Page 51

The Pickwick Papers

A request for Snodgrass

'Snodgrass,' said Mr Winkle, when they had turned off the public street. 'Snodgrass, my dear fellow, can I rely upon your secrecy?' As he said this, he most devoutly and earnestly hoped he could not.

'You can,' replied Mr Snodgrass. 'Hear me swear - '

'No, no,' interrupted Winkle, terrified at the idea of his companion's unconsciously pledging himself not to give information; 'don't swear, don't swear; it's quite unnecessary.'

Mr Snodgrass dropped the hand which he had, in the spirit of poesy, raised towards the clouds as he made the above appeal, and assumed an attitude of attention.

'I want your assistance, my dear fellow, in an affair of honour,' said Mr Winkle.

'You shall have it,' replied Mr Snodgrass, clasping his friend's hand.

'With a doctor - Doctor Slammer, of the 97th,' said Mr Winkle, wishing to make the matter appear as solemn as possible; 'an affair with an officer, seconded by another officer, at sunset this evening, in a lonely field beyond Fort Pitt.'


Devoutly: Sincerely, totally
Earnestly: Seriously, honestly
Pledging: Promise
Poesy: Poetry
Affair of honour:Euphemism for a duel
Clasp: Take and hold
Solemn: Serious
Seconded: Here it means 'helped'

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