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Charles Dickens >> The Pickwick Papers (page 1)


The Pickwick Papers

by Charles Dickens

CONTENTS

1. The Pickwickians

2. The first Day's Journey, and the first Evening'sAdventures; with their Consequences

3. A new Acquaintance--The Stroller's Tale--Adisagreeable Interruption, and an unpleasantEncounter

4. A Field Day and Bivouac--More new Friends--AnInvitation to the Country

5. A short one--Showing, among other Matters, howMr. Pickwick undertook to drive, and Mr. Winkleto ride, and how they both did it

6. An old-fashioned Card-party--The Clergyman'sverses--The Story of the Convict's Return

7. How Mr. Winkle, instead of shooting at the Pigeonand killing the Crow, shot at the Crow andwounded the Pigeon; how the Dingley DellCricket Club played All-Muggleton, and how All-Muggleton dined at the Dingley Dell Expense;with other interesting and instructive Matters

8. Strongly illustrative of the Position, that theCourse of True Love is not a Railway

9. A Discovery and a Chase

10. Clearing up all Doubts (if any existed) of theDisinterestedness of Mr. A. Jingle's Character

11. Involving another Journey, and an AntiquarianDiscovery; Recording Mr. Pickwick's Determinationto be present at an Election; and containinga Manuscript of the old Clergyman's

12. Descriptive of a very important Proceeding onthe Part of Mr. Pickwick; no less an Epoch in hisLife, than in this History

13. Some Account of Eatanswill; of the State ofParties therein; and of the Election of a Memberto serve in Parliament for that ancient, loyal,and patriotic Borough

14. Comprising a brief Description of the Companyat the Peacock assembled; and a Tale told by aBagman

15. In which is given a faithful Portraiture of twodistinguished Persons; and an accurate Descriptionof a public Breakfast in their House and Grounds:which public Breakfast leads to the Recognitionof an old Acquaintance, and the Commencement ofanother Chapter

16. Too full of Adventure to be briefly described

17. Showing that an Attack of Rheumatism, in someCases, acts as a Quickener to inventive Genius

18. Briefly illustrative of two Points; first, thePower of Hysterics, and, secondly, the Force ofCircumstances

19. A pleasant Day with an unpleasant Termination

20. Showing how Dodson and Fogg were Men ofBusiness, and their Clerks Men of pleasure; andhow an affecting Interview took place betweenMr. Weller and his long-lost Parent; showing alsowhat Choice Spirits assembled at the Magpie andStump, and what a Capital Chapter the next onewill be

21. In which the old Man launches forth into hisfavourite Theme, and relates a Story about aqueer Client

22. Mr. Pickwick journeys to Ipswich and meets witha romantic Adventure with a middle-aged Ladyin yellow Curl-papers

23. In which Mr. Samuel Weller begins to devote his Energies to the Return Match between himselfand Mr. Trotter

24. Wherein Mr. Peter Magnus grows jealous, and themiddle-aged Lady apprehensive, which brings thePickwickians within the Grasp of the Law

25. Showing, among a Variety of pleasant Matters,how majestic and impartial Mr. Nupkins was; andhow Mr. Weller returned Mr. Job Trotter'sShuttlecock as heavily as it came--With anotherMatter, which will be found in its Place

26. Which contains a brief Account of the Progressof the Action of Bardell against Pickwick

27. Samuel Weller makes a Pilgrimage to Dorking,and beholds his Mother-in-law

28. A good-humoured Christmas Chapter, containingan Account of a Wedding, and some other Sportsbeside: which although in their Way even as goodCustoms as Marriage itself, are not quite soreligiously kept up, in these degenerate Times

29. The Story of the Goblins who stole a Sexton

30. How the Pickwickians made and cultivated theAcquaintance of a Couple of nice young Menbelonging to one of the liberal Professions; howthey disported themselves on the Ice; and howtheir Visit came to a Conclusion

31. Which is all about the Law, and sundry GreatAuthorities learned therein

32. Describes, far more fully than the Court Newsmanever did, a Bachelor's Party, given by Mr.Bob Sawyer at his Lodgings in the Borough

33. Mr. Weller the elder delivers some Critical Sentimentsrespecting Literary Composition; and,assisted by his Son Samuel, pays a small Instalmentof Retaliation to the Account of the ReverendGentleman with the Red Nose

34. Is wholly devoted to a full and faithful Reportof the memorable Trial of Bardell against Pickwick

35. In which Mr. Pickwick thinks he had better go toBath; and goes accordingly

36. The chief Features of which will be found to bean authentic Version of the Legend of PrinceBladud, and a most extraordinary Calamity thatbefell Mr. Winkle

37. Honourably accounts for Mr. Weller's Absence,by describing a Soiree to which he was invitedand went; also relates how he was intrusted byMr. Pickwick with a Private Mission of Delicacyand Importance

38. How Mr. Winkle, when he stepped out of theFrying-pan, walked gently and comfortably intothe Fire

39. Mr. Samuel Weller, being intrusted with a Missionof Love, proceeds to execute it; with what Successwill hereinafter appear

40. Introduces Mr. Pickwick to a new and not uninterestingScene in the great Drama of Life

41. Whatt befell Mr. Pickwick when he got into theFleet; what Prisoners he saw there; and how hepassed the Night

42. Illustrative, like the preceding one, of the oldProverb, that Adversity brings a Man acquaintedwith strange Bedfellows--Likewise containing Mr.Pickwick's extraordinary and startling Announcementto Mr. Samuel Weller

43. Showing how Mr. Samuel Weller got into Difficulties

44. Treats of divers little Matters which occurredin the Fleet, and of Mr. Winkle's mysteriousBehaviour; and shows how the poor ChanceryPrisoner obtained his Release at last

45. Descriptive of an affecting Interview between Mr.Samuel Weller and a Family Party. Mr. Pickwickmakes a Tour of the diminutive World heinhabits, and resolves to mix with it, in Future,as little as possible

46. Records a touching Act of delicate Feeling notunmixed with Pleasantry, achieved and performedby Messrs. Dodson and Fogg

47. Is chiefly devoted to Matters of Business,and the temporal Advantage of Dodson and Fogg--Mr. Winkle reappears under extraordinaryCircumstances--Mr. Pickwick's Benevolence provesstronger than his Obstinacy

48. Relates how Mr. Pickwick, with the Assistanceof Samuel Weller, essayed to soften the Heartof Mr. Benjamin Allen, and to mollify the Wrathof Mr. Robert Sawyer

49. Containing the Story of the Bagman's Uncle

50. How Mr. Pickwick sped upon his Mission, and howhe was reinforced in the Outset by a mostunexpected Auxiliary

51. In which Mr. Pickwick encounters an oldAcquaintance--To which fortunate Circumstancethe Reader is mainly indebted for Matter ofthrilling Interest herein set down, concerningtwo great Public Men of Might and Power

52. Involving a serious Change in the Weller Family,and the untimely Downfall of Mr. Stiggins

53. Comprising the final Exit of Mr. Jingle and JobTrotter, with a great Morning of business inGray's Inn Square--Concluding with a DoubleKnock at Mr. Perker's Door

54. Containing some Particulars relative to theDouble Knock, and other Matters: among whichcertain interesting Disclosures relative to Mr.Snodgrass and a Young Lady are by no Meansirrelevant to this History

55. Mr. Solomon Pell, assisted by a Select Committeeof Coachmen, arranges the affairs of the elderMr. Weller

56. An important Conference takes place betweenMr. Pickwick and Samuel Weller, at which hisParent assists--An old Gentleman in a snuff-coloured Suit arrives unexpectedly

57. In which the Pickwick Club is finally dissolved,and everything concluded to the Satisfactionof Everybody

THE POSTHUMOUS PAPERSOFTHE PICKWICK CLUB

CHAPTER ITHE PICKWICKIANS

The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and convertsinto a dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlierhistory of the public career of the immortal Pickwick wouldappear to be involved, is derived from the perusal of the followingentry in the Transactions of the Pickwick Club, which the editorof these papers feels the highest pleasure in laying before hisreaders, as a proof of the careful attention, indefatigable assiduity,and nice discrimination, with which his search among the multifariousdocuments confided to him has been conducted.

'May 12, 1827. Joseph Smiggers, Esq., P.V.P.M.P.C. [Perpetual Vice-President--Member Pickwick Club], presiding. The followingresolutions unanimously agreed to:--

'That this Association has heard read, with feelings of unmingledsatisfaction, and unqualified approval, the paper communicated by SamuelPickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C. [General Chairman--Member Pickwick Club],entitled "Speculations on the Source of the Hampstead Ponds, with someObservations on the Theory of Tittlebats;" and that this Associationdoes hereby return its warmest thanks to the said SamuelPickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., for the same.

'That while this Association is deeply sensible of the advantageswhich must accrue to the cause of science, from the productionto which they have just adverted--no less than from the unweariedresearches of Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., in Hornsey,Highgate, Brixton, and Camberwell--they cannot but entertaina lively sense of the inestimable benefits which must inevitablyresult from carrying the speculations of that learned man into awider field, from extending his travels, and, consequently,enlarging his sphere of observation, to the advancement ofknowledge, and the diffusion of learning.

'That, with the view just mentioned, this Association has takeninto its serious consideration a proposal, emanating from theaforesaid, Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., and three otherPickwickians hereinafter named, for forming a new branch ofUnited Pickwickians, under the title of The CorrespondingSociety of the Pickwick Club.

'That the said proposal has received the sanction and approvalof this Association.'That the Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club istherefore hereby constituted; and that Samuel Pickwick, Esq.,G.C.M.P.C., Tracy Tupman, Esq., M.P.C., Augustus Snodgrass,Esq., M.P.C., and Nathaniel Winkle, Esq., M.P.C., are herebynominated and appointed members of the same; and that theybe requested to forward, from time to time, authenticatedaccounts of their journeys and investigations, of their observationsof character and manners, and of the whole of theiradventures, together with all tales and papers to which localscenery or associations may give rise, to the Pickwick Club,stationed in London.

'That this Association cordially recognises the principle ofevery member of the Corresponding Society defraying his owntravelling expenses; and that it sees no objection whatever to themembers of the said society pursuing their inquiries for anylength of time they please, upon the same terms.

'That the members of the aforesaid Corresponding Society be,and are hereby informed, that their proposal to pay the postageof their letters, and the carriage of their parcels, has beendeliberated upon by this Association: that this Associationconsiders such proposal worthy of the great minds from which itemanated, and that it hereby signifies its perfect acquiescencetherein.'

A casual observer, adds the secretary, to whose notes we areindebted for the following account--a casual observer mightpossibly have remarked nothing extraordinary in the bald head,and circular spectacles, which were intently turned towards his(the secretary's) face, during the reading of the above resolutions:to those who knew that the gigantic brain of Pickwick wasworking beneath that forehead, and that the beaming eyes ofPickwick were twinkling behind those glasses, the sight wasindeed an interesting one. There sat the man who had traced totheir source the mighty ponds of Hampstead, and agitated thescientific world with his Theory of Tittlebats, as calm andunmoved as the deep waters of the one on a frosty day, or as asolitary specimen of the other in the inmost recesses of an earthenjar. And how much more interesting did the spectacle become,when, starting into full life and animation, as a simultaneous callfor 'Pickwick' burst from his followers, that illustrious manslowly mounted into the Windsor chair, on which he had beenpreviously seated, and addressed the club himself had founded.What a study for an artist did that exciting scene present! Theeloquent Pickwick, with one hand gracefully concealed behindhis coat tails, and the other waving in air to assist his glowingdeclamation; his elevated position revealing those tights andgaiters, which, had they clothed an ordinary man, might havepassed without observation, but which, when Pickwick clothedthem--if we may use the expression--inspired involuntary aweand respect; surrounded by the men who had volunteered toshare the perils of his travels, and who were destined to participatein the glories of his discoveries. On his right sat Mr. TracyTupman--the too susceptible Tupman, who to the wisdom andexperience of maturer years superadded the enthusiasm andardour of a boy in the most interesting and pardonable of humanweaknesses--love. Time and feeding had expanded that onceromantic form; the black silk waistcoat had become more andmore developed; inch by inch had the gold watch-chain beneathit disappeared from within the range of Tupman's vision; andgradually had the capacious chin encroached upon the borders ofthe white cravat: but the soul of Tupman had known no change--admiration of the fair sex was still its ruling passion. On theleft of his great leader sat the poetic Snodgrass, and near himagain the sporting Winkle; the former poetically enveloped in amysterious blue cloak with a canine-skin collar, and the lattercommunicating additional lustre to a new green shooting-coat,plaid neckerchief, and closely-fitted drabs.

Mr. Pickwick's oration upon this occasion, together with thedebate thereon, is entered on the Transactions of the Club. Bothbear a strong affinity to the discussions of other celebratedbodies; and, as it is always interesting to trace a resemblancebetween the proceedings of great men, we transfer the entry tothese pages.

Title: The Pickwick Papers
Author: Charles Dickens
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