Illustrative, like the preceding one, of the old proverb, that adversity brings a man acquainted with strange bed-fellows. Likewise containing Mr. Pickwick's extraordinary and startling announcement to Mr. Samuel Weller
WHEN Mr. Pickwick opened his eyes next morning, the first object upon which they rested was Samuel Weller, seated upon a small black portmanteau, intently regarding, apparently in a condition of profound abstraction, the stately figure of the dashing Mr. Smangle: while Mr. Smangle himself, who was already partially dressed, was seated on his bedstead, occupied in the desperately hopeless attempt of staring Mr. Weller out of countenance. We say desperately hopeless, because Sam, with a comprehensive gaze which took in Mr. Smangle's cap, feet, head, face, legs, and whiskers, all at the same time, continued to look steadily on, with every demonstration of lively satisfaction, but with no more regard to Mr. Smangle's personal sentiments on the subject than he would have displayed had he been inspecting a wooden statue, or a straw-embowelled Guy Faux.
"Well; will you know me again?" said Mr. Smangle, with a frown.
"I'd svear to you anyveres, sir," replied Sam, cheerfully.
"Don't be impertinent to a gentleman, sir," said Mr. Smangle.
"Not on no account," replied Sam. "If you'll tell me wen he wakes, I'll be upon the wery best extra-super behaviour!" This observation, having a remote tendency to imply that Mr. Smangle was no gentleman, kindled his ire.
"Mivins!" said Mr. Smangle, with a passionate air.
"What's the office?" replied that gentleman from his couch.
"Who the devil is this fellow?"
"'Gad," said Mr. Mivins, looking lazily out from under the bed-clothes, "I ought to ask you that. Hasn't he any business here?"
"No," replied Mr. Smangle.
"Then knock him down-stairs, and tell him not to presume to get up till I come and kick him," rejoined Mr. Mivins; with this prompt advice that excellent gentleman again betook himself to slumber.
The conversation exhibiting these unequivocal symptoms of verging on the personal, Mr. Pickwick deemed it a fit point at which to interpose.
"Sam," said Mr. Pickwick.
"Sir," rejoined that gentleman.
"Has anything new occurred since last night?"
"Nothin' partickler, sir," replied Sam, glancing at Mr. Smangle's whiskers; "the late prewailance of a close and confined atmosphere has been rayther favourable to the growth of veeds, of an alarmin' and sangvinary natur; but vith that 'ere exception things is quiet enough."
"I shall get up," said Mr. Pickwick; "give me some clean things."
Whatever hostile intentions Mr. Smangle might have entertained, his thoughts were speedily diverted by the unpacking of the portmanteau; the contents of which appeared to impress him at once with a most favourable opinion, not only of Mr. Pickwick, but of Sam also, who, he took an early opportunity of declaring in a tone of voice loud enough for that eccentric personage to overhear, was a regular thoroughbred original, and consequently the very man after his own heart. As to Mr. Pickwick, the affection he conceived for him knew no limits.
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