PICKWICK PAPERS


PROPOSING: WILL YOU HAVE ME?
‘I beg your pardon, Mr. Pickwick; but have you ever done this sort of thing in your time?’ said Mr. Magnus.
‘You mean proposing?’ said Mr. Pickwick.
Yes.’
‘Never,’ said Mr. Pickwick, with great energy, ‘never.
‘You have no idea, then, how it’s best to begin?’ said Mr. Magnus.
‘Why,’ said Mr. Pickwick, ‘I may have formed some ideas upon the subject, but, as I have never submitted them to the test
of experience, I should be sorry if you were induced to regulate your proceedings by them.’
‘I should feel very much obliged to you, for any advice, Sir,’ said Mr. Magnus, taking another look at the clock, the hand of
which was verging on the five minutes past.
‘Well, sir,’ said Mr. Pickwick, with the profound solemnity with which that great man could, when he pleased, render his
remarks so deeply impressive.  ‘I should commence, sir, with a tribute to the lady’s beauty and excellent qualities; from them,
Sir, I should diverge to my own unworthiness.’
‘Very good,’ said Mr. Magnus.
‘Unworthiness for HER only, mind, sir,’ resumed Mr. Pickwick;’ for to show that I was not wholly unworthy, sir, I should take a
brief review of my past life, and present condition.  I should argue, by analogy, that to anybody else, I must be a very desirable
object.  I should then expatiate on the warmth of my love, and the depth of my devotion.  Perhaps I might then be tempted to
seize her hand.’
‘Yes, I see,’ said Mr. Magnus; ‘that would be a very great point.’
‘I should then, Sir,’ continued Mr. Pickwick, growing warmer as the subject presented itself in more glowing colours before
him–‘I should then, Sir, come to the plain and simple question, “Will you have me?”  I think I am justified in assuming that
upon this, she would turn away her head.’
‘You think that may be taken for granted?’ said Mr. Magnus; ‘because, if she did not do that at the right place, it would
be embarrassing.’
‘I think she would,’ said Mr. Pickwick.  ‘Upon this, sir, I should squeeze her hand, and I think–I think, Mr. Magnus–
that after I had done that, supposing there was no refusal, I should gently draw away the handkerchief, which my slight
knowledge of human nature leads me to suppose the lady would be applying to her eyes at the moment, and steal a respectful kiss.
I think I should kiss her, Mr. Magnus; and at this particular point, I am decidedly of opinion that if the lady were going to
take me at all, she would murmur into my ears a bashful acceptance.’
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