Dickens serialized his first novel, Pickwick Papers. The novel—and its readership—were sagging badly when Dickens introduced the comic character Sam Weller, who came to the rescue and saved the day.
Mr. Pickwick meets Sam Weller at The White Hart Inn, where Sam is working. Mr. Pickwick hires Sam as his servant and travel companion. Sam is a smart, devoted, working class Londoner who acts as a foil to the more innocent, other-worldly Mr. Pickwick. Sam has street smarts, a comic way with words, and a sour view of life. His is never at a loss for a cliche or a deadpan and horrible simile. His statements tend to follow a pattern in which he says something, following it by an allusion to literature or history. The comedy arise from the disconnect between what is going on (usually ordinary) and Weller's allusions to grisly events. Some examples of Weller's speech are as follows:
Weller grimly tells Mr. Pickwick when a visitor arrives:
"He wants you particklar; no one else’ll do, as the Devil’s private secretary said ven he fetched avay Doctor Faustus.”
It is ridiculous—and thus we laugh—when Weller compares getting a visit to having your soul taken by the devil.
Likewise, in reference to the arrangement of pies at a wedding breakfast, Weller uses a grisly simile to describe the food at this cheerful event:
“There; now we look compact and comfortable, as the father said ven he cut his little boy’s head off, to cure him o’ squintin’.”
Other comically grisly and exaggerated quotations are as follows:
“Business first, pleasure arterwards, as King Richard the Third said wen he stabbed t’other king in the Tower, afore he smothered the babbies.”
“Sorry to do anythin’ as may cause an interruption to such wery pleasant proceedin’s, as the king said wen he dissolved the parliament.”
"Out vith it, as the father said to the child, ven he swallowed a farden [a coin]"