Chapters 1-2 Summary

On May 12, 1827, the members of the Pickwick Club gather to hear Mr. Samuel Pickwick present a paper, “Speculations on the Source of the Hampstead Ponds, with Some Observations on the Theory of Tittlebats.” These observations are met with great applause, and it is moved that a Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club be formed. The members will be Samuel Pickwick, founder of the Club; Tracy Tupman, a great fan of the ladies; Augustus Snodgrass, a poet of little note; and Nathaniel Winkle, a sportsman. It is further moved that these four gentlemen shall pay all their own expenses and report at times to the Club on their travels, all costs of postage being paid by the four gentlemen. Mr. Pickwick rises to the occasion and accepts the Club’s designation despite the current dangers for travelers in England. Some member of the Club objects to this. Mr. Pickwick takes offense and implied insult to the objector. It is discovered that it is Mr. Blotton of Aldgate who has disagreed with Mr. Pickwick, though he resents Mr. Pickwick’s accusation and calls Mr. Pickwick a humbug. The Chairman asks Mr. Blotton if he meant the term “humbug” in the common sense. Mr. Blotton replies that he meant it in the Pickwickian sense. All are satisfied and the meeting comes to a close.

Mr. Pickwick arises the next morning and takes a cab to meet the other members. The driver regales him with ludicrous facts about his horse, which Mr. Pickwick writes down. When they arrive at their destination, the driver accuses Mr. Pickwick of being an informer. The three other members join the fight, which is soon broken up by a stranger. This stranger suggests that they go for a drink to recover, which in the end is paid for by Mr. Pickwick.

On the way to Rochester, the stranger joins the four Pickwickians and tells them of his many (though doubtful) adventures. When they arrive at the inn, the members invite the stranger to dine with them. At the dinner,...

(The entire section is 571 words.)