In this quotation, the character Sam Weller seems to have spotted a correlation between the number of stalls selling oysters in poorer areas.
The solemn protestations of the hostler being wholly unavailing, the leather hat-box was obliged to be raked up from the lowest depth of the boot, to satisfy him that it had been safely packed; and after he had been assured on this head, he felt a solemn presentiment, first, that the red bag was mislaid, and next that the striped bag had been stolen, and then that the brown-paper parcel ‘had come untied.’ At length when he had received ocular demonstration of the groundless nature of each and every of these suspicions, he consented to climb up to the roof of the coach, observing that now he had taken everything off his mind, he felt quite comfortable and happy.
‘You’re given to nervousness, ain’t you, Sir?’ inquired Mr. Weller, senior, eyeing the stranger askance, as he mounted to his place.
‘Yes; I always am rather about these little matters,’ said the stranger, ‘but I am all right now—quite right.’
‘Well, that’s a blessin’, said Mr. Weller. ‘Sammy, help your master up to the box; t’other leg, Sir, that’s it; give us your hand, Sir. Up with you. You was a lighter weight when you was a boy, sir.’
True enough, that, Mr. Weller,’ said the breathless Mr. Pickwick good-humouredly, as he took his seat on the box beside him.
‘Jump up in front, Sammy,’ said Mr. Weller. ‘Now Villam, run ‘em out. Take care o’ the archvay, gen’l’m’n. “Heads,” as the pieman says. That’ll do, Villam. Let ‘em alone.’ And away went the coach up Whitechapel, to the admiration of the whole population of that pretty densely populated quarter.
‘Not a wery nice neighbourhood, this, Sir,’ said Sam, with a touch of the hat, which always preceded his entering into conversation with his master.
‘It is not indeed, Sam,’ replied Mr. Pickwick, surveying the crowded and filthy street through which they were passing.
‘It’s a wery remarkable circumstance, Sir,’ said Sam, ‘that poverty and oysters always seem to go together.’
‘I don’t understand you, Sam,’ said Mr. Pickwick.
‘What I mean, sir,’ said Sam, ‘is, that the poorer a place is, the greater call there seems to be for oysters. Look here, sir; here’s a oyster-stall to every half-dozen houses. The street’s lined vith ‘em. Blessed if I don’t think that ven a man’s wery poor, he rushes out of his lodgings, and eats oysters in reg’lar desperation.’
‘To be sure he does,’ said Mr. Weller, senior; ‘and it’s just the same vith pickled salmon!’
‘Those are two very remarkable facts, which never occurred to me before,’ said Mr. Pickwick. ‘The very first place we stop at, I’ll make a note of them.’
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