'And he's sure to appear, eh?' said Tigg.
'Why, no, Mr Montague, no,' returned the doctor. 'We will not say that in the present case, for this gentleman is very far from it.'
'So much the better,' retorted Tigg. 'So much the more adaptable to the Anglo-Bengalee. Bullamy, clear the table and take the things out by the other door. Mr Crimple, business.'
'Shall I introduce him?' asked Jobling.
'I shall be eternally delighted,' answered Tigg, kissing his hand and smiling sweetly.
The doctor disappeared into the outer office, and immediately returned with Jonas Chuzzlewit.
'Mr Montague,' said Jobling. 'Allow me. My friend Mr Chuzzlewit. My dear friend--our chairman. Now do you know,' he added checking himself with infinite policy, and looking round with a smile; 'that's a very singular instance of the force of example. It really is a very remarkable instance of the force of example. I say OUR chairman. Why do I say our chairman? Because he is not MY chairman, you know. I have no connection with the company, farther than giving them, for a certain fee and reward, my poor opinion as a medical man, precisely as I may give it any day to Jack Noakes or Tom Styles. Then why do I say our chairman? Simply because I hear the phrase constantly repeated about me. Such is the involuntary operation of the mental faculty in the imitative biped man. Mr Crimple, I believe you never take snuff? Injudicious. You should.'
Pending these remarks on the part of the doctor, and the lengthened and sonorous pinch with which he followed them up, Jonas took a seat at the board; as ungainly a man as ever he has been within the reader's knowledge. It is too common with all of us, but it is especially in the nature of a mean mind, to be overawed by fine clothes and fine furniture. They had a very decided influence on Jonas.
'Now you two gentlemen have business to discuss, I know,' said the doctor, 'and your time is precious. So is mine; for several lives are waiting for me in the next room, and I have a round of visits to make after--after I have taken 'em. Having had the happiness to introduce you to each other, I may go about my business. Good-bye. But allow me, Mr Montague, before I go, to say this of my friend who sits beside you: That gentleman has done more, sir,' rapping his snuff-box solemnly, 'to reconcile me to human nature, than any man alive or dead. Good-bye!'
With these words Jobling bolted abruptly out of the room, and proceeded in his own official department, to impress the lives in waiting with a sense of his keen conscientiousness in the discharge of his duty, and the great difficulty of getting into the Anglo- Bengalee; by feeling their pulses, looking at their tongues, listening at their ribs, poking them in the chest, and so forth; though, if he didn't well know beforehand that whatever kind of lives they were, the Anglo-Bengalee would accept them readily, he was far from being the Jobling that his friend considered him; and was not the original Jobling, but a spurious imitation.
Mr Crimple also departed on the business of the morning; and Jonas Chuzzlewit and Tigg were left alone.
'I learn from our friend,' said Tigg, drawing his chair towards Jonas with a winning ease of manner, 'that you have been thinking--'
'Oh! Ecod then he'd no right to say so,' cried Jonas, interrupting. 'I didn't tell HIM my thoughts. If he took it into his head that I was coming here for such or such a purpose, why, that's his lookout. I don't stand committed by that.'
Jonas said this offensively enough; for over and above the habitual distrust of his character, it was in his nature to seek to revenge himself on the fine clothes and the fine furniture, in exact proportion as he had been unable to withstand their influence.
'If I come here to ask a question or two, and get a document or two to consider of, I don't bind myself to anything. Let's understand that, you know,' said Jonas.
'My dear fellow!' cried Tigg, clapping him on the shoulder, 'I applaud your frankness.