Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/236

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

cipitately round the corner, and there enjoyed a glorious laugh under an umbrella, to the great amazement of all beholders.

Being on a Dickens pilgrimage, they went to Furnival's Inn, where he wrote "Pickwick" in a three-story room, and read it to the old porter. The same old porter told them all about it, and quite revelled in the remembrance. It did one's heart good to see the stiff, dried-up old fellow thaw and glow with the recollection of the handsome young man who was kind to him long ago, before the world had found him out.

"Did you think the book would be famous when he read it to you in 1834, as you say?" asked the Professor, beaming at him in a way that would have melted the heart of the stiff-tailed lion of the Northumberlands, if he'd possessed such an organ.

"O dear, yes, sir; I felt sure it would be summat good, it made me laugh so. He didn't think much of it; but I know a good thing when I see it," and the old man gave an important nod, as if all the credit of the blessed Pickwick belonged to him. "He married Miss Hogarth while livin' here; and