We readily assented, adding, that we hoped we should be alone. 'Oh, certainly, certainly,' said our friend, 'not a soul with us but Mincin.' 'And who is Mincin?' was our natural inquiry. 'O don't mind him,' replied our friend, 'he's a most particular friend of mine, and a very friendly fellow you will find him;' and so he left us.
'We thought no more about Mincin until we duly presented ourselves at the house next day, when, after a hearty welcome, our friend motioned towards a gentleman who had been previously showing his teeth by the fireplace, and gave us to understand that it was Mr. Mincin, of whom he had spoken. It required no great penetration on our part to discover at once that Mr. Mincin was in every respect a very friendly young gentleman.
'I am delighted,' said Mincin, hastily advancing, and pressing our hand warmly between both of his, 'I am delighted, I am sure, to make your acquaintance-(here he smiled)-very much delighted indeed- (here he exhibited a little emotion)-I assure you that I have looked forward to it anxiously for a very long time:' here he released our hands, and rubbing his own, observed, that the day was severe, but that he was delighted to perceive from our appearance that it agreed with us wonderfully; and then went on to observe, that, notwithstanding the coldness of the weather, he had that morning seen in the paper an exceedingly curious paragraph, to the effect, that there was now in the garden of Mr. Wilkins of Chichester, a pumpkin, measuring four feet in height, and eleven feet seven inches in circumference, which he looked upon as a very extraordinary piece of intelligence. We ventured to remark, that we had a dim recollection of having once or twice before observed a similar paragraph in the public prints, upon which Mr. Mincin took us confidentially by the button, and said, Exactly, exactly, to be sure, we were very right, and he wondered what the editors meant by putting in such things. Who the deuce, he should like to know, did they suppose cared about them? that struck him as being the best of it.
The lady of the house appeared shortly afterwards, and Mr. Mincin's friendliness, as will readily be supposed, suffered no diminution in consequence; he exerted much strength and skill in wheeling a large easy-chair up to the fire, and the lady being seated in it, carefully closed the door, stirred the fire, and looked to the windows to see that they admitted no air; having satisfied himself upon all these points, he expressed himself quite easy in his mind, and begged to know how she found herself to-day. Upon the lady's replying very well, Mr. Mincin (who it appeared was a medical gentleman) offered some general remarks upon the nature and treatment of colds in the head, which occupied us agreeably until dinner-time. During the meal, he devoted himself to complimenting everybody, not forgetting himself, so that we were an uncommonly agreeable quartette.
'I'll tell you what, Capper,' said Mr. Mincin to our host, as he closed the room door after the lady had retired, 'you have very great reason to be fond of your wife. Sweet woman, Mrs. Capper, sir!' 'Nay, Mincin-I beg,' interposed the host, as we were about to reply that Mrs. Capper unquestionably was particularly sweet. 'Pray, Mincin, don't.' 'Why not?' exclaimed Mr. Mincin, 'why not? Why should you feel any delicacy before your old friend-OUR old friend, if I may be allowed to call you so, sir; why should you, I ask?' We of course wished to know why he should also, upon which our friend admitted that Mrs. Capper WAS a very sweet woman, at which admission Mr. Mincin cried 'Bravo!' and begged to propose Mrs. Capper with heartfelt enthusiasm, whereupon our host said, 'Thank you, Mincin,' with deep feeling; and gave us, in a low voice, to understand, that Mincin had saved Mrs. Capper's cousin's life no less than fourteen times in a year and a half, which he considered no common circumstance-an opinion to which we most cordially subscribed.
Now that we three were left to entertain ourselves with conversation, Mr.