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Chapter 26

WHICH CONTAINS A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THEPROGRESS OF THE ACTION OFBARDELL AGAINST PICKWICKaving accomplished1 the main end and object of hisjourney, by the exposure of Jingle2, Mr. Pickwick resolvedon immediately returning to London, with the view ofbecoming acquainted with the proceedings3 which had been takenagainst him, in the meantime, by Messrs. Dodson and Fogg. Actingupon this resolution with all the energy and decision of hischaracter, he mounted to the back seat of the first coach which leftIpswich on the morning after the memorable4 occurrences detailedat length in the two preceding chapters; and accompanied by histhree friends, and Mr. Samuel Weller, arrived in the metropolis5, inperfect health and safety, the same evening.

  Here the friends, for a short time, separated. Messrs. Tupman,Winkle, and Snodgrass repaired to their several homes to makesuch preparations as might be requisite6 for their forthcoming visitto Dingley Dell; and Mr. Pickwick and Sam took up their presentabode in very good, old-fashioned, and comfortable quarters, towit, the George and Vulture Tavern8 and Hotel, George Yard,Lombard Street.

  Mr. Pickwick had dined, finished his second pint9 of particularport, pulled his silk handkerchief over his head, put his feet on thefender, and thrown himself back in an easy-chair, when theentrance of Mr. Weller with his carpet-bag, aroused him from histranquil meditation10.

  ‘Sam,’ said Mr. Pickwick. ‘sir,’ said Mr. Weller.

  ‘I have just been thinking, Sam,’ said Mr. Pickwick, ‘that havingleft a good many things at Mrs. Bardell’s, in Goswell Street, Iought to arrange for taking them away, before I leave town again.’

  ‘Wery good, sir,’ replied Mr. Weller.

  ‘I could send them to Mr. Tupman’s, for the present, Sam,’

  continued Mr. Pickwick, ‘but before we take them away, it isnecessary that they should be looked up, and put together. I wishyou would step up to Goswell Street, Sam, and arrange about it.’

  ‘At once, sir?’ inquired Mr. Weller.

  ‘At once,’ replied Mr. Pickwick. ‘And stay, Sam,’ added Mr.

  Pickwick, pulling out his purse, ‘there is some rent to pay. Thequarter is not due till Christmas, but you may pay it, and havedone with it. A month’s notice terminates my tenancy. Here it is,written out. Give it, and tell Mrs. Bardell she may put a bill up, assoon as she likes.’

  ‘Wery good, sir,’ replied Mr. Weller; ‘anythin’ more, sir?’

  ‘Nothing more, Sam.’

  Mr. Weller stepped slowly to the door, as if he expectedsomething more; slowly opened it, slowly stepped out, and hadslowly closed it within a couple of inches, when Mr. Pickwickcalled out―‘Sam.’

  ‘Yes, sir,’ said Mr. Weller, stepping quickly back, and closingthe door behind him. ‘I have no objection, Sam, to yourendeavouring to ascertain11 how Mrs. Bardell herself seemsdisposed towards me, and whether it is really probable that thisvile and groundless action is to be carried to extremity12. I say I donot object to you doing this, if you wish it, Sam,’ said Mr. Pickwick.

  Sam gave a short nod of intelligence, and left the room. Mr.

  Pickwick drew the silk handkerchief once more over his head, Andcomposed himself for a nap. Mr. Weller promptly13 walked forth7, toexecute his commission.

  It was nearly nine o’clock when he reached Goswell Street. Acouple of candles were burning in the little front parlour, and acouple of caps were reflected on the window-blind. Mrs. Bardellhad got company.

  Mr. Weller knocked at the door, and after a pretty longinterval―occupied by the party without, in whistling a tune14, andby the party within, in persuading a refractory15 flat candle to allowitself to be lighted―a pair of small boots pattered over the floor-cloth, and Master Bardell presented himself.

  ‘Well, young townskip,’ said Sam, ‘how’s mother?’

  ‘She’s pretty well,’ replied Master Bardell, ‘so am I.’

  ‘Well, that’s a mercy,’ said Sam; ‘tell her I want to speak to her,will you, my hinfant fernomenon?’

  Master Bardell, thus adjured16, placed the refractory flat candleon the bottom stair, and vanished into the front parlour with hismessage.

  The two caps, reflected on the window-blind, were therespective head-dresses of a couple of Mrs. Bardell’s mostparticular acquaintance, who had just stepped in, to have a quietcup of tea, and a little warm supper of a couple of sets of pettitoesand some toasted cheese. The cheese was simmering andbrowning away, most delightfully17, in a little Dutch oven before thefire; the pettitoes were getting on deliciously in a little tinsaucepan on the hob; and Mrs. Bardell and her two friends weregetting on very well, also, in a little quiet conversation about andconcerning all their particular friends and acquaintance; whenMaster Bardell came back from answering the door, and deliveredthe message intrusted to him by Mr. Samuel Weller.

  ‘Mr. Pickwick’s servant!’ said Mrs. Bardell, turning pale.

  ‘Bless my soul!’ said Mrs. Cluppins.

  ‘Well, I raly would not ha’ believed it, unless I had ha’ happenedto ha’ been here!’ said Mrs. Sanders.

  Mrs. Cluppins was a little, brisk, busy-looking woman; Mrs.

  Sanders was a big, fat, heavy-faced personage; and the two werethe company.

  Mrs. Bardell felt it proper to be agitated18; and as none of thethree exactly knew whether under existing circumstances, anycommunication, otherwise than through Dodson & Fogg, ought tobe held with Mr. Pickwick’s servant, they were all rather taken bysurprise. In this state of indecision, obviously the first thing to bedone, was to thump19 the boy for finding Mr. Weller at the door. Sohis mother thumped20 him, and he cried melodiously21.

  ‘Hold your noise―do―you naughty creetur!’ said Mrs. Bardell.

  ‘Yes; don’t worrit your poor mother,’ said Mrs. Sanders.

  ‘She’s quite enough to worrit her, as it is, without you, Tommy,’

  said Mrs. Cluppins, with sympathising resignation.

  ‘Ah! worse luck, poor lamb!’ said Mrs. Sanders. At all whichmoral reflections, Master Bardell howled the louder.

  ‘Now, what shall I do?’ said Mrs. Bardell to Mrs. Cluppins.

  ‘I think you ought to see him,’ replied Mrs. Cluppins. ‘But on noaccount without a witness.’

  ‘I think two witnesses would be more lawful,’ said Mrs.

  Sanders, who, like the other friend, was bursting with curiosity.

  ‘Perhaps he’d better come in here,’ said Mrs. Bardell.

  ‘To be sure,’ replied Mrs. Cluppins, eagerly catching22 at the idea;‘walk in, young man; and shut the street door first, please.’

  Mr. Weller immediately took the hint; and presenting himself inthe parlour, explained his business to Mrs. Bardell thus―‘Wery sorry to ’casion any personal inconwenience, ma’am, asthe housebreaker said to the old lady when he put her on the fire;but as me and my governor ‘s only jest come to town, and is jestgoing away agin, it can’t be helped, you see.’

  ‘Of course, the young man can’t help the faults of his master,’

  said Mrs. Cluppins, much struck by Mr. Weller’s appearance andconversation.

  ‘Certainly not,’ chimed in Mrs. Sanders, who, from certainwistful glances at the little tin saucepan, seemed to be engaged ina mental calculation of the probable extent of the pettitoes, in theevent of Sam’s being asked to stop to supper.

  ‘So all I’ve come about, is jest this here,’ said Sam, disregardingthe interruption; ‘first, to give my governor’s notice―there it is.

  Secondly, to pay the rent―here it is. Thirdly, to say as all histhings is to be put together, and give to anybody as we sends for’em. Fourthly, that you may let the place as soon as you like―andthat’s all.’

  ‘Whatever has happened,’ said Mrs. Bardell, ‘I always have said,and always will say, that in every respect but one, Mr. Pickwickhas always behaved himself like a perfect gentleman. His moneyalways as good as the bank―always.’

  As Mrs. Bardell said this, she applied23 her handkerchief to hereyes, and went out of the room to get the receipt.

  Sam well knew that he had only to remain quiet, and thewomen were sure to talk; so he looked alternately at the tinsaucepan, the toasted cheese, the wall, and the ceiling, in profoundsilence.

  ‘Poor dear!’ said Mrs. Cluppins.

  ‘Ah, poor thing!’ replied Mrs. Sanders. Sam said nothing. Hesaw they were coming to the subject.

  ‘I raly cannot contain myself,’ said Mrs. Cluppins, ‘when I thinkof such perjury24. I don’t wish to say anything to make youuncomfortable, young man, but your master’s an old brute25, and Iwish I had him here to tell him so.’

  ‘I wish you had,’ said Sam.

  ‘To see how dreadful she takes on, going moping about, andtaking no pleasure in nothing, except when her friends comes in,out of charity, to sit with her, and make her comfortable,’ resumedMrs. Cluppins, glancing at the tin saucepan and the Dutch oven,‘it’s shocking!’

  ‘Barbareous,’ said Mrs. Sanders.

  ‘And your master, young man! A gentleman with money, ascould never feel the expense of a wife, no more than nothing,’

  continued Mrs. Cluppins, with great volubility; ‘why there ain’t thefaintest shade of an excuse for his behaviour! Why don’t he marryher?’

  ‘Ah,’ said Sam, ‘to be sure; that’s the question.’

  ‘Question, indeed,’ retorted Mrs. Cluppins, ‘she’d question him,if she’d my spirit. Hows’ever, there is law for us women, mis’rablecreeturs as they’d make us, if they could; and that your master willfind out, young man, to his cost, afore he’s six months older.’

  At this consolatory26 reflection, Mrs. Cluppins bridled27 up, andsmiled at Mrs. Sanders, who smiled back again.

  ‘The action’s going on, and no mistake,’ thought Sam, as Mrs.

  Bardell re-entered with the receipt.

  ‘Here’s the receipt, Mr. Weller,’ said Mrs. Bardell, ‘and here’sthe change, and I hope you’ll take a little drop of something tokeep the cold out, if it’s only for old acquaintance’ sake, Mr.


  Sam saw the advantage he should gain, and at once acquiesced;whereupon Mrs. Bardell produced, from a small closet, a blackbottle and a wine-glass; and so great was her abstraction, in herdeep mental affliction, that, after filling Mr. Weller’s glass, shebrought out three more wine-glasses, and filled them too.

  ‘Lauk, Mrs. Bardell,’ said Mrs. Cluppins, ‘see what you’ve beenand done!’

  ‘Well, that is a good one!’ ejaculated Mrs. Sanders.

  ‘Ah, my poor head!’ said Mrs. Bardell, with a faint smile.

  Sam understood all this, of course, so he said at once, that henever could drink before supper, unless a lady drank with him. Agreat deal of laughter ensued, and Mrs. Sanders volunteered tohumour him, so she took a slight sip28 out of her glass. Then Samsaid it must go all round, so they all took a slight sip. Then littleMrs. Cluppins proposed as a toast, ‘Success to Bardell aginPickwick’; and then the ladies emptied their glasses in honour ofthe sentiment, and got very talkative directly.

  ‘I suppose you’ve heard what’s going forward, Mr. Weller?’ saidMrs. Bardell.

  ‘I’ve heerd somethin’ on it,’ replied Sam.

  ‘It’s a terrible thing to be dragged before the public, in that way,Mr. Weller,’ said Mrs. Bardell; ‘but I see now, that it’s the onlything I ought to do, and my lawyers, Mr. Dodson and Fogg, tell methat, with the evidence as we shall call, we must succeed. I don’tknow what I should do, Mr. Weller, if I didn’t.’

  The mere29 idea of Mrs. Bardell’s failing in her action, affectedMrs. Sanders so deeply, that she was under the necessity ofrefilling and re-emptying her glass immediately; feeling, as shesaid afterwards, that if she hadn’t had the presence of mind to doso, she must have dropped.

  ‘Ven is it expected to come on?’ inquired Sam.

  ‘Either in February or March,’ replied Mrs. Bardell.

  ‘What a number of witnesses there’ll be, won’t there,?’ said Mrs.


  ‘Ah! won’t there!’ replied Mrs. Sanders.

  ‘And won’t Mr. Dodson and Fogg be wild if the plaintiffshouldn’t get it?’ added Mrs. Cluppins, ‘when they do it all on speculation30!’

  ‘Ah! won’t they!’ said Mrs. Sanders.

  ‘But the plaintiff must get it,’ resumed Mrs. Cluppins.

  ‘I hope so,’ said Mrs. Bardell.

  ‘Oh, there can’t be any doubt about it,’ rejoined Mrs. Sanders.

  ‘Vell,’ said Sam, rising and setting down his glass, ‘all I can sayis, that I vish you may get it.’

  ‘Thank’ee, Mr. Weller,’ said Mrs. Bardell fervently31.

  ‘And of them Dodson and Foggs, as does these sort o’ things onspec,’ continued Mr. Weller, ‘as vell as for the other kind andgen’rous people o’ the same purfession, as sets people by the ears,free gratis32 for nothin’, and sets their clerks to work to find out littledisputes among their neighbours and acquaintances as vantssettlin’ by means of lawsuits―all I can say o’ them is, that I vishthey had the reward I’d give ’em.’

  ‘Ah, I wish they had the reward that every kind and generousheart would be inclined to bestow33 upon them!’ said the gratifiedMrs. Bardell.

  ‘Amen to that,’ replied Sam, ‘and a fat and happy liven’ they’dget out of it! Wish you good-night, ladies.’

  To the great relief of Mrs. Sanders, Sam was allowed to departwithout any reference, on the part of the hostess, to the pettitoesand toasted cheese; to which the ladies, with such juvenileassistance as Master Bardell could afford, soon afterwardsrendered the amplest justice―indeed they wholly vanished beforetheir strenuous34 exertions35.

  Mr. Weller wended his way back to the George and Vulture,and faithfully recounted to his master, such indications of thesharp practice of Dodson & Fogg, as he had contrived36 to pick up inhis visit to Mrs. Bardell’s. An interview with Mr. Perker, next day,more than confirmed Mr. Weller’s statement; and Mr. Pickwickwas fain to prepare for his Christmas visit to Dingley Dell, with thepleasant anticipation37 that some two or three months afterwards,an action brought against him for damages sustained by reason ofa breach38 of promise of marriage, would be publicly tried in theCourt of Common Pleas; the plaintiff having all the advantagesderivable, not only from the force of circumstances, but from thesharp practice of Dodson & Fogg to boot.


1 accomplished UzwztZ     
  • Thanks to your help,we accomplished the task ahead of schedule.亏得你们帮忙,我们才提前完成了任务。
  • Removal of excess heat is accomplished by means of a radiator.通过散热器完成多余热量的排出。
2 jingle RaizA     
  • The key fell on the ground with a jingle.钥匙叮当落地。
  • The knives and forks set up their regular jingle.刀叉发出常有的叮当声。
3 proceedings Wk2zvX     
  • He was released on bail pending committal proceedings. 他交保获释正在候审。
  • to initiate legal proceedings against sb 对某人提起诉讼
4 memorable K2XyQ     
  • This was indeed the most memorable day of my life.这的确是我一生中最值得怀念的日子。
  • The veteran soldier has fought many memorable battles.这个老兵参加过许多难忘的战斗。
5 metropolis BCOxY     
  • Shanghai is a metropolis in China.上海是中国的大都市。
  • He was dazzled by the gaiety and splendour of the metropolis.大都市的花花世界使他感到眼花缭乱。
6 requisite 2W0xu     
  • He hasn't got the requisite qualifications for the job.他不具备这工作所需的资格。
  • Food and air are requisite for life.食物和空气是生命的必需品。
7 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
8 tavern wGpyl     
  • There is a tavern at the corner of the street.街道的拐角处有一家酒馆。
  • Philip always went to the tavern,with a sense of pleasure.菲利浦总是心情愉快地来到这家酒菜馆。
9 pint 1NNxL     
  • I'll have a pint of beer and a packet of crisps, please.我要一品脱啤酒和一袋炸马铃薯片。
  • In the old days you could get a pint of beer for a shilling.从前,花一先令就可以买到一品脱啤酒。
10 meditation yjXyr     
  • This peaceful garden lends itself to meditation.这个恬静的花园适于冥想。
  • I'm sorry to interrupt your meditation.很抱歉,我打断了你的沉思。
11 ascertain WNVyN     
  • It's difficult to ascertain the coal deposits.煤储量很难探明。
  • We must ascertain the responsibility in light of different situtations.我们必须根据不同情况判定责任。
12 extremity tlgxq     
  • I hope you will help them in their extremity.我希望你能帮助在穷途末路的他们。
  • What shall we do in this extremity?在这种极其困难的情况下我们该怎么办呢?
13 promptly LRMxm     
  • He paid the money back promptly.他立即还了钱。
  • She promptly seized the opportunity his absence gave her.她立即抓住了因他不在场给她创造的机会。
14 tune NmnwW     
  • He'd written a tune,and played it to us on the piano.他写了一段曲子,并在钢琴上弹给我们听。
  • The boy beat out a tune on a tin can.那男孩在易拉罐上敲出一首曲子。
15 refractory GCOyK     
  • He is a very refractory child.他是一个很倔强的孩子。
  • Silicate minerals are characteristically refractory and difficult to break down.硅酸盐矿物的特点是耐熔和难以分离。
16 adjured 54d0111fc852e2afe5e05a3caf8222af     
v.(以起誓或诅咒等形式)命令要求( adjure的过去式和过去分词 );祈求;恳求
  • He adjured them to tell the truth. 他要求他们讲真话。
  • The guides now adjured us to keep the strictest silence. 这时向导恳求我们保持绝对寂静。 来自辞典例句
17 delightfully f0fe7d605b75a4c00aae2f25714e3131     
  • The room is delightfully appointed. 这房子的设备令人舒适愉快。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The evening is delightfully cool. 晚间凉爽宜人。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
18 agitated dzgzc2     
  • His answers were all mixed up,so agitated was he.他是那样心神不定,回答全乱了。
  • She was agitated because her train was an hour late.她乘坐的火车晚点一个小时,她十分焦虑。
19 thump sq2yM     
  • The thief hit him a thump on the head.贼在他的头上重击一下。
  • The excitement made her heart thump.她兴奋得心怦怦地跳。
20 thumped 0a7f1b69ec9ae1663cb5ed15c0a62795     
v.重击, (指心脏)急速跳动( thump的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Dave thumped the table in frustration . 戴夫懊恼得捶打桌子。
  • He thumped the table angrily. 他愤怒地用拳捶击桌子。
21 melodiously fb4c1e38412ce0072d6686747dc7b478     
22 catching cwVztY     
  • There are those who think eczema is catching.有人就是认为湿疹会传染。
  • Enthusiasm is very catching.热情非常富有感染力。
23 applied Tz2zXA     
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
24 perjury LMmx0     
  • You'll be punished if you procure the witness to commit perjury.如果你诱使证人作伪证,你要受罚的。
  • She appeared in court on a perjury charge.她因被指控做了伪证而出庭受审。
25 brute GSjya     
  • The aggressor troops are not many degrees removed from the brute.侵略军简直象一群野兽。
  • That dog is a dangerous brute.It bites people.那条狗是危险的畜牲,它咬人。
26 consolatory 8b1ee1eaffd4a9422e114fc0aa80fbcf     
  • Action is consolatory. It is the enemy of thought and the friend of flattering illusions. 行动是可以慰藉的。它是思想的敌人,是幻想的朋友。 来自互联网
  • Action is consolatory. It is the enemy of thought and the friend of glittering illusions. 行动是令人安慰的,它是思想的敌人,是美好幻想的朋友。 来自互联网
27 bridled f4fc5a2dd438a2bb7c3f6663cfac7d22     
给…套龙头( bridle的过去式和过去分词 ); 控制; 昂首表示轻蔑(或怨忿等); 动怒,生气
  • She bridled at the suggestion that she was lying. 她对暗示她在说谎的言论嗤之以鼻。
  • He bridled his horse. 他给他的马套上笼头。
28 sip Oxawv     
  • She took a sip of the cocktail.她啜饮一口鸡尾酒。
  • Elizabeth took a sip of the hot coffee.伊丽莎白呷了一口热咖啡。
29 mere rC1xE     
  • That is a mere repetition of what you said before.那不过是重复了你以前讲的话。
  • It's a mere waste of time waiting any longer.再等下去纯粹是浪费时间。
30 speculation 9vGwe     
  • Her mind is occupied with speculation.她的头脑忙于思考。
  • There is widespread speculation that he is going to resign.人们普遍推测他要辞职。
31 fervently 8tmzPw     
  • "Oh, I am glad!'she said fervently. “哦,我真高兴!”她热烈地说道。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • O my dear, my dear, will you bless me as fervently to-morrow?' 啊,我亲爱的,亲爱的,你明天也愿这样热烈地为我祝福么?” 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
32 gratis yfWxJ     
  • David gives the first consultation gratis.戴维免费提供初次咨询。
  • The service was gratis to graduates.这项服务对毕业生是免费的。
33 bestow 9t3zo     
  • He wished to bestow great honors upon the hero.他希望将那些伟大的荣誉授予这位英雄。
  • What great inspiration wiII you bestow on me?你有什么伟大的灵感能馈赠给我?
34 strenuous 8GvzN     
  • He made strenuous efforts to improve his reading. 他奋发努力提高阅读能力。
  • You may run yourself down in this strenuous week.你可能会在这紧张的一周透支掉自己。
35 exertions 2d5ee45020125fc19527a78af5191726     
n.努力( exertion的名词复数 );费力;(能力、权力等的)运用;行使
  • As long as they lived, exertions would not be necessary to her. 只要他们活着,是不需要她吃苦的。 来自辞典例句
  • She failed to unlock the safe in spite of all her exertions. 她虽然费尽力气,仍未能将那保险箱的锁打开。 来自辞典例句
36 contrived ivBzmO     
  • There was nothing contrived or calculated about what he said.他说的话里没有任何蓄意捏造的成分。
  • The plot seems contrived.情节看起来不真实。
37 anticipation iMTyh     
  • We waited at the station in anticipation of her arrival.我们在车站等着,期待她的到来。
  • The animals grew restless as if in anticipation of an earthquake.各种动物都变得焦躁不安,像是感到了地震即将发生。
38 breach 2sgzw     
  • We won't have any breach of discipline.我们不允许任何破坏纪律的现象。
  • He was sued for breach of contract.他因不履行合同而被起诉。


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