished, in High Holborn,
to the breathless interest of a hackney-coach
stand. And she laid so little stress on this
surprising forethought, that she did not even
smile, but returning her pocket into its accus-
tomed sphere, merely recommended that these
productions of nature should be sliced up, for
immediate consumption, in plenty of vinegar.
" And don't go a dropping none of your snuff
in it," said Mrs. Prig. " In gruel, barley-water,
apple-tea, mutton-broth, and that, it don't sig-
nify. It stimilates a patient. But I don't
relish it myself."
" Why, Betsey Prig ! " cried Mrs. Gamp,
" how can you talk so ! "
" Why, ain't your patients, wotever their
diseases is, always a sneezin' their wery heads
off, along of your snuff? " said Mrs. Prig.
" And wot if they are ! " said Mrs. Gamp.
" Nothing if they are," said Mrs. Prig. " But
don't deny it, Sairah."
" Who deniges of it ? " Mrs. Gamp inquired.
Mrs. Prig returned no answer.
" Who deniges of it, Betsey ? " Mrs. Gamp
inquired again. Then Mrs. Gamp, by reversing
the question, imparted a deeper and more awful
character of solemnity to the same. " Betsey,
who deniges of it ? "
It was the nearest possible approach to a
very decided difference of opinion between
these ladies ; but Mrs. Prig's impatience for the
meal being greater at the moment than her
impatience of contradiction, she replied, for the
present, " Nobody, if you don't, Sairah," and
prepared herself for tea. For a quarrel can be
taken up at any time, but a limited quantity of
Her toilet was simple. She had merely to
" chuck " her bonnet and shawl upon the bed :
give her hair two pulls, one upon the right side
and one upon the left, as if she were ringing a
couple of bells ; and all was done. The tea
was already made, Mrs. Gamp was not long
MRS. PRIG IS DESIGNEDIY OFFENSIVE.
over the salad, and they were soon at the height
of their repast.
The temper of both parties was improved, for
the time being, by the enjoyments of the table.
When the meal came to a termination (which it
was pretty long in doing), and Mrs. Gamp
having cleared away, produced the tea-pot from
the top shelf, simultaneously with a couple of
wine-glasses, they were quite amiable.
"Betsey," said Mrs. Gamp, filling her own
glass, and passing the tea-pot, " I will now pro-
poge a toast. My frequent pardner, Betsey Prig ! "
" Which, altering the name to Sairah Gamp,
I drink," said Mrs. Prig, " with love and tender-
From this moment symptoms of inflammation
began to lurk in the nose of each lady ; and
perhaps, notwithstanding all appearances to the
contrary, in the temper also.
"Now Sairah," . said Mrs. Prig, "joining
business with pleasure, wot is this case in which
you wants me?"
Mrs. Gamp betraying in her face some inten-
tion of returning an evasive answer, Betsey
" Is it Mrs. Harris ! "
" No, Betsey Prig, it ain't," was Mrs. Gamp's
" Well ! " said Mrs. Prig, with a short laugh.
" I'm glad of that, at any rate."
" Why should you be glad of that, Betsey ? "
Mrs. Gamp retorted, warmly. " She is unbe-
known to you except by hearsay, why should
you be glad? If you have anythink to say
contrairy to the character of Mrs. Harris, which
well I knows behind her back, afore her face, or
anywheres, is not to be impeaged, out with it,
Betsey. I have know'd that sweetest and best
of women," said Mrs. Gamp, shaking her head,
and shedding tears, " ever since afore her First,
which Mr. Harris who was dreadful timid went
and stopped his ears in a empty dog-kennel,
and never took his hands away or come out
once till he was showed the baby, wen bein'
took with fits, the doctor collared him and laid
him on his back upon the airy stones, and she
was told to ease her mind, his owls was organs.
And I have know'd her, Betsey Prig, wen he
has hurt her feelin' art by sayin' of his Ninth
that it was one too many, if not two, while that
dear innocent was cooin' in his face, which
thrive it did though bandy, but I have never
know'd as you had occagion to be glad, Betsey,
on accounts of Mrs. Harris not requiring you.
Require she never will, depend upon it, for her
constant words in sickness is, and will be, ' Send
for Sairey ! ' "
During this touching address, Mrs. Prig
adroitly feigning to be the victim of that absence
of mind which has its origin in excessive atten-
tion to one topic, helped herself from the tea-
pot without appearing to observe it. Mrs.
Gamp observed it, however, and came to a
premature close in consequence.
" Well it ain't her, it seems," said Mrs. Prig,
coldly : " who is it then ? "
" You have heerd me mention, Betsey," Mrs.
Gamp replied, after glancing in an expressive
and marked manner at the tea-pot, " a person
as I took care on at the time as you and me
was pardners off and on, in that there fever at
the Bull ? "
" Old Snuffey," Mrs. Prig observed.
Sarah Gamp looked at her with an eye of fire,
for she saw in this mistake of Mrs. Prig, another
wilful and malignant stab at that same weakness
or custom of hers, an ungenerous allusion to
which, on the part of Betsey, had first disturbed
their harmony that evening. And she saw it
still more clearly, when, politely but firmly cor-
recting that lady by the distinct enunciation of
the word " Chuffey," Mrs. Prig received the
correction with a diabolical laugh.
The best among us have their failings, and it
must be conceded of Mrs. Prig, that if there
were a blemish in the goodness of her disposi-
tion, it was a habit she had of not bestowing all
its sharp and acid properties upon her patients
(as a thoroughly amiable woman would have
done), but of keeping a considerable remainder
for the service of her friends. Highly pickled
salmon, and lettuces chopped up in vinegar,
may, as viands possessing some acidity of their
own, have encouraged and increased this failing
in Mrs. Prig ; and every application to the tea-
pot, certainly did ; for it was often remarked of
her by her friends, that she was most contra-
dictory when most elevated. It is certain that
her countenance became about this time derisive
and defiant, and that she sat with her arms
folded, and one eye shut up, in a somewhat
offensive, because obtrusively intelligent, manner.
Mrs. Gamp observing this, felt it the more
necessary that Mrs. Prig should know her place,
and be made sensible of her exact station in
society, as well as of her obligations to herself.
She therefore assumed an air of greater patron-
age and importance, as she went on to answer
Mrs. Prig a little more in detail.
" Mr. Chuffey, Betsey," said Mrs. Gamp, " is
weak in his mind. Excuge me if I makes re-
mark, that he may neither be so weak as people
thinks, nor people may not think he is so weak
as they pretends, and what I knows, I knows ;
MAR TIN CHUZZLE J I 'IT
and what you don't, you don't ; so do not ask
me, Betsey. But Mr. Chuffey's friends has
made propojals for his bein' took care on, and
has said to me, "Mrs. Gamp, will you under-
take it ? We couldn't think,' they says, ' of
trusting him to nobody but you, for, Sairey, you
are gold as has passed the fumage. Will you
undertake it, at your own price, day and night,
and by your own self?' ' No,' I says, 'I will
not. Do not reckon on it. There is,' 1 says,
' but one creetur in the world as I would under-
take on sech terms, and her name is Harris.
But,' I says, 'I am acquainted with a friend,
whose name is Betsey Prig, that I can recom-
mend, and will assist me. Betsey,' I says, 'is
always to be trusted under me, and will be
guided as I could desire.' "
Here Mrs. Prig, without any abatement of her
offensive manner, again counterfeited abstrac-
tion of mind, and stretched out her hand to the
tea-pot. It was more than Mrs. Gamp could
bear. She stopped the hand of Mrs. Prig with
her own, and said, with great feeling :
" No, Betsey ! Drink fair, wotever you do ! "
Mrs. Prig, thus baffled, threw herself back in
her chair, and closing the same eye more em-
phatically, and folding her arms tighter, suffered
her head to roll slowly from side to side, while
she surveyed her friend with a contemptuous
Mrs. Gamp resumed :
" Mrs. Harris, Betsey — "
" Bother Mrs. Harris ! " said Betsey Prig.
Mrs. Gamp looked at her with amazement,
incredulity, and indignation ; when Mrs. Prig,
shutting her eye still closer, and folding her
arms still tighter, uttered these memorable and
tremendous words :
" I don't believe there's no sich a person ! "
After the utterance of which expressions, she
leaned forward, and snapped her fingers once,
twice, thrice; each time nearer to the face of
Mrs. Gamp; and then rose to put on her
bonnet, as one who felt that there was now a
gulf between them, which nothing could ever
The shock of this blow was so violent and
sudden, that Mrs. Gamp sat staring at nothing
with uplifted eyes, and her mouth open as if
she were gasping for breath, until Betsey Prig
had put on her bonnet and her shawl, ami was
gathering the latter about her throat. Then
Mrs. Gamp rose — morally and physically rose —
and denounced her.
" What !" said Mrs. Gamp, "you bagc creetur,
have I know'd Mrs. Harris five and thirty year,
to be told at last that there ain't no sech a
person livin' ! Have I stood her friend in all
her troubles, great and small, for it to come at
last to sech a end as this, which her own sweet
picter hanging up afore you all the time to
shame your Bragian words ! But well you
mayn't believe there's no sech a creetur, for she
wouldn't demean herself to look at you, and
often has she said, when I have made mention
of your name, which, to my sinful sorrow, I
have done, 'What, Sairey Gamp ! debage your-
self to her /' Go along with you !"
"I'm a goin', ma'am, ain't I?" said Mrs.
Prig, stopping as she said it.
'• You had better, ma'am," said Mrs. Gamp.
" Do you know who you're talking to, ma'am?"
inquired her visitor.
" Aperiently," said Mrs. Gamp, surveying her
with scorn from head to foot, " to Betsey Prig.
Aperiently so. / know her. No one better.
Go along with you ! "
" And you was a going to take me under
you!" cried Mrs. Prig, surveying Mrs. Gamp
from head to foot in her turn. " You was, was
you ! Oh, how kind ! Why. deuce take your
imperence," said Mrs. Prig, with a rapid change
from banter to ferocity, " what do you mean ! "
" Go along with you !" said Mrs. Gamp. " I