Master Humphrey's Clock
As we were going up-stairs, Mr. Pickwick put on his spectacles, which he had
held in his hand hitherto; arranged his neckerchief, smoothed down his
waistcoat, and made many other little preparations of that kind which men are
accustomed to be mindful of, when they are going among strangers for the first
time, and are anxious to impress them pleasantly. Seeing that I smiled, he smiled
too, and said that if it had occurred to him before he left home, he would certainly
have presented himself in pumps and silk stockings.
'I would, indeed, my dear sir,' he said very seriously; 'I would have shown my
respect for the society, by laying aside my gaiters.'
'You may rest assured,' said I, 'that they would have regretted your doing so very
much, for they are quite attached to them.'
'No, really!' cried Mr. Pickwick, with manifest pleasure. 'Do you think they care
about my gaiters? Do you seriously think that they identify me at all with my
'I am sure they do,' I replied.
'Well, now,' said Mr. Pickwick, 'that is one of the most charming and agreeable
circumstances that could possibly have occurred to me!'
I should not have written down this short conversation, but that it developed a
slight point in Mr. Pickwick's character, with which I was not previously
acquainted. He has a secret pride in his legs. The manner in which he spoke,
and the accompanying glance he bestowed upon his tights, convince me that Mr.
Pickwick regards his legs with much innocent vanity.
'But here are our friends,' said I, opening the door and taking his arm in mine; 'let
them speak for themselves. - Gentlemen, I present to you Mr. Pickwick.'
Mr. Pickwick and I must have been a good contrast just then. I, leaning quietly on
my crutch-stick, with something of a care-worn, patient air; he, having hold of my
arm, and bowing in every direction with the most elastic politeness, and an
expression of face whose sprightly cheerfulness and good-humour knew no
bounds. The difference between us must have been more striking yet, as we
advanced towards the table, and the amiable gentleman, adapting his jocund