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the country with the Dickens' company of actors, she tells us
“Which Mrs. Harris's own words to me was these, Sairey Gamp,' she says, 'why not go to Margate ? Srimps,' says that dear creetur, 'is to your liking. Sairey, why not go to Margate for a week, bring your constitution up with srimps, and come back to them loving arts as knows and wallies you, blooming? Sairey,' Mrs. Harris says, you are but poorly. Don't denige it, Mrs, Gamp, for books is in your looks. You must have rest. Your mind,' she says, 'is too strong for you; it gets you down and treads upon you, Sairey. It is useless to disguige the fact-the blade is a wearing out the sheets. •Mrs. Harris,' I says to her, 'I could not undertake to say, and I will not deceive you ma'am, that I am not the woman I could wish to be. The time of worrit as I had with Mrs. Colliber, the baker's lady, which was so bad in her mind with her first, that she would not so much as look at bottled stout, and kept to gruel through the month, has agued me, Mrs. Harris. But, ma'am,' I says to her, talk not of Margate, for if I do go anywhere it is elsewheres, and not there. Sairey,' says Mrs. Harris solemn, “ whence this mystery? If I have ever deceived the hardestworking, soberest, and best of women, mention it.' ... • Mrs. Harris, then,' I says, 'I have heard as there is an expedition going down to Manjester and Liverpool a play. acting, If I goes anywhere for change it is along with that.' Mrs. Harris clasps her hands, and drops into a chair, “And have I lived to hear,' she says, "of Sairey Gamp, as always kept herself respectable, in company with playactors. “Mrs. Harris,' I says to her, 'be not alarmed, not reg'lar play-actors-hammertoors. Thank Evans ! says Mrs. Harris, and bustizes into a flood of tears,"
Dickens saw with Hood the power to be obtained by uniting pathos with humour. Such an intermixture at first appears inharmonious, but in reality produces sweet music.
There is something corresponding to the course of external nature with its light and shade its sunshine and showers, in this melancholy chased away by mirth, and joy merging into
sadness. Here, Dickens has held up the mirror, and shown a bright reflection of the outer world. Out of many choice specimens, we may select the following from the speech of the Cheap Jack
“Now, you country boobies,' says I, feeling as if my heart was a heavy weight at the end of a broken sash-line, 'I give you notice that I am going to charm the money out of your pockets, and to give you so much more than your money's worth that you'll only persuade yourselves to draw your Saturday-night's wages ever again arterwards, by the hopes of meeting me to lav 'em out with, which you never will; and why not? Because I've made my fortune by selling my goods on a large scale for seventyfive per cent less than I give for them, and I am consequently to be elevated to the House of Peers next week by the title of the Duke of Cheap, and Markis Jack-a-looral.
He puts up a lot and after recommending it with all his eloquence pretends to knock it down
“As there had been no bid at all, everybody looked about and grinned at everybody, while I touched little Sophy's face (he was holding her in his arms) and asked her if she felt faint or giddy. “Not very, father; it will soon be over.' Then turning from the pretty patient eyes, which were opened now, and seeing nothing but grius across my lighted greasepot. I went on again in my cheap Jack style. "Where's the butcher ? (my mournful eye had just caught sight of a fat young butcher on the outside of the crowd). She says the good luck is the butcher's, where is he?' Everybody handed over the blushing butcher to the front, and there was a roar, and the butcher felt himself obliged to put his hand in his pocket and take the lot. The party so picked out in general does feel obliged to take the lot-good four times out of six. Then we had another lot the counterpart of that one and sold it sixpence cheaper, which is always very much enjoyed. Then we had the spectacles. It ain't a special profitable lot, but I put 'em on, and I see what the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to take off the taxes, and I see what the sweetheart of the young woman in the shawl is doing at home, and I see what the Bishops has got for
Pathos and Humour.
dinner, and a deal more that seldom fails to fetch up their spirits, and the better their spirits the better they bids. Then we had the ladies' lot-the tea-pots, tea-caddy, glass sugar-basin, half-a-dozen spoons, and caudle cup—and all the time I was making similar excuses to give a look or two, and say a word or two to my poor child. It was while the second ladies' lot was holding 'em enchained that I felt her lift herself a little on my shoulder to look across the dark street. What troubles you darling p’ ‘Nothing troubles me, father, I am not at all troubled. But don't I see a pretty churchyard over there p'. Yes, my dear. “Kiss me twice, dear father, and lay me down to rest upon that churchyard grass, so soft and green. I staggered back into the cart with her head dropped on my shoulder, and I says to her mother, “Quick, shut the door! Don't let those laughing people see.' What's the matter ?' she cries,
O woman, woman,' I tells her, you'll never catch my little Sophy by her hair again, for she has flown away from you.?"
Dickens' strongest characters, and those he loved most to paint, are such as contain foibles and eccentricities, or much dulness and ignorance in conjunction with the best feelings and intentions, so that his teaching seems rather to be that we should look beyond mere external trifles. Those he attacks are mostly middleclass people, or those slightly below them—the dogs in office, and the dogs in the manger. The artifice and cunning of the waiter of the Hotel at Yarmouth, where little Copperfield awaits the coach, is excellently represented.
“The waiter brought me some chops and vegetables, and took the covers off in such a bouncing manner, that I was afraid I must have given him some offence. But he greatly relieved my mind by putting a chair for me at the table, and saying very affably Now sixfoot come on!
“I thanked him and took my seat at the board; but found it extremely difficult to handle my knife and fork with anything like dexterity, or to avoid splashing myself with the gravy, while he was standing opposite, staring so hard, and making me blush in the most dreadful manner every time I caught his eye. After watching me into the second chop, be said :
“There's half a pint of ale for you, will you have it now po
“I thanked him and said 'Yes'-upon which he poured it out of a jug into a large tumbler, and held it up against the light and made it look beautiful.
“My eye!' he said. “It seems a good deal, don't it.'
“It does seem a good deal,' I answered with a smile, for it was quite delightful to me to find him so pleasant. He was a twinkling-eyed, purple-faced man, with his hair standing upright all over bis head; and as he stood with one arm akimbo, holding up the glass to the light, with one hand he looked quite friendly.
“There was a gentleman here yesterday,' he said, a stout gentleman by the name of Topsawyer, perhaps you know himp
“No,' I said, I don't think—"
“In breeches and gaiters, broad-brimmed hat, grey coat, speckled choker,' said the waiter.
“No,' I said bashfully, I hav'n't the pleasure –
“. He came here,' said the waiter, looking at the light through the tumbler, 'ordered a glass of this ale, would order it, I told him not-drank it, and fell dead. It was too old for him. It oughtn't to be drawn, that's the fact.'
“I was very much shocked to hear of this melancholy accident, and said I thought I had better have some water. • Why, you see,' said the waiter, looking at the light through the tumbler with one of his eyes shut, our people don't like things being ordered and left. It offends them. But I'll drink it, if you like. I'm used to it, and use is everything. I don't think it will hurt me if I throw my head back and take it off quick; shall I?
" I replied that he would much oblige me by drinking it, if he thought he could do it safely, but by no means otherwise. When he did throw his head back and take it off quick, I had a horrible fear, I confess, of seeing him meet the fate of the lamented Topsawyer, and fall lifeless on the carpet. But it did not hurt him. On the contrary. I thought he seemed the fresher for it. · What have we got here p' he said, putting a fork into my dish. 'Not chops ?'
« Chops.' I said.
" Lord bless my soul,' he esclaimed, 'I didn't know they were chops. Why, a chop's the very thing to take off the bad effect of that beer. Ain't it lucky ?'
“ So he took a chop by the bone in one hand and a potato in the other, and ate away with a very good appetite to my
extreme satisfaction. He afterwards took another chop and another potato, and after that another chop and another potato. When we had done be brought me a pud. ding, and having set it before me seemed to ruminate, and to be absent in his mind for some moments.
“How's the pie p' he said, rousing himself. “It's a pudding,' I made answer.
"Pudding,' he exclaimed, 'why, bless me, so it is. Wbat ? looking nearer at it, you don't mean to say it's a batter pudding!
6. Yes, it is indeed.'
" Why, a batter pudding,' he said, taking up a tablespoon, 'is my favourite pudding! Aint it lucky ? Come on, pitch in, and let's see who'll get most.'
“The waiter certainly got most. He entreated me more than once to come in and win, but wbat with his tablespoon to my teaspoon, his dispatch to my dispatch, and his appetite to my appetite I was left far behind at the first mouthful, and had no chance with him.”
We are all sufficiently familiar with the vast amount and variety of humour with which Dickens enriched his writings. It is not aphoristic, but flows along in a light sparkling stream. This is what we should expect from a man who wrote so much and so rapidly. His thoughts did not concentrate and crystallize. into a few sharply cut expressions, and he has left us scarcely any sayings which will live as “ household words.” Moreover, in his bold style of writing he sought to produce effects by broad strokes and dashes—not afraid of an excess of caricature, from which he left his readers to deduct the discount. Taine says he was “ too mad.” But he was daring, and cared little for the risk of being ludicrous, providing he escaped the certainty of being duil. He was