The Pickwick Papers
by Charles Dickens
'To which I have reason to know,' said Pott, looking towards Mr. Perker for corroboration--'to which I have reason to know that my article of last Saturday in some degree contributed.'
'Not the least doubt of it,' said the little man.
'The press is a mighty engine, sir,' said Pott.
Mr. Pickwick yielded his fullest assent to the proposition.
'But I trust, sir,' said Pott, 'that I have never abused the enormous power I wield. I trust, sir, that I have never pointed the noble instrument which is placed in my hands, against the sacred bosom of private life, or the tender breast of individual reputation; I trust, sir, that I have devoted my energies to--to endeavours-- humble they may be, humble I know they are--to instil those principles of--which--are--'
Here the editor of the Eatanswill GAZETTE, appearing to ramble, Mr. Pickwick came to his relief, and said--
'And what, Sir,' said Pott--'what, Sir, let me ask you as an impartial man, is the state of the public mind in London, with reference to my contest with the INDEPENDENT?'
'Greatly excited, no doubt,' interposed Mr. Perker, with a look of slyness which was very likely accidental.
'The contest,' said Pott, 'shall be prolonged so long as I have health and strength, and that portion of talent with which I am gifted. From that contest, Sir, although it may unsettle men's minds and excite their feelings, and render them incapable for the discharge of the everyday duties of ordinary life; from that contest, sir, I will never shrink, till I have set my heel upon the Eatanswill INDEPENDENT. I wish the people of London, and the people of this country to know, sir, that they may rely upon me --that I will not desert them, that I am resolved to stand by them, Sir, to the last.' 'Your conduct is most noble, Sir,' said Mr. Pickwick; and he grasped the hand of the magnanimous Pott. 'You are, sir, I perceive, a man of sense and talent,' said Mr. Pott, almost breathless with the vehemence of his patriotic declaration. 'I am most happy, sir, to make the acquaintance of such a man.'
'And I,' said Mr. Pickwick, 'feel deeply honoured by this expression of your opinion. Allow me, sir, to introduce you to my fellow-travellers, the other corresponding members of the club I am proud to have founded.'
'I shall be delighted,' said Mr. Pott.
Mr. Pickwick withdrew, and returning with his friends, presented them in due form to the editor of the Eatanswill GAZETTE.
'Now, my dear Pott,' said little Mr. Perker, 'the question is, what are we to do with our friends here?'
'We can stop in this house, I suppose,' said Mr. Pickwick.
'Not a spare bed in the house, my dear sir--not a single bed.'
'Extremely awkward,' said Mr. Pickwick.
'Very,' said his fellow-voyagers.
'I have an idea upon this subject,' said Mr. Pott, 'which I think may be very successfully adopted. They have two beds at the Peacock, and I can boldly say, on behalf of Mrs. Pott, that she will be delighted to accommodate Mr. Pickwick and any one of his friends, if the other two gentlemen and their servant do not object to shifting, as they best can, at the Peacock.'
After repeated pressings on the part of Mr. Pott, and repeated protestations on that of Mr.