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"This contest excites great interest in the metropolis sir?"

"I believe it does," said Mr. Pickwick.

"To which I have reason to know," said Pott, looking towards Mr. Perker for conoboration2)—"to which I have reason to know that my article of last Saturday in some degrée contributed."

"Not the least doubt of it," said the little man.

"The ptess is a mighty engine, sir," said Pott.

Mr. Pickwick yielded his fullest assent to the proposition.

"But I trust, sir," said Pott, "that I have never abused the enormous power I wield. I trust, sir, that I have never pointed the noble instrument which is placed in my hands, against the sacred bosom of private life, or the tender breast of individual reputation; I trust, sir, that I have devoted my energies to—to endeavours—humble they may be, humble 1 know they are—to instil those principles of—which—are "

Here the editor of The Eatanswill Gazette appearing to ramble, Mr. Pickwick came to his reliëf, and said,—


'"And what, sir"—said Pott—"what, sir, Iet me ask you as an impartial man, is the state of the public mind in London, with reference to my contest with the Independent?"

"Greatly excited, no doubt," interposed Mr. Perker, with a look of slyness which was very likely accidental.

"The contest," said Pott, "shall be prolonged so long as I have health and strength, and that portion of talent with which I am gifted. From that contest, sir, although it may unsettle men's minds and excite their feelings, and render

1. metropolis: capital, i.e. London. The word is characteristic of the newspaper man who Ioves high-sounding words.

2. conoboration: confirmation by further evidence.