'Epic poem--ten thousand lines --revolution of July--composed it on the spot--Mars by day, Apollo by night--bang the field-piece, twang the lyre.'
'You were present at that glorious scene, sir?' said Mr. Snodgrass.
'Present! think I was;* fired a musket--fired with an idea-- rushed into wine shop--wrote it down--back again--whiz, bang --another idea--wine shop again--pen and ink--back again-- cut and slash--noble time, Sir. Sportsman, sir ?'abruptly turning to Mr. Winkle. [* A remarkable instance of the prophetic force of Mr. Jingle's imagination; this dialogue occurring in the year 1827, and the Revolution in 1830.
'A little, Sir,' replied that gentleman.
'Fine pursuit, sir--fine pursuit.--Dogs, Sir?'
'Not just now,' said Mr. Winkle.
'Ah! you should keep dogs--fine animals--sagacious creatures --dog of my own once--pointer--surprising instinct--out shooting one day--entering inclosure--whistled--dog stopped-- whistled again--Ponto--no go; stock still--called him--Ponto, Ponto--wouldn't move--dog transfixed--staring at a board-- looked up, saw an inscription--"Gamekeeper has orders to shoot all dogs found in this inclosure"--wouldn't pass it--wonderful dog--valuable dog that--very.'
'Singular circumstance that,' said Mr. Pickwick. 'Will you allow me to make a note of it?'
'Certainly, Sir, certainly--hundred more anecdotes of the same animal.--Fine girl, Sir' (to Mr. Tracy Tupman, who had been bestowing sundry anti-Pickwickian glances on a young lady by the roadside).
'Very!' said Mr. Tupman.
'English girls not so fine as Spanish--noble creatures--jet hair --black eyes--lovely forms--sweet creatures--beautiful.'
'You have been in Spain, sir?' said Mr. Tracy Tupman.
'Lived there--ages.' 'Many conquests, sir?' inquired Mr. Tupman.
'Conquests! Thousands. Don Bolaro Fizzgig--grandee--only daughter--Donna Christina--splendid creature--loved me to distraction--jealous father--high-souled daughter--handsome Englishman--Donna Christina in despair--prussic acid-- stomach pump in my portmanteau--operation performed--old Bolaro in ecstasies--consent to our union--join hands and floods of tears--romantic story--very.'
'Is the lady in England now, sir?' inquired Mr. Tupman, on whom the description of her charms had produced a powerful impression.
'Dead, sir--dead,' said the stranger, applying to his right eye the brief remnant of a very old cambric handkerchief. 'Never recovered the stomach pump--undermined constitution--fell a victim.'
'And her father?' inquired the poetic Snodgrass.
'Remorse and misery,' replied the stranger. 'Sudden disappearance--talk of the whole city--search made everywhere without success--public fountain in the great square suddenly ceased playing--weeks elapsed--still a stoppage--workmen employed to clean it--water drawn off--father-in-law discovered sticking head first in the main pipe, with a full confession in his right boot--took him out, and the fountain played away again, as well as ever.'
'Will you allow me to note that little romance down, Sir?' said Mr. Snodgrass, deeply affected.
'Certainly, Sir, certainly--fifty more if you like to hear 'em-- strange life mine--rather curious history--not extraordinary, but singular.