matched," said the old man, " that I don't know
which becomes the other most. Mr. Westlock
could tell me, I have no doubt ; but I'll not ask
him, for he is bribed. Health to wear them,
my dear, and happiness to make you forgetful
of them, except as a remembrance from a loving
friend ! "
He patted her upon the cheek, and said to
" I must play the part of a father here, Tom,
also. There are not many fathers who marry
two such daughters on the same day : but we
will overlook the improbability for the gratifica-
tion of an old man's fancy. I may claim that
much indulgence," he added, " for I have grati-
fied few fancies enough in my life tending to the
happiness of others, Heaven knows !"
These various proceedings had occupied so
much time, and they fell into such a pleasant
conversation now, that it was within a quarter
of an hour of the time appointed for dinner
before any of them thought about it. A hackney-
coach soon carried them to the Temple, how-
ever ; and there they found everything prepared
for their reception.
Mr. Tapley having been furnished with un-
limited credentials relative to the ordering of
dinner, had so exerted himself for the honour
of the party, that a prodigious banquet was
served, under the joint direction of himself and
his Intended. Mr. Chuzzlewit would have had
them of the party, and Martin urgently seconded
his wish, but Mark could by no means be per-
suaded to sit down at table ; observing, that in
having the honour of attending to their comforts,
he felt himself, indeed, the landlord of the Jolly
Tapley, and could almost delude himself into
the belief that the entertainment was actually
being held under the Jolly Tapley's roof.
For the better encouragement of himself in
this fable, Mr. Tapley took it upon him to issue
divers general directions to the waiters from the
hotel, relative to the disposal of the dishes and
so forth ; and as they were usually in direct
opposition to all precedent, and were always
issued in his most facetious form of thought and
speech, they occasioned great merriment among
these attendants ; in which Mr. Tapley partici-
pated, with an infinite enjoyment of his own
humour. He likewise entertained them with
short anecdotes of his travels, appropriate to the
occasion ; and now and then with some comic
passage or other between himself and Mrs.
Lupin ; so that explosive laughs were constantly
issuing from the sideboard, and from the backs
of chairs ; and the head-waiter (who wore pow-
der, and knee-smalls, and was usually a grave
man) got to be a bright scarlet in the face, and
broke his waistcoat-strings, audibly.
Young Martin sat at the head of the table,
and Tom Pinch at the foot ; and if there were
a genial face at that board, it was Tom's. They
all took their tone from Tom. Everybody
drank to him, everybody looked to him, every-
body thought of him, everybody loved him. If
he so much as laid down his knife and fork,
somebody put out a hand to shake with him.
Martin and Mary had taken him aside before
dinner, and spoken to him so heartily of the
time to come : laying such fervent stress upon
the trust they had in his completion of their
felicity, by his society and closest friendship :
that Tom was positively moved to tears. He
couldn't bear it. His heart was full, he said, of
happiness. And so it was. Tom spoke the
honest truth. It was. Large as thy heart was,
dear Tom Pinch, it had no room that day, for
anything but happiness and sympathy !
And there was Fips, old Fips of Austin Friars,
present at the dinner, and turning out to be the
jolliest old dog that ever did violence to his
convivial sentiments by shutting himself up in a
dark office. "Where is he !" said Fips, when
MARTIX CIIUZZLE J J 'IT.
he came in. And then he pounced on Tom,
and told him that lie wanted to relievo himself
of all his old constraint : and in the first place
shook him by one hand, and in the second
place shook him by the other, and in the third
place nudged him in the waistcoat, and in the
fourth place, said, "How are you!'' and in a
great many other places did a great many other
things to show his friendliness and joy. And
he sang songs, did Fips : and made speeches,
did Fips; and knocked off his wine pretty hand-
somely, did Fips ; and, in short, he showed
himself a perfect Trump, did Fips, in all re-
But ah ! the happiness of strolling home at
night — obstinate little Ruth, she wouldn't hear
of riding ! — as they had clone on that dear night
from Furnival's Inn ! The happiness of being
able to talk about it, and to confide their happi-
ness to each other ! The happiness of stating
all their little plans to Tom, and seeing his bright
face grow brighter as they spoke !
When they reached home, Tom left John and
his sister in the parlour, and went up-stairs into
his own room, under pretence of seeking a book.
And Tom actually winked to himself, when he
got up-stairs : he thought it such a deep thing
to have done.
"They like to be by themselves, of course,"
said Tom : " and I came away so naturally, that
I have no doubt they are expecting me, every
moment, to return. That's capital !"
But he had not sat reading very long, when
he heard a tap at his door.
" May I come in ?" said John.
" Oh, surely !" Tom replied.
" Don't leave us, Tom. Don't sit by yourself.
We want to make you merry; not melancholy."
" My dear friend," said Tom, with a cheerful
" Brother, Tom. Brother."
" My dear brother," said Tom ; " there is no
danger of my being melancholy, how can I be
melancholy, when I know that you and Ruth
are so blest in each other ! I think I can find
my tongue to-night, John," he added, after a
moment's pause. " But I never can tell you
what unutterable joy this day has given me. It
would be unjust to you to speak of your having
chosen a portionless girl, for I feel that you
know her worth ; I am sure you know her
worth. Nor will it diminish ' your estimation,
John, which money might."
" Which money would, Tom," he returned.
" Fler worth ! Oh, who could see her here, and
not love her ! Who could know her, Tom, and
not honour her ! Who could ever stand pos-
sessed of such a heart as hers, and grow indif-
ferent to the treasure ! Who could feel the
rapture that I feel to-day, and love as I love
her, Tom, without knowing something of her
worth ! Your joy unutterable '. No, no, Tom.
It's mine, it's mine."
" No, no, John," said Tom. " It's mine, it's
Their friendly contention was brought to a
close by little Ruth herself, who came peeping
in at the door. And oh, the look, the glorious,
half-proud, half-timid look she gave Tom, when
her lover drew her to his side ! As much as to
say, " Yes indeed, Tom, he will do it. But then
he has a right vou know. Because I am fond
of him, Tom."
As to Tom, he was perfectly delighted. He
could have sat and looked at them, just as they
were, for hours.
" I have told Tom, love, as we agreed, that
we are not going to permit him to run away,
and that we cannot possibly allow it. The loss
of one person, and such a person as Tom, too,
out of our small household of three, is not to be
endured ; and so I have told him. Whether he
is considerate, or whether he is only selfish, I
don't know. But he needn't be considerate, for
he is not the least restraint upon us. Is he,
Well ! He really did not seem to be any
particular restraint upon them. Judging from
Was it folly in Tom to be so pleased by their
remembrance of him, at such a time ? Was
their graceful love a foil}-, were their dear caresses
follies, was their lengthened parting folly? Was
it folly in him to watch her window from the
street, and rate its scantiest gleam of light above
all diamonds ; folly in her to breathe his name
upon her knees, and pour out her pure heart
before that Being, from whom such hearts and
such affections come !
If these be follies, then Fiery Face go on
and prosper ! If they be not, then Fiery Face
avaunt ! But set the crunched bonnet at some
other single gentleman, in any case, for one is
lost to thee for ever !
GIVES THE AUTHOR GREAT C0XCERX.
THE LAST IN THE J I
FOR IT IS
TODGERS'S was in high feather, and mighty
preparations for a late breakfast were astir
in its commercial bowers. The blissful morn-
MISS PECKSNIFF'S NUPTIALS.
ing had arrived, when Miss Pecksniff was to be
united, in holy matrimony, to Augustus.
Miss Pecksniff was in a frame of mind
equally becoming to herself and the occasion.
She was full of clemency and conciliation. She
had laid in several chaldrons of live coals, and
was prepared to heap them on the heads of her
enemies. She bore no spite nor malice in her
heart. Not the least.
Quarrels, Miss Pecksniff said, were dreadful
things in families ; and though she never could
forgive her dear papa, she was willing to receive
her other relations. They had been separated,
she observed, too long. It was enough to call
down a judgment upon the family. She believed
the death of Jonas was a judgment on them for
their internal dissensions. And Miss Pecksniff
was confirmed in this belief, by the lightness
with which the visitation had fallen on herself.
By way of doing sacrifice — not in triumph ;
not, of course, in triumph, but in humiliation of
spirit — this amiable young person wrote, there -
"Y1£S, SIR," RETURNED MISS PECKSNIFF, MODESTLY. "I AM.
REALLY, MRS. TODGERS ! "
I — MY DRESS IS RATHE
fore, to her kinswoman of the strong mind, and
informed her, that her nuptials would take place
on such a day. That she had been much hurt by
the unnatural conduct of herself and daughters,
and hoped they might not have suffered in their
consciences. That being desirous to forgive her
enemies, and make her peace with the world
before entering into the most solemn of cove-
nants with the most devoted of men, she now
held out the hand of friendship. That if the
strong-minded woman took that hand, in the
Martin Chuzzlewit, 27.
temper in which it was extended to her, she,
Miss Pecksniff, did invite her to be present at
the ceremony of her marriage, and did further-
more invite the three red-nosed spinsters, her
daughters (but Miss Pecksniff did not particu-
larise their noses), to attend as bridesmaids.
The strong-minded woman returned for an-
swer, that herself and daughters were, as regarded
their consciences, in the enjoyment of robust
health, which she knew Miss Pecksniff would
be glad to hear. That she had received Miss
Pecksniff's note with unalloyed delight, because
she never had attached the least importance to
the paltry and insignificant jealousies with which
herself and circle had been assailed ; otherwise
than as she found them, in the contemplation,
a harmless source of innocent mirth. That she
would joyfully attend Miss Pecksniff's bridal ;
and that her three dear daughters would be
happy to assist, on so interesting, and so very
unexpected — which the strong-minded woman
underlined — so very unexpected an occasion.
On the receipt of this gracious reply, Miss
Pecksniff extended her forgiveness and her in-
vitations to Mr. and Mrs. Spottletoe ; to Mr.
George Chuzzlewit, the bachelor cousin ; to the
solitary female who usually had the toothache ;
and to the hairy young gentleman with the out-
line of a face ; surviving remnants of the party
that had once assembled in Mr. Pecksniff's par-
lour. After which, Miss Pecksniff remarked, that
there was a sweetness in doing our duty, which
neutralised the bitter in our cups.
The wedding guests had not yet assembled,
and indeed it was so early that Miss Pecksniff
herself was in the act of dressing at her leisure,
when a carriage stopped near the Monument ,
and Mark, dismounting from the rumble, assisted
Mr. Chuzzlewit to alight. The carriage re-
mained in waiting ; so did Mr. Tapley. Mr.
Chuzzlewit betook himself to Todgers's.
He was shown, by the degenerate successor
of Mr. Bailey, into the dining-parlour ; where —
for his visit was expected — Mrs. Todgers im-
" You are dressed, I see, for the wedding,"
Mrs. Todgers, who was greatly flurried by the
preparations, replied in the affirmative.
"It goes against my wishes to have it in pro-
gress just now, I assure you, sir," said Mrs.
Todgers ; " but Miss Pecksniff's mind was set
upon it, and it really is time that Miss Peck-
sniff was married. That cannot be denied,
" No," said Mr. Chuzzlewit, " assuredly not.
Her sister takes no part in the proceedings ?"
"Oh dear no, sir. Poor thing!" said Mrs.
Todgers, shaking her head, and dropping her
voice. " Since she has known the worst, she
has never left my room ; the next room."
" Is she prepared to see me ?" he inquired.
" Quite prepared, sir."
" Then let us lose no time."
Mrs. Todgers conducted him into the little
back chamber commanding the prospect of the
cistern ; and there, sadly different from when it
had first been her lodging, sat poor Merry, in
mourning weeds. The room looked very dark
and sorrowful ; and so did she ; but she had
one friend beside her faithful to the last. Old
When Mr. Chuzzlewit sat down at her side,
she took his hand and put it to her lips. She
was in great grief. He, too, was agitated ; for
he had not seen her since their parting in the
" I judged you hastily," he said in a low
voice. " I fear I judged you cruelly. Let me
know that I have your forgiveness."
She kissed his hand again ; and retaining it
in hers, thanked him, in a broken voice, for all
his kindness to her since.
"Tom Pinch," said Martin, "has faithfully
related to me all that you desired him to con-
vey ; at a time when he deemed it very im-
probable that he would ever have an opportunity
of delivering your message. Believe me that if
I ever deal again with an ill-advised and un-
awakened nature, hiding the strength it thinks
its weakness, I will have long and merciful con-
sideration for it."
"You had for me ; even for me," she answered.
" I quite believe it. I said the words you have
repeated, when my distress was very sharp and
hard to bear ; I say them now for others ; but
I cannot urge them for myself. You spoke to
me after you had seen and watched me day by
day. There was great consideration in that.
You might have spoken, perhaps, more kindly ;
you might have tried to invite my confidence
by greater gentleness ; but the end would have
been the same."
He shook his head in doubt, and not without
some inward self-reproach.
" How can I hope," she said, " that your
interposition would have prevailed with me,
when I know how obdurate I was ! I never
thought at all ; dear Mr. Chuzzlewit, I never
thought at all ; I had no thought, no heart, no
care to find one ; at that time. It has grown,
out of my trouble. I have felt it in my trouble.
I wouldn't recall my trouble, such as it is, and
has been — and it is light in comparison with
trials which hundreds of good people suffer
every day, I know — I wouldn't recall it to-
morrow, if I could. It has been my friend, for
without it, no one could have changed me ;
nothing could have changed me. Do not mis-
trust me because of these tears ; I cannot help
them. I am grateful for it, in my soul. Indeed
I am !"
"Indeed she is!" said Mrs. Todgers. "I
believe it, sir."'
"And so do I !" said Mr. Chuzzlewit. " Now,
attend to me, my dear. Your late husband's
estate, if not wasted by the confession of a large
debt to the broken office (which document, being
useless to the runaways, has been sent over to
England by them : not so much for the sake of
the creditors as for the gratification of their dis-
like to him, whom they suppose to be still
living), will be seized upon by law ; for it is not
exempt, as I learn, from the claims of those
who have suffered by the fraud in which he was
engaged. Your father's property was all, or
nearly all, embarked in the same transaction.
If there be any left, it will be seized on, in
like manner. There is no home there'''
" I couldn't return to him," she said,
with an instinctive reference to his having
forced her marriage on. " I could not return
" I know it," Mr. Chuzzlewit resumed : " and
I am here, because I know it. Come with me !
From all who are about me, you are certain (I
have ascertained it) of a generous welcome.
But until your health is re-established, and you
are sufficiently composed to bear that welcome,
you shall have your abode in any quiet retreat
of your own choosing, near London ; not so far
removed but that this kind-hearted lady may
still visit you as often as she pleases. You have
suffered much ; but you are young, and have a
brighter and a better future stretching out before
you. Come with me. Your sister is careless of
you, I know. She hurries on and publishes her
marriage, in a spirit which (to say no more of
it) is barely decent, is unsisterly, and bad.
Leave the house before her guests arrive. She
means to give you pain. Spare her the offence,
and come with me !"
Mrs. Todgers, though most unwilling to part
with her, added her persuasions. Even poor old
Chuffey (of course included in the project) added
his. She hurriedly attired herself, and was ready
to depart, when Miss Pecksniff dashed into the
Miss Pecksniff dashed in so suddenly, that she
was placed in an embarrassing position. For,
though she had completed her bridal toilette as
to her head, on which she wore a bridal bonnet
with orange flowers, she had not completed it as
to her skirts, which displayed no choicer decora-
tion than a dimity bedgown. She had dashed
in, in fact, about half way through, to console
her sister in her affliction with a sight of the
aforesaid bonnet ; and being quite unconscious
of the presence of a visitor, until she found Mr.
Chuzzlewit standing face to face with her her
surprise was an uncomfortable one.
"So, young lady!" said the old man, eyeing
her with strong disfavour. " You are to be
" Yes, sir," returned Miss Pecksniff, modestly.
" I am. I — my dress is rather — really, Mrs.
"Your delicacy," said old Martin, " is troubled,
I perceive. I am not surprised to find it so.
You have chosen the period of your marriage
" I beg your pardon, Mr. Chuzzlewit," re-
torted Cherry ; very red and angry in a moment :
" but if you have anything to say on that sub-
ject, I must beg to refer you to Augustus. You
will scarcely think it manly, I hope, to force an
argument on me, when Augustus is at all times
ready to discuss it with you. I have nothing to
do with any deceptions that may have been
practised on my parent," said Miss Pecksniff,
pointedly : " and as I wish to be on good terms
with everybody at such a time, I should have
been glad if you would have favoured us with
your company at breakfast. But I will not ask
you as it is : seeing that you have been pre-
possessed and set against me in another quarter.
I hope I have my natural affections for another
quarter, and my natural pity for another quarter ;
but I cannot always submit to be subservient to
it, Mr. Chuzzlewit. That would be a little too
much. I trust I have more respect for myself, as
well as for the man who claims me as his Bride."
" Your sister, meeting — as I think : not as
she says, for she has said nothing about it — ■
with little consideration from you, is going away
with me/' said Mr. Chuzzlewit.
" I am very happy to find that she has some
good fortune at last," returned Miss Pecksniff,
tossing her head. " I congratulate her, I am
sure. I am not surprised that this event should
be painful to her — painful to her — but I can't
help that, Mr. Chuzzlewit. It's not my fault."
" Come, Miss Pecksniff!" said the old man,
quietly. " I should like to see a better parting
between you. I should like to see a better
parting on your side, in such circumstances. It
would make me your friend. You may want a
friend one day or other."
" Every relation of life, Mr. Chuzzlewit, beg-
ging your pardon: and every friend in life:"
returned Miss Pecksniff, with dignity, " is now
bound up and cemented in Augustus. So long
as Augustus is my own, I cannot want a friend.
When you speak of friends, sir, I must beg, once
for all, to refer you to Augustus. That is my
impression of the religious ceremony in which I
am so soon to take a part at that altar to which
Augustus will conduct me. I bear no malice at
any time, much less in a moment of triumph,
towards any one ; much less towards my sister.
On the contrary, I congratulate her. If you
didn't hear me say so, I am not to blame. And
as I owe it to Augustus, to be punctual on an
occasion when he may naturally be supposed to
be — to be impatient — really, Mrs. Todgers ! — I
must beg your leave, sir, to retire."
After these words the bridal bonnet disap-
peared ; with as much state, as the dimity bed-
gown left in it.
Old Martin gave his arm to the younger
sister without speaking ; and led her out. Mrs.
Todgers with her holiday garments fluttering in
the wind, accompanied them to the carriage,
clung round Merry's neck at parting, and ran
back to her own dingy house, crying the whole
way. She had a lean lank body, Mrs. Todgers,
but a well-conditioned soul within. Perhaps
the good Samaritan was lean and lank, and
found it hard to live. Who knows !
Mr. Chuzzlewit followed her so closely with
his eyes, that until she had shut her own door,
they did not encounter Mr. Tapley's face.
'•Why, Mark!" he said, as soon as he ob-
served it, ''what's the matter !"
"The wonderfullest ewent, sir!" returned
Mark, pumping at his voice in a most laborious
manner, and hardly able to articulate with all
his efforts. "A coincidence as never was
equalled ! I'm blessed if here ain't two old
neighbours of ourn, sir !'
"What neighbours !" cried old Martin, look-
ing out of window. " Where ?"
" I was a walkin' up and down not five yards
from this spot," said Mr. Tapley, breathless,
"and they come upon me like their own ghosts,
as I thought they was ! It's the wonderfullest
ewent that ever happened. Bring a feather,
somebody, and knock me down with it !"
" What do you mean !" exclaimed old Martin,
quite as much excited by the spectacle of Mark's
excitement, as that strange person was himself.
" Neighbours, where !"
" Here, sir ! " replied Mr. Tapley. " Here in
the city of London ! Here upon these very
stones ! Here they are, sir ! Don't I know 'em !
Lord love their welcome faces, don't I know
With which ejaculations Mr. Tapley not only
pointed to a decent-looking man and woman
standing by, but commenced embracing them
alternately, over and over again, in Monument
" Neighbours, where !" old Martin shouted :
almost maddened by his ineffectual efforts to
get out at the coach-door.
" Neighbours in America ! Neighbours in
Eden!" cried Mark. "Neighbours in the
swamp, neighbours in the bush, neighbours in
the fever. Didn't she nurse us ! Didn't he
help us ! Shouldn't we both have died without
'em ! Haven't they come a strugglin' back,
without a single child for their consolation !
And talk to me of neighbours !"
Away he went again in a perfectly wild state,
hugging them, and skipping round them, and
cutting in between them, as if he were perform-
ing some frantic and outlandish dance.
Mr. Chuzzlewit no sooner gathered who these
people were, than he burst open the coach-door
somehow or other, and came tumbling out
among them ; and as if the lunacy of Mr.
Tapley were contagious, he immediately began
to shake hands too, and exhibit every demon-
stration of the liveliest joy.
" Get up behind !" he said. " Get up in the
rumble. Come along with me ! Go you on the
box, Mark. Home ! Home !"
" Home !" cried Mr. Tapley, seizing the old
man's hand in a burst of enthusiasm. " Exactly
my opinion, sir. Home, for ever ! Excuse the
liberty, sir, I can't help it. Success to the Jolly
Tapley ! There's nothin' in the house they
sha'n't have for the askin' for, except a bill.
Home to be sure ! Hurrah ! "
Home they rolled accordingly, when he had
got the old man in again, as fast as they could
go ; Mark abating nothing of his fervour by the
way, but allowing it to vent itself as unre-
strainedly as if he had been on Salisbury Plain.
And now the wedding party began to assemble
at Todgers's. Mr. Jinkins, the only boarder
invited, was on the ground first. He wore a