THE PICKWICK CLUB
Painted by C. Green
Etched by Charles-Albert Waltner
Prix de Rome 1868, med. 1870, 2e cl. 1874, 3e cl. 1878 (E. U.),
med. 1re cl. 1880, med. d'honn. 1882, H. C., Sre S. d'A. F.
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"The immortal scene in the opening pages of the papers of the Pickwick Club in which is recounted the inaugural speech of the great founder. 'And how much more interesting did the spectacle become, when, starting into full life and animation as a simultaneous call for 'Pickwick' burst from his followers, that illustrious man slowly mounted into the Windsor chair, on which he had been previously seated, and addressed the club himself had founded. What a study for an artist did that exciting scene present! The eloquent Pickwick, with one hand gracefully concealed beneath his coat tails, and the other waving in air, to assist his glowing declamation: his elevated position revealing those tights and gaiters which, had they clothed an ordinary man, might have passed without observation, but which, when Pickwick clothed them - if we may use the expression - inspired involuntary awe and respect. On his right hand sat Mr. Tracy Tupman; the too susceptible Tupman, who to the wisdom and experience of maturer years superadded the enthusiasm and ardor of a boy in the most interesting and pardonable of human weaknesses - love. Time and feeling had expanded that once romantic form; the black silk waistcoat had become more and more developed; inch by inch had the gold watch chain beneath it disappeared from within the range of Tupman's vision; and gradually had the capacious chin encrouched upon the borders of the white cravat, but the soul of Tupman had known no change - admiration of the fair sex was still its ruling passion. On the left of this great leader sat the poetic Snodgrass, and near him again the sporting Winkle; the former poetically enveloped in a mysterious blue cloak with a canine-skin collar, and the latter communicating additional lustre to a new green shooting-coat, plaid neckerchief, and closely fitted drabs.'"