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The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

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The life and work of Charles Dickens

Snodgrass; to which Emily responded that she was a foolish girl, but turned very red, notwithstanding; and Mr.

Snodgrass, who was as modest as all great geniuses usually are, felt the crimson rising to the crown of his head, and devoutly wished, in the inmost recesses of his own heart, that the young lady aforesaid, with her black eyes, and her archness, and her boots with the fur round the top, were all comfortably deposited in the adjacent county.

But if they were social and happy outside the house, what was the warmth and cordiality of their reception when they reached the farm! The very servants grinned with pleasure at sight of Mr. Pickwick; and Emma bestowed a half-demure, half-impudent, and all-pretty look of recognition, on Mr. Tupman, which was enough to make the statue of Bonaparte in the passage, unfold his arms, and clasp her within them.

The old lady was seated with customary state in the front parlour, but she was rather cross, and, by consequence, most particularly deaf. She never went out herself, and like a great many other old ladies of the same stamp, she was apt to consider it an act of domestic treason, if anybody else took the liberty of doing what she couldn't. So, bless her old soul, she sat as upright as she could, in her great chair, and looked as fierce as might be --and that was benevolent after all.

Pickwick about an old creetur like me. Nobody cares about me now, and it's very nat'ral they shouldn't. Pickwick, 'I can't let you cut an old friend in this way. I have come down expressly to have a long talk, and another rubber with you; and we'll show these boys and girls how to dance a minuet, before they're eight-and- forty hours older.

I can't hear him! Recollect Bella; come, you must keep her spirits up, poor girl. But age has its little infirmities of temper, and she was not quite brought round yet. So, she smoothed down the lavender-coloured dress again, and turning to Mr. Pickwick said, 'Ah, Mr. Pickwick, young people was very different, when I was a girl. Pickwick, 'and that's the reason why I would make much of the few that have any traces of the old stock'--and saying this, Mr.

Pickwick gently pulled Bella towards him, and bestowing a kiss upon her forehead, bade her sit down on the little stool at her grandmother's feet.

Whether the expression of her countenance, as it was raised towards the old lady's face, called up a thought of old times, or whether the old lady was touched by Mr. Pickwick's affectionate good-nature, or whatever was the cause, she was fairly melted; so she threw herself on her granddaughter's neck, and all the little ill-humour evaporated in a gush of silent tears.

A happy party they were, that night. Sedate and solemn were the score of rubbers in which Mr. Pickwick and the old lady played together; uproarious was the mirth of the round table. Long after the ladies had retired, did the hot elder wine, well qualified with brandy and spice, go round, and round, and round again; and sound was the sleep and pleasant were the dreams that followed.

It is a remarkable fact that those of Mr. Snodgrass bore constant reference to Emily Wardle; and that the principal figure in Mr. Winkle's visions was a young lady with black eyes, and arch smile, and a pair of remarkably nice boots with fur round the tops.

Pickwick was awakened early in the morning, by a hum of voices and a pattering of feet, sufficient to rouse even the fat boy from his heavy slumbers. He sat up in bed and listened. The female servants and female visitors were running constantly to and fro; and there were such multitudinous demands for hot water, such repeated outcries for needles and thread, and so many half-suppressed entreaties of 'Oh, do come and tie me, there's a dear!

Pickwick in his innocence began to imagine that something dreadful must have occurred--when he grew more awake, and remembered the wedding. The occasion being an important one, he dressed himself with peculiar care, and descended to the breakfast-room.

There were all the female servants in a bran new uniform of pink muslin gowns with white bows in their caps, running about the house in a state of excitement and agitation which it would be impossible to describe.

The old lady was dressed out in a brocaded gown, which had not seen the light for twenty years, saving and excepting such truant rays as had stolen through the chinks in the box in which it had been laid by, during the whole time. Trundle was in high feather and spirits, but a little nervous withal. The hearty old landlord was trying to look very cheerful and unconcerned, but failing signally in the attempt.

All the girls were in tears and white muslin, except a select two or three, who were being honoured with a private view of the bride and bridesmaids, upstairs. All the Pickwickians were in most blooming array; and there was a terrific roaring on the grass in front of the house, occasioned by all the men, boys, and hobbledehoys attached to the farm, each of whom had got a white bow in his button-hole, and all of whom were cheering with might and main; being incited thereto, and stimulated therein by the precept and example of Mr.

Samuel Weller, who had managed to become mighty popular already, and was as much at home as if he had been born on the land. A wedding is a licensed subject to joke upon, but there really is no great joke in the matter after all;--we speak merely of the ceremony, and beg it to be distinctly understood that we indulge in no hidden sarcasm upon a married life.

Mixed up with the pleasure and joy of the occasion, are the many regrets at quitting home, the tears of parting between parent and child, the consciousness of leaving the dearest and kindest friends of the happiest portion of human life, to encounter its cares and troubles with others still untried and little known--natural feelings which we would not render this chapter mournful by describing, and which we should be still more unwilling to be supposed to ridicule.

Let us briefly say, then, that the ceremony was performed by the old clergyman, in the parish church of Dingley Dell, and that Mr. Pickwick's name is attached to the register, still preserved in the vestry thereof; that the young lady with the black eyes signed her name in a very unsteady and tremulous manner; that Emily's signature, as the other bridesmaid, is nearly illegible; that it all went off in very admirable style; that the young ladies generally thought it far less shocking than they had expected; and that although the owner of the black eyes and the arch smile informed Mr.

Wardle that she was sure she could never submit to anything so dreadful, we have the very best reasons for thinking she was mistaken. To all this, we may add, that Mr. Pickwick was the first who saluted the bride, and that in so doing he threw over her neck a rich gold watch and chain, which no mortal eyes but the jeweller's had ever beheld before.

Then, the old church bell rang as gaily as it could, and they all returned to breakfast. Weller to the fat boy, as he assisted in laying out such articles of consumption as had not been duly arranged on the previous night. The fat boy pointed to the destination of the pies. There; now we look compact and comfortable, as the father said ven he cut his little boy's head off, to cure him o' squintin'.

Weller made the comparison, he fell back a step or two, to give full effect to it, and surveyed the preparations with the utmost satisfaction. Pickwick, almost as soon as they were all seated, 'a glass of wine in honour of this happy occasion! Pickwick's glass, and then retired behind his master's chair, from whence he watched the play of the knives and forks, and the progress of the choice morsels from the dishes to the mouths of the company, with a kind of dark and gloomy joy that was most impressive.

Pickwick, 'we old folks must have a glass of wine together, in honour of this joyful event. Pickwick on the other, to do the carving. Pickwick had not spoken in a very loud tone, but she understood him at once, and drank off a full glass of wine to his long life and happiness; after which the worthy old soul launched forth into a minute and particular account of her own wedding, with a dissertation on the fashion of wearing high-heeled shoes, and some particulars concerning the life and adventures of the beautiful Lady Tollimglower, deceased; at all of which the old lady herself laughed very heartily indeed, and so did the young ladies too, for they were wondering among themselves what on earth grandma was talking about.

When they laughed, the old lady laughed ten times more heartily, and said that these always had been considered capital stories, which caused them all to laugh again, and put the old lady into the very best of humours. Then the cake was cut, and passed through the ring; the young ladies saved pieces to put under their pillows to dream of their future husbands on; and a great deal of blushing and merriment was thereby occasioned.

Pickwick to his old acquaintance, the hard-headed gentleman, 'a glass of wine? Pickwick,' replied the hard- headed gentleman solemnly. Pickwick expressed his heartfelt delight at every additional suggestion; and his eyes beamed with hilarity and cheerfulness. Weller, in the excitement of his feelings. Weller would otherwise most indubitably have received from his master.

Pickwick proceeded-- 'Ladies and gentlemen--no, I won't say ladies and gentlemen, I'll call you my friends, my dear friends, if the ladies will allow me to take so great a liberty--' Here Mr.

Pickwick was interrupted by immense applause from the ladies, echoed by the gentlemen, during which the owner of the eyes was distinctly heard to state that she could kiss that dear Mr. Winkle gallantly inquired if it couldn't be done by deputy: Pickwick, 'I am going to propose the health of the bride and bridegroom--God bless 'em cheers and tears. My young friend, Trundle, I believe to be a very excellent and manly fellow; and his wife I know to be a very amiable and lovely girl, well qualified to transfer to another sphere of action the happiness which for twenty years she has diffused around her, in her father's house.

Here, the fat boy burst forth into stentorian blubberings, and was led forth by the coat collar, by Mr. I wish,' added Mr. Pickwick--'I wish I was young enough to be her sister's husband cheers , but, failing that, I am happy to be old enough to be her father; for, being so, I shall not be suspected of any latent designs when I say, that I admire, esteem, and love them both cheers and sobs.

The bride's father, our good friend there, is a noble person, and I am proud to know him great uproar. He is a kind, excellent, independent-spirited, fine-hearted, hospitable, liberal man enthusiastic shouts from the poor relations, at all the adjectives; and especially at the two last. That his daughter may enjoy all the happiness, even he can desire; and that he may derive from the contemplation of her felicity all the gratification of heart and peace of mind which he so well deserves, is, I am persuaded, our united wish.

So, let us drink their healths, and wish them prolonged life, and every blessing! Pickwick concluded amidst a whirlwind of applause; and once more were the lungs of the supernumeraries, under Mr. Weller's command, brought into active and efficient operation.

Pickwick proposed the old lady. One of the poor relations proposed Mr. Tupman, and the other poor relation proposed Mr. Winkle; all was happiness and festivity, until the mysterious disappearance of both the poor relations beneath the table, warned the party that it was time to adjourn.

At dinner they met again, after a five-and-twenty mile walk, undertaken by the males at Wardle's recommendation, to get rid of the effects of the wine at breakfast. The poor relations had kept in bed all day, with the view of attaining the same happy consummation, but, as they had been unsuccessful, they stopped there.

Weller kept the domestics in a state of perpetual hilarity; and the fat boy divided his time into small alternate allotments of eating and sleeping.

The dinner was as hearty an affair as the breakfast, and was quite as noisy, without the tears. Then came the dessert and some more toasts. Then came the tea and coffee; and then, the ball. The best sitting-room at Manor Farm was a good, long, dark- panelled room with a high chimney-piece, and a capacious chimney, up which you could have driven one of the new patent cabs, wheels and all.

At the upper end of the room, seated in a shady bower of holly and evergreens were the two best fiddlers, and the only harp, in all Muggleton. In all sorts of recesses, and on all kinds of brackets, stood massive old silver candlesticks with four branches each. The carpet was up, the candles burned bright, the fire blazed and crackled on the hearth, and merry voices and light-hearted laughter rang through the room.

If any of the old English yeomen had turned into fairies when they died, it was just the place in which they would have held their revels. If anything could have added to the interest of this agreeable scene, it would have been the remarkable fact of Mr.

Pickwick's appearing without his gaiters, for the first time within the memory of his oldest friends. Pickwick called attention to his speckled silk stockings, and smartly tied pumps. Pickwick, turning warmly upon him. Pickwick, in a very peremptory tone. Tupman had contemplated a laugh, but he found it was a serious matter; so he looked grave, and said they were a pretty pattern.

Pickwick, fixing his eyes upon his friend. Oh, certainly not,' replied Mr. He walked away; and Mr. Pickwick's countenance resumed its customary benign expression.

Pickwick, who was stationed with the old lady at the top of the dance, and had already made four false starts, in his excessive anxiety to commence. Pickwick into hands across, when there was a general clapping of hands, and a cry of 'Stop, stop! Pickwick, who was only brought to, by the fiddles and harp desisting, and could have been stopped by no other earthly power, if the house had been on fire. Pickwick, rather pettishly, 'that you couldn't have taken your place before.

Pickwick, with a very expressive smile, as his eyes rested on Arabella, 'well, I don't know that it WAS extraordinary, either, after all. Pickwick--hands across--down the middle to the very end of the room, and half-way up the chimney, back again to the door-- poussette everywhere--loud stamp on the ground--ready for the next couple--off again--all the figure over once more--another stamp to beat out the time--next couple, and the next, and the next again--never was such going; at last, after they had reached the bottom of the dance, and full fourteen couple after the old lady had retired in an exhausted state, and the clergyman's wife had been substituted in her stead, did that gentleman, when there was no demand whatever on his exertions, keep perpetually dancing in his place, to keep time to the music, smiling on his partner all the while with a blandness of demeanour which baffles all description.

Pickwick was weary of dancing, the newly- married couple had retired from the scene. There was a glorious supper downstairs, notwithstanding, and a good long sitting after it; and when Mr. Pickwick awoke, late the next morning, he had a confused recollection of having, severally and confidentially, invited somewhere about five-and-forty people to dine with him at the George and Vulture, the very first time they came to London; which Mr. Pickwick rightly considered a pretty certain indication of his having taken something besides exercise, on the previous night.

Weller,' replied Emma; 'we always have on Christmas Eve. Master wouldn't neglect to keep it up on any account. Weller; 'I never see such a sensible sort of man as he is, or such a reg'lar gen'l'm'n. Weller, as he thought of the roast legs and gravy.

The fat boy nodded. Weller impressively; 'if you don't sleep a little less, and exercise a little more, wen you comes to be a man you'll lay yourself open to the same sort of personal inconwenience as was inflicted on the old gen'l'm'n as wore the pigtail. Weller; 'he was one o' the largest patterns as was ever turned out--reg'lar fat man, as hadn't caught a glimpse of his own shoes for five-and-forty year.

Weller; 'and if you'd put an exact model of his own legs on the dinin'-table afore him, he wouldn't ha' known 'em.

Well, he always walks to his office with a wery handsome gold watch-chain hanging out, about a foot and a quarter, and a gold watch in his fob pocket as was worth--I'm afraid to say how much, but as much as a watch can be--a large, heavy, round manufacter, as stout for a watch, as he was for a man, and with a big face in proportion. Well, then he laughs as hearty as if he was a-goin' to pieces, and out he walks agin with his powdered head and pigtail, and rolls down the Strand with the chain hangin' out furder than ever, and the great round watch almost bustin' through his gray kersey smalls.

There warn't a pickpocket in all London as didn't take a pull at that chain, but the chain 'ud never break, and the watch 'ud never come out, so they soon got tired of dragging such a heavy old gen'l'm'n along the pavement, and he'd go home and laugh till the pigtail wibrated like the penderlum of a Dutch clock.

At last, one day the old gen'l'm'n was a-rollin' along, and he sees a pickpocket as he know'd by sight, a-coming up, arm in arm with a little boy with a wery large head. And wen he come straight agin, the watch and chain was gone, and what's worse than that, the old gen'l'm'n's digestion was all wrong ever afterwards, to the wery last day of his life; so just you look about you, young feller, and take care you don't get too fat.

Weller concluded this moral tale, with which the fat boy appeared much affected, they all three repaired to the large kitchen, in which the family were by this time assembled, according to annual custom on Christmas Eve, observed by old Wardle's forefathers from time immemorial.

From the centre of the ceiling of this kitchen, old Wardle had just suspended, with his own hands, a huge branch of mistletoe, and this same branch of mistletoe instantaneously gave rise to a scene of general and most delightful struggling and confusion; in the midst of which, Mr. Pickwick, with a gallantry that would have done honour to a descendant of Lady Tollimglower herself, took the old lady by the hand, led her beneath the mystic branch, and saluted her in all courtesy and decorum.

The old lady submitted to this piece of practical politeness with all the dignity which befitted so important and serious a solemnity, but the younger ladies, not being so thoroughly imbued with a superstitious veneration for the custom, or imagining that the value of a salute is very much enhanced if it cost a little trouble to obtain it, screamed and struggled, and ran into corners, and threatened and remonstrated, and did everything but leave the room, until some of the less adventurous gentlemen were on the point of desisting, when they all at once found it useless to resist any longer, and submitted to be kissed with a good grace.

Winkle kissed the young lady with the black eyes, and Mr. Snodgrass kissed Emily; and Mr. Weller, not being particular about the form of being under the mistletoe, kissed Emma and the other female servants, just as he caught them. As to the poor relations, they kissed everybody, not even excepting the plainer portions of the young lady visitors, who, in their excessive confusion, ran right under the mistletoe, as soon as it was hung up, without knowing it!

Wardle stood with his back to the fire, surveying the whole scene, with the utmost satisfaction; and the fat boy took the opportunity of appropriating to his own use, and summarily devouring, a particularly fine mince-pie, that had been carefully put by, for somebody else. Now, the screaming had subsided, and faces were in a glow, and curls in a tangle, and Mr. Pickwick, after kissing the old lady as before mentioned, was standing under the mistletoe, looking with a very pleased countenance on all that was passing around him, when the young lady with the black eyes, after a little whispering with the other young ladies, made a sudden dart forward, and, putting her arm round Mr.

Pickwick's neck, saluted him affectionately on the left cheek; and before Mr. Pickwick distinctly knew what was the matter, he was surrounded by the whole body, and kissed by every one of them.

It was a pleasant thing to see Mr. Pickwick in the centre of the group, now pulled this way, and then that, and first kissed on the chin, and then on the nose, and then on the spectacles, and to hear the peals of laughter which were raised on every side; but it was a still more pleasant thing to see Mr. Pickwick, blinded shortly afterwards with a silk handkerchief, falling up against the wall, and scrambling into corners, and going through all the mysteries of blind-man's buff, with the utmost relish for the game, until at last he caught one of the poor relations, and then had to evade the blind-man himself, which he did with a nimbleness and agility that elicited the admiration and applause of all beholders.

The poor relations caught the people who they thought would like it, and, when the game flagged, got caught themselves.

When they all tired of blind-man's buff, there was a great game at snap-dragon, and when fingers enough were burned with that, and all the raisins were gone, they sat down by the huge fire of blazing logs to a substantial supper, and a mighty bowl of wassail, something smaller than an ordinary wash- house copper, in which the hot apples were hissing and bubbling with a rich look, and a jolly sound, that were perfectly irresistible.

Pickwick, looking round him, 'this is, indeed, comfort. Trundle, my boy, rake up the fire. The deep red blaze sent forth a rich glow, that penetrated into the farthest corner of the room, and cast its cheerful tint on every face. I'll give you one, in default of a better. An inconstant elf, he knows not himself, Nor his own changing mind an hour, He'll smile in your face, and, with wry grimace, He'll wither your youngest flower. For his darling child is the madness wild That sports in fierce fever's train; And when love is too strong, it don't last long, As many have found to their pain.

But every leaf awakens my grief, As it lieth beneath the tree; So let Autumn air be never so fair, It by no means agrees with me. We'll usher him in with a merry din That shall gladden his joyous heart, And we'll keep him up, while there's bite or sup, And in fellowship good, we'll part. The lack of a strong plot is excused in Dickens' original preface where he states that his 'object in this work, was to place before the reader a constant succession of characters and incidents; to paint them in as vivid colours as he could command; and to render them, at the same time, life-like and amusing'.

It would be hard to argue he doesn't achieve this, and as such I'd rate this as one of the most enjoyable books I've read in months. That Dickens was only 24 when he wrote this is incredible; his insight and maturity for someone so young is almost scary.

I started it yesterday, and I am having a lot of trouble with it. The prose is confusing and extremely wordy I know this is partially because it was published in serial form. Does anyone have any advice on how to read Pickwick? Hi, I have just translated it into Hungarian, but I can't make out the proper meaning of the last sentence. I understand that there is something to do with spirits as alcoholic drink and spirits as ghosts.

So, could you explain it to me, like to a child? My English is poor, my Hung a bit better, I hope it'd be a good transation. Maybe, I'll have other questions later. Posted By goodnite at Thu 8 Dec , 8: Undoubtedly, the adventures of benevolent Mr Pickwick, sensitive Mr Tupman, literary Mr Snodgrass and sportive Mr Winkle will continue to delight readers of all ages for a couple of hundreds of years more from now.

On their way, they meet several memorable characters, including Mr Jingle, Job Trotter, Messrs Dodson and Fogg and even a couple of ladies two of them fall in love with. Posted By Cecilia at Tue 24 May , 5: Some parts are a little drawn-out and the writing seems very "flowery" at times. These are minor criticisms though I found the time to read the book due to a broken leg,people say that laughter is the best medicine and PP certainly made me laughter at times!

The characters are so well drawn. It is easy to think how much pleasure Dickens had writing the book. Posted By Alan at Tue 24 May , 5: Posted By Sam duffer at Tue 24 May , 5: The closing chapters lack the pace of the first two thirds of the story. It is hugely enjoyable and amusing throughout.

Sam's dedication and his discussions with his father are quite a highlight. Posted By Unregistered at Tue 24 May , 5: I havent read pickwicks papers yet, but i heard a rumor that Charles Dickens used the word "funky" in it.

I was slightly suspicious of this rumor, and decided to check this online version using the search engine on the edit menu, but no cigar. Does anyone know if this is false or not? Answers would be much appreciated. On the other hand, I read Great Expectations, and although the way it was worded was sometimes disorienting, it was written beautifully.

I was forced to read The Pickwick Papers for my honors english class in school. I have not yet finished it but so far I don't really like it. Dickens uses too many pointless characters that can easily confuse the reader.

There also seems to be no point to the book. There is no plot that carries on throughout the book. Ceaning out my bookcase I found a copy of the Pickwick papers. I hesitate to get rid of this book if it is valuable or if the heirs of Lizzie might be interested in it for a keepsake. Can anyone give me some feed back. All email goes to my junk box but I do scan it before deleting.

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The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens Its easy to link to paragraphs in the Full Text Archive If this page contains some material that you want to link to but you don't want your visitors to have to scroll down the whole page just hover your mouse over the relevent paragraph and click the bookmark icon that appears to the left of it. the full story: the pickwick papers project gutenberg ebook # the posthumous papers of the pickwick club chapter xxviii a good-humoured christmas chapter, containing an account of a wedding, and some other sports beside: which although in their way, even as .