In the Old Room by Phiz (Hablot K. Browne) from Dickens's Little Dorrit, Book the Second, "Riches," Chapter 28, "An Appearance in the Marshalsea" (May 1857: Part Eighteen), facing p. 640. 10.2 cm high by 14 cm wide, vignetted. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

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Passage Illustrated

His door was immediately swung open by a thump, and in the doorway stood the missing Blandois, the cause of many anxieties.

"Salve, fellow jail-bird!" said he. "You want me, it seems. Here I am!"

Before Arthur could speak to him in his indignant wonder, Cavalletto followed him into the room. Mr. Pancks followed Cavalletto. Neither of the two had been there since its present occupant had had possession of it. Mr. Pancks, breathing hard, sidled near the window, put his hat on the ground, stirred his hair up with both hands, and folded his arms, like a man who had come to a pause in a hard day's work. Mr. Baptist, never taking his eyes from his dreaded chum of old, softly sat down on the floor with his back against the door and one of his ankles in each hand: resuming the attitude (except that it was now expressive of unwinking watchfulness) in which he had sat before the same man in the deeper shade of another prison, one hot morning at Marseilles.

"I have it on the witnessing of these two madmen," said Monsieur Blandois, otherwise Lagnier, otherwise Rigaud, "that you want me, brother-bird. Here I am!"

Glancing round contemptuously at the bedstead, which was turned up by day, he leaned his back against it as a resting-place, without removing his hat from his head, and stood defiantly lounging with his hands in his pockets. — Book the Second, "Riches," Chapter 28, "An Appearance in the Marshalsea," p. 639-640.


Perhaps three months after Arthur's taking tea with John Chivery in the Marshalsea, "The Pupil of the the Marshalsea" receives four visitors from the outside world in his cramped quarters, formerly assigned to "The Patriarch," William Dorrit. The first is one of the Barnacles from the Circumlocution Office, who is just politely calling to see if the activities of the bureaucratic (and obstructionist) office have inadvertently ruined Clennam. The group of outside visitors that then appears consists of the previously missing Blandois (i., e., Rigaud), the Italian Cavaletto ("Mr. Baptist," as he is called in Bleeding Heart Yard), and that astute man of business (whose advice landed Arthur in the Marshalsea), Mr. Pancks. Blandois' visit is hardly disinterested, for he informs Arthur that he has something of value to Mrs. Clennam that he is prepared to part with for a price. He will give her one week to respond.

Pertinent illustrations in three other editions: 1867, 1873, and 1910

Left: Eytinge, Junior's dual study of the suave confidence man and jovial Italian smuggler in their cell in Marseilles, Rigaud and Cavaletto (1867). Right: a detail from Furniss's study of Flintwinch and Blandois, Mrs. Clennam and the Plotters (1910)[Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Above: James Mahoney's illustration of Ferdinand Barnacle's visit to Arthur Clennam in his room in the Marshalsea, It was the sprightly young Barnacle, Ferdinand (1873). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]


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Last modified 22 May 2016