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rendered it a matter of great difficulty for Mr. Pickwick to hold them, he had a singular propensity for darting suddenly every 105 now and then to the side of the road, then stopping short, and then rushing forward for some minutes, at a speed which it was wholly impossible to control.
"What can he mean by this?" said Mr. Snodgrass, when the horse had executed this manœuvre for the twentieth time.
"I don't know," replied Mr. Tupman; it looks very like shying, don't it?" Mr. Snodgrass was about to reply, when he was interrupted by a shout from Mr. Pickwick.
"Wo-o!" said that gentleman; "I have dropped my whip."
“Winkle,” said Mr. Snodgrass, as the equestrian came trotting up on the tall horse, with his hat over his eyes, and shaking all over, as if he would shake to pieces, with the violence of the exercise, "pick up the whip, there's a good fellow." Mr. Winkle pulled at the bridle of the tall horse till he was black in 120 the face; and having at length succeeded in stopping him, dismounted, handed the whip to Mr. Pickwick, and grasping the reins prepared to remount. Now whether the tall horse, in the natural playfulness of his disposition, was desirous of having a little innocent recreation with Mr. Winkle, or whether it occurred 125 to him that he could perform the journey as much to his own satisfaction without a rider as with one, are points upon which, of course, we can arrive at no definite and distinct conclusion. By whatever motive the animal was actuated, certain it is that Mr. Winkle had no sooner touched the reins, than he slipped 130 them over his head, and darted backward to their full length.
"Poor fellow," said Mr. Winkle, soothingly; "poor fellowgood old horse." The "poor fellow' The "poor fellow" was proof against flattery: the more Mr. Winkle tried to get nearer him, the more he sidled away; and, notwithstanding all kinds of coaxing and 135 wheedling, there were Mr. Winkle and the horse going round and round each other for ten minutes, at the end of which time each was at precisely the same distance from each other as when they first commenced-an unsatisfactory sort of thing under any circumstances, but particularly so on a lonely road, where 140 no assistance can be procured.
"What am I to do?" shouted Mr. Winkle, after the dodging had been prolonged for a considerable time. "What am I to do? I can't get on him.”
"You had better lead him, till we come to a turn-pike,” replied Mr. Pickwick from the chaise.
"But he won't come!" roared Mr. Winkle. "Do come, and hold him."
Mr. Pickwick was the very personification of kindness and humanity: he threw the reins on the horse's back, and having descended from his seat, carefully drew the chaise into the hedge, 150 lest anything should come along the road, and stepped back to the assistance of his distressed companion, leaving Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass in the vehicle.
The horse no sooner beheld Mr. Pickwick advancing toward him with the chaise whip in his hand, than he exchanged the 155 rotary movement, in which he had previously indulged, for a retrograde of so very determined a character, that it at once drew Mr. Winkle, who was still at the end of the bridle, at a rather quicker rate than fast walking, in the direction from which they had just come. Mr. Pickwick ran to his assistance, but the 160 faster Mr. Pickwick ran forward, the faster the horse ran backward. There was a great scraping of feet, and kicking up of the dust, and at last Mr. Winkle, his arms being nearly pulled out of their sockets, fairly let go his hold. The horse paused, stared, shook his head, turned around, and quietly trotted home to 165 Rochester, leaving Mr. Winkle and Mr. Pickwick gazing on each other with countenances of blank dismay. A rattling noise at a little distance attracted their attention. They looked up.
"Bless my soul!" exclaimed the agonized Mr. Pickwick, "there's the other horse running away!"
It was but too true. The animal was startled by the noise, and the reins were on his back. The result may be guessed. He tore off with the four-wheeled chaise behind him, and Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass in the four-wheeled chaise. The heat was a short one. Mr. Tupman threw himself into the 175 hedge, Mr. Snodgrass followed his example, the horse dashed the four-wheeled chaise against a wooden bridge, separated the wheels from the body, and the bin from the perch; and finally
stood stock still to gaze upon the ruin he had made. The 180 first care of the two unspilled friends was to extricate their unfortunate companions from their bed of quickset a process which gave them the unspeakable satisfaction of discovering that they had sustained no injury, beyond sundry rents in their ments, and various lacerations from the brambles. The next 185 thing to be done was, to unharness the horse. This complicated process having been effected, the party walked slowly forward, leading the horse among them, and abandoning the chaise to its fate.
* * *
An hour's walking brought the travelers to a little road-side 190 public house. "We want to put this horse up here," said Mr. Pickwick; "I suppose we can, can't we?"
roared the man with the red head, emerging from the garden, and looking very hard at the horse-"Missus.”
"Can we put this horse up here, my good woman?" said Mr. 195 Tupman advancing and speaking in his most seductive tones. "No," replied the woman, after a little consideration, "I'm afeerd on it."
“I—I— really believe," whispered Mr. Winkle as his friends gathered round him, "that they think that we have come by this 200 horse in some dishonest manner."
Hallo, you fellow!" said the angry Mr. Pickwick, think we stole this horse?"
"I'm sure ye did," replied the red-headed man. "It's like a dream," ejaculated Mr. Pickwick, a hideous The idea of a man's walking about, all day, with a dreadful horse he can't get rid of.”
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY
The household from above and from below: the maids and footmen from the basement; the nurses, children, and governesses from the attics,
of a certain bell.
all poured into the room at the sound
I do not sneer at the purpose for which, at that chiming eight- 5 o'clock bell, the household is called together. The urns are hissing, the plate is shining; the father of the house, standing up, reads from a gilt book for three or four minutes in a measured cadence. The members of the family are around the table in an attitude of decent reverence; the younger children whisper 10 responses at their mother's knees; the governess worships a little apart; the maids and the large footmen are in a cluster before their chairs, the upper servants performing their devotions on the other side of the sideboard; the nurse whisks about the unconscious last-born, and tosses it up and down during the 15 ceremony. I do not sneer at that - at the act at which all these people are assembled — it is at the rest of the day I marvel; at the rest of the day, and what it brings. At the very instant when the voice has ceased speaking, and the gilded book is shut, the world begins again, and for the next twenty-three hours and 20 fifty-seven minutes all that household is given up to it. The servile squad rises up and marches away to its basement, whence, should it happen to be a gala-day, those tall gentlemen, at present attired in Oxford mixture, will issue forth with flour plastered on their heads, yellow coats, pink breeches, sky-blue waistcoats, 25 silver lace, buckles in their shoes, black silk bags on their backs, and I don't know what insane emblems of servility and absurd
bedizenments of folly. Their very manner of speaking to what we call their masters and mistresses will be a like monstrous 30 masquerade. You know no more of that race which inhabits the basement floor than of the men and brethren of Timbuctoo, to whom some among us send missionaries. If you meet some of your servants in the streets (I respectfully suppose for a moment that the reader is a person of high fashion and a great establish35 ment) you would not know their faces. You might sleep under the same roof for half a century and know nothing about them. If they were ill, you would not visit them, though you would send them an apothecary and, of course, order that they lacked for nothing. You are not unkind, you are not worse than your 40 neighbors. Nay, perhaps, if you did go into the kitchen, or take tea in the servants' hall, you would do little good, and only bore the folks assembled there. But so it is. With those fellow
They answer the
Christians who have been just saying "Amen to your prayers, you have scarcely the community of Charity. They come, you 45 don't know whence; they think and talk, you don't know what; they die, and you don't care, or vice versa. bell for prayers as they answer the bell for coals; for exactly three minutes in the day you all kneel together on one carpet and, the desires and petitions of the servants and masters over, 50 the rite called family worship is ended.
Exeunt servants, save those two who warm the newspaper, administer the muffins, and serve out the tea. Sir Brian reads his letters, and chumps his dry toast. Ethel whispers to her mother, she thinks Eliza is looking very ill. Lady Ann asks,
which is Eliza? Is it the woman that was ill before they left town? If she is ill, Mrs. Trotter had better send her away. Mrs. Trotter is only a great deal too good-natured. She is always keeping people who are ill." Then her Ladyship begins to read the Morning Post, and glances over the names of the 60 persons who were present at Baroness Bosco's ball, and Mrs. Toddle Tompkyns's soirée dansante in Belgrave Square.