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Chapter 13 Some Account of Eatanswill; of the State of Parties therein; an_f the Election of a Member to serve in Parliament for that ancient, loyal, and patriotic Borough

  • We will frankly acknowledge that, up to the period of our being first immerse_n the voluminous papers of the Pickwick Club, we had never heard o_atanswill; we will with equal candour admit that we have in vain searched fo_roof of the actual existence of such a place at the present day. Knowing th_eep reliance to be placed on every note and statement of Mr. Pickwick’s, an_ot presuming to set up our recollection against the recorded declarations o_hat great man, we have consulted every authority, bearing upon the subject, to which we could possibly refer. We have traced every name in schedules A an_, without meeting with that of Eatanswill; we have minutely examined ever_orner of the pocket county maps issued for the benefit of society by ou_istinguished publishers, and the same result has attended our investigation.
  • We are therefore led to believe that Mr. Pickwick, with that anxious desire t_bstain from giving offence to any, and with those delicate feelings for whic_ll who knew him well know he was so eminently remarkable, purposel_ubstituted a fictitious designation, for the real name of the place in whic_is observations were made. We are confirmed in this belief by a littl_ircumstance, apparently slight and trivial in itself, but when considered i_his point of view, not undeserving of notice. In Mr. Pickwick’s note–book, w_an just trace an entry of the fact, that the places of himself and follower_ere booked by the Norwich coach; but this entry was afterwards lined through, as if for the purpose of concealing even the direction in which the borough i_ituated. We will not, therefore, hazard a guess upon the subject, but will a_nce proceed with this history, content with the materials which it_haracters have provided for us.
  • It appears, then, that the Eatanswill people, like the people of many othe_mall towns, considered themselves of the utmost and most mighty importance, and that every man in Eatanswill, conscious of the weight that attached to hi_xample, felt himself bound to unite, heart and soul, with one of the tw_reat parties that divided the town—the Blues and the Buffs. Now the Blue_ost no opportunity of opposing the Buffs, and the Buffs lost no opportunit_f opposing the Blues; and the consequence was, that whenever the Buffs an_lues met together at public meeting, town–hall, fair, or market, disputes an_igh words arose between them. With these dissensions it is almost superfluou_o say that everything in Eatanswill was made a party question. If the Buff_roposed to new skylight the market–place, the Blues got up public meetings, and denounced the proceeding; if the Blues proposed the erection of a_dditional pump in the High Street, the Buffs rose as one man and stood aghas_t the enormity. There were Blue shops and Buff shops, Blue inns and Buf_nns—there was a Blue aisle and a Buff aisle in the very church itself.
  • Of course it was essentially and indispensably necessary that each of thes_owerful parties should have its chosen organ and representative: and, accordingly, there were two newspapers in the town—the Eatanswill Gazette an_he Eatanswill Independent; the former advocating Blue principles, and th_atter conducted on grounds decidedly Buff. Fine newspapers they were. Suc_eading articles, and such spirited attacks!—‘Our worthless contemporary, th_azette’—‘That disgraceful and dastardly journal, the Independent’—‘That fals_nd scurrilous print, the Independent’—‘That vile and slanderous calumniator, the Gazette;’ these, and other spirit–stirring denunciations, were strew_lentifully over the columns of each, in every number, and excited feelings o_he most intense delight and indignation in the bosoms of the townspeople.
  • Mr. Pickwick, with his usual foresight and sagacity, had chosen a peculiarl_esirable moment for his visit to the borough. Never was such a contest known.
  • The Honourable Samuel Slumkey, of Slumkey Hall, was the Blue candidate; an_oratio Fizkin, Esq., of Fizkin Lodge, near Eatanswill, had been prevaile_pon by his friends to stand forward on the Buff interest. The Gazette warne_he electors of Eatanswill that the eyes not only of England, but of the whol_ivilised world, were upon them; and the Independent imperatively demanded t_now, whether the constituency of Eatanswill were the grand fellows they ha_lways taken them for, or base and servile tools, undeserving alike of th_ame of Englishmen and the blessings of freedom. Never had such a commotio_gitated the town before.
  • It was late in the evening when Mr. Pickwick and his companions, assisted b_am, dismounted from the roof of the Eatanswill coach. Large blue silk flag_ere flying from the windows of the Town Arms Inn, and bills were posted i_very sash, intimating, in gigantic letters, that the Honourable Samue_lumkey’s committee sat there daily. A crowd of idlers were assembled in th_oad, looking at a hoarse man in the balcony, who was apparently talkin_imself very red in the face in Mr. Slumkey’s behalf; but the force and poin_f whose arguments were somewhat impaired by the perpetual beating of fou_arge drums which Mr. Fizkin’s committee had stationed at the street corner.
  • There was a busy little man beside him, though, who took off his hat a_ntervals and motioned to the people to cheer, which they regularly did, mos_nthusiastically; and as the red–faced gentleman went on talking till he wa_edder in the face than ever, it seemed to answer his purpose quite as well a_f anybody had heard him.
  • The Pickwickians had no sooner dismounted than they were surrounded by _ranch mob of the honest and independent, who forthwith set up three deafenin_heers, which being responded to by the main body (for it’s not at al_ecessary for a crowd to know what they are cheering about), swelled into _remendous roar of triumph, which stopped even the red–faced man in th_alcony.
  • ‘Hurrah!’ shouted the mob, in conclusion.
  • ‘One cheer more,’ screamed the little fugleman in the balcony, and out shoute_he mob again, as if lungs were cast–iron, with steel works.
  • ‘Slumkey for ever!’ roared the honest and independent.
  • ‘Slumkey for ever!’ echoed Mr. Pickwick, taking off his hat. ‘No Fizkin!’ roared the crowd.
  • ‘Certainly not!’ shouted Mr. Pickwick. ‘Hurrah!’ And then there was anothe_oaring, like that of a whole menagerie when the elephant has rung the bel_or the cold meat.
  • ‘Who is Slumkey?‘whispered Mr. Tupman.
  • ‘I don’t know,’ replied Mr. Pickwick, in the same tone. ‘Hush. Don’t ask an_uestions. It’s always best on these occasions to do what the mob do.’
  • ‘But suppose there are two mobs?’ suggested Mr. Snodgrass.
  • ‘Shout with the largest,’ replied Mr. Pickwick.
  • Volumes could not have said more.
  • They entered the house, the crowd opening right and left to let them pass, an_heering vociferously. The first object of consideration was to secur_uarters for the night.
  • ‘Can we have beds here?’ inquired Mr. Pickwick, summoning the waiter.
  • ‘Don’t know, Sir,’ replied the man; ‘afraid we’re full, sir—I’ll inquire, Sir.’ Away he went for that purpose, and presently returned, to ask whethe_he gentleman were ‘Blue.’
  • As neither Mr. Pickwick nor his companions took any vital interest in th_ause of either candidate, the question was rather a difficult one to answer.
  • In this dilemma Mr. Pickwick bethought himself of his new friend, Mr. Perker.
  • ‘Do you know a gentleman of the name of Perker?’ inquired Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Certainly, Sir; Honourable Mr. Samuel Slumkey’s agent.’
  • ‘He is Blue, I think?’
  • ‘Oh, yes, Sir.’
  • ‘Then we are Blue,’ said Mr. Pickwick; but observing that the man looke_ather doubtful at this accommodating announcement, he gave him his card, an_esired him to present it to Mr. Perker forthwith, if he should happen to b_n the house. The waiter retired; and reappearing almost immediately with _equest that Mr. Pickwick would follow him, led the way to a large room on th_irst floor, where, seated at a long table covered with books and papers, wa_r. Perker.
  • ‘Ah—ah, my dear Sir,’ said the little man, advancing to meet him; ‘very happ_o see you, my dear Sir, very. Pray sit down. So you have carried you_ntention into effect. You have come down here to see an election—eh?’ Mr.
  • Pickwick replied in the affirmative.
  • ‘Spirited contest, my dear sir,’ said the little man.
  • ‘I’m delighted to hear it,’ said Mr. Pickwick, rubbing his hands. ‘I like t_ee sturdy patriotism, on whatever side it is called forth—and so it’s _pirited contest?’
  • ‘Oh, yes,’ said the little man, ‘very much so indeed. We have opened all th_ublic–houses in the place, and left our adversary nothing but th_eer–shops–masterly stroke of policy that, my dear Sir, eh?’ The little ma_miled complacently, and took a large pinch of snuff.
  • ‘And what are the probabilities as to the result of the contest?’ inquired Mr.
  • Pickwick.
  • ‘Why, doubtful, my dear Sir; rather doubtful as yet,’ replied the little man.
  • ‘Fizkin’s people have got three–and–thirty voters in the lock–up coach–hous_t the White Hart.’
  • ‘In the coach–house!’ said Mr. Pickwick, considerably astonished by thi_econd stroke of policy.
  • ‘They keep ’em locked up there till they want ’em,’ resumed the little man.
  • ‘The effect of that is, you see, to prevent our getting at them; and even i_e could, it would be of no use, for they keep them very drunk on purpose.
  • Smart fellow Fizkin’s agent—very smart fellow indeed.’
  • Mr. Pickwick stared, but said nothing.
  • ‘We are pretty confident, though,’ said Mr. Perker, sinking his voice almos_o a whisper. ‘We had a little tea–party here, last night—five–and–fort_omen, my dear sir—and gave every one of ’em a green parasol when she wen_way.’
  • ‘A parasol!’ said Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Fact, my dear Sir, fact. Five–and–forty green parasols, at seven and sixpenc_–piece. All women like finery—extraordinary the effect of those parasols.
  • Secured all their husbands, and half their brothers—beats stockings, an_lannel, and all that sort of thing hollow. My idea, my dear Sir, entirely.
  • Hail, rain, or sunshine, you can’t walk half a dozen yards up the street, without encountering half a dozen green parasols.’
  • Here the little man indulged in a convulsion of mirth, which was only checke_y the entrance of a third party.
  • This was a tall, thin man, with a sandy–coloured head inclined to baldness, and a face in which solemn importance was blended with a look of unfathomabl_rofundity. He was dressed in a long brown surtout, with a black clot_aistcoat, and drab trousers. A double eyeglass dangled at his waistcoat; an_n his head he wore a very low–crowned hat with a broad brim. The new–come_as introduced to Mr. Pickwick as Mr. Pott, the editor of the Eatanswil_azette. After a few preliminary remarks, Mr. Pott turned round to Mr.
  • Pickwick, and said with solemnity—
  • ‘This contest excites great interest in the metropolis, sir?’
  • ‘I believe it does,’ said Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘To which I have reason to know,’ said Pott, looking towards Mr. Perker fo_orroboration—‘to which I have reason to know that my article of last Saturda_n some degree contributed.’
  • ‘Not the least doubt of it,’ said the little man.
  • ‘The press is a mighty engine, sir,’ said Pott.
  • Mr. Pickwick yielded his fullest assent to the proposition.
  • ‘But I trust, sir,’ said Pott, ‘that I have never abused the enormous power _ield. I trust, sir, that I have never pointed the noble instrument which i_laced in my hands, against the sacred bosom of private life, or the tende_reast of individual reputation; I trust, sir, that I have devoted my energie_o—to endeavours—humble they may be, humble I know they are—to instil thos_rinciples of—which—are—’
  • Here the editor of the Eatanswill Gazette, appearing to ramble, Mr. Pickwic_ame to his relief, and said—
  • ‘Certainly.’
  • ‘And what, Sir,’ said Pott—‘what, Sir, let me ask you as an impartial man, i_he state of the public mind in London, with reference to my contest with th_ndependent?’
  • ‘Greatly excited, no doubt,’ interposed Mr. Perker, with a look of slynes_hich was very likely accidental.
  • ‘The contest,’ said Pott, ‘shall be prolonged so long as I have health an_trength, and that portion of talent with which I am gifted. From tha_ontest, Sir, although it may unsettle men’s minds and excite their feelings, and render them incapable for the discharge of the everyday duties of ordinar_ife; from that contest, sir, I will never shrink, till I have set my hee_pon the Eatanswill Independent. I wish the people of London, and the peopl_f this country to know, sir, that they may rely upon me—that I will no_esert them, that I am resolved to stand by them, Sir, to the last.’ ‘You_onduct is most noble, Sir,’ said Mr. Pickwick; and he grasped the hand of th_agnanimous Pott. ‘You are, sir, I perceive, a man of sense and talent,’ sai_r. Pott, almost breathless with the vehemence of his patriotic declaration.
  • ‘I am most happy, sir, to make the acquaintance of such a man.’
  • ‘And I,’ said Mr. Pickwick, ‘feel deeply honoured by this expression of you_pinion. Allow me, sir, to introduce you to my fellow–travellers, the othe_orresponding members of the club I am proud to have founded.’
  • ‘I shall be delighted,’ said Mr. Pott.
  • Mr. Pickwick withdrew, and returning with his friends, presented them in du_orm to the editor of the Eatanswill Gazette.
  • ‘Now, my dear Pott,’ said little Mr. Perker, ‘the question is, what are we t_o with our friends here?’
  • ‘We can stop in this house, I suppose,’ said Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Not a spare bed in the house, my dear sir—not a single bed.’
  • ‘Extremely awkward,’ said Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Very,’ said his fellow–voyagers.
  • ‘I have an idea upon this subject,’ said Mr. Pott, ‘which I think may be ver_uccessfully adopted. They have two beds at the Peacock, and I can boldly say, on behalf of Mrs. Pott, that she will be delighted to accommodate Mr. Pickwic_nd any one of his friends, if the other two gentlemen and their servant d_ot object to shifting, as they best can, at the Peacock.’
  • After repeated pressings on the part of Mr. Pott, and repeated protestation_n that of Mr. Pickwick that he could not think of incommoding or troublin_is amiable wife, it was decided that it was the only feasible arrangemen_hat could be made. So it was made; and after dinner together at the Tow_rms, the friends separated, Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass repairing to th_eacock, and Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Winkle proceeding to the mansion of Mr.
  • Pott; it having been previously arranged that they should all reassemble a_he Town Arms in the morning, and accompany the Honourable Samuel Slumkey’_rocession to the place of nomination.
  • Mr. Pott’s domestic circle was limited to himself and his wife. All men who_ighty genius has raised to a proud eminence in the world, have usually som_ittle weakness which appears the more conspicuous from the contrast i_resents to their general character. If Mr. Pott had a weakness, it was, perhaps, that he was rather too submissive to the somewhat contemptuou_ontrol and sway of his wife. We do not feel justified in laying an_articular stress upon the fact, because on the present occasion all Mrs.
  • Pott’s most winning ways were brought into requisition to receive the tw_entlemen.
  • ‘My dear,’ said Mr. Pott, ‘Mr. Pickwick—Mr. Pickwick of London.’
  • Mrs. Pott received Mr. Pickwick’s paternal grasp of the hand with enchantin_weetness; and Mr. Winkle, who had not been announced at all, sidled an_owed, unnoticed, in an obscure corner.
  • ‘P. my dear’—said Mrs. Pott.
  • ‘My life,’ said Mr. Pott.
  • ‘Pray introduce the other gentleman.’
  • ‘I beg a thousand pardons,’ said Mr. Pott. ‘Permit me, Mrs. Pott, Mr.—’
  • ‘Winkle,’ said Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Winkle,’ echoed Mr. Pott; and the ceremony of introduction was complete.
  • ‘We owe you many apologies, ma’am,’ said Mr. Pickwick, ‘for disturbing you_omestic arrangements at so short a notice.’
  • ‘I beg you won’t mention it, sir,’ replied the feminine Pott, with vivacity.
  • ‘It is a high treat to me, I assure you, to see any new faces; living as I do, from day to day, and week to week, in this dull place, and seeing nobody.’
  • ‘Nobody, my dear!’ exclaimed Mr. Pott archly.
  • ‘Nobody but you,’ retorted Mrs. Pott, with asperity.
  • ‘You see, Mr. Pickwick,’ said the host in explanation of his wife’s lament, ‘that we are in some measure cut off from many enjoyments and pleasures o_hich we might otherwise partake. My public station, as editor of th_atanswill Gazette, the position which that paper holds in the country, m_onstant immersion in the vortex of politics—’
  • ‘P. my dear—’ interposed Mrs. Pott.
  • ‘My life—’ said the editor.
  • ‘I wish, my dear, you would endeavour to find some topic of conversation i_hich these gentlemen might take some rational interest.’
  • ‘But, my love,’ said Mr. Pott, with great humility, ‘Mr. Pickwick does take a_nterest in it.’
  • ‘It’s well for him if he can,’ said Mrs. Pott emphatically; ‘I am wearied ou_f my life with your politics, and quarrels with the Independent, an_onsense. I am quite astonished, P., at your making such an exhibition of you_bsurdity.’
  • ‘But, my dear—’ said Mr. Pott.
  • ‘Oh, nonsense, don’t talk to me,’ said Mrs. Pott. ‘Do you play ecarte, Sir?’
  • ‘I shall be very happy to learn under your tuition,’ replied Mr. Winkle.
  • ‘Well, then, draw that little table into this window, and let me get out o_earing of those prosy politics.’
  • ‘Jane,’ said Mr. Pott, to the servant who brought in candles, ‘go down int_he office, and bring me up the file of the Gazette for eighteen hundred an_wenty–six. I’ll read you,’ added the editor, turning to Mr. Pickwick—‘I’l_ust read you a few of the leaders I wrote at that time upon the Buff job o_ppointing a new tollman to the turnpike here; I rather think they’ll amus_ou.’
  • ‘I should like to hear them very much indeed,’ said Mr. Pickwick.
  • Up came the file, and down sat the editor, with Mr. Pickwick at his side.
  • We have in vain pored over the leaves of Mr. Pickwick’s note–book, in the hop_f meeting with a general summary of these beautiful compositions. We hav_very reason to believe that he was perfectly enraptured with the vigour an_reshness of the style; indeed Mr. Winkle has recorded the fact that his eye_ere closed, as if with excess of pleasure, during the whole time of thei_erusal.
  • The announcement of supper put a stop both to the game of ecarte, and th_ecapitulation of the beauties of the Eatanswill Gazette. Mrs. Pott was in th_ighest spirits and the most agreeable humour. Mr. Winkle had already mad_onsiderable progress in her good opinion, and she did not hesitate to infor_im, confidentially, that Mr. Pickwick was ‘a delightful old dear.’ Thes_erms convey a familiarity of expression, in which few of those who wer_ntimately acquainted with that colossal–minded man, would have presumed t_ndulge. We have preserved them, nevertheless, as affording at once a touchin_nd a convincing proof of the estimation in which he was held by every clas_f society, and the case with which he made his way to their hearts an_eelings.
  • It was a late hour of the night—long after Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass ha_allen asleep in the inmost recesses of the Peacock—when the two friend_etired to rest. Slumber soon fell upon the senses of Mr. Winkle, but hi_eelings had been excited, and his admiration roused; and for many hours afte_leep had rendered him insensible to earthly objects, the face and figure o_he agreeable Mrs. Pott presented themselves again and again to his wanderin_magination.
  • The noise and bustle which ushered in the morning were sufficient to dispe_rom the mind of the most romantic visionary in existence, any association_ut those which were immediately connected with the rapidly–approachin_lection. The beating of drums, the blowing of horns and trumpets, th_houting of men, and tramping of horses, echoed and re—echoed through th_treets from the earliest dawn of day; and an occasional fight between th_ight skirmishers of either party at once enlivened the preparations, an_greeably diversified their character. ‘Well, Sam,’ said Mr. Pickwick, as hi_alet appeared at his bedroom door, just as he was concluding his toilet; ‘al_live to–day, I suppose?’
  • ‘Reg’lar game, sir,’ replied Mr. Weller; ‘our people’s a–collecting down a_he Town Arms, and they’re a–hollering themselves hoarse already.’
  • ‘Ah,’ said Mr. Pickwick, ‘do they seem devoted to their party, Sam?’
  • ‘Never see such dewotion in my life, Sir.’
  • ‘Energetic, eh?’ said Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Uncommon,’ replied Sam; ‘I never see men eat and drink so much afore. _onder they ain’t afeer’d o’ bustin’.’
  • ‘That’s the mistaken kindness of the gentry here,’ said Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Wery likely,’ replied Sam briefly.
  • ‘Fine, fresh, hearty fellows they seem,’ said Mr. Pickwick, glancing from th_indow.
  • ‘Wery fresh,’ replied Sam; ‘me and the two waiters at the Peacock has bee_–pumpin’ over the independent woters as supped there last night.’
  • ‘Pumping over independent voters!’ exclaimed Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Yes,’ said his attendant, ‘every man slept vere he fell down; we dragged ’e_ut, one by one, this mornin’, and put ’em under the pump, and they’re i_eg’lar fine order now. Shillin’ a head the committee paid for that ‘ere job.’
  • ‘Can such things be!’ exclaimed the astonished Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Lord bless your heart, sir,’ said Sam, ‘why where was you hal_aptised?—that’s nothin’, that ain’t.’
  • ‘Nothing?‘said Mr. Pickwick. ‘Nothin’ at all, Sir,’ replied his attendant.
  • ‘The night afore the last day o’ the last election here, the opposite part_ribed the barmaid at the Town Arms, to hocus the brandy–and–water of fourtee_npolled electors as was a–stoppin’ in the house.’
  • ‘What do you mean by “hocussing” brandy–and–water?’ inquired Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Puttin’ laud’num in it,’ replied Sam. ‘Blessed if she didn’t send ’em all t_leep till twelve hours arter the election was over. They took one man up t_he booth, in a truck, fast asleep, by way of experiment, but it was n_o—they wouldn’t poll him; so they brought him back, and put him to be_gain.’ ‘Strange practices, these,’ said Mr. Pickwick; half speaking t_imself and half addressing Sam.
  • ‘Not half so strange as a miraculous circumstance as happened to my ow_ather, at an election time, in this wery place, Sir,’ replied Sam.
  • ‘What was that?’ inquired Mr. Pickwick.
  • ‘Why, he drove a coach down here once,’ said Sam; ‘‘lection time came on, an_e was engaged by vun party to bring down woters from London. Night afore h_as going to drive up, committee on t’ other side sends for him quietly, an_way he goes vith the messenger, who shows him in;—large room—lots o_en’l’m’n—heaps of papers, pens and ink, and all that ‘ere. “Ah, Mr. Weller,” says the gen’l’m’n in the chair, “glad to see you, sir; how are you?”—“Wer_ell, thank ‘ee, Sir,” says my father; “I hope you’re pretty middlin,” say_e.—“Pretty well, thank’ee, Sir,” says the gen’l’m’n; “sit down, Mr.
  • Weller—pray sit down, sir.” So my father sits down, and he and the gen’l’m’_ooks wery hard at each other. “You don’t remember me?” said th_en’l’m’n.—“Can’t say I do,” says my father.—“Oh, I know you,” says th_en’l’m’n: “know’d you when you was a boy,” says he.—“Well, I don’t remembe_ou,” says my father.—“That’s wery odd,” says the gen’l’m’n.”—“Wery,” says m_ather.—“You must have a bad mem’ry, Mr. Weller,” says the gen’l’m’n.—“Well, it is a wery bad ’un,” says my father.—“I thought so,” says the gen’l’m’n. S_hen they pours him out a glass of wine, and gammons him about his driving, and gets him into a reg’lar good humour, and at last shoves a twenty–poun_ote into his hand. “It’s a wery bad road between this and London,” says th_en’l’m’n.—“Here and there it is a heavy road,” says my father.—” ‘Speciall_ear the canal, I think,” says the gen’l’m’n.—“Nasty bit that ‘ere,” says m_ather.—“Well, Mr. Weller,” says the gen’l’m’n, “you’re a wery good whip, an_an do what you like with your horses, we know. We’re all wery fond o’ you, Mr. Weller, so in case you should have an accident when you’re bringing thes_ere woters down, and should tip ’em over into the canal vithout hurtin’ of ’em, this is for yourself,” says he.—“Gen’l’m’n, you’re wery kind,” says m_ather, “and I’ll drink your health in another glass of wine,” says he; vic_e did, and then buttons up the money, and bows himself out. You wouldn’_elieve, sir,’ continued Sam, with a look of inexpressible impudence at hi_aster, ‘that on the wery day as he came down with them woters, his coach wa_pset on that ‘ere wery spot, and ev’ry man on ’em was turned into the canal.’
  • ‘And got out again?’ inquired Mr. Pickwick hastily.
  • ‘Why,’ replied Sam very slowly, ‘I rather think one old gen’l’m’n was missin’; I know his hat was found, but I ain’t quite certain whether his head was in i_r not. But what I look at is the hex–traordinary and wonderful coincidence, that arter what that gen’l’m’n said, my father’s coach should be upset in tha_ery place, and on that wery day!’
  • ‘it is, no doubt, a very extraordinary circumstance indeed,’ said Mr.
  • Pickwick. ‘But brush my hat, Sam, for I hear Mr. Winkle calling me t_reakfast.’
  • With these words Mr. Pickwick descended to the parlour, where he foun_reakfast laid, and the family already assembled. The meal was hastil_espatched; each of the gentlemen’s hats was decorated with an enormous blu_avour, made up by the fair hands of Mrs. Pott herself; and as Mr. Winkle ha_ndertaken to escort that lady to a house–top, in the immediate vicinity o_he hustings, Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Pott repaired alone to the Town Arms, fro_he back window of which, one of Mr. Slumkey’s committee was addressing si_mall boys and one girl, whom he dignified, at every second sentence, with th_mposing title of ‘Men of Eatanswill,’ whereat the six small boys aforesai_heered prodigiously.
  • The stable–yard exhibited unequivocal symptoms of the glory and strength o_he Eatanswill Blues. There was a regular army of blue flags, some with on_andle, and some with two, exhibiting appropriate devices, in golde_haracters four feet high, and stout in proportion. There was a grand band o_rumpets, bassoons, and drums, marshalled four abreast, and earning thei_oney, if ever men did, especially the drum–beaters, who were very muscular.
  • There were bodies of constables with blue staves, twenty committee–men wit_lue scarfs, and a mob of voters with blue cockades. There were electors o_orseback and electors afoot. There was an open carriage–and–four, for th_onourable Samuel Slumkey; and there were four carriage–and–pair, for hi_riends and supporters; and the flags were rustling, and the band was playing, and the constables were swearing, and the twenty committee–men wer_quabbling, and the mob were shouting, and the horses were backing, and th_ost–boys perspiring; and everybody, and everything, then and there assembled, was for the special use, behoof, honour, and renown, of the Honourable Samue_lumkey, of Slumkey Hall, one of the candidates for the representation of th_orough of Eatanswill, in the Commons House of Parliament of the Unite_ingdom. Loud and long were the cheers, and mighty was the rustling of one o_he blue flags, with ‘Liberty of the Press’ inscribed thereon, when the sand_ead of Mr. Pott was discerned in one of the windows, by the mob beneath; an_remendous was the enthusiasm when the Honourable Samuel Slumkey himself, i_op–boots, and a blue neckerchief, advanced and seized the hand of the sai_ott, and melodramatically testified by gestures to the crowd, hi_neffaceable obligations to the Eatanswill Gazette.
  • ‘Is everything ready?’ said the Honourable Samuel Slumkey to Mr. Perker.
  • ‘Everything, my dear Sir,’ was the little man’s reply.
  • ‘Nothing has been omitted, I hope?’ said the Honourable Samuel Slumkey.
  • ‘Nothing has been left undone, my dear sir—nothing whatever. There are twent_ashed men at the street door for you to shake hands with; and six children i_rms that you’re to pat on the head, and inquire the age of; be particula_bout the children, my dear sir—it has always a great effect, that sort o_hing.’
  • ‘I’ll take care,’ said the Honourable Samuel Slumkey.
  • ‘And, perhaps, my dear Sir,’ said the cautious little man, ‘perhaps if yo_ould—I don’t mean to say it’s indispensable—but if you could manage to kis_ne of ’em, it would produce a very great impression on the crowd.’
  • ‘Wouldn’t it have as good an effect if the proposer or seconder did that?’ said the Honourable Samuel Slumkey.
  • ‘Why, I am afraid it wouldn’t,’ replied the agent; ‘if it were done b_ourself, my dear Sir, I think it would make you very popular.’
  • ‘Very well,’ said the Honourable Samuel Slumkey, with a resigned air, ‘then i_ust be done. That’s all.’
  • ‘Arrange the procession,’ cried the twenty committee–men.
  • Amidst the cheers of the assembled throng, the band, and the constables, an_he committee–men, and the voters, and the horsemen, and the carriages, too_heir places—each of the two–horse vehicles being closely packed with as man_entlemen as could manage to stand upright in it; and that assigned to Mr.
  • Perker, containing Mr. Pickwick, Mr. Tupman, Mr. Snodgrass, and about half _ozen of the committee besides.
  • There was a moment of awful suspense as the procession waited for th_onourable Samuel Slumkey to step into his carriage. Suddenly the crowd set u_ great cheering.
  • ‘He has come out,’ said little Mr. Perker, greatly excited; the more so a_heir position did not enable them to see what was going forward.
  • Another cheer, much louder.
  • ‘He has shaken hands with the men,’ cried the little agent.
  • Another cheer, far more vehement.
  • ‘He has patted the babies on the head,’ said Mr. Perker, trembling wit_nxiety.
  • A roar of applause that rent the air.
  • ‘He has kissed one of ’em!’ exclaimed the delighted little man.
  • A second roar.
  • ‘He has kissed another,’ gasped the excited manager.
  • A third roar.
  • ‘He’s kissing ’em all!’ screamed the enthusiastic little gentleman, and haile_y the deafening shouts of the multitude, the procession moved on.
  • How or by what means it became mixed up with the other procession, and how i_as ever extricated from the confusion consequent thereupon, is more than w_an undertake to describe, inasmuch as Mr. Pickwick’s hat was knocked over hi_yes, nose, and mouth, by one poke of a Buff flag–staff, very early in th_roceedings. He describes himself as being surrounded on every side, when h_ould catch a glimpse of the scene, by angry and ferocious countenances, by _ast cloud of dust, and by a dense crowd of combatants. He represents himsel_s being forced from the carriage by some unseen power, and being personall_ngaged in a pugilistic encounter; but with whom, or how, or why, he is wholl_nable to state. He then felt himself forced up some wooden steps by th_ersons from behind; and on removing his hat, found himself surrounded by hi_riends, in the very front of the left hand side of the hustings. The righ_as reserved for the Buff party, and the centre for the mayor and hi_fficers; one of whom—the fat crier of Eatanswill—was ringing an enormou_ell, by way of commanding silence, while Mr. Horatio Fizkin, and th_onourable Samuel Slumkey, with their hands upon their hearts, were bowin_ith the utmost affability to the troubled sea of heads that inundated th_pen space in front; and from whence arose a storm of groans, and shouts, an_ells, and hootings, that would have done honour to an earthquake.
  • ‘There’s Winkle,’ said Mr. Tupman, pulling his friend by the sleeve.
  • ‘Where!’ said Mr. Pickwick, putting on his spectacles, which he ha_ortunately kept in his pocket hitherto. ‘There,’ said Mr. Tupman, ‘on the to_f that house.’ And there, sure enough, in the leaden gutter of a tiled roof, were Mr. Winkle and Mrs. Pott, comfortably seated in a couple of chairs, waving their handkerchiefs in token of recognition—a compliment which Mr.
  • Pickwick returned by kissing his hand to the lady.
  • The proceedings had not yet commenced; and as an inactive crowd is generall_isposed to be jocose, this very innocent action was sufficient to awake_heir facetiousness.
  • ‘Oh, you wicked old rascal,’ cried one voice, ‘looking arter the girls, ar_ou?’
  • ‘Oh, you wenerable sinner,’ cried another.
  • ‘Putting on his spectacles to look at a married ‘ooman!’ said a third.
  • ‘I see him a–winkin’ at her, with his wicked old eye,’ shouted a fourth.
  • ‘Look arter your wife, Pott,’ bellowed a fifth—and then there was a roar o_aughter.
  • As these taunts were accompanied with invidious comparisons between Mr.
  • Pickwick and an aged ram, and several witticisms of the like nature; and a_hey moreover rather tended to convey reflections upon the honour of a_nnocent lady, Mr. Pickwick’s indignation was excessive; but as silence wa_roclaimed at the moment, he contented himself by scorching the mob with _ook of pity for their misguided minds, at which they laughed mor_oisterously than ever.
  • ‘Silence!’ roared the mayor’s attendants.
  • ‘Whiffin, proclaim silence,’ said the mayor, with an air of pomp befitting hi_ofty station. In obedience to this command the crier performed anothe_oncerto on the bell, whereupon a gentleman in the crowd called out ‘Muffins’; which occasioned another laugh.
  • ‘Gentlemen,’ said the mayor, at as loud a pitch as he could possibly force hi_oice to—‘gentlemen. Brother electors of the borough of Eatanswill. We are me_ere to–day for the purpose of choosing a representative in the room of ou_ate—’
  • Here the mayor was interrupted by a voice in the crowd.
  • ‘Suc–cess to the mayor!’ cried the voice, ‘and may he never desert the nai_nd sarspan business, as he got his money by.’
  • This allusion to the professional pursuits of the orator was received with _torm of delight, which, with a bell–accompaniment, rendered the remainder o_is speech inaudible, with the exception of the concluding sentence, in whic_e thanked the meeting for the patient attention with which they heard hi_hroughout—an expression of gratitude which elicited another burst of mirth, of about a quarter of an hour’s duration.
  • Next, a tall, thin gentleman, in a very stiff white neckerchief, after bein_epeatedly desired by the crowd to ‘send a boy home, to ask whether he hadn’_eft his voice under the pillow,’ begged to nominate a fit and proper perso_o represent them in Parliament. And when he said it was Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, near Eatanswill, the Fizkinites applauded, and th_lumkeyites groaned, so long, and so loudly, that both he and the seconde_ight have sung comic songs in lieu of speaking, without anybody’s being a bi_he wiser.
  • The friends of Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, having had their innings, a littl_holeric, pink–faced man stood forward to propose another fit and prope_erson to represent the electors of Eatanswill in Parliament; and ver_wimmingly the pink–faced gentleman would have got on, if he had not bee_ather too choleric to entertain a sufficient perception of the fun of th_rowd. But after a very few sentences of figurative eloquence, the pink–face_entleman got from denouncing those who interrupted him in the mob, t_xchanging defiances with the gentlemen on the hustings; whereupon arose a_proar which reduced him to the necessity of expressing his feelings b_erious pantomime, which he did, and then left the stage to his seconder, wh_elivered a written speech of half an hour’s length, and wouldn’t be stopped, because he had sent it all to the Eatanswill Gazette, and the Eatanswil_azette had already printed it, every word.
  • Then Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, near Eatanswill, presente_imself for the purpose of addressing the electors; which he no sooner did, than the band employed by the Honourable Samuel Slumkey, commenced performin_ith a power to which their strength in the morning was a trifle; in retur_or which, the Buff crowd belaboured the heads and shoulders of the Blu_rowd; on which the Blue crowd endeavoured to dispossess themselves of thei_ery unpleasant neighbours the Buff crowd; and a scene of struggling, an_ushing, and fighting, succeeded, to which we can no more do justice than th_ayor could, although he issued imperative orders to twelve constables t_eize the ringleaders, who might amount in number to two hundred and fifty, o_hereabouts. At all these encounters, Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, of Fizki_odge, and his friends, waxed fierce and furious; until at last Horati_izkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, begged to ask his opponent, the Honourabl_amuel Slumkey, of Slumkey Hall, whether that band played by his consent; which question the Honourable Samuel Slumkey declining to answer, Horati_izkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, shook his fist in the countenance of th_onourable Samuel Slumkey, of Slumkey Hall; upon which the Honourable Samue_lumkey, his blood being up, defied Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, to mortal combat.
  • At this violation of all known rules and precedents of order, the mayo_ommanded another fantasia on the bell, and declared that he would brin_efore himself, both Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, and th_onourable Samuel Slumkey, of Slumkey Hall, and bind them over to keep th_eace. Upon this terrific denunciation, the supporters of the two candidate_nterfered, and after the friends of each party had quarrelled in pairs, fo_hree–quarters of an hour, Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, touched his hat to th_onourable Samuel Slumkey; the Honourable Samuel Slumkey touched his t_oratio Fizkin, Esquire; the band was stopped; the crowd were partiall_uieted; and Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, was permitted to proceed.
  • The speeches of the two candidates, though differing in every other respect, afforded a beautiful tribute to the merit and high worth of the electors o_atanswill. Both expressed their opinion that a more independent, a mor_nlightened, a more public–spirited, a more noble–minded, a more disintereste_et of men than those who had promised to vote for him, never existed o_arth; each darkly hinted his suspicions that the electors in the opposit_nterest had certain swinish and besotted infirmities which rendered the_nfit for the exercise of the important duties they were called upon t_ischarge. Fizkin expressed his readiness to do anything he was wanted: Slumkey, his determination to do nothing that was asked of him. Both said tha_he trade, the manufactures, the commerce, the prosperity of Eatanswill, woul_ver be dearer to their hearts than any earthly object; and each had it in hi_ower to state, with the utmost confidence, that he was the man who woul_ventually be returned.
  • There was a show of hands; the mayor decided in favour of the Honourabl_amuel Slumkey, of Slumkey Hall. Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, demanded a poll, and a poll was fixed accordingly. Then a vote of thanks wa_oved to the mayor for his able conduct in the chair; and the mayor, devoutl_ishing that he had had a chair to display his able conduct in (for he ha_een standing during the whole proceedings), returned thanks. The procession_eformed, the carriages rolled slowly through the crowd, and its member_creeched and shouted after them as their feelings or caprice dictated.
  • During the whole time of the polling, the town was in a perpetual fever o_xcitement. Everything was conducted on the most liberal and delightful scale.
  • Excisable articles were remarkably cheap at all the public–houses; and sprin_ans paraded the streets for the accommodation of voters who were seized wit_ny temporary dizziness in the head—an epidemic which prevailed among th_lectors, during the contest, to a most alarming extent, and under th_nfluence of which they might frequently be seen lying on the pavements in _tate of utter insensibility. A small body of electors remained unpolled o_he very last day. They were calculating and reflecting persons, who had no_et been convinced by the arguments of either party, although they ha_requent conferences with each. One hour before the close of the poll, Mr.
  • Perker solicited the honour of a private interview with these intelligent, these noble, these patriotic men. it was granted. His arguments were brief bu_atisfactory. They went in a body to the poll; and when they returned, th_onourable Samuel Slumkey, of Slumkey Hall, was returned also.