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The Pickwick Papers

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The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and converts into a dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlier history of the public career of the immortal Pickwick would appear to be involved, is derived from the perusal of the following entry in the Transactions of the Pickwick Club, which the editor of these papers feels the highest pleasure in laying before his readers, as a proof of the careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination, with which his search among the multifarious documents confided to him has been conducted.

‘May 12, 1827. Joseph Smiggers, Esq., P.V.P.M.P.C. [Perpetual Vice-President—Member Pickwick Club], presiding. The following resolutions unanimously agreed to:—

‘That this Association has heard read, with feelings of unmingled satisfaction, and unqualified approval, the paper communicated by Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C. [General Chairman—Member Pickwick Club], entitled “Speculations on the Source of the Hampstead Ponds, with some Observations on the Theory of Tittlebats;” and that this Association does hereby return its warmest thanks to the said Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., for the same.

‘That while this Association is deeply sensible of the advantages which must accrue to the cause of science, from the production to which they have just adverted—no less than from the unwearied researches of Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., in Hornsey, Highgate, Brixton, and Camberwell—they cannot but entertain a lively sense of the inestimable benefits which must inevitably result from carrying the speculations of that learned man into a wider field, from extending his travels, and, consequently, enlarging his sphere of observation, to the advancement of knowledge, and the diffusion of learning.

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Chapter 1
Table of contents CHAPTER I. THE PICKWICKIANS CHAPTER II. THE FIRST DAY’S JOURNEY, AND THE FIRST EVENING’S ADVENTURES; WITH THEIR CONSEQUENCES CHAPTER III. A NEW ACQUAINTANCE—THE STROLLER’S TALE—A DISAGREEABLE INTERRUPTION, AND AN UNPLEASANT ENCOUNTER CHAPTER IV. A FIELD DAY AND BIVOUAC—MORE NEW FRIENDS—AN INVITATION TO THE COUNTRY CHAPTER V. A SHORT ONE—SHOWING, AMONG OTHER MATTERS, HOW Mr. PICKWICK UNDERTOOK TO DRIVE, AND MR. WINKLE TO RIDE, AND HOW THEY BOTH DID IT CHAPTER VI. AN OLD-FASHIONED CARD-PARTY—THE CLERGYMAN’S VERSES—THE STORY OF THE CONVICT’S RETURN CHAPTER VIII. STRONGLY ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE POSITION, THAT THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE IS NOT A RAILWAY CHAPTER IX. A DISCOVERY AND A CHASE CHAPTER X. CLEARING UP ALL DOUBTS (IF ANY EXISTED) OF THE DISINTERESTEDNESS OF MR. A. JINGLE’S CHARACTER CHAPTER XII. DESCRIPTIVE OF A VERY IMPORTANT PROCEEDING ON THE PART OF MR. PICKWICK; NO LESS AN EPOCH IN HIS LIFE, THAN IN THIS HISTORY CHAPTER XIV. COMPRISING A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPANY AT THE PEACOCK ASSEMBLED; AND A TALE TOLD BY A BAGMAN CHAPTER XVI. TOO FULL OF ADVENTURE TO BE BRIEFLY DESCRIBED CHAPTER XVII. SHOWING THAT AN ATTACK OF RHEUMATISM, IN SOME CASES, ACTS AS A QUICKENER TO INVENTIVE GENIUS CHAPTER XVIII. BRIEFLY ILLUSTRATIVE OF TWO POINTS; FIRST, THE POWER OF HYSTERICS, AND, SECONDLY, THE FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCES CHAPTER XIX. A PLEASANT DAY WITH AN UNPLEASANT TERMINATION CHAPTER XXI. IN WHICH THE OLD MAN LAUNCHES FORTH INTO HIS FAVOURITE THEME, AND RELATES A STORY ABOUT A QUEER CLIENT CHAPTER XXII. MR. PICKWICK JOURNEYS TO IPSWICH AND MEETS WITH A ROMANTIC ADVENTURE WITH A MIDDLE-AGED LADY IN YELLOW CURL-PAPERS CHAPTER XXIII. IN WHICH MR. SAMUEL WELLER BEGINS TO DEVOTE HIS ENERGIES TO THE RETURN MATCH BETWEEN HIMSELF AND MR. TROTTER CHAPTER XXIV. WHEREIN MR. PETER MAGNUS GROWS JEALOUS, AND THE MIDDLE-AGED LADY APPREHENSIVE, WHICH BRINGS THE PICKWICKIANS WITHIN THE GRASP OF THE LAW CHAPTER XXVI. WHICH CONTAINS A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE PROGRESS OF THE ACTION OF BARDELL AGAINST PICKWICK CHAPTER XXVII. SAMUEL WELLER MAKES A PILGRIMAGE TO DORKING, AND BEHOLDS HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW CHAPTER XXIX. THE STORY OF THE GOBLINS WHO STOLE A SEXTON CHAPTER XXXI. WHICH IS ALL ABOUT THE LAW, AND SUNDRY GREAT AUTHORITIES LEARNED THEREIN CHAPTER XXXII. DESCRIBES, FAR MORE FULLY THAN THE COURT NEWSMAN EVER DID, A BACHELOR’S PARTY, GIVEN BY MR. BOB SAWYER AT HIS LODGINGS IN THE BOROUGH CHAPTER XXXIV. IS WHOLLY DEVOTED TO A FULL AND FAITHFUL REPORT OF THE MEMORABLE TRIAL OF BARDELL AGAINST PICKWICK CHAPTER XXXV. IN WHICH MR. PICKWICK THINKS HE HAD BETTER GO TO BATH; AND GOES ACCORDINGLY CHAPTER XXXVIII. HOW MR. WINKLE, WHEN HE STEPPED OUT OF THE FRYING-PAN, WALKED GENTLY AND COMFORTABLY INTO THE FIRE CHAPTER XXXIX. MR. SAMUEL WELLER, BEING INTRUSTED WITH A MISSION OF LOVE, PROCEEDS TO EXECUTE IT; WITH WHAT SUCCESS WILL HEREINAFTER APPEAR CHAPTER XL. INTRODUCES MR. PICKWICK TO A NEW AND NOT UNINTERESTING SCENE IN THE GREAT DRAMA OF LIFE CHAPTER XLI. WHAT BEFELL MR. PICKWICK WHEN HE GOT INTO THE FLEET; WHAT PRISONERS HE SAW THERE, AND HOW HE PASSED THE NIGHT CHAPTER XLIII. SHOWING HOW MR. SAMUEL WELLER GOT INTO DIFFICULTIES CHAPTER XLVI. RECORDS A TOUCHING ACT OF DELICATE FEELING, NOT UNMIXED WITH PLEASANTRY, ACHIEVED AND PERFORMED BY Messrs. DODSON AND FOGG CHAPTER XLIX. CONTAINING THE STORY OF THE BAGMAN’S UNCLE CHAPTER L. HOW MR. PICKWICK SPED UPON HIS MISSION, AND HOW HE WAS REINFORCED IN THE OUTSET BY A MOST UNEXPECTED AUXILIARY CHAPTER LII. INVOLVING A SERIOUS CHANGE IN THE WELLER FAMILY, AND THE UNTIMELY DOWNFALL OF MR. STIGGINS CHAPTER LV. MR. SOLOMON PELL, ASSISTED BY A SELECT COMMITTEE OF COACHMEN, ARRANGES THE AFFAIRS OF THE ELDER MR. WELLER CHAPTER LVII. IN WHICH THE PICKWICK CLUB IS FINALLY DISSOLVED, AND EVERYTHING CONCLUDED TO THE SATISFACTION OF EVERYBODY

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