At this humorous notion, all the clerks laughed in concert.

"There was such a game with Fogg here, this mornin'," said the man in the brown coat, "while Jack was up-stairs sorting the papers, and you two were gone to the stamp-office. Fogg was down here, opening the letters, when that chap as we issued the writ against at Camberwell, you know, came in--what's his name again?"

"Ramsey," said the clerk who had spoken to Mr. Pickwick.

"Ah, Ramsey--a precious seedy-looking customer. `Well, sir,' says old Fogg, looking at him very fierce-- you know his way--`well, sir, have you come to settle?' `Yes, I have, sir,' said Ramsey, putting his hand in his pocket, and bringing out the money, `the debt's two pound ten, and the costs three pound five, and here it is, sir; and he sighed like bricks, as he lugged out the money, done up in a bit of blotting- paper. Old Fogg looked first at the money, and then at him, and then he coughed in his rum way, so that I knew something was coming. "You don't know there's a declaration filed, which increases the costs materially, I suppose?' said Fogg. `You don't say that, sir,' said Ramsey, starting back; `the time was only out last night, sir.' `I do say it, though,' said Fogg, `my clerk's just gone to file it. Hasn't Mr. Jackson gone to file that declaration in Bullman and Ramsey, Mr. Wicks?' Of course I said yes, and then Fogg coughed again, and looked at Ramsey. `My God!' said Ramsey; `and here have I nearly driven myself mad, scraping this money together, and all to no purpose.' `None at all,' said Fogg, coolly; `so you had better go back and scrape some more together, and bring it here in time.' `I can't get it, by God!' said Ramsey, striking the desk with his fist. `Don't bully me, sir,' said Fogg, getting into a passion on purpose. `I am not bullying you, sir,' said Ramsey. `You are,' said Fogg; `get out, sir; get out of this office, sir, and come back, sir, when you know how to behave yourself.' Well, Ramsey tried to speak, but Fogg wouldn't let him, so he put the money in his pocket, and sneaked out. The door was scarcely shut, when old Fogg turned round to me, with a sweet smile on his face, and drew the declaration out of his coat pocket. `Here, Wicks,' says Fogg, `take a cab, and go down to the Temple as quick as you can, and file that. The costs are quite safe, for he's a steady man with a large family, at a salary of five-and-twenty shillings a week, and if he gives us a warrant of attorney, as he must in the end, I know his employers will see it paid; so we may as well get all we can out of him, Mr. Wicks; it's a Christian act to do it, Mr. Wicks, for with his large family and small income, he'll be all the better for a good lesson against getting into debt,--won't he, Mr. Wicks, won't he?'--and he smiled so good-naturedly as he went away, that it was delightful to see him. He is a capital man of business," said Wicks, in a tone of the deepest admiration, "capital, isn't he?"

The other three cordially subscribed to this opinion, and the anecdote afforded the most unlimited satisfaction.

"Nice men these here, sir," whispered Mr. Weller to his master; "wery nice notion of fun they has, sir."

Mr. Pickwick nodded assent, and coughed to attract the attention of the young gentlemen behind the partition, who, having now relaxed their minds by a little conversation among themselves, condescended to take some notice of the stranger.

"I wonder whether Fogg's disengaged now?" said Jackson.

"I'll see," said Wicks, dismounting leisurely from his stool. "What name shall I tell Mr. Fogg?"

"Pickwick," replied the illustrious subject of these memoirs.

Mr. Jackson departed up-stairs on his errand, and immediately returned with a message that Mr. Fogg would see Mr. Pickwick in five minutes; and having delivered it, returned again to his desk.

"What did he say his name was?" whispered Wicks.

"Pickwick," replied Jackson; "it's the defendant in Bardell and Pickwick."

  By PanEris using Melati.

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