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“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. I am in the service of that 'ere gen'l'man, and a wery good service it is."
“Little to do, and plenty to get, I suppose ?”
“O, quite enough to get, sir, as the soldier said ven they ordered him three hundred and fifty lashes.”
Court. “ You must not tell us what the soldier said, unless the soldier is in court, and is examined in the usual way; it's not evidence.”
“Wery good, my Lord.”
“ Do you recollect anything particular happening on the morning when you were first engaged by the defendant; eh, Mr. Wellcr ?"
“ Yes, I do, sir."
“I had a reg'lar new fit-out o'clothes that mornin', gen'l'men of the jury, and that was a wery particular and uncommon circumstance vith me in those days.”
The judge looked sternly at Sam, but Sam's features were so perfectly serene that the judge said nothing.
“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, sir. I was in the passage till they called me up, and then the old lady as you call the plaintiff, she warn't there, sir."
“ You were in the passage, and yet saw nothing of what was going forward. Have you a pair of eyes,
“Yes, I have a pair of eyes, and that's just it. If they wos a pair o'patent double million magnifyin' gas microscopes of hextra power, p'r’aps I might be able to see through two flights o' stairs and a deal door; but bein' only eyes, you see, my wision's limited.”
Now, Mr. Weller, I'll ask you a question on another point, if you please.'
"If you please, sir.”
“Do you remember going up to Mrs. Bardell's house, one night in November?
“O yes, wery well.”
“0, you do remember that, Mr. Weller. I thought we should get at something at last.”
“I rayther thought that, too, sir."
“Well; I suppose you went up to have a little talk about the trial, -eh, Mr. Weller?
“I went up to pay the rent, but we did get a talkin' about the trial.”
"O, you did get a talking about the trial. Now what passed about the trial ? will you have the goodness to tell us, Mr. Weller ?”
“Vith all the pleasure in life, sir. Arter a few unimportant obserwations from the two wirtuous females as has been examined here to-day, the ladies gets into a very great state o' admiration at the honourable conduct of Mr. Dodson and Mr. Fogg,—them two gen'l'men as is settin' near you now.”
“ The attorneys for the plaintiff. Well! They spoke in high praise of the honourable conduct of Messrs. Dodson and Fogg, the attorneys for the plaintiff, did they?”
“ Yes ; they said what a wery gen'rous thing it was o’ them to have taken up the case on spec, and not to charge nothin' at all for costs, unless they got 'em out of Mr. Pickwick.”
“ It's perfectly useless, my Lord, attempting to get at any evidence through the impenetrable stupidity of this witnesss. I will not tronble the court by asking him any more questions. Stand down, sir. That's my case, my Lord.”
Sergeant Snubbin then addressed the jury on behalf of the defendant, and did the best he could for Mr. Pickwick; and the best, as everybody knows, could do no
Mr. Justice Stareleigh summed up, in the old-established form. He read as much of his notes to the jury as he could decipher on so short a notice; he didn't read as much of them as he couldn't make out; and he made
running comments on the evidence as he went along. If Mrs. Bardell were right, it was perfectly clear Mr. Pickwick was wrong; and if they thought the evidence of Mrs. Cluppins worthy of credence they would believe it; and if they didn't, why they wouldn't.
The jury then retired to their private room to talk the matter over, and the judge retired to his private room, to refresh himself with a mutton-chop and a glass of sherry.
An anxious quarter of an hour elapsed; the jury came back, and the judge was fetched in. Mr. Pickwick put on bis spectacles, and gazed at the foreman.
“ Gentlemen, are you all agreed upon your verdict?' 66 We are."
“Do you find for the plaintiff, gentlemen, or for the defendant?"
“ For the plaintiff.” “ With what damages, gentlemen.” “Seven hundred and fifty pounds." Mr. Pickwick, having drawn on his gloves with great nicety, and stared at the foreman all the while, allowed himself to be assisted into hackney-coach, which had been fetched for the purpose by the ever-watchful Sam Weller.
Sam had put up the steps, and was preparing to jump on the box, when he felt himself gently touched on the shoulder, and his father stood before him.
“ Samivel! the gov'nor ought to have been got off with a alleybi. Ve'got Tom Vildspark off o' that 'ere manslaughter (that come of hard driving), vith a alleybi, ven all the big vigs to a man said as nothing couldn't save him.
I know'd what ʼud come o' this here way o' doin' business. O Sammy, Sammy, vy vorn't there a alleybi !"
By permission of Messrs. Chapman & Hall.
A ROGUE AND A VAGABOND.
BY E. COLLER,
THE “Ship at Stock?”—Lor', so it is—
Well, there, I must ha' been blind. Here, landlord, bring us a pint out here,
If these good gents don't mind.
Look wormish, do I?—and so would you
If you'd only ha' come my track,
With this horgan on yer back.
How long have I been on the road ?—Let's see
Why close upon forty year ;
Along o' this youngster here.
Tis rather a longish time, no doubt,
Tho' it seems but the other day That I was a little boy at home,
Out yonder by Rayleigh way. Ah! If I'd minded mother's words
That was meant for my good alone,
With boys and gals o' my own.
I shouldn't ha' done for homely wear;
That pants for the sun and air.
Tramping it merrily, east or west,
Town or country, bill or dale,– That was the life I lived and liked
When life was cheery and hale.
And yet there was many a moment, too,
When my heart was touch'd with ruth
And my wasted, shameful youth.
Is the boy my own ?-Well, yes—and no ;
He is and he isn't mine.
On the green, there, in front o' the sign.
Poor lad! I mind his mother well
A lady, by birth and grace,
By a villain doubly base.
It's three year ago since I met her fust,
So shrinking, and pale, and sweet, With her baby boy that she lov'd so fond
"Twould touch yer heart to see't.
But Lor'! I could read her story well,
The love, and the bitter fall,
And a tramp the more,—that's all !
She'd a little box o' ribbons and sich;
And she seem'd so gentle and mild, That the women all bought a trifle or so
For the sake o' the pretty child.
But the boy look'd drooping, as well as he might
With their scanty food and pay,
In his pretty baby way.
And afraid o' the likes of we,
Tho we shouldn't have hurt her, yer see.