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extraordinarily absurd and offensive in his place, and I'm sure you'd think observation?” said he, reddening more that four or five thous". and more as he looked at Mr Quirk. « But is not Titmouse our Poor
“ You're à queer hand, Gammon,” NEIGHBOUR ?” said Gammon, with a replied Quirk, with almost an equally sly smile. surprised and embarrassed air, for he “ Why, that's only one way of lookcould not resist a sort of conviction ing at it, Gammon! Perhaps the man that Gammon had fathomed what had we are going to eject does a vast deal been passing in his mind.
of good with the property; certainly " What did you mean, Mr Quirk, he bears a very high name in the county by your singular observation just -and fancy Titmouse with ten thounow ?" said Gammon calmly, having sand a-year!”. recovered his presence of mind.
“ Mr Quirk, Mr Quirk, it's not to “ Mean? Why, that-we're both be thought of for a moment-not for queer hands, Gammon, ha, ha, ha!” a moment,” interrupted Gammon, seanswered Quirk, with an anxious riously, and even somewhat peremptolaugh.
rily—“nothing should persuade me to " I shall leave Titmouse entirely be any party to such”entirely, Mr Quirk, in your hands ; At this moment Snap burst into the I will have nothing whatever to do room with a heated appearance, and a with him. I am quite sick of him and chagrined airhis affairs already ; I cannot bring
66 Pitch y. Grub." myself to undertake such an affair, [This was a little pet action of poor and that was what I was thinking of, Snap's: it was for slander uttered by when”
the defendant, a green-grocer, against " Eh ? indeed! Well, to be sure ! the plaintiff, charging the plaintiff
' with Only think !” said Quirk, dropping having the mange, on account of which his voice, looking to see that the two a lady refused to marry him.] doors were shut, and resuming the “ Pitch v. Grub, just been tried at chair which he had lately quitted, Guildhall. Witness bang up to the “ What do you think has been occur- mark—words and damages proved ; ing to me in my own room, just now? slapping speech from Sergeant Shout. Whether it would suit us better to Verdict for plaintiff, one farthing; and throw this monkey overboard, put our- Lord Lumpington said, as the jury had selves confidentially in communication given plaintiff one farthing for dawith the party in possession, and tell mages, he would give him another for him that-hem! hem !-for a-eh? costs,* and that would make a haltYou understand? a con-si-de-ra-tion penny; on which the defendant's attor. -a suitable con-si-de-ra- tion."
ney tendered me-a halfpenny on the “ Mr Quirk! Heavens!" Gammon spot. Laughter in court-move for new was really amazed.
trial first day of next term, and tip his “ Well? You needn't open your lordship a rattler in the next Sunday's eyes so very wide, Mr Gammon_why Flash." shouldn't it be done? You know we “ Mr Quirk, once for all, if these kind shouldn't be satisfied with a trifle, of of actions are to go on, I'll leave the
But suppose he'd agree to firm, come what will.” [It flickered buy our silence with four or five thou - across his mind that Titmouse would sand pounds, really, it's well worth be a capital client to start with on his considering! Upon my soul, Gam- own account.] “ I protest our names mon, it is a hard thing on him; no will quite stink in the profession." fault of his, and it is very hard for « Good, Mr Gammon, good !” inhim to turn out, and for such a-eugh! terposed Snap, warmly ; " -such a wretch as Titmouse ; you'd action for the usury penalties the other feel it yourself, Gammon, if you were day came off so uncommon well!”
I. suppose myself to be alluding here to a very oppressive statute, passed to clip the wings of such gentlemen as Mr Snap, by which it is enacted that, in actions for slander, if the jury find a verdict under forty shillings, e. g., as in the case in the text, for one farthing, the plaintiff shall be entitled to recover from the defendant only as much costs as damages, i. e., another farthing; a provision which has made many a poor pettifogger sneak out of court with a flea in his ear.
“Let me tell you, Mr Snap," inter- fendant. In fact, an attorney or solirupted Gammon, reddening
citor is almost always obliged to be « Pho! Come! Can't be helped- acting adversely to some one of whom fortune of the war,"_interrupted the. he at once makes an enemy, for an head of the firm.--" Is Pitch solvent ? attorney's weapons must necessarily -of course we've security for costs be pointed almost invariably at our out of pocket.”
pockets! He is necessarily, also, Now, the fact was, that poor Snap called into action in cases when all the had picked up Pitch at one of the po- worst passions of our nature—our lice offices, and, in his zeal for busi- hatred and revenge, and our self-inness, had undertaken his case on pure terest-are set in motion. Consider the speculation, relying on the apparent mischief that might be constantly done strength of the plaintiff's case-Pitch on a grand scale in society, if the vast being only a waterman attached to a majority of attorneys and solicitors coach-stand. When, therefore, the were not honourable and able men! very ominous question of Mr Quirk Conceive them, for a moment, dismet Snap's ear, he suddenly happened posed every where to sir up litiga(at least, he thought so) to hear him- tion, by availing themselves of their self called for from the clerks' room, perfect acquaintance with almost all and bolted out of Mr Gammon's room men's circumstances-artfully inflamrather unceremoniously:
ing irritable and vindictive clients, Snap will be the ruin of the firm, kindling, instead of stifling, family disMr Quirk," said Gammon, with an sensions, and fomenting public strifeair of disgust. “But I really must get why, were they to do only a hundredth on with the brief I'm drawing ; so, part of wint it is thus in their power Mr Quirk, we can talk about Titmouse to do, our courts of justice would soon to-morrow !”
be doubled, together with the number The brief he was drawing up was of our judges, counsel, and attorneys. for a defendant who was going to non- But not all of this body of honoursuit the plaintiff, (a man with a large able and valuable men are entitled family, who had kindly lent the de- to this tribute of praise. There are a fendant a considerable sum of money,) few Quirks, several GAMMONS, and solely because of the want of a stamp. many Snaps, in the profession of the
Quirk differed in opinion with Gam- law—men whosecharacters and doings mon, and, as he resumed his seat at often make fools visit the sins of indi. his desk, he could not help writing the viduals upon the whole species ; nay, words, “ Quirk and Snap," and think there are far worse, as I have heard ing how well such a firm would sound but I must return to my narrative. and work-for Snap was verily a chip On Friday night, the 28th July of the old block !
182-, the state of Mr Titmouse's There will probably never be want- affairs was this: he owed his landlady ing those who will join in abusing and £1, 9s. ; his washerwoman, 6s. ; his ridiculing attorneys and solicitors. tailor, £1, 8s.-in all, three guineas; Why? In almost every action at law, besides 10s. to Huckaback, (for or suit in equity, or proceeding which Tittlebat's notion was, that on ré-paymay, or may not, lead to one, each ment at any time of 10s., Huckaback client conceives a natural dislike for would be bound to deliver up to him his opponent's attorney or solicitor. the document or voucher which he If the plaintiff succeeds, he hates the had given him,) and a weekly acdefendant's attorney for putting him cruing rent of 7s. to his landlady, be(the said plaintiff) to so much expense, sides some very small sums for washing, and causing him so much vexation tea, bread, and butter, &c. To meet and danger; and, when he comes to these serious liabilities, he had not settle with his own attorney, there is one farthing. not a little heart-burning in looking at On returning to his lodgings that his bill of costs, however reasonable. night, he found a line from ThumbIf the plaintiff fails, of coursé it is screw, his landlady's broker, informthrough the ignorance and unskilful- ing him that, unless by ten o'clock on ness of his attorney or solicitor; and he the next morning his arrears of rent hates almost equally his own and his were paid, lie should distrain, and she opponent's attorney. Precisely so is would also give him notice to quit at it with a successful or unsuccessful des the end of the week: that nothing
could induce her to give him further himself at his table, he felt for a mo. time. He sat down in dismay on ment as if he could have yelled. Starreading this threatening document; vation and Despair, two fiends, seem. and, in sitting down, his eye fell on a ed sitting beside him in shadowy bit of paper lying on the floor, which ghastliness, chilling and palsying him must have been thrust under the door. -petrifying his heart within him. From the marks on it, it was evident WHAT WAS HE to Do ? Why had he that he must have trod upon it in en- been born? Why was he so much more tering: It proved to be a summons persecuted and miserable than any one from the Court of Requests, for £1, 8s. else ? Visions of his ring, his breastdue to Job Cox, his tailor. He de- pin, his studs, stuck in a bit of card, posited it mechanically on the table ; with their price written above them, and for a minute he dared hardly and hanging exposed to his view in breathe.
old Balls' window, almost frenzied This seemed something really like him. Thoughts such as these at a crisis.
length began to suggest others of a After a silent agony of half an hour's dreadful nature.
The means duration, he rose trembling from his were at that instant within his reach. chair, blew out his candle, and, in a
A sharp knock at the door few minutes' time, might have been startled him out of the stupor into seen standing with a pale and troubled which he was sinking. He listened face before the window of old Balls, for a moment, as if he were not certhe pawnbroker, peering through the tain that the sound was a real one. suspended articles—watches, sugar- There seemed a ton weight upon his tongs, rings, brooches, spoons, pins, heart, which a mighty sigh could lift bracelets, knives and forks, seals, for an instant, but not remove ; and chains, &c.—to see whether any one he was in the act of heaving a second else than old Balls were within. Ha- such sigh, as he languidly opened the ving at length watched out a very pale door-expecting to encounter Mr and wretched-looking woman, Tit- Thumbscrew, or some of his myrmi. mouse entered to take her place; and dons, who might not know of his re. after interchanging a few faltering cent settlement with his landlady. words with the white-haired and hard- • Is this Mr-Tit-Titmouse's?' hearted old pawnbroker, produced his enquired a genteel-looking young guard-chain, his breast-pin, and his ring, and obtained three pounds two “ Yes,” replied Titmouse, sadly. shillings and sixpence, on the security “ Are you Mr Titmouse ?” of them. With this sum he slunk “ Yes," he replied, more faintly, out of the shop, and calling on Cox, than before. his tailor, paid his trembling old cre- 66 Oh-I have brought you, sir, a ditor the full amount of his claim (£1, letter from Mr Gammon, of the firm 8s.) together with 4s., the expense of of Quirk, Gammon, and Snap, solicithe summons-simply asking for å
tors, Saffron Hill,” said the stranger, receipt, without uttering another word, unconscious that his words shot a flash for he felt almost choked. In the of light into a little abyss of sorrow same way he dealt with Mrs Squallop, before him. “ He begged me to give his landlady-not uttering one word this letter into your own hands, and in reply to her profuse and voluble said he hoped you'd send him an anapologies, but pressing his lips be. swer by the first morning's post." tween his teeth till the blood came “ Yes-oh-I see-certainly-to be from them, while his heart seemed sure—with pleasure-how is Mr Gambursting within him. Then he walked mon ?-uncommon kind of him-very up stairs, with a desperate air-with humble respects to him-take care to cighteenpence in his pocket-all his answer it" --stammered Titmouse, in
ornaments gone — his washerwoman a breath, hardly knowing whether he yet unpaid-his rent going on-seve- was standing on his head or his heels, ral other little matters unsettled; and and not quite certain where he was. the 10th of August approaching, when “ Good evening, sir," replied the he expected to be dismissed penniless stranger, evidently a little surprised from Mr Tag-rag's, and thrown on at Titmouse's manner, and withdrew. his own resources for subsistence. Titmouse shut his door. When he had regained his room, ând, digious trepidation of hand and flutter having shut the door, had re-seated of spirits, he opened the letter-an
enclosure meeting his eyes in the shape gave him back his precious ornaments, of a bank-note,
and the change out of his note, minus - Oh Lord!” he murmured, turning a trilling sum for interest. Titmouse white as the sheet of paper he held. then started off at top speed to HuckaThen the letter dropped from his back; but it suddenly occurring to him hand, and he stood as if stupified for as possible that that gentleman, on some moments; but presently rap- hearing of his good fortune, might look ture darted through him; a five-pound for an immediate repayment of the ten bank-note was in his hand, and it had shillings he had recently lent to Titbeen enclosed in the following letter: mouse, he stopped short-paused- 35, Thavies' Inn,
and returned home. There he had 29th July 182-.
hardly been seated a moment, when “ My dear Mr Titmouse,
down he pelted again, to buy a sheet 6. Your last note, addressed to our
of paper and a wafer or two, to write firm, has given me the greatest pain, his letter to Mr Gammon; which haand I hasten, on my return from the ving obtained, he returned at the same country, to forward you the enclosed speed, almost overturning his fat landtrifle, which I sincerely hope will be lady, who looked after him as if he of temporary service to you.
were a mad cat scampering up and beg the favour of your company on.
down stairs, and fearing that he had Sunday evening next, at seven o'clock, gone suddenly crazy. The note he to take a glass of wine with me? I
wrote to Mr Gammon was so exceedshall be quite alone and disengaged; ingly extravagant, that, candid as I and may have it in my power to make
have (I trust) hitherto shown myself you some important communications, in the delineation of Mr Titmouse's concerning matters in which, I assure
character, I cannot bring myself to you, I feel a very deep interest on your give the said letter to the readeraccount. Begging the favour of an making all allowances for the extraorearly answer to.morrow morning, I dinary excitement of its writer. trust you will believe me, ever, my
Sleep that night and morning found dear sir, your most faithful humble and left Mr Titmouse the assured exservant, “ Oily GAMMON.
ulting master of TEN THOUSAND) A" TITTLEBAT TITMOUSE, Esq."
YEAR. Of this fact, the oftener he
read Mr Gammon's letter, the stronger The first balmy drop of the long- became his convictions. 'Twas unexpected golden shower had at length doubtedly rather a large inference fallen upon the panting Titmouse.
from small premises; but it secured him How polite-nay, how affectionate and unspeakable happiness, for a time, at respectful—was the note of Mr Gam
a possible cost of future disappointment mon! and, for the first time in his life, and misery, which he did not pause to he saw himself addressed
consider. The fact is, that logic (ac" TITTLEBAT TITMOUSE, Esquire.” cording to Dr Watts, the right use of If his room had been large enough to reason) not a practical art.
No admit of it, Titmouse would have skip- one regards it in actual life ; observe, ped round it again and again in his therefore, folks on all hands constantly frantic ecstasy. Having at length read acting like Tittlebat Titmouse in the over and over again the blessed letter of case before us. His conclusion was Mr Gammon, he hastily folded it up,
that he had become the certain master crumpled up the bank-note in his hand, of ten thousand a-year; his premises clapped his hat on his head, blew out were what the reader has seen. I do not, his candle, rushed down stairs as if a however, mean to say, that if the readmad dog were at his heels, and in three er be a youth hot from the University, or four minutes' time was standing he may not be able to prove, by a very rebreathless before old Balls, whom he fined and ingenious argument, that Tit. almost electrified by asking, with an mouse was, in what he did above, a fine eager and joyous air, for a return of natural logician ; for I recollect that the articles which he had only an hour Aristotle hath demonstrated, by a fabefore pawned with him ; at the same mous argument, that the moon is made time laying down the duplicates and of green cheese ; and no one that I the bank-note. The latter, old Balls have heard of, hath ever been able to scrutinized with most anxious exact. prove the contrary. ness, and even suspicion—but it seem- By six o'clock the next morning, ed perfectly unexceptionable ; so he Titmouse had, with his own hand,
dropped his answer into the letter-box not dreaming of presumptuously goupon the door of Mr Gammon's cham- ing to the pew, but of sitting in some bers in Thavies' Inn; in which answer place that commanded a view of it. he had, with numerous expressions of Mr Gammon, I need hardly say, was profound respect and gratitude, accept- quite unknown there—no one had ever ed Mr Gammon's polite invitation. heard of such a person : nevertheless A very happy man felt he, as he re- Titmouse, albeit a little galled at beturned to Oxford Street ; entering ing, in spite of his elegant appearMessrs Dowlas's premises with alacrity, ance, slipped into a back pew, rejust as they were being opened, and mained—but his thoughts wandered volunteering his assistance in nume- grievously the whole time; on then he rous things beyond his usual province, sauntered in the direction of Hyde with singular briskness and energy; Park, to which he seemed now to as if conscious that by doing so he have a sort of claim. How soon might was greatly gratifying Messrs Quirk, he become, instead of a mere specGammon, and Snap, whose wishes tator as heretofore, a partaker in its upon the subject he knew. He dis- glories! The dawn of the day of played such unwonted cheerfulness fortune was on his long-benighted and patient good-nature throughout soul; and he could hardly subdue his the day, that one of his companions, a excited feelings. Punctual to his apserious youth, in a white neckerchief, pointment, as the clock struck seven black cl and with a sanctified he made his appearance at Mr Gamcountenance-the only professing pious mon's, with a pair of span-new white person in the establishment-took an kid gloves on, and was speedily occasion to ask him, in a mysterious ushered, a little flurried, by a comwhisper, “ whether he had not got fortable. looking elderly female serconverted;" and wliether he would, at vant, into Mr Gammon's room. He six o'clock in the morning, accompany was dressed just as when he was first the speaker to a room in the neigh- presented to the reader, sallying forth bourhood, where he (the youth afore- into Oxford Street to enslave the ladysaid) was going to conduct an exhort world. Mr Gammon, who was sitting ation and prayer meeting ! Titmouse reading the Sunday Flash at a table refused_but not without a few qualms; on which stood a couple of decanters, for luck certainly seemed to be smiling several wine-glasses, and two or three on him, and he felt that he ought to be dishes of fruit, rose and received his grateful for it ; but then, he at length distinguished visiter with the most dereflected, the proper place for that lightful affability. sort of thing would be a regular so I am most happy, Mr Titmouse, church-to which he resolved to go. to see you in this friendly way," said This change of manners Tag-rag, he, shaking him by the hand. however, looked upon as assumed only « Oh, don't name it, sir," quoth to affront him ; seeing nothing but im- Titmouse, rather indistinctly, and haspertinence and defiance in all that Tit- tily running his hand through his hair. mouse did -as if the nearer Titmouse I've nothing, you see, to offer you got to the end of his bondage-i. e. but a little fruit, and a glass of fair the 10th of August—the lighter heart- port or sherry." ed heg
grew. He resolved religiously - Particular fond of them, sir," reto keep his counsel ; to avoid even- plied Titmouse, endeavouring to clear at all events for the present-com- his throat; for in spite of a strong efmunicating with Huckaback.
fort to appear at his ease, he was unsucOn the ensuing Sunday he rose at cessful ; so that, when Gammon's keen an earlier hour than usual, and took eye glanced at the bedizened figure of nearly twice as long a time to dress his guest, a bitter smile passed over his often falling into many delightful re- face, without having been observed. veries. By eleven o'clock he might “ This,” thought he, as his eye be seen entering the gallery of St An- passed from the ring glittering on the drew's Church, Holborn; where he little finger of the right hand, to the considered that doubtless Mr Gam- studs and breast-pin in the shirt front, mon, who lived in the neighbourbood, and thence to the guard-chain glaring might attend. He asked three or four entirely outside a damson-coloured pew-openers, both below and above, satin waistcoat, and the spotless white if they knew which was Mr Gammon's glove which yet glistened on the left pewno Mr Gammon of Thavies' Inn; hand-r. This is the writer of the dis