Friday, February 18, 2011

Pickwick Papers: Sam & Tony Weller

Pickwick Papers: Sam & Tony Weller

This is the sixth of a short series of images I created especially for fascinating daily blog Spitalfields Life, which had featured me (and my Oranges & Lemons print) in May last year.

I had mentioned to 'the Gentle Author' that half of one chapter of the Pickwick Papers was set in Brick Lane and so we conceived the idea of a collaboration of sorts - the GA would post an edited form of Chapter 32 and I would provide the illustrations (8 in toto).

This image follows on directly from the previous post, about the tea-drinking ladies at the Brick Lane temperance meeting. Pickwick's servant Samuel Weller, and Sam's father Tony are there too, sitting on a form and looking on in bewilderment.

'On this particular occasion the women drank tea to a most alarming extent, greatly to the horror of Mr Weller, senior, who, utterly regardless of all Sam’s admonitory nudgings, stared about him in every direction with the most undisguised astonishment. “Sammy,” whispered Mr Weller, “if some o’ these here people don’t want tappin’ to-morrow mornin’, I ain’t your father, and that’s wot it is. Why, this here old lady next me is a-drowndin’ herself in tea.” “Be quiet, can’t you?” murmured Sam.

“If this here lasts much longer, Sammy,” said Mr Weller, in the same low voice, “I shall feel it my duty, as a human bein’, to rise and address the cheer. There’s a young ‘ooman on the next form but two, as has drunk nine breakfast cups and a half, and she’s a-swellin’ wisibly before my wery eyes.”'

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