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. Mincin's extreme friendliness became every moment more apparent; he was so amazingly friendly, indeed, that it was impossible to talk about anything in which he had not the chief concern. We happened to allude to some affairs in which our friend and we had been mutually engaged nearly fourteen years before, when Mr. Mincin was all at once reminded of a joke which our friend had made on that day four years, which he positively must insist upon telling-and which he did tell accordingly, with many pleasant recollections of what he said, and what Mrs. Capper said, and how he well remembered that they had been to the play with orders on the very night previous, and had seen Romeo and Juliet, and the pantomime, and how Mrs. Capper being faint had been led into the lobby, where she smiled, said it was nothing after all, and went back again, with many other interesting and absorbing particulars: after which the friendly young gentleman went on to assure us, that our friend had experienced a marvellously prophetic opinion of that same pantomime, which was of such an admirable kind, that two morning papers took the same view next day: to this our friend replied, with a little triumph, that in that instance he had some reason to think he had been correct, which gave the friendly young gentleman occasion to believe that our friend was always correct; and so we went on, until our friend, filling a bumper, said he must drink one glass to his dear friend Mincin, than whom he would say no man saved the lives of his acquaintances more, or had a more friendly heart. Finally, our friend having emptied his glass, said, 'God bless you, Mincin,'-and Mr. Mincin and he shook hands across the table with much affection and earnestness.
But great as the friendly young gentleman is, in a limited scene like this, he plays the same part on a larger scale with increased eclat. Mr. Mincin is invited to an evening party with his dear friends the Martins, where he meets his dear friends the Cappers, and his dear friends the Watsons, and a hundred other dear friends too numerous to mention.