LINES TO A BRASS POT
"Oh Pott! if you'd known
How false she'd have grown,
When you heard the marriage bells tinkle;
You'd have done then, I vow,
What you cannot help now,
And handed her over to W*****"
Just as Mr Pott is asking Mr Winkle what rhymes with tinkle, his wife appears and provides the answer quite oblivious to what is going on. Once Mrs Pott reads the offending article, she goes into hysterics. Mr Winkle decides to leave the Potts to sort out their marital differences, saying he has received a letter from Mr Pickwick who is expecting him at Bury.
"The breakfast passed off in silence, for each member of the party was brooding over his, or her, own personal grievances. Mrs Pott was regretting the loss of a beau; Mr Pott his rash pledge to horse-whip the Independent; Mr Winkle his having innocently placed himself in so awkward a situation."
This chapter ends with the Pickwickians gathered together at Bury St Edmunds when Sam brings Mr Pickwick a letter. This is from Dodson and Fogg, solicitors in London who are acting on behalf of Mrs Bardell. She is suing Mr Pickwick for fifteen hundred pounds for "breach of promise of marriage". Mr Pickwick decides to go to London to see these solicitors in a few days time.
Chapter 19 starts with a lovely description of the September morning which has been set aside for the shoot. "The sky was cloudless; the sun shone out bright and warm; the songs of birds, and hum of myriads of summer insects, filled the air; and the cottage gardens, crowded with flowers of every rich and beautiful tint, sparked, in the heavy dew, like beds of glittering jewels. Everything bore the stamp of summer, and none of its beautiful colours had yet faded from the dye."
Lunch is taken on land which belongs to a neighbour and includes punch and beer. Mr Pickwick partakes liberally of the punch with the result he is left sleeping in the wheelbarrow as the others go back to the shoot. Unfortunately for Mr Pickwick the owner of the land arrives with his gardeners and is very annoyed by the trespasser whom he demands should be taken to the animal pound where the local boys throw vegetables at him.
In chapter 20 Mr Pickwick goes to London with Sam to speak to the solicitors, Dodson and Fogg. Here Dickens is back in familiar territory and his description of the solicitors' office is excellent. "The clerks' office of Messrs Dodson and Fogg was a dark, mouldy, earthy-smelling room, with a high wainscotted partition to screen the clerks from the vulgar gaze: a couple of old wooden chairs: a very loud-ticking clock: an almanac, an umbrella-stand, a row of hap-pegs, and a few shelves, on which were deposited several ticketed bundles of dirty papers, some old deal boxes with paper labels, and sundry decayed stone ink bottles of various shapes and sizes."