"I should feel very much obliged to you, for any advice, sir," said Mr. Magnus, taking another look at the clock: the hand of which was verging on the five minutes past.
"Well, sir," said Mr. Pickwick, with the profound solemnity with which that great man could, when he pleased, render his remarks so deeply impressive: "I should commence, sir, with a tribute to the lady's beauty and excellent qualities; from them, sir, I should diverge to my own unworthiness."
"Very good," said Mr. Magnus.
"Unworthiness for her only, mind, sir," resumed Mr. Pickwick; "for to shew that I was not wholly unworthy, sir, I should take a brief review of my past life, and present condition. I should argue, by analogy, that to anybody else, I must be a very desirable object. I should then expatiate on the warmth of my love, and the depth of my devotion. Perhaps I might then be tempted to seize her hand."
"Yes, I see," said Mr. Magnus; "that would be a very great point."
"I should then, sir," continued Mr. Pickwick, growing warmer as the subject presented itself in more glowing colours before him: "I should then, sir, come to the plain and simple question, `Will you have me?' I think I am justified in assuming that upon this, she would turn away her head."
"You think that may be taken for granted?" said Mr. Magnus; "because if she did not do that at the right place, it would be embarrassing."
"I think she would," said Mr. Pickwick. "Upon this, sir, I should squeeze her hand, and I think--I think, Mr. Magnus--that after I had done that, supposing there was no refusal, I should gently draw away the handkerchief, which my slight knowledge of human nature leads me to suppose the lady would be applying to her eyes at the moment, and steal a respectful kiss. I think I should kiss her, Mr. Magnus; and at this particular point, I am decidedly of opinion that if the lady were going to take me at all, she would murmur into my ears a bashful acceptance."
Mr. Magnus started; gazed on Mr. Pickwick's intelligent face, for a short time in silence; and then (the dial pointing to the ten minutes past) shook him warmly by the hand, and rushed desperately from the room.
Mr. Pickwick had taken a few strides to and fro; and the small hand of the clock following the latter part of his example, had arrived at the figure which indicates the half hour, when the door suddenly opened. He turned round to meet Mr. Peter Magnus, and encountered, in his stead, the joyous face of Mr. Tupman, the serene countenance of Mr. Winkle, and the intellectual lineaments of Mr. Snodgrass. As Mr. Pickwick greeted them, Mr. Peter Magnus tripped into the room.
"My friends, the gentleman I was speaking of--Mr. Magnus," said Mr. Pickwick.
"Your servant, gentlemen," said Mr. Magnus, evidently in a high state of excitement; "Mr. Pickwick, allow me to speak to you, one moment, sir."
As he said this, Mr. Magnus harnessed his forefinger to Mr. Pickwick's button-hole, and, drawing him to a window recess, said:
"Congratulate me, Mr. Pickwick; I followed your advice to the very letter."
"And it was all correct, was it?" inquired Mr. Pickwick.
"It was, sir. Could not possibly have been better," replied Mr. Magnus. "Mr. Pickwick, she is mine."
"I congratulate you with all my heart," replied Mr. Pickwick, warmly shaking his new friend by the hand.
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