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tain sections; it will require courage to decline battle. Lord Lansdowne and Mr. Balfour are at once courageous and cautious men; and we have the fullest trust in their judgment. We would not appear to advance a confident opinion; nevertheless, with such lights as we have, we cannot

The Quarterly Review.


It has been said that folk-lore and fairy tales are the only stories which are eternally true. This in itself might be sufficient to ensure immortality to Mr. Pickwick, though he figures as the hero of a comedy of manners, for obviously in the "Pickwick Papers" there is much which is in the nature of fairy tale. By way of witness we need seek no further than that assuredly immortal cricket match between the rather ill-matched elevens of All Muggleton and Dingley Dell.

avoid expressing the hope that, unless circumstances are very different two months hence from what they are now, they will prefer discretion to defiance, and a continuance of useful and vigorous life to the risk of irretrievable disaster.

Dickens's knowledge of the noble game was evidently derived from some midsummer's night's dream. In no waking hours did any man ever see such a match. Dickens has suffered the reproach that he is a caricaturist, rather than character-drawer, but it is hardly to be claimed for this cricket reporting that it is caricature, because caricature preserves the beginnings of a likeness; and there is no likeness at all here. However, it makes good reading, which is all that the author cared about. Of rook shooting he knew more, if not much more, and appears to have all his vivid powers of conception awake to realize the sensations of those gentlemen who had the happiness to be the companions of Mr. Winkle and Mr. Tupman in a shooting party.

But though Dickens would unscrupulously draw fancy pictures of that which he did not know, and caricatures

of that which he did, it was inevitable that all the while that he was sketching his incomparable and on the whole strictly veracious comedy of manners, he should be unconsciously giving sidelights on the setting in which he saw it all cast. It would be the depth of folly as well as of ingratitude to criticise the value of that treasure of huDickens of his own wit and forethought has set out to give us in these "Pickwick Papers," but even so it may fairly be doubted whether this value is higher than that of the picture unwittingly, and necessarily, revealed of the manners of a certain class of people in Dickens's own time.


This class is the middle class; we might label it the upper middle class. Mr. Pickwick is indicated as a retired merchant; Mr. Winkle is the son of a person in a similar way of life, though the father appears only in a late chapter of the story, if it be a story (of this, however, we may discourse further, shortly). We have the professional element in Mr. Perker, Mr. Bob Sawyer and so on. At its supreme social heights the tale touches the gallant profession of arms, as incarnated in those fire-eating and distinctly fairylike gentlemen we meet at Rochester. At the other end of the scale we become acquainted with the Wellers, father and son, Job Trotter, the pretty housemaid, the fat boy, and the rest of the company below stairs, but these

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introduce themselves merely as dependents and incidentals in the life of the principal personages to whom we have assigned their place in the great middle class. Mr. Wardle, probably, as the country squire, must rank a peg higher. His hospitable board might be common meeting-ground for Pickwickians and aristocracy in a day when the divisions of class were drawn rather sharply. It is of some little importance to establish the social position of the travelling members of this immortal club, because the point which is of interest in connection with persons in one sphere would be mere commonplace if they were in another. Thus we may note that through the whole length of this veracious record, dealing with the minute and intricate particulars of human life, we nowhere find mention of such a circumstance as either the illustrious lead


or any humble member of his following. indulging in the luxury, which we in a later day are almost disposed to look upon as the occasional necessity, of a bath. In the sphere of relative altitude in which the Pickwickians moved this is a noticeable fact, for it is opposed to the present habit of the same class. But had it occurred in another phase of society it would have no interest whatever. We might view a similar omission of an observance common in the middle classes with no surprise at all if it occurred in the life history of the gipsy, the tramp, or the agricultural laborer. "Circumstances alter


About the fact-of the bathlessness of the Pickwickians-we may infer that there is no doubt whatever. We have many pleasant notices of Mr. Pickwick's simple toilet, so nicely in accord with his open and ingenuous character, both at uprising and at going to bed. It is nowhere, as it appears, indicated that he wore a nightgown or any other form of nightdress,

but it is distinctly stated more than once that he was in the habit of giving to his benevolent features the amiable crown and setting of a nightcap. In Chapter XXX., wherein is set out, amongst other matters of interest, "How the Pickwickians made and cultivated the acquaintance of a couple of nice young men belonging to one of the liberal professions," it is narrated that Mr. Pickwick inquired, "Well, Sam,' as that favored servitor entered his bedchamber with his warm water on the morning of Christmas Day, "still frosty?'"

"Water in the wash hand basin's a mask o' ice, sir," responded Sam.

"Severe weather, Sam," observed Mr. Pickwick.

"Fine for them as is well wropped up, as the Polar Bear said to himself ven he was practising his skating," replied Mr. Weller.

"I shall be down in a quarter of an hour, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, untying his nightcap.

Now here we have at once positive evidence to the existence of the nightcap and negative (which is all that in the nature of the case we could expect) to the non-existence of the bath. We have even an indication of the style of nightcap of the Pickwickian period; it needed untying in the morning, ergo it had strings, ergo, it was of the species which ties under the chin, like a lady's bonnet. We have further information on this important detail in the narration of that very painful incident of Mr. Pickwick's finding himself in the bedroom of the maiden lady in the "Great White Horse" at Ipswich. The deliberate methods of the great man are thus recorded: "He then took off and folded up his coat, waistcoat and neckcloth, and, slowly drawing on his tasselled nightcap, secured it firmly on his head by tying beneath his chin the strings which he always had attached to that article of dress."

Previously he had leisurely divested himself of his shoes and gaiters, and there is some reason to suppose that when these simple arrangements had been completed he was perfectly ready to go to bed. It appears that he had no nightdress specially so designed and designated.

Several quotations and references might be given to show that no travelling Pickwickian deemed his wardrobe complete without the article of attire which is named a dressing-gown and is pictured for us in several illustrations; but that is quite another garment.

Respecting the non-existence of the bath, of which we have negative proof alone, it is proof which is substantially strengthened by the pace of Mr. Pickwick's toilet, both on this and on other occasions. In this instance, we have seen that he said he should be down in a quarter of an hour, and, as usual, he was as good as his word. On another occasion when he may have made a little better speed than usual, in consequence of Mr. Wardle's hailing him from the garden, he was dressed and down in ten minutes. It would seem that, though he is ever represented to us

as what the French call exceedingly "bien soigné," well groomed, there was little space of time, in his usual matutinal toilet, for either bath or shaving.

In a very early page of this immortal story, that, namely, which records the minutes of the Club's meeting on May 12, 1827, instituting that corresponding branch of the Club which was composed of the four whose fortunes the subsequent pages follow, the respective costumes are incidentally described, and show a variety of individual choice which our day, near a century later, does not permit:

What a study for an artist (writes the author enthusiastically) did that exciting scene (Mr. Pickwick addressing

the Club from the elevation of the Windsor chair) present! The eloquent Pickwick, with one hand gracefully concealed behind his coat tails, and the other waving in air, to assist his glowing declamations: his elevated position revealing those tights and gaiters which, had they clothed an ordinary man, might have passed without observation, but which, when Pickwick clothed them-if we may use the expression-inspired involuntary awe and respect; surrounded by the men who had volunteered to share the perils of his travels, and who were destined to participate in the glories of his discoveries. On his right hand sat Mr. Tracy Tupman-the too susceptible Tupman, who to the wisdom and experience of maturer years superadded the enthusiasm and ardor of a boy, in the most interesting and pardonable of human weaknesses-love. Time and feeling had expanded that once mantic form; the black silk waistcoat had become more and more developed; inch by inch had the gold watch-chain beneath it disappeared from within the range of Tupman's vision; and gradually had the capacious chin encroached upon the borders of the white cravat; but the soul of Tupman had known no change-admiration of the fair sex was still its ruling passion. On the left of his great leader sat the poetic Snodgrass, and near him again the sporting Winkle-the former poetically enveloped in a mysterious blue coat with a canine-skin collar, and the latter communicating additional lustre to a new green shooting-coat, plaid neckerchief, and closely-fitted drabs.


Those were costumes of a picturesqueness of effect with which we cannot vie to-day, and there seems no need to wonder that, thus gloriously apparelled, the idea of any further or varied "dressing" for dinner never seems to have entered into the receptive Pickwickian head. It is perfectly true that we have much reference to a certain dress suit, the property of Mr. Winkle and loaned, entirely without leave, by Mr. Snodgrass to Mr. Jingle-a loan, and a dress suit of very fateful import

-but this yet more striking costume was donned after dinner, long after, for the glorious purposes of the Rochester subscription ball. It was no mere dinner dress. Again, it may be remembered that

if anything could have added to the interest of the agreeable scene (presented by the preparations for the dancing at Manor Farm) it would have been the remarkable fact of Mr. Pickwick's appearing without his gaiters, for the first time within the memory of his oldest friends.

"You mean to dance?" said Wardle.

"Of course I do," replied Mr. Pickwick. "Don't you see I am dressed for the purpose?" Mr. Pickwick called attention to the speckled silk stockings and smartly tied pumps.

And then, of course, followed Mr. Tupman's sad failure in tact, and the strained momentarily relations to which it led. The point is that by the simple process of doffing his gaiters and shoes and donning his silk stockings and pumps Mr. Pickwick was able to feel himself so equipped at all points for the dance that he could ask in surprise, "Don't you see I am dressed for the purpose?" but it is evident that this effective if simple change of attire was executed by Mr. Pickwick after, and not before, dinner, or it could not possibly have escaped public notice as long as it did. It is abundantly evident that the very notion of "dressing for dinner" in our modern sense, had no place with the Pickwickians at all.

No doubt we have to bear in mind that the period was one in which dinner, at one time the midday meal, was At gradually being later deferred. Rochester that famous dinner to which reference has been made already, about which the invited (almost selfinvited) guest had stated "not presume to dictate, but broiled fowl and mushrooms-capital thing"-as indeed it is

the hour set for this dinner was five. The dinner hour in general seems to On have been rather a movable one. the unfortunate day when Mr. Winkle's horse at first went sideways, and finally, having disposed of its rider went back again to Rochester, and the horse which Mr. Pickwick had been driving had reduced the chaise to ruins, so that the whole party had to make most of the journey to Dingley Dell on foot, it does not appear that the unhappy travellers dined at all. We are gratified to be able to think that they enjoyed a substantial breakfast-"broiled ham, eggs, tea, coffee and sundries began to disappear with a rapidity which at once bore testimony to the excellence of the fare and the appetites of its consumers," but, starting at eleven in the morning, it was not till "late in the afternoon" that they turned into the lane leading into Manor Farm. Arrived there, they were received with a hearty welcome, a good grooming of their clothes and persons, but nothing more solidly comThey forting than cherry brandy. were then set down to a rubber and other social entertainments in the parlor till "the evening glided swiftly" (we may take liberty to doubt that word) "away in these cheerful" (but not sustaining) "recreations; and when the substantial though homely supper had been despatched, and the little party formed a social circle round the fire, Mr. Pickwick thought he had never been so happy in his life." Possibly he had begun to doubt whether he should ever taste food again, and his supreme delight was in the reaction from this fear.

Again, only on the following day, the terrific emotions undergone by the Pickwickians in the interval between breakfast and dinner were surely more than any men of the ordinary mould could possibly have endured, for by way of a first act in the drama there

was the rook-shooting with that moving incident of Mr. Tupman saving "the lives of innumerable unoffending birds by receiving a portion of the charge in his left arm," and for a second act such a very remarkable cricket match that it evidently quite surpassed the wit of man to describe it. As for the third and final act of the day, on the belated return to Manor Farm, we must speak of that again a little later. For the moment, it may suffice to note that the dinner, so admirable when they began to do justice to it, was not commenced till all the cricket was over. In the golden and strenuous days of the test match between Dingley Dell and All Muggleton there was no interval even for luncheon, much less for tea.

Dinner, therefore, being, as it would seem, less of a solemn feast, probably because it was known that a big supper was to follow it, than it is with us, it is perhaps the more easily understood why the good Pickwickian did not feel called on to assume a special garb in which to do it honor. He dined in his sufficiently magnificent morning garments, but if he went to a dance thereafter he arrayed himself if possible more gloriously still. Being on the subject of dress, a glance may be thrown on the style of Mr. Samuel Weller's livery thrown in with his wage of £12 a year, namely, “a gray coat, with the P.C. button, a black hat with a cockade to it, a pink striped waistcoat, tight breeches and gaiters" -a neat ensemble, as his comments on his own appearance prove that he appreciated fully.

And now, to touch on a subject which is so very painful that it is as well to get it quickly over and feel that it is behind us, we have to observe that the manners of the Pickwickians and their friends were decidedly a little more convivial than we could possibly approve in persons in the same, or, in

deed, in any class of society to-day. "It wasn't the wine,' murmured Mr. Snodgrass in a broken voice, when Miss Emily Wardle asked with great anxiety whether he was ill, on the return from the cricket match and the dinner. 'It was the salmon.'"

"Hadn't they better go to bed. ma'am?" inquired Emma. "Two of the boys will carry the gentlemen upstairs."

"I won't go to bed," said Mr. Winkle firmly.

"No living being shall carry me." said Mr. Pickwick stoutly; and he went on smiling as before.

"Hurrah!" gasped Mr. Winkle, faintly.

"Hurrah!" echoed Mr. Pickwick, taking off his hat and dashing it on the floor, and insanely casting his spectacles into the middle of the kitchen.

At this humorous feat he laughed outright.

"Let's-have-'nother bottle," cried Mr. Winkle, commencing in a very loud key and ending in a very faint


After a while, however, they all were persuaded to retire, Mr. Snodgrass and Mr. Winkle carried by two young giants, and Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Wardle on the arms of Mr. Tupman and Mr. Trundle respectively.

The spinster aunt ejaculated "What a shocking scene!" both the young ladies observed "Dis-gusting!" and Jingle, who was "a bottle and a-half ahead of any of his companions," said gravely "Dreadful! Dreadful! Horrid


Of course, these were the right and proper sentiments for the ladies on the occasion, but it is evident that the "shock" and the "disgust" did not go very deep really. There is no hint that there were any strained relations between ladies and gentlemen on that dreadful morrow in which the maiden aunt fled under the protection of the faithless Jingle. The truth unquestion

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