Martin Chuzzlewit HTML version
WILL BE SEEN IN THE LONG RUN, IF NOT IN THE SHORT ONE, TO
CONCERN MR PINCH AND OTHERS, NEARLY. MR PECKSNIFF ASSERTS
THE DIGNITY OF OUTRAGED VIRTUE. YOUNG MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT
FORMS A DESPERATE RESOLUTION
Mr Pinch and Martin, little dreaming of the stormy weather that impended, made
themselves very comfortable in the Pecksniffian halls, and improved their
friendship daily. Martin's facility, both of invention and execution, being
remarkable, the grammar-school proceeded with great vigour; and Tom
repeatedly declared, that if there were anything like certainty in human affairs, or
impartiality in human judges, a design so new and full of merit could not fail to
carry off the first prize when the time of competition arrived. Without being quite
so sanguine himself, Martin had his hopeful anticipations too; and they served to
make him brisk and eager at his task.
'If I should turn out a great architect, Tom,' said the new pupil one day, as he
stood at a little distance from his drawing, and eyed it with much complacency,
'I'll tell you what should be one of the things I'd build.'
'Aye!' cried Tom. 'What?'
'Why, your fortune.'
'No!' said Tom Pinch, quite as much delighted as if the thing were done. 'Would
you though? How kind of you to say so.'
'I'd build it up, Tom,' returned Martin, 'on such a strong foundation, that it should
last your life--aye, and your children's lives too, and their children's after them. I'd
be your patron, Tom. I'd take you under my protection. Let me see the man who
should give the cold shoulder to anybody I chose to protect and patronise, if I
were at the top of the tree, Tom!'
'Now, I don't think,' said Mr Pinch, 'upon my word, that I was ever more gratified
than by this. I really don't.'
'Oh! I mean what I say,' retorted Martin, with a manner as free and easy in its
condescension to, not to say in its compassion for, the other, as if he were
already First Architect in ordinary to all the Crowned Heads in Europe. 'I'd do it.
I'd provide for you.'
'I am afraid,' said Tom, shaking his head, 'that I should be a mighty awkward
person to provide for.'
'Pooh, pooh!' rejoined Martin. 'Never mind that. If I took it in my head to say,
"Pinch is a clever fellow; I approve of Pinch;" I should like to know the man who
would venture to put himself in opposition to me. Besides, confound it, Tom, you
could be useful to me in a hundred ways.'
'If I were not useful in one or two, it shouldn't be for want of trying,' said Tom.
'For instance,' pursued Martin, after a short reflection, 'you'd be a capital fellow,
now, to see that my ideas were properly carried out; and to overlook the works in
their progress before they were sufficiently advanced to be very interesting to
ME; and to take all that sort of plain sailing. Then you'd be a splendid fellow to
show people over my studio, and to talk about Art to 'em, when I couldn't be