Sam Weller’s impersonation of an oyster

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We have said that Mr Weller was engaged in preparing for his journey to London – he was taking sustenance, in fact. On the table before him, stood a pot of ale, a cold round of beef, and a very respectable-looking loaf, to each of which he distributed his favours in turn, with the most rigid impartiality. He had just cut a mighty slice from the latter, when the footsteps of somebody entering the room, caused him to raise his head; and he beheld his son.

‘Mornin’, Sammy!’ said the father.

The son walked up to the pot of ale, and nodding significantly to his parent, took a long draught by way of reply.

‘Wery good power o’ suction, Sammy,’ said Mr Weller the elder, looking into the pot, when his first-born had set it down half empty. ‘You’d ha’ made an uncommon fine oyster, Sammy, if you’d been born in that station o’ life.’

‘Yes, I des-say, I should ha’ managed to pick up a respectable livin’,’ replied Sam applying himself to the cold beef, with considerable vigour.

From The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club by Charles Dickens (1836)