his desk; 'I am heartily obliged to you, my good friend. Now sit down again. I want to ask your advice.'
The internal laughter occasioned by the triumphant success of his visit, which had convulsed not only Mr. Weller's face, but his arms, legs, and body also, during the locking up of the pocket- book, suddenly gave place to the most dignified gravity as he heard these words.
'Wait outside a few minutes, Sam, will you?' said Mr. Pickwick.
Sam immediately withdrew.
Mr. Weller looked uncommonly wise and very much amazed, when Mr. Pickwick opened the discourse by saying--
'You are not an advocate for matrimony, I think, Mr. Weller?'
Mr. Weller shook his head. He was wholly unable to speak; vague thoughts of some wicked widow having been successful in her designs on Mr. Pickwick, choked his utterance.
'Did you happen to see a young girl downstairs when you came in just now with your son?' inquired Mr. Pickwick.
'Yes. I see a young gal,' replied Mr. Weller shortly.
'What did you think of her, now? Candidly, Mr. Weller, what did you think of her?'
'I thought she wos wery plump, and vell made,' said Mr. Weller, with a critical air.
'So she is,' said Mr. Pickwick, 'so she is. What did you think of her manners, from what you saw of her?'
'Wery pleasant,' rejoined Mr. Weller. 'Wery pleasant and comformable.'
The precise meaning which Mr. Weller attached to this last- mentioned adjective, did not appear; but, as it was evident from the tone in which he used it that it was a favourable expression, Mr. Pickwick was as well satisfied as if he had been thoroughly enlightened on the subject.
'I take a great interest in her, Mr. Weller,' said Mr. Pickwick.
Mr. Weller coughed.
'I mean an interest in her doing well,' resumed Mr. Pickwick; 'a desire that she may be comfortable and prosperous. You understand?'
'Wery clearly,' replied Mr. Weller, who understood nothing yet.
'That young person,' said Mr. Pickwick, 'is attached to your son.'
'To Samivel Veller!' exclaimed the parent.
'Yes,' said Mr. Pickwick.
'It's nat'ral,' said Mr. Weller, after some consideration, 'nat'ral, but rayther alarmin'. Sammy must be careful.'
'How do you mean?' inquired Mr. Pickwick.
'Wery careful that he don't say nothin' to her,' responded Mr. Weller. 'Wery careful that he ain't led avay, in a innocent moment, to say anythin' as may lead to a conwiction for breach. You're never safe vith 'em, Mr. Pickwick, ven they vunce has designs on you; there's no knowin' vere to have 'em; and vile you're a-considering of it, they have you. I wos married fust, that vay myself, Sir, and Sammy wos the consekens o' the manoover.'
'You give me no great encouragement to conclude what I have to say,' observed Mr. Pickwick, 'but I had better do so at once. This young person is not only attached to your son, Mr. Weller, but your son is attached to her.'
'Vell,' said Mr. Weller, 'this here's a pretty sort o' thing to come to a father's ears, this is!'
'I have observed them on several occasions,' said Mr. Pickwick, making no comment on Mr. Weller's last remark; 'and entertain no doubt at all about it. Supposing I were desirous of establishing them comfortably as man and wife in some little business or situation, where they might hope to obtain a decent living, what should you think of it, Mr. Weller?'
At first, Mr. Weller received with wry faces a proposition involving the marriage of anybody in whom he took an interest; but, as Mr. Pickwick argued the point with him, and laid great stress on the fact that Mary was not a widow, he gradually became more tractable. Mr. Pickwick had great influence over him, and he had been much struck with Mary's appearance; having, in fact, bestowed several very unfatherly winks upon her, already. At length he said that it was not for him to oppose Mr. Pickwick's inclination, and that he would be very happy to yield to his advice; upon which, Mr. Pickwick joyfully took him at his word, and called Sam back into the room.