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THE PICWICK CLUB

45

Honourable *) Samuel Slumkey, of Slumkey Hall, was the Blue candidate; and Horatio Fizkin, Esq., of Fizkin Lodge, near Eatanswill, had been prevailed upon by his friends to stand forward on the Buff interest. The Gazette warned the electors of Eatanswill that the eyes not only of England, but of the whole civilised world, were upon them; and the Independent imperatively demandedtoknow.whethertheconstituency2) of Eatanswill were the grand fellows they had always taken them for, or base and servile tools, undeserving alike the name of Englishmen and the blessings of freedom. Never had such a commotion agitated the town before,.

It was late in the evenirig, when Mr. Pickwick and his companions, assisted by Sam3), dismounted from the roof of the Eatanswill coach. Large blue silk flags were flying from the windows of the Town Arms Inn, and bills were posted in every sash4), intimating, in gigantic letters, that the Honourable Samuel Slumkey's Committee sat there daily. A crowd of idlers were assembled in the road, looking at a hoarse man in the balcony, who was apparently talking himself very red in the face in Mr. Slumkey's behalf; but the force and point of whose

1. The English resemble or surpass the Germans in their fondness for titles. Mr. Slumkey was probably called honourable because he was the son of a peer below the rank of Marquess. His name suggests that his father owned part of the land on which the town was built. It was, and is, the custom for such landlords not to sell the ownership of the land but only the leasehold (Dutch erfpacht), so that in course of years it returns to their owners; if the land has increased in value the rent is increased.— slums are the dirty back streets or alleys of a town. — Fizkin is formed with the diminutive ending— kin; the first part suggests to fizz: to make a hissing sound, as of a champagne-bottle on being opened; also applied to persons with respect to their temper.

2. constituency: body of voters who elect a member of Parliament. See37,l.

3. Sam: Mr. Pickwick's servant.

4. sash: one of two equal frames forming a window.

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