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“ Very," was the reply of his followers, as they coughed slightly, and looked dubiously at each other.
A trial, growing mainly out of the transactions recorded in the preceding Exercise, is here in progress, and Mr. Pickwick's servant, Sam Weller, a very hnmorous and eccentric person, is on the stand, as a witness.
ANOTHER SCENE FROM PICKWICK: SAM WELLER AS A
“What's your name, sir ?” inquired the judge. “Sam Weller, my lord,” replied that gentleman. “Do you spell it with a 'V' or a 'W?!” inquired the judge.
“That depends upon the taste and fancy of the speller, my lord,” replied Sam; “I never had occasion to spell it more than once or twice in my life, but I spells it with a 'V.?
Here a voice in the gallery exclaimed aloud,—“Quite right, too, Samivel; quite right. Put it down a we, my lord, put it down a we.”
“Who is that that dares to address the court ?” said the little judge looking up;—“Usher !" “ Yes, my lord !” “Bring that person here instantly." “Yes, my lord.”
But, as the usher didn't find the person, he didn't bring him; and, after a great commotion, all the people who had got up to look for the culprit, sat down again. The little judge turned to the witness as soon as his indignation would allow him to speak. and said
“Do you know who that was, sir ?” “I rather suspect it was my father, my lord,” replied Sam. “Do you see him here now ?” said the judge.
“No, I don't, my lord,” replied Sam, staring right up into the lantern in the roof of the court.
“If you could have pointed him out, I would have committed him instantly,” said the judge. Sam bowed his acknowledge ments, and turned with unimpaired cheerfulness of countenance towards Sergeant Buzfuz.
“Now, Mr. Weller,” said Sergeant Buzfuz. “Now, sir,” replied Sam.
“I believe you are in the service of Mr. Pickwick, the defendant in this case. Speak up, if you please, Mr. Weller.”
“I mean to speak up, sir,” replied Sam. “I am in the service o' that 'ere gen'l'man, and a wery good service it is."
“Little to do, and plenty to get, I suppose ?” said Sergeant Buzfuz, with jocularity.
“Oh, quite enough to get, sir, as the soldier said ven they ordered him three hundred and fifty lashes,” replied Sam.
“You must not tell us what the soldier or any other man said, sir,” interposed the judge; "it's not evidence.”
“Wery good, my lord,” replied Sam.
“Do you recollect anything particular happening on the morn. ing when you were first engaged by the defendant, eh, Mr. Weller?” said Sergeant Buzfuz.
“Yes I do, sir,” replied Sam.
“I had a reg'lar new fit out o'clothes that mornin', gen'l'men of the jury,” said Sam, “and that was a wery particler and uncommon circumstance vith me in those days."
Hereupon there was a general laugh; and the little judge, looking with an angry countenance over his desk, said, "You had better be careful, sir.”
“So Mr. Pickwick said at the time, my lord,” replied Sam, " and I was wery careful o' that 'ere suit o'clothes; wery careful, indeed, my lord.”
The judge looked sternly at Sam for full two minutes, but Sam's features were so perfectly calm and serene that he said gothing, and motioned Sergeant Buzfuz to proceed.
“Do you mean to tell me, Mr. Weller,” said Sergeant Buzfuz, folding his arms emphatically, and turning half round to the jury, as if in mute assurance he would bother the witness yet _"Do you mean to tell me, Mr. Weller, that you saw nothing of this fainting on the part of the plaintiff in the arms of the defendant, which you have heard described by the witnesses ?”
“ Certainly not,” replied Sam. “I was in the passage till they called me up, and then the old lady was not there."
“Now attend, Mr. Weller,” said Sergeant Buzfuz, dipping a large pen into the inkstand before him, for the purpose of frightening Sam with a show of taking down his answer, “you were in the passage and yet saw nothing of what was going forward. Have you a pair of eyes, Mr. Weller ?”
“Yes, I have a pair of eyes,” replied Sam, “and that's just it. If they wos a pair o'patent double million magnifyin' gas microscopes of hextra power, p'raps I might be able to see through a flight o'stairs and a deal door; but bein' only eyes, you see, my wision's limited.”
At this answer, which was delivered without the slightest appearance of irritation, and with the most complete simplicity and equanimity of manner, the spectators tittered, the little judge smiled, and Sergeant Buzfuz looked particularly foolish. After a short consultation with Dodson and Fogg, the learned sergeant again turned to Sam, and said, with a painful effort to conceal his vexation,—“Now, Mr. Weller, I'll ask you a question on another point, if you please.”
“If you please, sir," rejoined Sam, with the utmost good humor.
“Do you remember going up to Mrs. Bardell's house, ono night in November last ?”
“Oh, yes; wery well.”
“Oh, you do remember that, Mr. Weller,” said Sergeant Buzfuz, recovering his spirits, “I thought we should get at something at last.”
“I rather thought that, too, sir,” replied Sam; and at this the spectators tittered again.
“ Well; I suppose you went up to have a little talk about this trial-eh, Mr. Weller ?” said Sergeant Buzfuz, looking know. ingly at the jury.
“I went up to pay the rent; but we did get a talking about the trial.” replied Sam.
“Oh, you did get a talking about the trial,” said Sergeant Buzfuz, brightening up with the anticipation of some important discovery. "Now what passed about the trial; will you have the goodness to tell us, Mr. Weller?”
“ Vith all the pleasure in my life, sir," replied Sam. “Arter a few unimportant observations from the two wirtuous females as has been examined here to-day, the ladies gets into a wery great state o' admiration at the honorable conduct of Mr. Dodson and Fogg—them two gen’lmen as is sittin' near you now." This, of course, drew general attention to Dodson and Fogg, who looked as virtuous as possible.
“ The attorneys for the plaintiff,” said Mr. Sergeant Buzfuz; "well, they spoke in high praise of the honorable conduct of Messrs. Dodson and Fogg, the attorneys for the plaintiff, did they ?”
“Yes,” said Sam; “they said what a wery gen'rous thing it was o' them to have taken up the case on spec, and to charge nothin' at all for costs, unless they got 'em out of Mr. Pickwick."
At this very unexpected reply, the spectators tittered again, and Dodson and Fogg, turning very red, leaned over to Sergeant Buzfuz, and in a hurried manner whispered something ir his ear.
“ You are quite right,” said Sergeant Buzfuz aloud, with affected composure. “It's perfectly useless, my lord, attempting to get at any evidence through the impenetrable stupidity of this witness. I will not trouble the court by asking him any more questions. Stand down, sir.”
“Would any other gen’lman like to ask me anythin'?" inquired Sam, taking up his hat, and looking round most deliberately.
“Not I, Mr. Weller, thank you,” said Sergeant Snubbin, laughing
“You may go down, sir,” said Sergeant Buzfuz, waving his hand impatiently. Sam went down accordingly, after doing Messrs. Dodson and Fogg's case as much harm as he conveniently could, and saying just as little respecting Mr. Pickwick as might be, which was precisely the object he had in view all along.
PARK BENJAMIN was born August 14th, 1809, at Demarara, in British Guiana, where, at that time, his father was a merchant. He, however, was sent home to New England, to be educated. After graduating, in 1829, at Trinity College, Hartford, he studied law: but, law being less to his taste than letters, he has spent most of his life in literary labors. He is an able and interesting lecturer, and a writer of no ordinary merit.
THE BLIND BOY'S SPEECH.
Think not that blindness makes me sad,
I never saw my father's face,