"Now, could you cut a man's throat with such a thing as this?" demanded Jonas. (1872). Forty-sixth illustration by Fred Barnard for Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit (Chapter XLI), page 321. [Mr. Jobling, the Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Insurance Company's examining physician, looks askance over his wine at company shareholder Jonas Chuzzlewit, who is already contemplating murdering his business associate, Mr. Montague, to free himself from the difficult position in which Montague's possessing some "secret" about Jonas has placed him.] 10.7 x 13.8 cm. Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Passage Illustrated

Mr. Jobling pulled out his shirt-frill of fine linen, as though he would have said, 'This is what I call nature in a medical man, sir;' and looked at Jonas for an observation.

Jonas not being in a condition to pursue the subject, took up a case of lancets that was lying on the table, and opened it.

"Ah!" said the doctor, leaning back in his chair, "I always take 'em out of my pocket before I eat. My pockets are rather tight. Ha, ha, ha!"

Jonas had opened one of the shining little instruments; and was scrutinizing it with a look as sharp and eager as its own bright edge.

"Good steel, doctor. Good steel! Eh!"

"Ye-es," replied the doctor, with the faltering modesty of ownership. "One might open a vein pretty dexterously with that, Mr Chuzzlewit."

"It has opened a good many in its time, I suppose?" said Jonas looking at it with a growing interest.

"Not a few, my dear sir, not a few. It has been engaged in a —in a pretty good practice, I believe I may say," replied the doctor, coughing as if the matter-of-fact were so very dry and literal that he couldn't help it. "In a pretty good practice," repeated the doctor, putting another glass of wine to his lips.

"Now, could you cut a man's throat with such a thing as this?" demanded Jonas.

"Oh certainly, certainly, if you took him in the right place," returned the doctor. "It all depends upon that." — Chapter 41, "Mr. Jonas and His Friend, Arriving at a Pleasant Understanding, Set Forth upon an Enterprise," p. 324.

Relevant Illustrations, 1844-1910

Above: Harry Furniss's somewhat derivative realisation of the scene in which Tigg Montague, the insurance company director, receives his investor Jonas Chuzzlewit just after receiving Nadgett's report, Jonas Chuzzlewit and Montagu Tigg​ (1910). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Left: Hablot Knight Browne's realisation of Jonas's immediate reaction to Tigg's blackmailing him, Mr. Nadgett Breathes, as Usual, an Atmosphere of Mystery (Chapter 38, February 1844). Centre: Phiz's dynamic realisation of Jonas's attempting to murder Tigg by having the horses trample him as they travel to Salisbury, Mr. Jonas Exhibits his Presence of Mind (April 1844). Right: Harry Furniss's complement to the rising tension as Jonas looks for an opportunity to murder Montague Tigg or "Tigg Montague," On the Road to Salisbury (Chapter 42, 1910). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]


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Last modified 7 August 2016