'It's a comfort to know,' resumed the landlady, 'that he has his sister living with him, and is doing well. Only yesterday he sent me back, by post, a little'--here the colour came into her cheeks-- 'a little trifle I was bold enough to lend him when he went away; saying, with many thanks, that he had good employment, and didn't want it. It was the same note; he hadn't broken it. I never thought I could have been so little pleased to see a bank-note come back to me as I was to see that.'
'Kindly said, and heartily!' said Martin. 'Is it not, Mark?'
'She can't say anything as does not possess them qualities,' returned Mr Tapley; 'which as much belongs to the Dragon as its licence. And now that we have got quite cool and fresh, to the subject again, sir; what will you do? If you're not proud, and can make up your mind to go through with what you spoke of, coming along, that's the course for you to take. If you started wrong with your grandfather (which, you'll excuse my taking the liberty of saying, appears to have been the case), up with you, sir, and tell him so, and make an appeal to his affections. Don't stand out. He's a great deal older than you, and if he was hasty, you was hasty too. Give way, sir, give way.'
The eloquence of Mr Tapley was not without its effect on Martin but he still hesitated, and expressed his reason thus:
'That's all very true, and perfectly correct, Mark; and if it were a mere question of humbling myself before HIM, I would not consider it twice. But don't you see, that being wholly under this hypocrite's government, and having (if what we hear be true) no mind or will of his own, I throw myself, in fact, not at his feet, but at the feet of Mr Pecksniff? And when I am rejected and spurned away,' said Martin, turning crimson at the thought, 'it is not by him; my own blood stirred against me; but by Pecksniff--Pecksniff, Mark!'
'Well, but we know beforehand,' returned the politic Mr Tapley, 'that Pecksniff is a wagabond, a scoundrel, and a willain.'
'A most pernicious villain!' said Martin.
'A most pernicious willain. We know that beforehand, sir; and, consequently, it's no shame to be defeated by Pecksniff. Blow Pecksniff!' cried Mr Tapley, in the fervour of his eloquence. 'Who's he! It's not in the natur of Pecksniff to shame US, unless he agreed with us, or done us a service; and, in case he offered any audacity of that description, we could express our sentiments in the English language, I hope. Pecksniff!' repeated Mr Tapley, with ineffable disdain. 'What's Pecksniff, who's Pecksniff, where's Pecksniff, that he's to be so much considered? We're not a- calculating for ourselves;' he laid uncommon emphasis on the last syllable of that word, and looked full in Martin's face; 'we're making a effort for a young lady likewise as has undergone her share; and whatever little hope we have, this here Pecksniff is not to stand in its way, I expect. I never heard of any act of Parliament, as was made by Pecksniff. Pecksniff! Why, I wouldn't see the man myself; I wouldn't hear him; I wouldn't choose to know he was in company. I'd scrape my shoes on the scraper of the door, and call that Pecksniff, if you liked; but I wouldn't condescend no further.'
The amazement of Mrs Lupin, and indeed of Mr Tapley himself for that matter, at this impassioned flow of language, was immense. But Martin, after looking thoughtfully at the fire for a short time, said:
'You are right, Mark. Right or wrong, it shall be done. I'll do it.'
'One word more, sir,' returned Mark. 'Only think of him so far as not to give him a handle against you. Don't you do anything secret that he can report before you get there. Don't you even see Miss Mary in the morning, but let this here dear friend of ours'--Mr Tapley bestowed a smile upon the hostess--'prepare her for what's a- going to happen, and carry any little message as may be agreeable. She knows how. Don't you?' Mrs Lupin laughed and tossed her head. 'Then you go in, bold and free as a gentleman should.