"My little woman, why do you look at me in that way? Pray don't do it."
"I can't help my looks," says Mrs. Snagsby, "and if I could I wouldn't."
Mr. Snagsby, with his cough of meekness, rejoins, "Wouldn't you really, my dear?" and meditates. Then coughs his cough of trouble and says, "This is a dreadful mystery, my love! [...] Don't for goodness' sake speak to me with that bitter expression and look at me in that searching way! I beg and entreat of you not to do it. Good Lord, you don't suppose that I would go spontaneously combusting any person, my dear?"
"I can't say," returns Mrs. Snagsby.
On a hasty review of his unfortunate position, Mr. Snagsby "can't say" either. He is not prepared positively to deny that he may have had something to do with it. He has had something--he don't know what--to do with so much in this connexion that is mysterious that it is possible he may even be implicated, without knowing it, in the present transaction. [...] Mr. Snagsby casts his eye forlornly round the bar, gives Messrs. Weevle and Guppy good morning, assures them of the satisfaction with which he sees them uninjured, and accompanies Mrs. Snagsby from the Sol's Arms. Before night his doubt whether he may not be responsible for some inconceivable part in the catastrophe which is the talk of the whole neighbourhood is almost resolved into certainty by Mrs. Snagsby's pertinacity in that fixed gaze. His mental sufferings are so great that he entertains wandering ideas of delivering himself up to justice and requiring to be cleared if innocent and punished with the utmost rigour of the law if guilty. (23.15-37)
Snagsby is probably the best evidence for how heavy a layer of surveillance, dread, and general self-policing lies over the world of this novel. He is totally confused about what is going on, but even his confusion somehow transforms itself into feelings of guilt (as opposed to, say, curiosity).