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نمایش نتایج: از شماره 11 تا 20 از مجموع 20

موضوع: Nicholas Nickleby

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    عنوان کاربری
    مدير بازنشسته تالار زبان و ادبيات انگلیسی
    تاریخ عضویت
    Jul 2009
    محل تحصیل
    شغل , تخصص
    مدرس زبان انگلیسی
    رشته تحصیلی
    راه های ارتباطی
    تشکر ها

    پیش فرض


    Of Miss Squeers, Mrs Squeers, Master Squeers, and Mr Squeers; and of
    various Matters and Persons connected no less with the Squeerses
    than Nicholas Nickleby

    When Mr Squeers left the schoolroom for the night, he betook
    himself, as has been before remarked, to his own fireside, which was
    situated--not in the room in which Nicholas had supped on the night
    of his arrival, but in a smaller apartment in the rear of the
    premises, where his lady wife, his amiable son, and accomplished
    daughter, were in the full enjoyment of each other's society; Mrs
    Squeers being engaged in the matronly pursuit of stocking-darning;
    and the young lady and gentleman being occupied in the adjustment of
    some youthful differences, by means of a pugilistic contest across
    the table, which, on the approach of their honoured parent, subsided
    into a noiseless exchange of kicks beneath it.

    And, in this place, it may be as well to apprise the reader, that
    Miss Fanny Squeers was in her three-and-twentieth year. If there be
    any one grace or loveliness inseparable from that particular period
    of life, Miss Squeers may be presumed to have been possessed of it,
    as there is no reason to suppose that she was a solitary exception
    to an universal rule. She was not tall like her mother, but short
    like her father; from the former she inherited a voice of harsh
    quality; from the latter a remarkable expression of the right eye,
    something akin to having none at all.

    Miss Squeers had been spending a few days with a neighbouring
    friend, and had only just returned to the parental roof. To this
    circumstance may be referred, her having heard nothing of Nicholas,
    until Mr Squeers himself now made him the subject of conversation.

    'Well, my dear,' said Squeers, drawing up his chair, 'what do you
    think of him by this time?'

    'Think of who?' inquired Mrs Squeers; who (as she often remarked)
    was no grammarian, thank Heaven.

    'Of the young man--the new teacher--who else could I mean?'

    'Oh! that Knuckleboy,' said Mrs Squeers impatiently. 'I hate him.'

    'What do you hate him for, my dear?' asked Squeers.

    'What's that to you?' retorted Mrs Squeers. 'If I hate him, that's
    enough, ain't it?'

    'Quite enough for him, my dear, and a great deal too much I dare
    say, if he knew it,' replied Squeers in a pacific tone. 'I only ask
    from curiosity, my dear.'

    'Well, then, if you want to know,' rejoined Mrs Squeers, 'I'll tell
    you. Because he's a proud, haughty, consequential, turned-up-nosed

    Mrs Squeers, when excited, was accustomed to use strong language,
    and, moreover, to make use of a plurality of epithets, some of which
    were of a figurative kind, as the word peacock, and furthermore the
    allusion to Nicholas's nose, which was not intended to be taken in
    its literal sense, but rather to bear a latitude of construction
    according to the fancy of the hearers.

    Neither were they meant to bear reference to each other, so much as
    to the object on whom they were bestowed, as will be seen in the
    present case: a peacock with a turned-up nose being a novelty in
    ornithology, and a thing not commonly seen.

    'Hem!' said Squeers, as if in mild deprecation of this outbreak.
    'He is cheap, my dear; the young man is very cheap.'

    'Not a bit of it,' retorted Mrs Squeers.

    'Five pound a year,' said Squeers.

    'What of that; it's dear if you don't want him, isn't it?' replied
    his wife.

    'But we DO want him,' urged Squeers.

    'I don't see that you want him any more than the dead,' said Mrs
    Squeers. 'Don't tell me. You can put on the cards and in the
    advertisements, "Education by Mr Wackford Squeers and able
    assistants," without having any assistants, can't you? Isn't it
    done every day by all the masters about? I've no patience with

    'Haven't you!' said Squeers, sternly. 'Now I'll tell you what, Mrs
    Squeers. In this matter of having a teacher, I'll take my own way,
    if you please. A slave driver in the West Indies is allowed a man
    under him, to see that his blacks don't run away, or get up a
    rebellion; and I'll have a man under me to do the same with OUR
    blacks, till such time as little Wackford is able to take charge of
    the school.'

    'Am I to take care of the school when I grow up a man, father?' said
    Wackford junior, suspending, in the excess of his delight, a vicious
    kick which he was administering to his sister.

    'You are, my son,' replied Mr Squeers, in a sentimental voice.

    'Oh my eye, won't I give it to the boys!' exclaimed the interesting
    child, grasping his father's cane. 'Oh, father, won't I make 'em
    squeak again!'

    It was a proud moment in Mr Squeers's life, when he witnessed that
    burst of enthusiasm in his young child's mind, and saw in it a
    foreshadowing of his future eminence. He pressed a penny into his
    hand, and gave vent to his feelings (as did his exemplary wife
    also), in a shout of approving laughter. The infantine appeal to
    their common sympathies, at once restored cheerfulness to the
    conversation, and harmony to the company.

    'He's a nasty stuck-up monkey, that's what I consider him,' said Mrs
    Squeers, reverting to Nicholas.

    'Supposing he is,' said Squeers, 'he is as well stuck up in our
    schoolroom as anywhere else, isn't he?--especially as he don't like

    'Well,' observed Mrs Squeers, 'there's something in that. I hope
    it'll bring his pride down, and it shall be no fault of mine if it

    Now, a proud usher in a Yorkshire school was such a very
    extraordinary and unaccountable thing to hear of,--any usher at all
    being a novelty; but a proud one, a being of whose existence the
    wildest imagination could never have dreamed--that Miss Squeers, who
    seldom troubled herself with scholastic matters, inquired with much
    curiosity who this Knuckleboy was, that gave himself such airs.

    'Nickleby,' said Squeers, spelling the name according to some
    eccentric system which prevailed in his own mind; 'your mother
    always calls things and people by their wrong names.'

    'No matter for that,' said Mrs Squeers; 'I see them with right eyes,
    and that's quite enough for me. I watched him when you were laying
    on to little Bolder this afternoon. He looked as black as thunder,
    all the while, and, one time, started up as if he had more than got
    it in his mind to make a rush at you. I saw him, though he thought
    I didn't.'

    'Never mind that, father,' said Miss Squeers, as the head of the
    family was about to reply. 'Who is the man?'

    'Why, your father has got some nonsense in his head that he's the
    son of a poor gentleman that died the other day,' said Mrs Squeers.

    'The son of a gentleman!'

    'Yes; but I don't believe a word of it. If he's a gentleman's son
    at all, he's a fondling, that's my opinion.'

    'Mrs Squeers intended to say 'foundling,' but, as she frequently
    remarked when she made any such mistake, it would be all the same a
    hundred years hence; with which axiom of philosophy, indeed, she was
    in the constant habit of consoling the boys when they laboured under
    more than ordinary ill-usage.

    'He's nothing of the kind,' said Squeers, in answer to the above
    remark, 'for his father was married to his mother years before he
    was born, and she is alive now. If he was, it would be no business
    of ours, for we make a very good friend by having him here; and if
    he likes to learn the boys anything besides minding them, I have no
    objection I am sure.'

    'I say again, I hate him worse than poison,' said Mrs Squeers

    'If you dislike him, my dear,' returned Squeers, 'I don't know
    anybody who can show dislike better than you, and of course there's
    no occasion, with him, to take the trouble to hide it.'

    'I don't intend to, I assure you,' interposed Mrs S.

    'That's right,' said Squeers; 'and if he has a touch of pride about
    him, as I think he has, I don't believe there's woman in all England
    that can bring anybody's spirit down, as quick as you can, my love.'

    Mrs Squeers chuckled vastly on the receipt of these flattering
    compliments, and said, she hoped she had tamed a high spirit or two
    in her day. It is but due to her character to say, that in
    conjunction with her estimable husband, she had broken many and many
    a one.

    Miss Fanny Squeers carefully treasured up this, and much more
    conversation on the same subject, until she retired for the night,
    when she questioned the hungry servant, minutely, regarding the
    outward appearance and demeanour of Nicholas; to which queries the
    girl returned such enthusiastic replies, coupled with so many
    laudatory remarks touching his beautiful dark eyes, and his sweet
    smile, and his straight legs--upon which last-named articles she
    laid particular stress; the general run of legs at Dotheboys Hall
    being crooked--that Miss Squeers was not long in arriving at the
    conclusion that the new usher must be a very remarkable person, or,
    as she herself significantly phrased it, 'something quite out of the
    common.' And so Miss Squeers made up her mind that she would take a
    personal observation of Nicholas the very next day.

    In pursuance of this design, the young lady watched the opportunity
    of her mother being engaged, and her father absent, and went
    accidentally into the schoolroom to get a pen mended: where, seeing
    nobody but Nicholas presiding over the boys, she blushed very
    deeply, and exhibited great confusion.

    'I beg your pardon,' faltered Miss Squeers; 'I thought my father
    was--or might be--dear me, how very awkward!'

    'Mr Squeers is out,' said Nicholas, by no means overcome by the
    apparition, unexpected though it was.

    'Do you know will he be long, sir?' asked Miss Squeers, with bashful

    'He said about an hour,' replied Nicholas--politely of course, but
    without any indication of being stricken to the heart by Miss
    Squeers's charms.

    'I never knew anything happen so cross,' exclaimed the young lady.
    'Thank you! I am very sorry I intruded, I am sure. If I hadn't
    thought my father was here, I wouldn't upon any account have--it is
    very provoking--must look so very strange,' murmured Miss Squeers,
    blushing once more, and glancing, from the pen in her hand, to
    Nicholas at his desk, and back again.

    'If that is all you want,' said Nicholas, pointing to the pen, and
    smiling, in spite of himself, at the affected embarrassment of the
    schoolmaster's daughter, 'perhaps I can supply his place.'

    Miss Squeers glanced at the door, as if dubious of the propriety of
    advancing any nearer to an utter stranger; then round the
    schoolroom, as though in some measure reassured by the presence of
    forty boys; and finally sidled up to Nicholas and delivered the pen
    into his hand, with a most winning mixture of reserve and

    'Shall it be a hard or a soft nib?' inquired Nicholas, smiling to
    prevent himself from laughing outright.

    'He HAS a beautiful smile,' thought Miss Squeers.

    'Which did you say?' asked Nicholas.

    'Dear me, I was thinking of something else for the moment, I
    declare,' replied Miss Squeers. 'Oh! as soft as possible, if you
    please.' With which words, Miss Squeers sighed. It might be, to
    give Nicholas to understand that her heart was soft, and that the
    pen was wanted to match.

    Upon these instructions Nicholas made the pen; when he gave it to
    Miss Squeers, Miss Squeers dropped it; and when he stooped to pick
    it up, Miss Squeers stopped also, and they knocked their heads
    together; whereat five-and-twenty little boys laughed aloud: being
    positively for the first and only time that half-year.

    'Very awkward of me,' said Nicholas, opening the door for the young
    lady's retreat.

    'Not at all, sir,' replied Miss Squeers; 'it was my fault. It was
    all my foolish--a--a--good-morning!'

    'Goodbye,' said Nicholas. 'The next I make for you, I hope will be
    made less clumsily. Take care! You are biting the nib off now.'

    'Really,' said Miss Squeers; 'so embarrassing that I scarcely know
    what I--very sorry to give you so much trouble.'

    'Not the least trouble in the world,' replied Nicholas, closing the
    schoolroom door.

    'I never saw such legs in the whole course of my life!' said Miss
    Squeers, as she walked away.

    In fact, Miss Squeers was in love with Nicholas Nickleby.

    To account for the rapidity with which this young lady had conceived
    a passion for Nicholas, it may be necessary to state, that the
    friend from whom she had so recently returned, was a miller's
    daughter of only eighteen, who had contracted herself unto the son
    of a small corn-factor, resident in the nearest market town. Miss
    Squeers and the miller's daughter, being fast friends, had
    covenanted together some two years before, according to a custom
    prevalent among young ladies, that whoever was first engaged to be
    married, should straightway confide the mighty secret to the bosom
    of the other, before communicating it to any living soul, and
    bespeak her as bridesmaid without loss of time; in fulfilment of
    which pledge the miller's daughter, when her engagement was formed,
    came out express, at eleven o'clock at night as the corn-factor's son
    made an offer of his hand and heart at twenty-five minutes past ten
    by the Dutch clock in the kitchen, and rushed into Miss Squeers's
    bedroom with the gratifying intelligence. Now, Miss Squeers being
    five years older, and out of her teens (which is also a great
    matter), had, since, been more than commonly anxious to return the
    compliment, and possess her friend with a similar secret; but,
    either in consequence of finding it hard to please herself, or
    harder still to please anybody else, had never had an opportunity so
    to do, inasmuch as she had no such secret to disclose. The little
    interview with Nicholas had no sooner passed, as above described,
    however, than Miss Squeers, putting on her bonnet, made her way,
    with great precipitation, to her friend's house, and, upon a solemn
    renewal of divers old vows of secrecy, revealed how that she was--
    not exactly engaged, but going to be--to a gentleman's son--(none of
    your corn-factors, but a gentleman's son of high descent)--who had
    come down as teacher to Dotheboys Hall, under most mysterious and
    remarkable circumstances--indeed, as Miss Squeers more than once
    hinted she had good reason to believe, induced, by the fame of her
    many charms, to seek her out, and woo and win her.

    'Isn't it an extraordinary thing?' said Miss Squeers, emphasising
    the adjective strongly.

    'Most extraordinary,' replied the friend. 'But what has he said to

    'Don't ask me what he said, my dear,' rejoined Miss Squeers. 'If
    you had only seen his looks and smiles! I never was so overcome in
    all my life.'

    'Did he look in this way?' inquired the miller's daughter,
    counterfeiting, as nearly as she could, a favourite leer of the

    'Very like that--only more genteel,' replied Miss Squeers.

    'Ah!' said the friend, 'then he means something, depend on it.'

    Miss Squeers, having slight misgivings on the subject, was by no
    means ill pleased to be confirmed by a competent authority; and
    discovering, on further conversation and comparison of notes, a
    great many points of resemblance between the behaviour of Nicholas,
    and that of the corn-factor, grew so exceedingly confidential, that
    she intrusted her friend with a vast number of things Nicholas had
    NOT said, which were all so very complimentary as to be quite
    conclusive. Then, she dilated on the fearful hardship of having a
    father and mother strenuously opposed to her intended husband; on
    which unhappy circumstance she dwelt at great length; for the
    friend's father and mother were quite agreeable to her being
    married, and the whole courtship was in consequence as flat and
    common-place an affair as it was possible to imagine.

    'How I should like to see him!' exclaimed the friend.

    'So you shall, 'Tilda,' replied Miss Squeers. 'I should consider
    myself one of the most ungrateful creatures alive, if I denied you.
    I think mother's going away for two days to fetch some boys; and
    when she does, I'll ask you and John up to tea, and have him to meet

    This was a charming idea, and having fully discussed it, the friends

    It so fell out, that Mrs Squeers's journey, to some distance, to
    fetch three new boys, and dun the relations of two old ones for the
    balance of a small account, was fixed that very afternoon, for the
    next day but one; and on the next day but one, Mrs Squeers got up
    outside the coach, as it stopped to change at Greta Bridge, taking
    with her a small bundle containing something in a bottle, and some
    sandwiches, and carrying besides a large white top-coat to wear in
    the night-time; with which baggage she went her way.

    Whenever such opportunities as these occurred, it was Squeers's
    custom to drive over to the market town, every evening, on pretence
    of urgent business, and stop till ten or eleven o'clock at a tavern
    he much affected. As the party was not in his way, therefore, but
    rather afforded a means of compromise with Miss Squeers, he readily
    yielded his full assent thereunto, and willingly communicated to
    Nicholas that he was expected to take his tea in the parlour that
    evening, at five o'clock.

    To be sure Miss Squeers was in a desperate flutter as the time
    approached, and to be sure she was dressed out to the best
    advantage: with her hair--it had more than a tinge of red, and she
    wore it in a crop--curled in five distinct rows, up to the very top
    of her head, and arranged dexterously over the doubtful eye; to say
    nothing of the blue sash which floated down her back, or the worked
    apron or the long gloves, or the green gauze scarf worn over one
    shoulder and under the other; or any of the numerous devices which
    were to be as so many arrows to the heart of Nicholas. She had
    scarcely completed these arrangements to her entire satisfaction,
    when the friend arrived with a whity-brown parcel--flat and three-
    cornered--containing sundry small adornments which were to be put on
    upstairs, and which the friend put on, talking incessantly. When
    Miss Squeers had 'done' the friend's hair, the friend 'did' Miss
    Squeers's hair, throwing in some striking improvements in the way of
    ringlets down the neck; and then, when they were both touched up to
    their entire satisfaction, they went downstairs in full state with
    the long gloves on, all ready for company.

    'Where's John, 'Tilda?' said Miss Squeers.

    'Only gone home to clean himself,' replied the friend. 'He will be
    here by the time the tea's drawn.'

    'I do so palpitate,' observed Miss Squeers.

    'Ah! I know what it is,' replied the friend.

    'I have not been used to it, you know, 'Tilda,' said Miss Squeers,
    applying her hand to the left side of her sash.

    'You'll soon get the better of it, dear,' rejoined the friend.
    While they were talking thus, the hungry servant brought in the tea-
    things, and, soon afterwards, somebody tapped at the room door.

    'There he is!' cried Miss Squeers. 'Oh 'Tilda!'

    'Hush!' said 'Tilda. 'Hem! Say, come in.'

    'Come in,' cried Miss Squeers faintly. And in walked Nicholas.

    'Good-evening,' said that young gentleman, all unconscious of his
    conquest. 'I understood from Mr Squeers that--'

    'Oh yes; it's all right,' interposed Miss Squeers. 'Father don't
    tea with us, but you won't mind that, I dare say.' (This was said

    Nicholas opened his eyes at this, but he turned the matter off very
    coolly--not caring, particularly, about anything just then--and went
    through the ceremony of introduction to the miller's daughter with
    so much grace, that that young lady was lost in admiration.

    'We are only waiting for one more gentleman,' said Miss Squeers,
    taking off the teapot lid, and looking in, to see how the tea was
    getting on.

    It was matter of equal moment to Nicholas whether they were waiting
    for one gentleman or twenty, so he received the intelligence with
    perfect unconcern; and, being out of spirits, and not seeing any
    especial reason why he should make himself agreeable, looked out of
    the window and sighed involuntarily.

    As luck would have it, Miss Squeers's friend was of a playful turn,
    and hearing Nicholas sigh, she took it into her head to rally the
    lovers on their lowness of spirits.

    'But if it's caused by my being here,' said the young lady, 'don't
    mind me a bit, for I'm quite as bad. You may go on just as you would
    if you were alone.'

    ''Tilda,' said Miss Squeers, colouring up to the top row of curls,
    'I am ashamed of you;' and here the two friends burst into a variety
    of giggles, and glanced from time to time, over the tops of their
    pocket-handkerchiefs, at Nicholas, who from a state of unmixed
    astonishment, gradually fell into one of irrepressible laughter--
    occasioned, partly by the bare notion of his being in love with Miss
    Squeers, and partly by the preposterous appearance and behaviour of
    the two girls. These two causes of merriment, taken together,
    struck him as being so keenly ridiculous, that, despite his
    miserable condition, he laughed till he was thoroughly exhausted.

    'Well,' thought Nicholas, 'as I am here, and seem expected, for some
    reason or other, to be amiable, it's of no use looking like a goose.
    I may as well accommodate myself to the company.'

    We blush to tell it; but his youthful spirits and vivacity getting,
    for the time, the better of his sad thoughts, he no sooner formed
    this resolution than he saluted Miss Squeers and the friend with
    great gallantry, and drawing a chair to the tea-table, began to make
    himself more at home than in all probability an usher has ever done
    in his employer's house since ushers were first invented.

    The ladies were in the full delight of this altered behaviour on the
    part of Mr Nickleby, when the expected swain arrived, with his hair
    very damp from recent washing, and a clean shirt, whereof the collar
    might have belonged to some giant ancestor, forming, together with
    a white waistcoat of similar dimensions, the chief ornament of his

    'Well, John,' said Miss Matilda Price (which, by-the-bye, was the
    name of the miller's daughter).

    'Weel,' said John with a grin that even the collar could not

    'I beg your pardon,' interposed Miss Squeers, hastening to do the
    honours. 'Mr Nickleby--Mr John Browdie.'

    'Servant, sir,' said John, who was something over six feet high,
    with a face and body rather above the due proportion than below it.

    'Yours to command, sir,' replied Nicholas, making fearful ravages on
    the bread and butter.

    Mr Browdie was not a gentleman of great conversational powers, so he
    grinned twice more, and having now bestowed his customary mark of
    recognition on every person in company, grinned at nothing in
    particular, and helped himself to food.

    'Old wooman awa', bean't she?' said Mr Browdie, with his mouth full.

    Miss Squeers nodded assent.

    Mr Browdie gave a grin of special width, as if he thought that
    really was something to laugh at, and went to work at the bread and
    butter with increased vigour. It was quite a sight to behold how he
    and Nicholas emptied the plate between them.

    'Ye wean't get bread and butther ev'ry neight, I expect, mun,' said
    Mr Browdie, after he had sat staring at Nicholas a long time over
    the empty plate.

    Nicholas bit his lip, and coloured, but affected not to hear the

    'Ecod,' said Mr Browdie, laughing boisterously, 'they dean't put too
    much intiv'em. Ye'll be nowt but skeen and boans if you stop here
    long eneaf. Ho! ho! ho!'

    'You are facetious, sir,' said Nicholas, scornfully.

    'Na; I dean't know,' replied Mr Browdie, 'but t'oother teacher, 'cod
    he wur a learn 'un, he wur.' The recollection of the last teacher's
    leanness seemed to afford Mr Browdie the most exquisite delight, for
    he laughed until he found it necessary to apply his coat-cuffs to
    his eyes.

    'I don't know whether your perceptions are quite keen enough, Mr
    Browdie, to enable you to understand that your remarks are
    offensive,' said Nicholas in a towering passion, 'but if they are,
    have the goodness to--'

    'If you say another word, John,' shrieked Miss Price, stopping her
    admirer's mouth as he was about to interrupt, 'only half a word,
    I'll never forgive you, or speak to you again.'

    'Weel, my lass, I dean't care aboot 'un,' said the corn-factor,
    bestowing a hearty kiss on Miss Matilda; 'let 'un gang on, let 'un
    gang on.'

    It now became Miss Squeers's turn to intercede with Nicholas, which
    she did with many symptoms of alarm and horror; the effect of the
    double intercession was, that he and John Browdie shook hands across
    the table with much gravity; and such was the imposing nature of the
    ceremonial, that Miss Squeers was overcome and shed tears.

    'What's the matter, Fanny?' said Miss Price.

    'Nothing, 'Tilda,' replied Miss Squeers, sobbing.

    'There never was any danger,' said Miss Price, 'was there, Mr

    'None at all,' replied Nicholas. 'Absurd.'

    'That's right,' whispered Miss Price, 'say something kind to her,
    and she'll soon come round. Here! Shall John and I go into the
    little kitchen, and come back presently?'

    'Not on any account,' rejoined Nicholas, quite alarmed at the
    proposition. 'What on earth should you do that for?'

    'Well,' said Miss Price, beckoning him aside, and speaking with some
    degree of contempt--'you ARE a one to keep company.'

    'What do you mean?' said Nicholas; 'I am not a one to keep company
    at all--here at all events. I can't make this out.'

    'No, nor I neither," rejoined Miss Price; 'but men are always
    fickle, and always were, and always will be; that I can make out,
    very easily.'

    'Fickle!' cried Nicholas; 'what do you suppose? You don't mean to
    say that you think--'

    'Oh no, I think nothing at all,' retorted Miss Price, pettishly.
    'Look at her, dressed so beautiful and looking so well--really
    ALMOST handsome. I am ashamed at you.'

    'My dear girl, what have I got to do with her dressing beautifully
    or looking well?' inquired Nicholas.

    'Come, don't call me a dear girl,' said Miss Price--smiling a little
    though, for she was pretty, and a coquette too in her small way, and
    Nicholas was good-looking, and she supposed him the property of
    somebody else, which were all reasons why she should be gratified to
    think she had made an impression on him,--'or Fanny will be saying
    it's my fault. Come; we're going to have a game at cards.'
    Pronouncing these last words aloud, she tripped away and rejoined
    the big Yorkshireman.

    This was wholly unintelligible to Nicholas, who had no other
    distinct impression on his mind at the moment, than that Miss
    Squeers was an ordinary-looking girl, and her friend Miss Price a
    pretty one; but he had not time to enlighten himself by reflection,
    for the hearth being by this time swept up, and the candle snuffed,
    they sat down to play speculation.

    'There are only four of us, 'Tilda,' said Miss Squeers, looking
    slyly at Nicholas; 'so we had better go partners, two against two.'

    'What do you say, Mr Nickleby?' inquired Miss Price.

    'With all the pleasure in life,' replied Nicholas. And so saying,
    quite unconscious of his heinous offence, he amalgamated into one
    common heap those portions of a Dotheboys Hall card of terms, which
    represented his own counters, and those allotted to Miss Price,

    'Mr Browdie,' said Miss Squeers hysterically, 'shall we make a bank
    against them?'

    The Yorkshireman assented--apparently quite overwhelmed by the new
    usher's impudence--and Miss Squeers darted a spiteful look at her
    friend, and giggled convulsively.

    The deal fell to Nicholas, and the hand prospered.

    'We intend to win everything,' said he.

    ''Tilda HAS won something she didn't expect, I think, haven't you,
    dear?' said Miss Squeers, maliciously.

    'Only a dozen and eight, love,' replied Miss Price, affecting to
    take the question in a literal sense.

    'How dull you are tonight!' sneered Miss Squeers.

    'No, indeed,' replied Miss Price, 'I am in excellent spirits. I was
    thinking YOU seemed out of sorts.'

    'Me!' cried Miss Squeers, biting her lips, and trembling with very
    jealousy. 'Oh no!'

    'That's well,' remarked Miss Price. 'Your hair's coming out of
    curl, dear.'

    'Never mind me,' tittered Miss Squeers; 'you had better attend to
    your partner.'

    'Thank you for reminding her,' said Nicholas. 'So she had.'

    The Yorkshireman flattened his nose, once or twice, with his
    clenched fist, as if to keep his hand in, till he had an opportunity
    of exercising it upon the features of some other gentleman; and Miss
    Squeers tossed her head with such indignation, that the gust of wind
    raised by the multitudinous curls in motion, nearly blew the candle

    'I never had such luck, really,' exclaimed coquettish Miss Price,
    after another hand or two. 'It's all along of you, Mr Nickleby, I
    think. I should like to have you for a partner always.'

    'I wish you had.'

    'You'll have a bad wife, though, if you always win at cards,' said
    Miss Price.

    'Not if your wish is gratified,' replied Nicholas. 'I am sure I
    shall have a good one in that case.'

    To see how Miss Squeers tossed her head, and the corn-factor
    flattened his nose, while this conversation was carrying on! It
    would have been worth a small annuity to have beheld that; let alone
    Miss Price's evident joy at making them jealous, and Nicholas
    Nickleby's happy unconsciousness of making anybody uncomfortable.

    'We have all the talking to ourselves, it seems,' said Nicholas,
    looking good-humouredly round the table as he took up the cards for
    a fresh deal.

    'You do it so well,' tittered Miss Squeers, 'that it would be a pity
    to interrupt, wouldn't it, Mr Browdie? He! he! he!'

    'Nay,' said Nicholas, 'we do it in default of having anybody else to
    talk to.'

    'We'll talk to you, you know, if you'll say anything,' said Miss

    'Thank you, 'Tilda, dear,' retorted Miss Squeers, majestically.

    'Or you can talk to each other, if you don't choose to talk to us,'
    said Miss Price, rallying her dear friend. 'John, why don't you say

    'Say summat?' repeated the Yorkshireman.

    'Ay, and not sit there so silent and glum.'

    'Weel, then!' said the Yorkshireman, striking the table heavily with
    his fist, 'what I say's this--Dang my boans and boddy, if I stan'
    this ony longer. Do ye gang whoam wi' me, and do yon loight an'
    toight young whipster look sharp out for a brokken head, next time
    he cums under my hond.'

    'Mercy on us, what's all this?' cried Miss Price, in affected

    'Cum whoam, tell 'e, cum whoam,' replied the Yorkshireman, sternly.
    And as he delivered the reply, Miss Squeers burst into a shower of
    tears; arising in part from desperate vexation, and in part from an
    impotent desire to lacerate somebody's countenance with her fair

    This state of things had been brought about by divers means and
    workings. Miss Squeers had brought it about, by aspiring to the
    high state and condition of being matrimonially engaged, without
    good grounds for so doing; Miss Price had brought it about, by
    indulging in three motives of action: first, a desire to punish her
    friend for laying claim to a rivalship in dignity, having no good
    title: secondly, the gratification of her own vanity, in receiving
    the compliments of a smart young man: and thirdly, a wish to
    convince the corn-factor of the great danger he ran, in deferring
    the celebration of their expected nuptials; while Nicholas had
    brought it about, by half an hour's gaiety and thoughtlessness, and
    a very sincere desire to avoid the imputation of inclining at all to
    Miss Squeers. So the means employed, and the end produced, were
    alike the most natural in the world; for young ladies will look
    forward to being married, and will jostle each other in the race to
    the altar, and will avail themselves of all opportunities of
    displaying their own attractions to the best advantage, down to the
    very end of time, as they have done from its beginning.

    'Why, and here's Fanny in tears now!' exclaimed Miss Price, as if in
    fresh amazement. 'What can be the matter?'

    'Oh! you don't know, miss, of course you don't know. Pray don't
    trouble yourself to inquire,' said Miss Squeers, producing that
    change of countenance which children call making a face.

    'Well, I'm sure!' exclaimed Miss Price.

    'And who cares whether you are sure or not, ma'am?' retorted Miss
    Squeers, making another face.

    'You are monstrous polite, ma'am,' said Miss Price.

    'I shall not come to you to take lessons in the art, ma'am!'
    retorted Miss Squeers.

    'You needn't take the trouble to make yourself plainer than you are,
    ma'am, however,' rejoined Miss Price, 'because that's quite

    Miss Squeers, in reply, turned very red, and thanked God that she
    hadn't got the bold faces of some people. Miss Price, in rejoinder,
    congratulated herself upon not being possessed of the envious
    feeling of other people; whereupon Miss Squeers made some general
    remark touching the danger of associating with low persons; in which
    Miss Price entirely coincided: observing that it was very true
    indeed, and she had thought so a long time.

    ''Tilda,' exclaimed Miss Squeers with dignity, 'I hate you.'

    'Ah! There's no love lost between us, I assure you,' said Miss
    Price, tying her bonnet strings with a jerk. 'You'll cry your eyes
    out, when I'm gone; you know you will.'

    'I scorn your words, Minx,' said Miss Squeers.

    'You pay me a great compliment when you say so,' answered the
    miller's daughter, curtseying very low. 'Wish you a very good-
    night, ma'am, and pleasant dreams attend your sleep!'

    With this parting benediction, Miss Price swept from the room,
    followed by the huge Yorkshireman, who exchanged with Nicholas, at
    parting, that peculiarly expressive scowl with which the cut-and-
    thrust counts, in melodramatic performances, inform each other they
    will meet again.

    They were no sooner gone, than Miss Squeers fulfilled the prediction
    of her quondam friend by giving vent to a most copious burst of
    tears, and uttering various dismal lamentations and incoherent
    words. Nicholas stood looking on for a few seconds, rather doubtful
    what to do, but feeling uncertain whether the fit would end in his
    being embraced, or scratched, and considering that either infliction
    would be equally agreeable, he walked off very quietly while Miss
    Squeers was moaning in her pocket-handkerchief.

    'This is one consequence,' thought Nicholas, when he had groped his
    way to the dark sleeping-room, 'of my cursed readiness to adapt
    myself to any society in which chance carries me. If I had sat mute
    and motionless, as I might have done, this would not have happened.'

    He listened for a few minutes, but all was quiet.

    'I was glad,' he murmured, 'to grasp at any relief from the sight of
    this dreadful place, or the presence of its vile master. I have set
    these people by the ears, and made two new enemies, where, Heaven
    knows, I needed none. Well, it is a just punishment for having
    forgotten, even for an hour, what is around me now!'

    So saying, he felt his way among the throng of weary-hearted
    sleepers, and crept into his poor bed.
    آرزوهایت را روی کاغذ بنویس و یکی یکی از خدا بخواه خدا فراموش نمی کند اما تو یادت می رود آنچه که امروز داری آرزوی دیروز تو بوده است!!!

  2. # ADS
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    ارسال ها

     دانلود نمونه سوالات نیمسال دوم 93-94 پیام نور با پاسخنامه تستی و تشریحی

  3. #12
    فرناز آواتار ها
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    عنوان کاربری
    مدير بازنشسته تالار زبان و ادبيات انگلیسی
    تاریخ عضویت
    Jul 2009
    محل تحصیل
    شغل , تخصص
    مدرس زبان انگلیسی
    رشته تحصیلی
    راه های ارتباطی
    تشکر ها

    پیش فرض

    CHAPTER 10

    How Mr Ralph Nickleby provided for his Niece and Sister-in-Law

    On the second morning after the departure of Nicholas for Yorkshire,
    Kate Nickleby sat in a very faded chair raised upon a very dusty
    throne in Miss La Creevy's room, giving that lady a sitting for the
    portrait upon which she was engaged; and towards the full perfection
    of which, Miss La Creevy had had the street-door case brought
    upstairs, in order that she might be the better able to infuse into
    the counterfeit countenance of Miss Nickleby, a bright salmon flesh-
    tint which she had originally hit upon while executing the miniature
    of a young officer therein contained, and which bright salmon flesh-
    tint was considered, by Miss La Creevy's chief friends and patrons,
    to be quite a novelty in art: as indeed it was.

    'I think I have caught it now,' said Miss La Creevy. 'The very
    shade! This will be the sweetest portrait I have ever done,

    'It will be your genius that makes it so, then, I am sure,' replied
    Kate, smiling.

    'No, no, I won't allow that, my dear,' rejoined Miss La Creevy.
    'It's a very nice subject--a very nice subject, indeed--though, of
    course, something depends upon the mode of treatment.'

    'And not a little,' observed Kate.

    'Why, my dear, you are right there,' said Miss La Creevy, 'in the
    main you are right there; though I don't allow that it is of such
    very great importance in the present case. Ah! The difficulties of
    Art, my dear, are great.'

    'They must be, I have no doubt,' said Kate, humouring her good-
    natured little friend.

    'They are beyond anything you can form the faintest conception of,'
    replied Miss La Creevy. 'What with bringing out eyes with all one's
    power, and keeping down noses with all one's force, and adding to
    heads, and taking away teeth altogether, you have no idea of the
    trouble one little miniature is.'

    'The remuneration can scarcely repay you,' said Kate.

    'Why, it does not, and that's the truth,' answered Miss La Creevy;
    'and then people are so dissatisfied and unreasonable, that, nine
    times out of ten, there's no pleasure in painting them. Sometimes
    they say, "Oh, how very serious you have made me look, Miss La
    Creevy!" and at others, "La, Miss La Creevy, how very smirking!"
    when the very essence of a good portrait is, that it must be either
    serious or smirking, or it's no portrait at all.'

    'Indeed!' said Kate, laughing.

    'Certainly, my dear; because the sitters are always either the one
    or the other,' replied Miss La Creevy. 'Look at the Royal Academy!
    All those beautiful shiny portraits of gentlemen in black velvet
    waistcoats, with their fists doubled up on round tables, or marble
    slabs, are serious, you know; and all the ladies who are playing
    with little parasols, or little dogs, or little children--it's the
    same rule in art, only varying the objects--are smirking. In fact,'
    said Miss La Creevy, sinking her voice to a confidential whisper,
    'there are only two styles of portrait painting; the serious and the
    smirk; and we always use the serious for professional people (except
    actors sometimes), and the smirk for private ladies and gentlemen
    who don't care so much about looking clever.'

    Kate seemed highly amused by this information, and Miss La Creevy
    went on painting and talking, with immovable complacency.

    'What a number of officers you seem to paint!' said Kate, availing
    herself of a pause in the discourse, and glancing round the room.

    'Number of what, child?' inquired Miss La Creevy, looking up from
    her work. 'Character portraits, oh yes--they're not real military
    men, you know.'


    'Bless your heart, of course not; only clerks and that, who hire a
    uniform coat to be painted in, and send it here in a carpet bag.
    Some artists,' said Miss La Creevy, 'keep a red coat, and charge
    seven-and-sixpence extra for hire and carmine; but I don't do that
    myself, for I don't consider it legitimate.'

    Drawing herself up, as though she plumed herself greatly upon not
    resorting to these lures to catch sitters, Miss La Creevy applied
    herself, more intently, to her task: only raising her head
    occasionally, to look with unspeakable satisfaction at some touch
    she had just put in: and now and then giving Miss Nickleby to
    understand what particular feature she was at work upon, at the
    moment; 'not,' she expressly observed, 'that you should make it up
    for painting, my dear, but because it's our custom sometimes to tell
    sitters what part we are upon, in order that if there's any
    particular expression they want introduced, they may throw it in, at
    the time, you know.'

    'And when,' said Miss La Creevy, after a long silence, to wit, an
    interval of full a minute and a half, 'when do you expect to see
    your uncle again?'

    'I scarcely know; I had expected to have seen him before now,'
    replied Kate. 'Soon I hope, for this state of uncertainty is worse
    than anything.'

    'I suppose he has money, hasn't he?' inquired Miss La Creevy.

    'He is very rich, I have heard,' rejoined Kate. 'I don't know that
    he is, but I believe so.'

    'Ah, you may depend upon it he is, or he wouldn't be so surly,'
    remarked Miss La Creevy, who was an odd little mixture of shrewdness
    and simplicity. 'When a man's a bear, he is generally pretty

    'His manner is rough,' said Kate.

    'Rough!' cried Miss La Creevy, 'a porcupine's a featherbed to him!
    I never met with such a cross-grained old savage.'

    'It is only his manner, I believe,' observed Kate, timidly; 'he was
    disappointed in early life, I think I have heard, or has had his
    temper soured by some calamity. I should be sorry to think ill of
    him until I knew he deserved it.'

    'Well; that's very right and proper,' observed the miniature
    painter, 'and Heaven forbid that I should be the cause of your doing
    so! But, now, mightn't he, without feeling it himself, make you and
    your mama some nice little allowance that would keep you both
    comfortable until you were well married, and be a little fortune to
    her afterwards? What would a hundred a year for instance, be to

    'I don't know what it would be to him,' said Kate, with energy, 'but
    it would be that to me I would rather die than take.'

    'Heyday!' cried Miss La Creevy.

    'A dependence upon him,' said Kate, 'would embitter my whole life.
    I should feel begging a far less degradation.'

    'Well!' exclaimed Miss La Creevy. 'This of a relation whom you will
    not hear an indifferent person speak ill of, my dear, sounds oddly
    enough, I confess.'

    'I dare say it does,' replied Kate, speaking more gently, 'indeed I
    am sure it must. I--I--only mean that with the feelings and
    recollection of better times upon me, I could not bear to live on
    anybody's bounty--not his particularly, but anybody's.'

    Miss La Creevy looked slyly at her companion, as if she doubted
    whether Ralph himself were not the subject of dislike, but seeing
    that her young friend was distressed, made no remark.

    'I only ask of him,' continued Kate, whose tears fell while she
    spoke, 'that he will move so little out of his way, in my behalf, as
    to enable me by his recommendation--only by his recommendation--to
    earn, literally, my bread and remain with my mother. Whether we
    shall ever taste happiness again, depends upon the fortunes of my
    dear brother; but if he will do this, and Nicholas only tells us
    that he is well and cheerful, I shall be contented.'

    As she ceased to speak, there was a rustling behind the screen which
    stood between her and the door, and some person knocked at the

    'Come in, whoever it is!' cried Miss La Creevy.

    The person complied, and, coming forward at once, gave to view the
    form and features of no less an individual than Mr Ralph Nickleby

    'Your servant, ladies,' said Ralph, looking sharply at them by
    turns. 'You were talking so loud, that I was unable to make you

    When the man of business had a more than commonly vicious snarl
    lurking at his heart, he had a trick of almost concealing his eyes
    under their thick and protruding brows, for an instant, and then
    displaying them in their full keenness. As he did so now, and tried
    to keep down the smile which parted his thin compressed lips, and
    puckered up the bad lines about his mouth, they both felt certain
    that some part, if not the whole, of their recent conversation, had
    been overheard.

    'I called in, on my way upstairs, more than half expecting to find
    you here,' said Ralph, addressing his niece, and looking
    contemptuously at the portrait. 'Is that my niece's portrait,

    'Yes it is, Mr Nickleby,' said Miss La Creevy, with a very sprightly
    air, 'and between you and me and the post, sir, it will be a very
    nice portrait too, though I say it who am the painter.'

    'Don't trouble yourself to show it to me, ma'am,' cried Ralph,
    moving away, 'I have no eye for likenesses. Is it nearly finished?'

    'Why, yes,' replied Miss La Creevy, considering with the pencil end
    of her brush in her mouth. 'Two sittings more will--'

    'Have them at once, ma'am,' said Ralph. 'She'll have no time to
    idle over fooleries after tomorrow. Work, ma'am, work; we must all
    work. Have you let your lodgings, ma'am?'

    'I have not put a bill up yet, sir.'

    'Put it up at once, ma'am; they won't want the rooms after this
    week, or if they do, can't pay for them. Now, my dear, if you're
    ready, we'll lose no more time.'

    With an assumption of kindness which sat worse upon him even than
    his usual manner, Mr Ralph Nickleby motioned to the young lady to
    precede him, and bowing gravely to Miss La Creevy, closed the door
    and followed upstairs, where Mrs Nickleby received him with many
    expressions of regard. Stopping them somewhat abruptly, Ralph waved
    his hand with an impatient gesture, and proceeded to the object of
    his visit.

    'I have found a situation for your daughter, ma'am,' said Ralph.

    'Well,' replied Mrs Nickleby. 'Now, I will say that that is only
    just what I have expected of you. "Depend upon it," I said to Kate,
    only yesterday morning at breakfast, "that after your uncle has
    provided, in that most ready manner, for Nicholas, he will not leave
    us until he has done at least the same for you." These were my very
    words, as near as I remember. Kate, my dear, why don't you thank

    'Let me proceed, ma'am, pray,' said Ralph, interrupting his sister-
    in-law in the full torrent of her discourse.

    'Kate, my love, let your uncle proceed,' said Mrs Nickleby.

    'I am most anxious that he should, mama,' rejoined Kate.

    'Well, my dear, if you are anxious that he should, you had better
    allow your uncle to say what he has to say, without interruption,'
    observed Mrs Nickleby, with many small nods and frowns. 'Your
    uncle's time is very valuable, my dear; and however desirous you may
    be--and naturally desirous, as I am sure any affectionate relations
    who have seen so little of your uncle as we have, must naturally be
    to protract the pleasure of having him among us, still, we are
    bound not to be selfish, but to take into consideration the
    important nature of his occupations in the city.'

    'I am very much obliged to you, ma'am,' said Ralph with a scarcely
    perceptible sneer. 'An absence of business habits in this family
    leads, apparently, to a great waste of words before business--when
    it does come under consideration--is arrived at, at all.'

    'I fear it is so indeed,' replied Mrs Nickleby with a sigh. 'Your
    poor brother--'

    'My poor brother, ma'am,' interposed Ralph tartly, 'had no idea what
    business was--was unacquainted, I verily believe, with the very
    meaning of the word.'

    'I fear he was,' said Mrs Nickleby, with her handkerchief to her
    eyes. 'If it hadn't been for me, I don't know what would have
    become of him.'

    What strange creatures we are! The slight bait so skilfully thrown
    out by Ralph, on their first interview, was dangling on the hook
    yet. At every small deprivation or discomfort which presented
    itself in the course of the four-and-twenty hours to remind her of
    her straitened and altered circumstances, peevish visions of her
    dower of one thousand pounds had arisen before Mrs Nickleby's mind,
    until, at last, she had come to persuade herself that of all her
    late husband's creditors she was the worst used and the most to be
    pitied. And yet, she had loved him dearly for many years, and had
    no greater share of selfishness than is the usual lot of mortals.
    Such is the irritability of sudden poverty. A decent annuity would
    have restored her thoughts to their old train, at once.

    'Repining is of no use, ma'am,' said Ralph. 'Of all fruitless
    errands, sending a tear to look after a day that is gone is the most

    'So it is,' sobbed Mrs Nickleby. 'So it is.'

    'As you feel so keenly, in your own purse and person, the
    consequences of inattention to business, ma'am,' said Ralph, 'I am
    sure you will impress upon your children the necessity of attaching
    themselves to it early in life.'

    'Of course I must see that,' rejoined Mrs Nickleby. 'Sad
    experience, you know, brother-in-law.--Kate, my dear, put that down
    in the next letter to Nicholas, or remind me to do it if I write.'

    Ralph paused for a few moments, and seeing that he had now made
    pretty sure of the mother, in case the daughter objected to his
    proposition, went on to say:

    'The situation that I have made interest to procure, ma'am, is with
    --with a milliner and dressmaker, in short.'

    'A milliner!' cried Mrs Nickleby.

    'A milliner and dressmaker, ma'am,' replied Ralph. 'Dressmakers in
    London, as I need not remind you, ma'am, who are so well acquainted
    with all matters in the ordinary routine of life, make large
    fortunes, keep equipages, and become persons of great wealth and

    Now, the first idea called up in Mrs Nickleby's mind by the words
    milliner and dressmaker were connected with certain wicker baskets
    lined with black oilskin, which she remembered to have seen carried
    to and fro in the streets; but, as Ralph proceeded, these
    disappeared, and were replaced by visions of large houses at the
    West end, neat private carriages, and a banker's book; all of which
    images succeeded each other with such rapidity, that he had no
    sooner finished speaking, than she nodded her head and said 'Very
    true,' with great appearance of satisfaction.

    'What your uncle says is very true, Kate, my dear,' said Mrs
    Nickleby. 'I recollect when your poor papa and I came to town after
    we were married, that a young lady brought me home a chip cottage-
    bonnet, with white and green trimming, and green persian lining, in
    her own carriage, which drove up to the door full gallop;--at least,
    I am not quite certain whether it was her own carriage or a hackney
    chariot, but I remember very well that the horse dropped down dead
    as he was turning round, and that your poor papa said he hadn't had
    any corn for a fortnight.'

    This anecdote, so strikingly illustrative of the opulence of
    milliners, was not received with any great demonstration of feeling,
    inasmuch as Kate hung down her head while it was relating, and Ralph
    manifested very intelligible symptoms of extreme impatience.

    'The lady's name,' said Ralph, hastily striking in, 'is Mantalini--
    Madame Mantalini. I know her. She lives near Cavendish Square. If
    your daughter is disposed to try after the situation, I'll take her
    there directly.'

    'Have you nothing to say to your uncle, my love?' inquired Mrs

    'A great deal,' replied Kate; 'but not now. I would rather speak to
    him when we are alone;--it will save his time if I thank him and say
    what I wish to say to him, as we walk along.'

    With these words, Kate hurried away, to hide the traces of emotion
    that were stealing down her face, and to prepare herself for the
    walk, while Mrs Nickleby amused her brother-in-law by giving him,
    with many tears, a detailed account of the dimensions of a rosewood
    cabinet piano they had possessed in their days of affluence,
    together with a minute description of eight drawing-room chairs,
    with turned legs and green chintz squabs to match the curtains,
    which had cost two pounds fifteen shillings apiece, and had gone at
    the sale for a mere nothing.

    These reminiscences were at length cut short by Kate's return in her
    walking dress, when Ralph, who had been fretting and fuming during
    the whole time of her absence, lost no time, and used very little
    ceremony, in descending into the street.

    'Now,' he said, taking her arm, 'walk as fast as you can, and you'll
    get into the step that you'll have to walk to business with, every
    morning.' So saying, he led Kate off, at a good round pace, towards
    Cavendish Square.

    'I am very much obliged to you, uncle,' said the young lady, after
    they had hurried on in silence for some time; 'very.'

    'I'm glad to hear it,' said Ralph. 'I hope you'll do your duty.'

    'I will try to please, uncle,' replied Kate: 'indeed I--'

    'Don't begin to cry,' growled Ralph; 'I hate crying.'

    'It's very foolish, I know, uncle,' began poor Kate.

    'It is,' replied Ralph, stopping her short, 'and very affected
    besides. Let me see no more of it.'

    Perhaps this was not the best way to dry the tears of a young and
    sensitive female, about to make her first entry on an entirely new
    scene of life, among cold and uninterested strangers; but it had its
    effect notwithstanding. Kate coloured deeply, breathed quickly for
    a few moments, and then walked on with a firmer and more determined

    It was a curious contrast to see how the timid country girl shrunk
    through the crowd that hurried up and down the streets, giving way
    to the press of people, and clinging closely to Ralph as though she
    feared to lose him in the throng; and how the stern and hard-
    featured man of business went doggedly on, elbowing the passengers
    aside, and now and then exchanging a gruff salutation with some
    passing acquaintance, who turned to look back upon his pretty
    charge, with looks expressive of surprise, and seemed to wonder at
    the ill-assorted companionship. But, it would have been a stranger
    contrast still, to have read the hearts that were beating side by
    side; to have laid bare the gentle innocence of the one, and the
    rugged villainy of the other; to have hung upon the guileless
    thoughts of the affectionate girl, and been amazed that, among all
    the wily plots and calculations of the old man, there should not be
    one word or figure denoting thought of death or of the grave. But
    so it was; and stranger still--though this is a thing of every day--
    the warm young heart palpitated with a thousand anxieties and
    apprehensions, while that of the old worldly man lay rusting in its
    cell, beating only as a piece of cunning mechanism, and yielding no
    one throb of hope, or fear, or love, or care, for any living thing.

    'Uncle,' said Kate, when she judged they must be near their
    destination, 'I must ask one question of you. I am to live at

    'At home!' replied Ralph; 'where's that?'

    'I mean with my mother--THE WIDOW,' said Kate emphatically.

    'You will live, to all intents and purposes, here,' rejoined Ralph;
    'for here you will take your meals, and here you will be from
    morning till night--occasionally perhaps till morning again.'

    'But at night, I mean,' said Kate; 'I cannot leave her, uncle. I
    must have some place that I can call a home; it will be wherever she
    is, you know, and may be a very humble one.'

    'May be!' said Ralph, walking faster, in the impatience provoked by
    the remark; 'must be, you mean. May be a humble one! Is the girl

    'The word slipped from my lips, I did not mean it indeed,' urged

    'I hope not,' said Ralph.

    'But my question, uncle; you have not answered it.'

    'Why, I anticipated something of the kind,' said Ralph; 'and--though
    I object very strongly, mind--have provided against it. I spoke of
    you as an out-of-door worker; so you will go to this home that may
    be humble, every night.'

    There was comfort in this. Kate poured forth many thanks for her
    uncle's consideration, which Ralph received as if he had deserved
    them all, and they arrived without any further conversation at the
    dressmaker's door, which displayed a very large plate, with Madame
    Mantalini's name and occupation, and was approached by a handsome
    flight of steps. There was a shop to the house, but it was let off
    to an importer of otto of roses. Madame Mantalini's shows-rooms
    were on the first-floor: a fact which was notified to the nobility
    and gentry by the casual exhibition, near the handsomely curtained
    windows, of two or three elegant bonnets of the newest fashion, and
    some costly garments in the most approved taste.

    A liveried footman opened the door, and in reply to Ralph's inquiry
    whether Madame Mantalini was at home, ushered them, through a
    handsome hall and up a spacious staircase, into the show saloon,
    which comprised two spacious drawing-rooms, and exhibited an immense
    variety of superb dresses and materials for dresses: some arranged
    on stands, others laid carelessly on sofas, and others again,
    scattered over the carpet, hanging on the cheval-glasses, or
    mingling, in some other way, with the rich furniture of various
    descriptions, which was profusely displayed.

    They waited here a much longer time than was agreeable to Mr Ralph
    Nickleby, who eyed the gaudy frippery about him with very little
    concern, and was at length about to pull the bell, when a gentleman
    suddenly popped his head into the room, and, seeing somebody there,
    as suddenly popped it out again.

    'Here. Hollo!' cried Ralph. 'Who's that?'

    At the sound of Ralph's voice, the head reappeared, and the mouth,
    displaying a very long row of very white teeth, uttered in a mincing
    tone the words, 'Demmit. What, Nickleby! oh, demmit!' Having
    uttered which ejaculations, the gentleman advanced, and shook hands
    with Ralph, with great warmth. He was dressed in a gorgeous morning
    gown, with a waistcoat and Turkish trousers of the same pattern, a
    pink silk neckerchief, and bright green slippers, and had a very
    copious watch-chain wound round his body. Moreover, he had whiskers
    and a moustache, both dyed black and gracefully curled.

    'Demmit, you don't mean to say you want me, do you, demmit?' said
    this gentleman, smiting Ralph on the shoulder.

    'Not yet,' said Ralph, sarcastically.

    'Ha! ha! demmit,' cried the gentleman; when, wheeling round to laugh
    with greater elegance, he encountered Kate Nickleby, who was
    standing near.

    'My niece,' said Ralph.

    'I remember,' said the gentleman, striking his nose with the knuckle
    of his forefinger as a chastening for his forgetfulness. 'Demmit, I
    remember what you come for. Step this way, Nickleby; my dear, will
    you follow me? Ha! ha! They all follow me, Nickleby; always did,
    demmit, always.'

    Giving loose to the playfulness of his imagination, after this
    fashion, the gentleman led the way to a private sitting-room on the
    second floor, scarcely less elegantly furnished than the apartment
    below, where the presence of a silver coffee-pot, an egg-shell, and
    sloppy china for one, seemed to show that he had just breakfasted.

    'Sit down, my dear,' said the gentleman: first staring Miss Nickleby
    out of countenance, and then grinning in delight at the achievement.
    'This cursed high room takes one's breath away. These infernal sky
    parlours--I'm afraid I must move, Nickleby.'

    'I would, by all means,' replied Ralph, looking bitterly round.

    'What a demd rum fellow you are, Nickleby,' said the gentleman, 'the
    demdest, longest-headed, queerest-tempered old coiner of gold and
    silver ever was--demmit.'

    Having complimented Ralph to this effect, the gentleman rang the
    bell, and stared at Miss Nickleby until it was answered, when he
    left off to bid the man desire his mistress to come directly; after
    which, he began again, and left off no more until Madame Mantalini

    The dressmaker was a buxom person, handsomely dressed and rather
    good-looking, but much older than the gentleman in the Turkish
    trousers, whom she had wedded some six months before. His name was
    originally Muntle; but it had been converted, by an easy transition,
    into Mantalini: the lady rightly considering that an English
    appellation would be of serious injury to the business. He had
    married on his whiskers; upon which property he had previously
    subsisted, in a genteel manner, for some years; and which he had
    recently improved, after patient cultivation by the addition of a
    moustache, which promised to secure him an easy independence: his
    share in the labours of the business being at present confined to
    spending the money, and occasionally, when that ran short, driving
    to Mr Ralph Nickleby to procure discount--at a percentage--for the
    customers' bills.

    'My life,' said Mr Mantalini, 'what a demd devil of a time you have

    'I didn't even know Mr Nickleby was here, my love,' said Madame

    'Then what a doubly demd infernal rascal that footman must be, my
    soul,' remonstrated Mr Mantalini.

    'My dear,' said Madame, 'that is entirely your fault.'

    'My fault, my heart's joy?'

    'Certainly,' returned the lady; 'what can you expect, dearest, if
    you will not correct the man?'

    'Correct the man, my soul's delight!'

    'Yes; I am sure he wants speaking to, badly enough,' said Madame,

    'Then do not vex itself,' said Mr Mantalini; 'he shall be horse-
    whipped till he cries out demnebly.' With this promise Mr Mantalini
    kissed Madame Mantalini, and, after that performance, Madame
    Mantalini pulled Mr Mantalini playfully by the ear: which done, they
    descended to business.

    'Now, ma'am,' said Ralph, who had looked on, at all this, with such
    scorn as few men can express in looks, 'this is my niece.'

    'Just so, Mr Nickleby,' replied Madame Mantalini, surveying Kate
    from head to foot, and back again. 'Can you speak French, child?'

    'Yes, ma'am,' replied Kate, not daring to look up; for she felt that
    the eyes of the odious man in the dressing-gown were directed
    towards her.

    'Like a demd native?' asked the husband.

    Miss Nickleby offered no reply to this inquiry, but turned her back
    upon the questioner, as if addressing herself to make answer to what
    his wife might demand.

    'We keep twenty young women constantly employed in the
    establishment,' said Madame.

    'Indeed, ma'am!' replied Kate, timidly.

    'Yes; and some of 'em demd handsome, too,' said the master.

    'Mantalini!' exclaimed his wife, in an awful voice.

    'My senses' idol!' said Mantalini.

    'Do you wish to break my heart?'

    'Not for twenty thousand hemispheres populated with--with--with
    little ballet-dancers,' replied Mantalini in a poetical strain.

    'Then you will, if you persevere in that mode of speaking,' said his
    wife. 'What can Mr Nickleby think when he hears you?'

    'Oh! Nothing, ma'am, nothing,' replied Ralph. 'I know his amiable
    nature, and yours,--mere little remarks that give a zest to your
    daily intercourse--lovers' quarrels that add sweetness to those
    domestic joys which promise to last so long--that's all; that's

    If an iron door could be supposed to quarrel with its hinges, and to
    make a firm resolution to open with slow obstinacy, and grind them
    to powder in the process, it would emit a pleasanter sound in so
    doing, than did these words in the rough and bitter voice in which
    they were uttered by Ralph. Even Mr Mantalini felt their influence,
    and turning affrighted round, exclaimed: 'What a demd horrid

    'You will pay no attention, if you please, to what Mr Mantalini
    says,' observed his wife, addressing Miss Nickleby.

    'I do not, ma'am,' said Kate, with quiet contempt.

    'Mr Mantalini knows nothing whatever about any of the young women,'
    continued Madame, looking at her husband, and speaking to Kate. 'If
    he has seen any of them, he must have seen them in the street, going
    to, or returning from, their work, and not here. He was never even
    in the room. I do not allow it. What hours of work have you been
    accustomed to?'

    'I have never yet been accustomed to work at all, ma'am,' replied
    Kate, in a low voice.

    'For which reason she'll work all the better now,' said Ralph,
    putting in a word, lest this confession should injure the

    'I hope so,' returned Madame Mantalini; 'our hours are from nine to
    nine, with extra work when we're very full of business, for which I
    allow payment as overtime.'

    Kate bowed her head, to intimate that she heard, and was satisfied.

    'Your meals,' continued Madame Mantalini, 'that is, dinner and tea,
    you will take here. I should think your wages would average from
    five to seven shillings a week; but I can't give you any certain
    information on that point, until I see what you can do.'

    Kate bowed her head again.

    'If you're ready to come,' said Madame Mantalini, 'you had better
    begin on Monday morning at nine exactly, and Miss Knag the forewoman
    shall then have directions to try you with some easy work at first.
    Is there anything more, Mr Nickleby?'

    'Nothing more, ma'am,' replied Ralph, rising.

    'Then I believe that's all,' said the lady. Having arrived at this
    natural conclusion, she looked at the door, as if she wished to be
    gone, but hesitated notwithstanding, as though unwilling to leave to
    Mr Mantalini the sole honour of showing them downstairs. Ralph
    relieved her from her perplexity by taking his departure without
    delay: Madame Mantalini making many gracious inquiries why he never
    came to see them; and Mr Mantalini anathematising the stairs with
    great volubility as he followed them down, in the hope of inducing
    Kate to look round,--a hope, however, which was destined to remain

    'There!' said Ralph when they got into the street; 'now you're
    provided for.'

    Kate was about to thank him again, but he stopped her.

    'I had some idea,' he said, 'of providing for your mother in a
    pleasant part of the country--(he had a presentation to some
    almshouses on the borders of Cornwall, which had occurred to him
    more than once)--but as you want to be together, I must do something
    else for her. She has a little money?'

    'A very little,' replied Kate.

    'A little will go a long way if it's used sparingly,' said Ralph.
    'She must see how long she can make it last, living rent free. You
    leave your lodgings on Saturday?'

    'You told us to do so, uncle.'

    'Yes; there is a house empty that belongs to me, which I can put you
    into till it is let, and then, if nothing else turns up, perhaps I
    shall have another. You must live there.'

    'Is it far from here, sir?' inquired Kate.

    'Pretty well,' said Ralph; 'in another quarter of the town--at the
    East end; but I'll send my clerk down to you, at five o'clock on
    Saturday, to take you there. Goodbye. You know your way? Straight

    Coldly shaking his niece's hand, Ralph left her at the top of Regent
    Street, and turned down a by-thoroughfare, intent on schemes of
    money-getting. Kate walked sadly back to their lodgings in the
    آرزوهایت را روی کاغذ بنویس و یکی یکی از خدا بخواه خدا فراموش نمی کند اما تو یادت می رود آنچه که امروز داری آرزوی دیروز تو بوده است!!!

  4. #13
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    عنوان کاربری
    مدير بازنشسته تالار زبان و ادبيات انگلیسی
    تاریخ عضویت
    Jul 2009
    محل تحصیل
    شغل , تخصص
    مدرس زبان انگلیسی
    رشته تحصیلی
    راه های ارتباطی
    تشکر ها

    پیش فرض

    خب فعلا تا اینجا 10 chapter رو براتون گذاشتم خسته که نشدین؟
    بقیه داستان رو هم براتون میذارم
    آرزوهایت را روی کاغذ بنویس و یکی یکی از خدا بخواه خدا فراموش نمی کند اما تو یادت می رود آنچه که امروز داری آرزوی دیروز تو بوده است!!!

  5. #14
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    عنوان کاربری
    مدير بازنشسته تالار زبان و ادبيات انگلیسی
    تاریخ عضویت
    Jul 2009
    محل تحصیل
    شغل , تخصص
    مدرس زبان انگلیسی
    رشته تحصیلی
    راه های ارتباطی
    تشکر ها

    پیش فرض

    به اطلاع کلیه دوستان عزیزی که دوست دارن این داستان رو بخونن ولی چون طولانیه حوصلشو ندارن میرسونم که :
    penguin active reading
    این کتاب رو توی 14تا chapter خلاصه کرده که توصیه میکنم بخونینش
    level 4
    1700 headwords

    منتظر بقیه داستان باشین!
    آرزوهایت را روی کاغذ بنویس و یکی یکی از خدا بخواه خدا فراموش نمی کند اما تو یادت می رود آنچه که امروز داری آرزوی دیروز تو بوده است!!!

  6. #15
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    عنوان کاربری
    مدير بازنشسته تالار زبان و ادبيات انگلیسی
    تاریخ عضویت
    Jul 2009
    محل تحصیل
    شغل , تخصص
    مدرس زبان انگلیسی
    رشته تحصیلی
    راه های ارتباطی
    تشکر ها

    پیش فرض

    CHAPTER 11

    Newman Noggs inducts Mrs and Miss Nickleby into their New Dwelling
    in the City

    Miss Nickleby's reflections, as she wended her way homewards, were
    of that desponding nature which the occurrences of the morning had
    been sufficiently calculated to awaken. Her uncle's was not a
    manner likely to dispel any doubts or apprehensions she might have
    formed, in the outset, neither was the glimpse she had had of Madame
    Mantalini's establishment by any means encouraging. It was with
    many gloomy forebodings and misgivings, therefore, that she looked
    forward, with a heavy heart, to the opening of her new career.

    If her mother's consolations could have restored her to a pleasanter
    and more enviable state of mind, there were abundance of them to
    produce the effect. By the time Kate reached home, the good lady
    had called to mind two authentic cases of milliners who had been
    possessed of considerable property, though whether they had acquired
    it all in business, or had had a capital to start with, or had been
    lucky and married to advantage, she could not exactly remember.
    However, as she very logically remarked, there must have been SOME
    young person in that way of business who had made a fortune without
    having anything to begin with, and that being taken for granted, why
    should not Kate do the same? Miss La Creevy, who was a member of
    the little council, ventured to insinuate some doubts relative to
    the probability of Miss Nickleby's arriving at this happy
    consummation in the compass of an ordinary lifetime; but the good
    lady set that question entirely at rest, by informing them that she
    had a presentiment on the subject--a species of second-sight with
    which she had been in the habit of clenching every argument with the
    deceased Mr Nickleby, and, in nine cases and three-quarters out of
    every ten, determining it the wrong way.

    'I am afraid it is an unhealthy occupation,' said Miss La Creevy.
    'I recollect getting three young milliners to sit to me, when I
    first began to paint, and I remember that they were all very pale
    and sickly.'

    'Oh! that's not a general rule by any means,' observed Mrs Nickleby;
    'for I remember, as well as if it was only yesterday, employing one
    that I was particularly recommended to, to make me a scarlet cloak
    at the time when scarlet cloaks were fashionable, and she had a very
    red face--a very red face, indeed.'

    'Perhaps she drank,' suggested Miss La Creevy.

    'I don't know how that may have been,' returned Mrs Nickleby: 'but I
    know she had a very red face, so your argument goes for nothing.'

    In this manner, and with like powerful reasoning, did the worthy
    matron meet every little objection that presented itself to the new
    scheme of the morning. Happy Mrs Nickleby! A project had but to be
    new, and it came home to her mind, brightly varnished and gilded as
    a glittering toy.

    This question disposed of, Kate communicated her uncle's desire
    about the empty house, to which Mrs Nickleby assented with equal
    readiness, characteristically remarking, that, on the fine evenings,
    it would be a pleasant amusement for her to walk to the West end to
    fetch her daughter home; and no less characteristically forgetting,
    that there were such things as wet nights and bad weather to be
    encountered in almost every week of the year.

    'I shall be sorry--truly sorry to leave you, my kind friend,' said
    Kate, on whom the good feeling of the poor miniature painter had
    made a deep impression.

    'You shall not shake me off, for all that,' replied Miss La Creevy,
    with as much sprightliness as she could assume. 'I shall see you
    very often, and come and hear how you get on; and if, in all London,
    or all the wide world besides, there is no other heart that takes an
    interest in your welfare, there will be one little lonely woman that
    prays for it night and day.'

    With this, the poor soul, who had a heart big enough for Gog, the
    guardian genius of London, and enough to spare for Magog to boot,
    after making a great many extraordinary faces which would have
    secured her an ample fortune, could she have transferred them to
    ivory or canvas, sat down in a corner, and had what she termed 'a
    real good cry.'

    But no crying, or talking, or hoping, or fearing, could keep off the
    dreaded Saturday afternoon, or Newman Noggs either; who, punctual to
    his time, limped up to the door, and breathed a whiff of cordial gin
    through the keyhole, exactly as such of the church clocks in the
    neighbourhood as agreed among themselves about the time, struck
    five. Newman waited for the last stroke, and then knocked.

    'From Mr Ralph Nickleby,' said Newman, announcing his errand, when
    he got upstairs, with all possible brevity.

    'We shall be ready directly,' said Kate. 'We have not much to
    carry, but I fear we must have a coach.'

    'I'll get one,' replied Newman.

    'Indeed you shall not trouble yourself,' said Mrs Nickleby.

    'I will,' said Newman.

    'I can't suffer you to think of such a thing,' said Mrs Nickleby.

    'You can't help it,' said Newman.

    'Not help it!'

    'No; I thought of it as I came along; but didn't get one, thinking
    you mightn't be ready. I think of a great many things. Nobody can
    prevent that.'

    'Oh yes, I understand you, Mr Noggs,' said Mrs Nickleby. 'Our
    thoughts are free, of course. Everybody's thoughts are their own,

    'They wouldn't be, if some people had their way,' muttered Newman.

    'Well, no more they would, Mr Noggs, and that's very true,' rejoined
    Mrs Nickleby. 'Some people to be sure are such--how's your master?'

    Newman darted a meaning glance at Kate, and replied with a strong
    emphasis on the last word of his answer, that Mr Ralph Nickleby was
    well, and sent his LOVE.

    'I am sure we are very much obliged to him,' observed Mrs Nickleby.

    'Very,' said Newman. 'I'll tell him so.'

    It was no very easy matter to mistake Newman Noggs, after having
    once seen him, and as Kate, attracted by the singularity of his
    manner (in which on this occasion, however, there was something
    respectful and even delicate, notwithstanding the abruptness of his
    speech), looked at him more closely, she recollected having caught a
    passing glimpse of that strange figure before.

    'Excuse my curiosity,' she said, 'but did I not see you in the
    coachyard, on the morning my brother went away to Yorkshire?'

    Newman cast a wistful glance on Mrs Nickleby and said 'No,' most

    'No!' exclaimed Kate, 'I should have said so anywhere.'

    'You'd have said wrong,' rejoined Newman. 'It's the first time I've
    been out for three weeks. I've had the gout.'

    Newman was very, very far from having the appearance of a gouty
    subject, and so Kate could not help thinking; but the conference was
    cut short by Mrs Nickleby's insisting on having the door shut, lest
    Mr Noggs should take cold, and further persisting in sending the
    servant girl for a coach, for fear he should bring on another attack
    of his disorder. To both conditions, Newman was compelled to yield.
    Presently, the coach came; and, after many sorrowful farewells, and
    a great deal of running backwards and forwards across the pavement
    on the part of Miss La Creevy, in the course of which the yellow
    turban came into violent contact with sundry foot-passengers, it
    (that is to say the coach, not the turban) went away again, with the
    two ladies and their luggage inside; and Newman, despite all Mrs
    Nickleby's assurances that it would be his death--on the box beside
    the driver.

    They went into the city, turning down by the river side; and, after
    a long and very slow drive, the streets being crowded at that hour
    with vehicles of every kind, stopped in front of a large old dingy
    house in Thames Street: the door and windows of which were so
    bespattered with mud, that it would have appeared to have been
    uninhabited for years.

    The door of this deserted mansion Newman opened with a key which he
    took out of his hat--in which, by-the-bye, in consequence of the
    dilapidated state of his pockets, he deposited everything, and would
    most likely have carried his money if he had had any--and the coach
    being discharged, he led the way into the interior of the mansion.

    Old, and gloomy, and black, in truth it was, and sullen and dark
    were the rooms, once so bustling with life and enterprise. There
    was a wharf behind, opening on the Thames. An empty dog-kennel,
    some bones of animals, fragments of iron hoops, and staves of old
    casks, lay strewn about, but no life was stirring there. It was a
    picture of cold, silent decay.

    'This house depresses and chills one,' said Kate, 'and seems as if
    some blight had fallen on it. If I were superstitious, I should be
    almost inclined to believe that some dreadful crime had been
    perpetrated within these old walls, and that the place had never
    prospered since. How frowning and how dark it looks!'

    'Lord, my dear,' replied Mrs Nickleby, 'don't talk in that way, or
    you'll frighten me to death.'

    'It is only my foolish fancy, mama,' said Kate, forcing a smile.

    'Well, then, my love, I wish you would keep your foolish fancy to
    yourself, and not wake up MY foolish fancy to keep it company,'
    retorted Mrs Nickleby. 'Why didn't you think of all this before--
    you are so careless--we might have asked Miss La Creevy to keep us
    company or borrowed a dog, or a thousand things--but it always was
    the way, and was just the same with your poor dear father. Unless I
    thought of everything--' This was Mrs Nickleby's usual commencement
    of a general lamentation, running through a dozen or so of
    complicated sentences addressed to nobody in particular, and into
    which she now launched until her breath was exhausted.

    Newman appeared not to hear these remarks, but preceded them to a
    couple of rooms on the first floor, which some kind of attempt had
    been made to render habitable. In one, were a few chairs, a table,
    an old hearth-rug, and some faded baize; and a fire was ready laid
    in the grate. In the other stood an old tent bedstead, and a few
    scanty articles of chamber furniture.

    'Well, my dear,' said Mrs Nickleby, trying to be pleased, 'now isn't
    this thoughtful and considerate of your uncle? Why, we should not
    have had anything but the bed we bought yesterday, to lie down upon,
    if it hadn't been for his thoughtfulness!'

    'Very kind, indeed,' replied Kate, looking round.

    Newman Noggs did not say that he had hunted up the old furniture
    they saw, from attic and cellar; or that he had taken in the
    halfpennyworth of milk for tea that stood upon a shelf, or filled
    the rusty kettle on the hob, or collected the woodchips from the
    wharf, or begged the coals. But the notion of Ralph Nickleby having
    directed it to be done, tickled his fancy so much, that he could not
    refrain from cracking all his ten fingers in succession: at which
    performance Mrs Nickleby was rather startled at first, but supposing
    it to be in some remote manner connected with the gout, did not
    remark upon.

    'We need detain you no longer, I think,' said Kate.

    'Is there nothing I can do?' asked Newman.

    'Nothing, thank you,' rejoined Miss Nickleby.

    'Perhaps, my dear, Mr Noggs would like to drink our healths,' said
    Mrs Nickleby, fumbling in her reticule for some small coin.

    'I think, mama,' said Kate hesitating, and remarking Newman's
    averted face, 'you would hurt his feelings if you offered it.'

    Newman Noggs, bowing to the young lady more like a gentleman than
    the miserable wretch he seemed, placed his hand upon his breast,
    and, pausing for a moment, with the air of a man who struggles to
    speak but is uncertain what to say, quitted the room.

    As the jarring echoes of the heavy house-door, closing on its latch,
    reverberated dismally through the building, Kate felt half tempted
    to call him back, and beg him to remain a little while; but she was
    ashamed to own her fears, and Newman Noggs was on his road homewards.
    آرزوهایت را روی کاغذ بنویس و یکی یکی از خدا بخواه خدا فراموش نمی کند اما تو یادت می رود آنچه که امروز داری آرزوی دیروز تو بوده است!!!

  7. #16
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    عنوان کاربری
    مدير بازنشسته تالار زبان و ادبيات انگلیسی
    تاریخ عضویت
    Jul 2009
    محل تحصیل
    شغل , تخصص
    مدرس زبان انگلیسی
    رشته تحصیلی
    راه های ارتباطی
    تشکر ها

    پیش فرض

    CHAPTER 12

    Whereby the Reader will be enabled to trace the further course of
    Miss Fanny Squeer's Love, and to ascertain whether it ran smooth or

    It was a fortunate circumstance for Miss Fanny Squeers, that when
    her worthy papa returned home on the night of the small tea-party,
    he was what the initiated term 'too far gone' to observe the
    numerous tokens of extreme vexation of spirit which were plainly
    visible in her countenance. Being, however, of a rather violent and
    quarrelsome mood in his cups, it is not impossible that he might
    have fallen out with her, either on this or some imaginary topic, if
    the young lady had not, with a foresight and prudence highly
    commendable, kept a boy up, on purpose, to bear the first brunt of
    the good gentleman's anger; which, having vented itself in a variety
    of kicks and cuffs, subsided sufficiently to admit of his being
    persuaded to go to bed. Which he did with his boots on, and an
    umbrella under his arm.

    The hungry servant attended Miss Squeers in her own room according
    to custom, to curl her hair, perform the other little offices of her
    toilet, and administer as much flattery as she could get up, for the
    purpose; for Miss Squeers was quite lazy enough (and sufficiently
    vain and frivolous withal) to have been a fine lady; and it was only
    the arbitrary distinctions of rank and station which prevented her
    from being one.

    'How lovely your hair do curl tonight, miss!' said the handmaiden.
    'I declare if it isn't a pity and a shame to brush it out!'

    'Hold your tongue!' replied Miss Squeers wrathfully.

    Some considerable experience prevented the girl from being at all
    surprised at any outbreak of ill-temper on the part of Miss Squeers.
    Having a half-perception of what had occurred in the course of the
    evening, she changed her mode of making herself agreeable, and
    proceeded on the indirect tack.

    'Well, I couldn't help saying, miss, if you was to kill me for it,'
    said the attendant, 'that I never see nobody look so vulgar as Miss
    Price this night.'

    Miss Squeers sighed, and composed herself to listen.

    'I know it's very wrong in me to say so, miss,' continued the girl,
    delighted to see the impression she was making, 'Miss Price being a
    friend of your'n, and all; but she do dress herself out so, and go on
    in such a manner to get noticed, that--oh--well, if people only saw

    'What do you mean, Phib?' asked Miss Squeers, looking in her own
    little glass, where, like most of us, she saw--not herself, but the
    reflection of some pleasant image in her own brain. 'How you talk!'

    'Talk, miss! It's enough to make a Tom cat talk French grammar,
    only to see how she tosses her head,' replied the handmaid.

    'She DOES toss her head,' observed Miss Squeers, with an air of

    'So vain, and so very--very plain,' said the girl.

    'Poor 'Tilda!' sighed Miss Squeers, compassionately.

    'And always laying herself out so, to get to be admired,' pursued
    the servant. 'Oh, dear! It's positive indelicate.'

    'I can't allow you to talk in that way, Phib,' said Miss Squeers.
    ''Tilda's friends are low people, and if she don't know any better,
    it's their fault, and not hers.'

    'Well, but you know, miss,' said Phoebe, for which name 'Phib' was
    used as a patronising abbreviation, 'if she was only to take copy by
    a friend--oh! if she only knew how wrong she was, and would but set
    herself right by you, what a nice young woman she might be in time!'

    'Phib,' rejoined Miss Squeers, with a stately air, 'it's not proper
    for me to hear these comparisons drawn; they make 'Tilda look a
    coarse improper sort of person, and it seems unfriendly in me to
    listen to them. I would rather you dropped the subject, Phib; at
    the same time, I must say, that if 'Tilda Price would take pattern
    by somebody--not me particularly--'

    'Oh yes; you, miss,' interposed Phib.

    'Well, me, Phib, if you will have it so,' said Miss Squeers. 'I
    must say, that if she would, she would be all the better for it.'

    'So somebody else thinks, or I am much mistaken,' said the girl

    'What do you mean?' demanded Miss Squeers.

    'Never mind, miss,' replied the girl; 'I know what I know; that's

    'Phib,' said Miss Squeers dramatically, 'I insist upon your
    explaining yourself. What is this dark mystery? Speak.'

    'Why, if you will have it, miss, it's this,' said the servant girl.
    'Mr John Browdie thinks as you think; and if he wasn't too far gone
    to do it creditable, he'd be very glad to be off with Miss Price,
    and on with Miss Squeers.'

    'Gracious heavens!' exclaimed Miss Squeers, clasping her hands with
    great dignity. 'What is this?'

    'Truth, ma'am, and nothing but truth,' replied the artful Phib.

    'What a situation!' cried Miss Squeers; 'on the brink of
    unconsciously destroying the peace and happiness of my own 'Tilda.
    What is the reason that men fall in love with me, whether I like it
    or not, and desert their chosen intendeds for my sake?'

    'Because they can't help it, miss,' replied the girl; 'the reason's
    plain.' (If Miss Squeers were the reason, it was very plain.)

    'Never let me hear of it again,' retorted Miss Squeers. 'Never! Do
    you hear? 'Tilda Price has faults--many faults--but I wish her
    well, and above all I wish her married; for I think it highly
    desirable--most desirable from the very nature of her failings--that
    she should be married as soon as possible. No, Phib. Let her have
    Mr Browdie. I may pity HIM, poor fellow; but I have a great regard
    for 'Tilda, and only hope she may make a better wife than I think
    she will.'

    With this effusion of feeling, Miss Squeers went to bed.

    Spite is a little word; but it represents as strange a jumble of
    feelings, and compound of discords, as any polysyllable in the
    language. Miss Squeers knew as well in her heart of hearts that
    what the miserable serving-girl had said was sheer, coarse, lying
    flattery, as did the girl herself; yet the mere opportunity of
    venting a little ill-nature against the offending Miss Price, and
    affecting to compassionate her weaknesses and foibles, though only
    in the presence of a solitary dependant, was almost as great a
    relief to her spleen as if the whole had been gospel truth. Nay,
    more. We have such extraordinary powers of persuasion when they are
    exerted over ourselves, that Miss Squeers felt quite high-minded and
    great after her noble renunciation of John Browdie's hand, and
    looked down upon her rival with a kind of holy calmness and
    tranquillity, that had a mighty effect in soothing her ruffled

    This happy state of mind had some influence in bringing about a
    reconciliation; for, when a knock came at the front-door next day,
    and the miller's daughter was announced, Miss Squeers betook herself
    to the parlour in a Christian frame of spirit, perfectly beautiful
    to behold.

    'Well, Fanny,' said the miller's daughter, 'you see I have come to
    see you, although we HAD some words last night.'

    'I pity your bad passions, 'Tilda,' replied Miss Squeers, 'but I
    bear no malice. I am above it.'

    'Don't be cross, Fanny,' said Miss Price. 'I have come to tell you
    something that I know will please you.'

    'What may that be, 'Tilda?' demanded Miss Squeers; screwing up her
    lips, and looking as if nothing in earth, air, fire, or water, could
    afford her the slightest gleam of satisfaction.

    'This,' rejoined Miss Price. 'After we left here last night John
    and I had a dreadful quarrel.'

    'That doesn't please me,' said Miss Squeers--relaxing into a smile

    'Lor! I wouldn't think so bad of you as to suppose it did,'
    rejoined her companion. 'That's not it.'

    'Oh!' said Miss Squeers, relapsing into melancholy. 'Go on.'

    'After a great deal of wrangling, and saying we would never see each
    other any more,' continued Miss Price, 'we made it up, and this
    morning John went and wrote our names down to be put up, for the
    first time, next Sunday, so we shall be married in three weeks, and
    I give you notice to get your frock made.'

    There was mingled gall and honey in this intelligence. The prospect
    of the friend's being married so soon was the gall, and the
    certainty of her not entertaining serious designs upon Nicholas was
    the honey. Upon the whole, the sweet greatly preponderated over the
    bitter, so Miss Squeers said she would get the frock made, and that
    she hoped 'Tilda might be happy, though at the same time she didn't
    know, and would not have her build too much upon it, for men were
    strange creatures, and a great many married women were very
    miserable, and wished themselves single again with all their hearts;
    to which condolences Miss Squeers added others equally calculated to
    raise her friend's spirits and promote her cheerfulness of mind.

    'But come now, Fanny,' said Miss Price, 'I want to have a word or
    two with you about young Mr Nickleby.'

    'He is nothing to me,' interrupted Miss Squeers, with hysterical
    symptoms. 'I despise him too much!'

    'Oh, you don't mean that, I am sure?' replied her friend. 'Confess,
    Fanny; don't you like him now?'

    Without returning any direct reply, Miss Squeers, all at once, fell
    into a paroxysm of spiteful tears, and exclaimed that she was a
    wretched, neglected, miserable castaway.

    'I hate everybody,' said Miss Squeers, 'and I wish that everybody
    was dead--that I do.'

    'Dear, dear,' said Miss Price, quite moved by this avowal of
    misanthropical sentiments. 'You are not serious, I am sure.'

    'Yes, I am,' rejoined Miss Squeers, tying tight knots in her pocket-
    handkerchief and clenching her teeth. 'And I wish I was dead too.

    'Oh! you'll think very differently in another five minutes,' said
    Matilda. 'How much better to take him into favour again, than to
    hurt yourself by going on in that way. Wouldn't it be much nicer,
    now, to have him all to yourself on good terms, in a company-
    keeping, love-making, pleasant sort of manner?'

    'I don't know but what it would,' sobbed Miss Squeers. 'Oh!
    'Tilda, how could you have acted so mean and dishonourable! I
    wouldn't have believed it of you, if anybody had told me.'

    'Heyday!' exclaimed Miss Price, giggling. 'One would suppose I had
    been murdering somebody at least.'

    'Very nigh as bad,' said Miss Squeers passionately.

    'And all this because I happen to have enough of good looks to make
    people civil to me,' cried Miss Price. 'Persons don't make their
    own faces, and it's no more my fault if mine is a good one than it
    is other people's fault if theirs is a bad one.'

    'Hold your tongue,' shrieked Miss Squeers, in her shrillest tone;
    'or you'll make me slap you, 'Tilda, and afterwards I should be
    sorry for it!'

    It is needless to say, that, by this time, the temper of each young
    lady was in some slight degree affected by the tone of her
    conversation, and that a dash of personality was infused into the
    altercation, in consequence. Indeed, the quarrel, from slight
    beginnings, rose to a considerable height, and was assuming a very
    violent complexion, when both parties, falling into a great passion
    of tears, exclaimed simultaneously, that they had never thought of
    being spoken to in that way: which exclamation, leading to a
    remonstrance, gradually brought on an explanation: and the upshot
    was, that they fell into each other's arms and vowed eternal
    friendship; the occasion in question making the fifty-second time of
    repeating the same impressive ceremony within a twelvemonth.

    Perfect amicability being thus restored, a dialogue naturally ensued
    upon the number and nature of the garments which would be
    indispensable for Miss Price's entrance into the holy state of
    matrimony, when Miss Squeers clearly showed that a great many more
    than the miller could, or would, afford, were absolutely necessary,
    and could not decently be dispensed with. The young lady then, by
    an easy digression, led the discourse to her own wardrobe, and after
    recounting its principal beauties at some length, took her friend
    upstairs to make inspection thereof. The treasures of two drawers
    and a closet having been displayed, and all the smaller articles
    tried on, it was time for Miss Price to return home; and as she had
    been in raptures with all the frocks, and had been stricken quite
    dumb with admiration of a new pink scarf, Miss Squeers said in high
    good humour, that she would walk part of the way with her, for the
    pleasure of her company; and off they went together: Miss Squeers
    dilating, as they walked along, upon her father's accomplishments:
    and multiplying his income by ten, to give her friend some faint
    notion of the vast importance and superiority of her family.

    It happened that that particular time, comprising the short daily
    interval which was suffered to elapse between what was pleasantly
    called the dinner of Mr Squeers's pupils, and their return to the
    pursuit of useful knowledge, was precisely the hour when Nicholas
    was accustomed to issue forth for a melancholy walk, and to brood,
    as he sauntered listlessly through the village, upon his miserable
    lot. Miss Squeers knew this perfectly well, but had perhaps
    forgotten it, for when she caught sight of that young gentleman
    advancing towards them, she evinced many symptoms of surprise and
    consternation, and assured her friend that she 'felt fit to drop
    into the earth.'

    'Shall we turn back, or run into a cottage?' asked Miss Price. 'He
    don't see us yet.'

    'No, 'Tilda,' replied Miss Squeers, 'it is my duty to go through
    with it, and I will!'

    As Miss Squeers said this, in the tone of one who has made a high
    moral resolution, and was, besides, taken with one or two chokes and
    catchings of breath, indicative of feelings at a high pressure, her
    friend made no further remark, and they bore straight down upon
    Nicholas, who, walking with his eyes bent upon the ground, was not
    aware of their approach until they were close upon him; otherwise,
    he might, perhaps, have taken shelter himself.

    'Good-morning,' said Nicholas, bowing and passing by.

    'He is going,' murmured Miss Squeers. 'I shall choke, 'Tilda.'

    'Come back, Mr Nickleby, do!' cried Miss Price, affecting alarm at
    her friend's threat, but really actuated by a malicious wish to hear
    what Nicholas would say; 'come back, Mr Nickleby!'

    Mr Nickleby came back, and looked as confused as might be, as he
    inquired whether the ladies had any commands for him.

    'Don't stop to talk,' urged Miss Price, hastily; 'but support her on
    the other side. How do you feel now, dear?'

    'Better,' sighed Miss Squeers, laying a beaver bonnet of a reddish
    brown with a green veil attached, on Mr Nickleby's shoulder. 'This
    foolish faintness!'

    'Don't call it foolish, dear,' said Miss Price: her bright eye
    dancing with merriment as she saw the perplexity of Nicholas; 'you
    have no reason to be ashamed of it. It's those who are too proud to
    come round again, without all this to-do, that ought to be ashamed.'

    'You are resolved to fix it upon me, I see,' said Nicholas, smiling,
    'although I told you, last night, it was not my fault.'

    'There; he says it was not his fault, my dear,' remarked the wicked
    Miss Price. 'Perhaps you were too jealous, or too hasty with him?
    He says it was not his fault. You hear; I think that's apology

    'You will not understand me,' said Nicholas. 'Pray dispense with
    this jesting, for I have no time, and really no inclination, to be
    the subject or promoter of mirth just now.'

    'What do you mean?' asked Miss Price, affecting amazement.

    'Don't ask him, 'Tilda,' cried Miss Squeers; 'I forgive him.'

    'Dear me,' said Nicholas, as the brown bonnet went down on his
    shoulder again, 'this is more serious than I supposed. Allow me!
    Will you have the goodness to hear me speak?'

    Here he raised up the brown bonnet, and regarding with most
    unfeigned astonishment a look of tender reproach from Miss Squeers,
    shrunk back a few paces to be out of the reach of the fair burden,
    and went on to say:

    'I am very sorry--truly and sincerely sorry--for having been the
    cause of any difference among you, last night. I reproach myself,
    most bitterly, for having been so unfortunate as to cause the
    dissension that occurred, although I did so, I assure you, most
    unwittingly and heedlessly.'

    'Well; that's not all you have got to say surely,' exclaimed Miss
    Price as Nicholas paused.

    'I fear there is something more,' stammered Nicholas with a half-
    smile, and looking towards Miss Squeers, 'it is a most awkward thing
    to say--but--the very mention of such a supposition makes one look
    like a puppy--still--may I ask if that lady supposes that I
    entertain any--in short, does she think that I am in love with her?'

    'Delightful embarrassment,' thought Miss Squeers, 'I have brought
    him to it, at last. Answer for me, dear,' she whispered to her

    'Does she think so?' rejoined Miss Price; 'of course she does.'

    'She does!' exclaimed Nicholas with such energy of utterance as
    might have been, for the moment, mistaken for rapture.

    'Certainly,' replied Miss Price

    'If Mr Nickleby has doubted that, 'Tilda,' said the blushing Miss
    Squeers in soft accents, 'he may set his mind at rest. His
    sentiments are recipro--'

    'Stop,' cried Nicholas hurriedly; 'pray hear me. This is the
    grossest and wildest delusion, the completest and most signal
    mistake, that ever human being laboured under, or committed. I have
    scarcely seen the young lady half-a-dozen times, but if I had seen
    her sixty times, or am destined to see her sixty thousand, it would
    be, and will be, precisely the same. I have not one thought, wish,
    or hope, connected with her, unless it be--and I say this, not to
    hurt her feelings, but to impress her with the real state of my own
    --unless it be the one object, dear to my heart as life itself, of
    being one day able to turn my back upon this accursed place, never
    to set foot in it again, or think of it--even think of it--but with
    loathing and disgust.'

    With this particularly plain and straightforward declaration, which
    he made with all the vehemence that his indignant and excited
    feelings could bring to bear upon it, Nicholas waiting to hear no
    more, retreated.

    But poor Miss Squeers! Her anger, rage, and vexation; the rapid
    succession of bitter and passionate feelings that whirled through
    her mind; are not to be described. Refused! refused by a teacher,
    picked up by advertisement, at an annual salary of five pounds
    payable at indefinite periods, and 'found' in food and lodging like
    the very boys themselves; and this too in the presence of a little
    chit of a miller's daughter of eighteen, who was going to be
    married, in three weeks' time, to a man who had gone down on his
    very knees to ask her. She could have choked in right good earnest,
    at the thought of being so humbled.

    But, there was one thing clear in the midst of her mortification;
    and that was, that she hated and detested Nicholas with all the
    narrowness of mind and littleness of purpose worthy a descendant of
    the house of Squeers. And there was one comfort too; and that was,
    that every hour in every day she could wound his pride, and goad him
    with the infliction of some slight, or insult, or deprivation, which
    could not but have some effect on the most insensible person, and
    must be acutely felt by one so sensitive as Nicholas. With these
    two reflections uppermost in her mind, Miss Squeers made the best of
    the matter to her friend, by observing that Mr Nickleby was such an
    odd creature, and of such a violent temper, that she feared she
    should be obliged to give him up; and parted from her.

    And here it may be remarked, that Miss Squeers, having bestowed her
    affections (or whatever it might be that, in the absence of anything
    better, represented them) on Nicholas Nickleby, had never once
    seriously contemplated the possibility of his being of a different
    opinion from herself in the business. Miss Squeers reasoned that
    she was prepossessing and beautiful, and that her father was master,
    and Nicholas man, and that her father had saved money, and Nicholas
    had none, all of which seemed to her conclusive arguments why the
    young man should feel only too much honoured by her preference. She
    had not failed to recollect, either, how much more agreeable she
    could render his situation if she were his friend, and how much more
    disagreeable if she were his enemy; and, doubtless, many less
    scrupulous young gentlemen than Nicholas would have encouraged her
    extravagance had it been only for this very obvious and intelligible
    reason. However, he had thought proper to do otherwise, and Miss
    Squeers was outrageous.

    'Let him see,' said the irritated young lady, when she had regained
    her own room, and eased her mind by committing an assault on Phib,
    'if I don't set mother against him a little more when she comes

    It was scarcely necessary to do this, but Miss Squeers was as good
    as her word; and poor Nicholas, in addition to bad food, dirty
    lodging, and the being compelled to witness one dull unvarying round
    of squalid misery, was treated with every special indignity that
    malice could suggest, or the most grasping cupidity put upon him.

    Nor was this all. There was another and deeper system of annoyance
    which made his heart sink, and nearly drove him wild, by its
    injustice and cruelty.

    The wretched creature, Smike, since the night Nicholas had spoken
    kindly to him in the schoolroom, had followed him to and fro, with
    an ever-restless desire to serve or help him; anticipating such
    little wants as his humble ability could supply, and content only to
    be near him. He would sit beside him for hours, looking patiently
    into his face; and a word would brighten up his care-worn visage,
    and call into it a passing gleam, even of happiness. He was an
    altered being; he had an object now; and that object was, to show
    his attachment to the only person--that person a stranger--who had
    treated him, not to say with kindness, but like a human creature.

    Upon this poor being, all the spleen and ill-humour that could not
    be vented on Nicholas were unceasingly bestowed. Drudgery would
    have been nothing--Smike was well used to that. Buffetings
    inflicted without cause, would have been equally a matter of course;
    for to them also he had served a long and weary apprenticeship; but
    it was no sooner observed that he had become attached to Nicholas,
    than stripes and blows, stripes and blows, morning, noon, and night,
    were his only portion. Squeers was jealous of the influence which
    his man had so soon acquired, and his family hated him, and Smike
    paid for both. Nicholas saw it, and ground his teeth at every
    repetition of the savage and cowardly attack.

    He had arranged a few regular lessons for the boys; and one night,
    as he paced up and down the dismal schoolroom, his swollen heart
    almost bursting to think that his protection and countenance should
    have increased the misery of the wretched being whose peculiar
    destitution had awakened his pity, he paused mechanically in a dark
    corner where sat the object of his thoughts.

    The poor soul was poring hard over a tattered book, with the traces
    of recent tears still upon his face; vainly endeavouring to master
    some task which a child of nine years old, possessed of ordinary
    powers, could have conquered with ease, but which, to the addled
    brain of the crushed boy of nineteen, was a sealed and hopeless
    mystery. Yet there he sat, patiently conning the page again and
    again, stimulated by no boyish ambition, for he was the common jest
    and scoff even of the uncouth objects that congregated about him,
    but inspired by the one eager desire to please his solitary friend.

    Nicholas laid his hand upon his shoulder.

    'I can't do it,' said the dejected creature, looking up with bitter
    disappointment in every feature. 'No, no.'

    'Do not try,' replied Nicholas.

    The boy shook his head, and closing the book with a sigh, looked
    vacantly round, and laid his head upon his arm. He was weeping.

    'Do not for God's sake,' said Nicholas, in an agitated voice; 'I
    cannot bear to see you.'

    'They are more hard with me than ever,' sobbed the boy.

    'I know it,' rejoined Nicholas. 'They are.'

    'But for you,' said the outcast, 'I should die. They would kill me;
    they would; I know they would.'

    'You will do better, poor fellow,' replied Nicholas, shaking his
    head mournfully, 'when I am gone.'

    'Gone!' cried the other, looking intently in his face.

    'Softly!' rejoined Nicholas. 'Yes.'

    'Are you going?' demanded the boy, in an earnest whisper.

    'I cannot say,' replied Nicholas. 'I was speaking more to my own
    thoughts, than to you.'

    'Tell me,' said the boy imploringly, 'oh do tell me, WILL you go--
    WILL you?'

    'I shall be driven to that at last!' said Nicholas. 'The world is
    before me, after all.'

    'Tell me,' urged Smike, 'is the world as bad and dismal as this

    'Heaven forbid,' replied Nicholas, pursuing the train of his own
    thoughts; 'its hardest, coarsest toil, were happiness to this.'

    'Should I ever meet you there?' demanded the boy, speaking with
    unusual wildness and volubility.

    'Yes,' replied Nicholas, willing to soothe him.

    'No, no!' said the other, clasping him by the hand. 'Should I--
    should I--tell me that again. Say I should be sure to find you.'

    'You would,' replied Nicholas, with the same humane intention, 'and
    I would help and aid you, and not bring fresh sorrow on you as I
    have done here.'

    The boy caught both the young man's hands passionately in his, and,
    hugging them to his breast, uttered a few broken sounds which were
    unintelligible. Squeers entered at the moment, and he shrunk back
    into his old corner.
    آرزوهایت را روی کاغذ بنویس و یکی یکی از خدا بخواه خدا فراموش نمی کند اما تو یادت می رود آنچه که امروز داری آرزوی دیروز تو بوده است!!!

  8. #17
    فرناز آواتار ها
    • 979
    • 1,985

    عنوان کاربری
    مدير بازنشسته تالار زبان و ادبيات انگلیسی
    تاریخ عضویت
    Jul 2009
    محل تحصیل
    شغل , تخصص
    مدرس زبان انگلیسی
    رشته تحصیلی
    راه های ارتباطی
    تشکر ها

    پیش فرض

    CHAPTER 13

    Nicholas varies the Monotony of Dothebys Hall by a most vigorous and
    remarkable proceeding, which leads to Consequences of some

    The cold, feeble dawn of a January morning was stealing in at the
    windows of the common sleeping-room, when Nicholas, raising himself
    on his arm, looked among the prostrate forms which on every side
    surrounded him, as though in search of some particular object.

    It needed a quick eye to detect, from among the huddled mass of
    sleepers, the form of any given individual. As they lay closely
    packed together, covered, for warmth's sake, with their patched and
    ragged clothes, little could be distinguished but the sharp outlines
    of pale faces, over which the sombre light shed the same dull heavy
    colour; with, here and there, a gaunt arm thrust forth: its thinness
    hidden by no covering, but fully exposed to view, in all its
    shrunken ugliness. There were some who, lying on their backs with
    upturned faces and clenched hands, just visible in the leaden light,
    bore more the aspect of dead bodies than of living creatures; and
    there were others coiled up into strange and fantastic postures,
    such as might have been taken for the uneasy efforts of pain to gain
    some temporary relief, rather than the freaks of slumber. A few--
    and these were among the youngest of the children--slept peacefully
    on, with smiles upon their faces, dreaming perhaps of home; but ever
    and again a deep and heavy sigh, breaking the stillness of the room,
    announced that some new sleeper had awakened to the misery of
    another day; and, as morning took the place of night, the smiles
    gradually faded away, with the friendly darkness which had given
    them birth.

    Dreams are the bright creatures of poem and legend, who sport on
    earth in the night season, and melt away in the first beam of the
    sun, which lights grim care and stern reality on their daily
    pilgrimage through the world.

    Nicholas looked upon the sleepers; at first, with the air of one who
    gazes upon a scene which, though familiar to him, has lost none of
    its sorrowful effect in consequence; and, afterwards, with a more
    intense and searching scrutiny, as a man would who missed something
    his eye was accustomed to meet, and had expected to rest upon. He
    was still occupied in this search, and had half risen from his bed
    in the eagerness of his quest, when the voice of Squeers was heard,
    calling from the bottom of the stairs.

    'Now then,' cried that gentleman, 'are you going to sleep all day,
    up there--'

    'You lazy hounds?' added Mrs Squeers, finishing the sentence, and
    producing, at the same time, a sharp sound, like that which is
    occasioned by the lacing of stays.

    'We shall be down directly, sir,' replied Nicholas.

    'Down directly!' said Squeers. 'Ah! you had better be down
    directly, or I'll be down upon some of you in less. Where's that

    Nicholas looked hurriedly round again, but made no answer.

    'Smike!' shouted Squeers.

    'Do you want your head broke in a fresh place, Smike?' demanded his
    amiable lady in the same key.

    Still there was no reply, and still Nicholas stared about him, as
    did the greater part of the boys, who were by this time roused.

    'Confound his impudence!' muttered Squeers, rapping the stair-rail
    impatiently with his cane. 'Nickleby!'

    'Well, sir.'

    'Send that obstinate scoundrel down; don't you hear me calling?'

    'He is not here, sir,' replied Nicholas.

    'Don't tell me a lie,' retorted the schoolmaster. 'He is.'

    'He is not,' retorted Nicholas angrily, 'don't tell me one.'

    'We shall soon see that,' said Mr Squeers, rushing upstairs. 'I'll
    find him, I warrant you.'

    With which assurance, Mr Squeers bounced into the dormitory, and,
    swinging his cane in the air ready for a blow, darted into the
    corner where the lean body of the drudge was usually stretched at
    night. The cane descended harmlessly upon the ground. There was
    nobody there.

    'What does this mean?' said Squeers, turning round with a very pale
    face. 'Where have you hid him?'

    'I have seen nothing of him since last night,' replied Nicholas.

    'Come,' said Squeers, evidently frightened, though he endeavoured to
    look otherwise, 'you won't save him this way. Where is he?'

    'At the bottom of the nearest pond for aught I know,' rejoined
    Nicholas in a low voice, and fixing his eyes full on the master's

    'Damn you, what do you mean by that?' retorted Squeers in great
    perturbation. Without waiting for a reply, he inquired of the boys
    whether any one among them knew anything of their missing

    There was a general hum of anxious denial, in the midst of which,
    one shrill voice was heard to say (as, indeed, everybody thought):

    'Please, sir, I think Smike's run away, sir.'

    'Ha!' cried Squeers, turning sharp round. 'Who said that?'

    'Tomkins, please sir,' rejoined a chorus of voices. Mr Squeers made
    a plunge into the crowd, and at one dive, caught a very little boy,
    habited still in his night-gear, and the perplexed expression of
    whose countenance, as he was brought forward, seemed to intimate
    that he was as yet uncertain whether he was about to be punished or
    rewarded for the suggestion. He was not long in doubt.

    'You think he has run away, do you, sir?' demanded Squeers.

    'Yes, please sir,' replied the little boy.

    'And what, sir,' said Squeers, catching the little boy suddenly by
    the arms and whisking up his drapery in a most dexterous manner,
    'what reason have you to suppose that any boy would want to run away
    from this establishment? Eh, sir?'

    The child raised a dismal cry, by way of answer, and Mr Squeers,
    throwing himself into the most favourable attitude for exercising
    his strength, beat him until the little urchin in his writhings
    actually rolled out of his hands, when he mercifully allowed him to
    roll away, as he best could.

    'There,' said Squeers. 'Now if any other boy thinks Smike has run
    away, I shall be glad to have a talk with him.'

    There was, of course, a profound silence, during which Nicholas
    showed his disgust as plainly as looks could show it.

    'Well, Nickleby,' said Squeers, eyeing him maliciously. 'YOU think
    he has run away, I suppose?'

    'I think it extremely likely,' replied Nicholas, in a quiet manner.

    'Oh, you do, do you?' sneered Squeers. 'Maybe you know he has?'

    'I know nothing of the kind.'

    'He didn't tell you he was going, I suppose, did he?' sneered

    'He did not,' replied Nicholas; 'I am very glad he did not, for it
    would then have been my duty to have warned you in time.'

    'Which no doubt you would have been devilish sorry to do,' said
    Squeers in a taunting fashion.

    'I should indeed,' replied Nicholas. 'You interpret my feelings
    with great accuracy.'

    Mrs Squeers had listened to this conversation, from the bottom of
    the stairs; but, now losing all patience, she hastily assumed her
    night-jacket, and made her way to the scene of action.

    'What's all this here to-do?' said the lady, as the boys fell off
    right and left, to save her the trouble of clearing a passage with
    her brawny arms. 'What on earth are you a talking to him for,

    'Why, my dear,' said Squeers, 'the fact is, that Smike is not to be

    'Well, I know that,' said the lady, 'and where's the wonder? If you
    get a parcel of proud-stomached teachers that set the young dogs a
    rebelling, what else can you look for? Now, young man, you just
    have the kindness to take yourself off to the schoolroom, and take
    the boys off with you, and don't you stir out of there till you have
    leave given you, or you and I may fall out in a way that'll spoil
    your beauty, handsome as you think yourself, and so I tell you.'

    'Indeed!' said Nicholas.

    'Yes; and indeed and indeed again, Mister Jackanapes,' said the
    excited lady; 'and I wouldn't keep such as you in the house another
    hour, if I had my way.'

    'Nor would you if I had mine,' replied Nicholas. 'Now, boys!'

    'Ah! Now, boys,' said Mrs Squeers, mimicking, as nearly as she
    could, the voice and manner of the usher. 'Follow your leader,
    boys, and take pattern by Smike if you dare. See what he'll get for
    himself, when he is brought back; and, mind! I tell you that you
    shall have as bad, and twice as bad, if you so much as open your
    mouths about him.'

    'If I catch him,' said Squeers, 'I'll only stop short of flaying him
    alive. I give you notice, boys.'

    'IF you catch him,' retorted Mrs Squeers, contemptuously; 'you are
    sure to; you can't help it, if you go the right way to work. Come!
    Away with you!'

    With these words, Mrs Squeers dismissed the boys, and after a little
    light skirmishing with those in the rear who were pressing forward
    to get out of the way, but were detained for a few moments by the
    throng in front, succeeded in clearing the room, when she confronted
    her spouse alone.

    'He is off,' said Mrs Squeers. 'The cow-house and stable are locked
    up, so he can't be there; and he's not downstairs anywhere, for the
    girl has looked. He must have gone York way, and by a public road

    'Why must he?' inquired Squeers.

    'Stupid!' said Mrs Squeers angrily. 'He hadn't any money, had he?'

    'Never had a penny of his own in his whole life, that I know of,'
    replied Squeers.

    'To be sure,' rejoined Mrs Squeers, 'and he didn't take anything to
    eat with him; that I'll answer for. Ha! ha! ha!'

    'Ha! ha! ha!' laughed Squeers.

    'Then, of course,' said Mrs S., 'he must beg his way, and he could
    do that, nowhere, but on the public road.'

    'That's true,' exclaimed Squeers, clapping his hands.

    'True! Yes; but you would never have thought of it, for all that,
    if I hadn't said so,' replied his wife. 'Now, if you take the
    chaise and go one road, and I borrow Swallow's chaise, and go the
    other, what with keeping our eyes open, and asking questions, one or
    other of us is pretty certain to lay hold of him.'

    The worthy lady's plan was adopted and put in execution without a
    moment's delay. After a very hasty breakfast, and the prosecution
    of some inquiries in the village, the result of which seemed to show
    that he was on the right track, Squeers started forth in the pony-
    chaise, intent upon discovery and vengeance. Shortly afterwards,
    Mrs Squeers, arrayed in the white top-coat, and tied up in various
    shawls and handkerchiefs, issued forth in another chaise and another
    direction, taking with her a good-sized bludgeon, several odd pieces
    of strong cord, and a stout labouring man: all provided and carried
    upon the expedition, with the sole object of assisting in the
    capture, and (once caught) insuring the safe custody of the
    unfortunate Smike.

    Nicholas remained behind, in a tumult of feeling, sensible that
    whatever might be the upshot of the boy's flight, nothing but
    painful and deplorable consequences were likely to ensue from it.
    Death, from want and exposure to the weather, was the best that
    could be expected from the protracted wandering of so poor and
    helpless a creature, alone and unfriended, through a country of
    which he was wholly ignorant. There was little, perhaps, to choose
    between this fate and a return to the tender mercies of the
    Yorkshire school; but the unhappy being had established a hold upon
    his sympathy and compassion, which made his heart ache at the
    prospect of the suffering he was destined to undergo. He lingered
    on, in restless anxiety, picturing a thousand possibilities, until
    the evening of next day, when Squeers returned, alone, and

    'No news of the scamp!' said the schoolmaster, who had evidently
    been stretching his legs, on the old principle, not a few times
    during the journey. 'I'll have consolation for this out of
    somebody, Nickleby, if Mrs Squeers don't hunt him down; so I give
    you warning.'

    'It is not in my power to console you, sir,' said Nicholas. 'It is
    nothing to me.'

    'Isn't it?' said Squeers in a threatening manner. 'We shall see!'

    'We shall,' rejoined Nicholas.

    'Here's the pony run right off his legs, and me obliged to come home
    with a hack cob, that'll cost fifteen shillings besides other
    expenses,' said Squeers; 'who's to pay for that, do you hear?'

    Nicholas shrugged his shoulders and remained silent.

    'I'll have it out of somebody, I tell you,' said Squeers, his usual
    harsh crafty manner changed to open bullying 'None of your whining
    vapourings here, Mr Puppy, but be off to your kennel, for it's past
    your bedtime! Come! Get out!'

    Nicholas bit his lip and knit his hands involuntarily, for his
    fingerends tingled to avenge the insult; but remembering that the
    man was drunk, and that it could come to little but a noisy brawl,
    he contented himself with darting a contemptuous look at the tyrant,
    and walked, as majestically as he could, upstairs: not a little
    nettled, however, to observe that Miss Squeers and Master Squeers,
    and the servant girl, were enjoying the scene from a snug corner;
    the two former indulging in many edifying remarks about the
    presumption of poor upstarts, which occasioned a vast deal of
    laughter, in which even the most miserable of all miserable servant
    girls joined: while Nicholas, stung to the quick, drew over his head
    such bedclothes as he had, and sternly resolved that the outstanding
    account between himself and Mr Squeers should be settled rather more
    speedily than the latter anticipated.

    Another day came, and Nicholas was scarcely awake when he heard the
    wheels of a chaise approaching the house. It stopped. The voice of
    Mrs Squeers was heard, and in exultation, ordering a glass of
    spirits for somebody, which was in itself a sufficient sign that
    something extraordinary had happened. Nicholas hardly dared to look
    out of the window; but he did so, and the very first object that met
    his eyes was the wretched Smike: so bedabbled with mud and rain, so
    haggard and worn, and wild, that, but for his garments being such as
    no scarecrow was ever seen to wear, he might have been doubtful,
    even then, of his identity.

    'Lift him out,' said Squeers, after he had literally feasted his
    eyes, in silence, upon the culprit. 'Bring him in; bring him in!'

    'Take care,' cried Mrs Squeers, as her husband proffered his
    assistance. 'We tied his legs under the apron and made'em fast to
    the chaise, to prevent his giving us the slip again.'

    With hands trembling with delight, Squeers unloosened the cord; and
    Smike, to all appearance more dead than alive, was brought into the
    house and securely locked up in a cellar, until such time as Mr
    Squeers should deem it expedient to operate upon him, in presence of
    the assembled school.

    Upon a hasty consideration of the circumstances, it may be matter of
    surprise to some persons, that Mr and Mrs Squeers should have taken
    so much trouble to repossess themselves of an incumbrance of which
    it was their wont to complain so loudly; but their surprise will
    cease when they are informed that the manifold services of the
    drudge, if performed by anybody else, would have cost the
    establishment some ten or twelve shillings per week in the shape of
    wages; and furthermore, that all runaways were, as a matter of
    policy, made severe examples of, at Dotheboys Hall, inasmuch as, in
    consequence of the limited extent of its attractions, there was but
    little inducement, beyond the powerful impulse of fear, for any
    pupil, provided with the usual number of legs and the power of using
    them, to remain.

    The news that Smike had been caught and brought back in triumph, ran
    like wild-fire through the hungry community, and expectation was on
    tiptoe all the morning. On tiptoe it was destined to remain,
    however, until afternoon; when Squeers, having refreshed himself
    with his dinner, and further strengthened himself by an extra
    libation or so, made his appearance (accompanied by his amiable
    partner) with a countenance of portentous import, and a fearful
    instrument of flagellation, strong, supple, wax-ended, and new,--in
    short, purchased that morning, expressly for the occasion.

    'Is every boy here?' asked Squeers, in a tremendous voice.

    Every boy was there, but every boy was afraid to speak, so Squeers
    glared along the lines to assure himself; and every eye drooped, and
    every head cowered down, as he did so.

    'Each boy keep his place,' said Squeers, administering his favourite
    blow to the desk, and regarding with gloomy satisfaction the
    universal start which it never failed to occasion. 'Nickleby! to
    your desk, sir.'

    It was remarked by more than one small observer, that there was a
    very curious and unusual expression in the usher's face; but he took
    his seat, without opening his lips in reply. Squeers, casting a
    triumphant glance at his assistant and a look of most comprehensive
    despotism on the boys, left the room, and shortly afterwards
    returned, dragging Smike by the collar--or rather by that fragment
    of his jacket which was nearest the place where his collar would
    have been, had he boasted such a decoration.

    In any other place, the appearance of the wretched, jaded,
    spiritless object would have occasioned a murmur of compassion and
    remonstrance. It had some effect, even there; for the lookers-on
    moved uneasily in their seats; and a few of the boldest ventured to
    steal looks at each other, expressive of indignation and pity.

    They were lost on Squeers, however, whose gaze was fastened on the
    luckless Smike, as he inquired, according to custom in such cases,
    whether he had anything to say for himself.

    'Nothing, I suppose?' said Squeers, with a diabolical grin.

    Smike glanced round, and his eye rested, for an instant, on
    Nicholas, as if he had expected him to intercede; but his look was
    riveted on his desk.

    'Have you anything to say?' demanded Squeers again: giving his right
    arm two or three flourishes to try its power and suppleness. 'Stand
    a little out of the way, Mrs Squeers, my dear; I've hardly got room

    'Spare me, sir!' cried Smike.

    'Oh! that's all, is it?' said Squeers. 'Yes, I'll flog you within
    an inch of your life, and spare you that.'

    'Ha, ha, ha,' laughed Mrs Squeers, 'that's a good 'un!'

    'I was driven to do it,' said Smike faintly; and casting another
    imploring look about him.

    'Driven to do it, were you?' said Squeers. 'Oh! it wasn't your
    fault; it was mine, I suppose--eh?'

    'A nasty, ungrateful, pig-headed, brutish, obstinate, sneaking dog,'
    exclaimed Mrs Squeers, taking Smike's head under her arm, and
    administering a cuff at every epithet; 'what does he mean by that?'

    'Stand aside, my dear,' replied Squeers. 'We'll try and find out.'

    Mrs Squeers, being out of breath with her exertions, complied.
    Squeers caught the boy firmly in his grip; one desperate cut had
    fallen on his body--he was wincing from the lash and uttering a
    scream of pain--it was raised again, and again about to fall--when
    Nicholas Nickleby, suddenly starting up, cried 'Stop!' in a voice
    that made the rafters ring.

    'Who cried stop?' said Squeers, turning savagely round.

    'I,' said Nicholas, stepping forward. 'This must not go on.'

    'Must not go on!' cried Squeers, almost in a shriek.

    'No!' thundered Nicholas.

    Aghast and stupefied by the boldness of the interference, Squeers
    released his hold of Smike, and, falling back a pace or two, gazed
    upon Nicholas with looks that were positively frightful.

    'I say must not,' repeated Nicholas, nothing daunted; 'shall not. I
    will prevent it.'

    Squeers continued to gaze upon him, with his eyes starting out of
    his head; but astonishment had actually, for the moment, bereft him
    of speech.

    'You have disregarded all my quiet interference in the miserable
    lad's behalf,' said Nicholas; 'you have returned no answer to the
    letter in which I begged forgiveness for him, and offered to be
    responsible that he would remain quietly here. Don't blame me for
    this public interference. You have brought it upon yourself; not I.'

    'Sit down, beggar!' screamed Squeers, almost beside himself with
    rage, and seizing Smike as he spoke.

    'Wretch,' rejoined Nicholas, fiercely, 'touch him at your peril! I
    will not stand by, and see it done. My blood is up, and I have the
    strength of ten such men as you. Look to yourself, for by Heaven I
    will not spare you, if you drive me on!'

    'Stand back,' cried Squeers, brandishing his weapon.

    'I have a long series of insults to avenge,' said Nicholas, flushed
    with passion; 'and my indignation is aggravated by the dastardly
    cruelties practised on helpless infancy in this foul den. Have a
    care; for if you do raise the devil within me, the consequences
    shall fall heavily upon your own head!'

    He had scarcely spoken, when Squeers, in a violent outbreak of
    wrath, and with a cry like the howl of a wild beast, spat upon him,
    and struck him a blow across the face with his instrument of
    torture, which raised up a bar of livid flesh as it was inflicted.
    Smarting with the agony of the blow, and concentrating into that one
    moment all his feelings of rage, scorn, and indignation, Nicholas
    sprang upon him, wrested the weapon from his hand, and pinning him
    by the throat, beat the ruffian till he roared for mercy.

    The boys--with the exception of Master Squeers, who, coming to his
    father's assistance, harassed the enemy in the rear--moved not, hand
    or foot; but Mrs Squeers, with many shrieks for aid, hung on to the
    tail of her partner's coat, and endeavoured to drag him from his
    infuriated adversary; while Miss Squeers, who had been peeping
    through the keyhole in expectation of a very different scene, darted
    in at the very beginning of the attack, and after launching a shower
    of inkstands at the usher's head, beat Nicholas to her heart's content;
    animating herself, at every blow, with the recollection of his
    having refused her proffered love, and thus imparting additional
    strength to an arm which (as she took after her mother in this
    respect) was, at no time, one of the weakest.

    Nicholas, in the full torrent of his violence, felt the blows no
    more than if they had been dealt with feathers; but, becoming tired
    of the noise and uproar, and feeling that his arm grew weak besides,
    he threw all his remaining strength into half-a-dozen finishing
    cuts, and flung Squeers from him with all the force he could muster.
    The violence of his fall precipitated Mrs Squeers completely over an
    adjacent form; and Squeers striking his head against it in his
    descent, lay at his full length on the ground, stunned and

    Having brought affairs to this happy termination, and ascertained,
    to his thorough satisfaction, that Squeers was only stunned, and not
    dead (upon which point he had had some unpleasant doubts at first),
    Nicholas left his family to restore him, and retired to consider
    what course he had better adopt. He looked anxiously round for
    Smike, as he left the room, but he was nowhere to be seen.

    After a brief consideration, he packed up a few clothes in a small
    leathern valise, and, finding that nobody offered to oppose his
    progress, marched boldly out by the front-door, and shortly
    afterwards, struck into the road which led to Greta Bridge.

    When he had cooled sufficiently to be enabled to give his present
    circumstances some little reflection, they did not appear in a very
    encouraging light; he had only four shillings and a few pence in his
    pocket, and was something more than two hundred and fifty miles from
    London, whither he resolved to direct his steps, that he might
    ascertain, among other things, what account of the morning's
    proceedings Mr Squeers transmitted to his most affectionate uncle.

    Lifting up his eyes, as he arrived at the conclusion that there was
    no remedy for this unfortunate state of things, he beheld a horseman
    coming towards him, whom, on nearer approach, he discovered, to his
    infinite chagrin, to be no other than Mr John Browdie, who, clad in
    cords and leather leggings, was urging his animal forward by means
    of a thick ash stick, which seemed to have been recently cut from
    some stout sapling.

    'I am in no mood for more noise and riot,' thought Nicholas, 'and
    yet, do what I will, I shall have an altercation with this honest
    blockhead, and perhaps a blow or two from yonder staff.'

    In truth, there appeared some reason to expect that such a result
    would follow from the encounter, for John Browdie no sooner saw
    Nicholas advancing, than he reined in his horse by the footpath, and
    waited until such time as he should come up; looking meanwhile, very
    sternly between the horse's ears, at Nicholas, as he came on at his

    'Servant, young genelman,' said John.

    'Yours,' said Nicholas.

    'Weel; we ha' met at last,' observed John, making the stirrup ring
    under a smart touch of the ash stick.

    'Yes,' replied Nicholas, hesitating. 'Come!' he said, frankly,
    after a moment's pause, 'we parted on no very good terms the last
    time we met; it was my fault, I believe; but I had no intention of
    offending you, and no idea that I was doing so. I was very sorry
    for it, afterwards. Will you shake hands?'

    'Shake honds!' cried the good-humoured Yorkshireman; 'ah! that I
    weel;' at the same time, he bent down from the saddle, and gave
    Nicholas's fist a huge wrench: 'but wa'at be the matther wi' thy
    feace, mun? it be all brokken loike.'

    'It is a cut,' said Nicholas, turning scarlet as he spoke,--'a blow;
    but I returned it to the giver, and with good interest too.'

    'Noa, did 'ee though?' exclaimed John Browdie. 'Well deane! I
    loike 'un for thot.'

    'The fact is,' said Nicholas, not very well knowing how to make the
    avowal, 'the fact is, that I have been ill-treated.'

    'Noa!' interposed John Browdie, in a tone of compassion; for he was
    a giant in strength and stature, and Nicholas, very likely, in his
    eyes, seemed a mere dwarf; 'dean't say thot.'

    'Yes, I have,' replied Nicholas, 'by that man Squeers, and I have
    beaten him soundly, and am leaving this place in consequence.'

    'What!' cried John Browdie, with such an ecstatic shout, that the
    horse quite shied at it. 'Beatten the schoolmeasther! Ho! ho! ho!
    Beatten the schoolmeasther! who ever heard o' the loike o' that noo!
    Giv' us thee hond agean, yoongster. Beatten the schoolmeasther!
    Dang it, I loov' thee for't.'

    With these expressions of delight, John Browdie laughed and laughed
    again--so loud that the echoes, far and wide, sent back nothing but
    jovial peals of merriment--and shook Nicholas by the hand meanwhile,
    no less heartily. When his mirth had subsided, he inquired what
    Nicholas meant to do; on his informing him, to go straight to
    London, he shook his head doubtfully, and inquired if he knew how
    much the coaches charged to carry passengers so far.

    'No, I do not,' said Nicholas; 'but it is of no great consequence to
    me, for I intend walking.'

    'Gang awa' to Lunnun afoot!' cried John, in amazement.

    'Every step of the way,' replied Nicholas. 'I should be many steps
    further on by this time, and so goodbye!'

    'Nay noo,' replied the honest countryman, reining in his impatient
    horse, 'stan' still, tellee. Hoo much cash hast thee gotten?'

    'Not much,' said Nicholas, colouring, 'but I can make it enough.
    Where there's a will, there's a way, you know.'

    John Browdie made no verbal answer to this remark, but putting his
    hand in his pocket, pulled out an old purse of solid leather, and
    insisted that Nicholas should borrow from him whatever he required
    for his present necessities.

    'Dean't be afeard, mun,' he said; 'tak' eneaf to carry thee whoam.
    Thee'lt pay me yan day, a' warrant.'

    Nicholas could by no means be prevailed upon to borrow more than a
    sovereign, with which loan Mr Browdie, after many entreaties that he
    would accept of more (observing, with a touch of Yorkshire caution,
    that if he didn't spend it all, he could put the surplus by, till he
    had an opportunity of remitting it carriage free), was fain to
    content himself.

    'Tak' that bit o' timber to help thee on wi', mun,' he added,
    pressing his stick on Nicholas, and giving his hand another squeeze;
    'keep a good heart, and bless thee. Beatten the schoolmeasther!
    'Cod it's the best thing a've heerd this twonty year!'

    So saying, and indulging, with more delicacy than might have been
    expected from him, in another series of loud laughs, for the purpose
    of avoiding the thanks which Nicholas poured forth, John Browdie set
    spurs to his horse, and went off at a smart canter: looking back,
    from time to time, as Nicholas stood gazing after him, and waving
    his hand cheerily, as if to encourage him on his way. Nicholas
    watched the horse and rider until they disappeared over the brow of
    a distant hill, and then set forward on his journey.

    He did not travel far that afternoon, for by this time it was nearly
    dark, and there had been a heavy fall of snow, which not only
    rendered the way toilsome, but the track uncertain and difficult to
    find, after daylight, save by experienced wayfarers. He lay, that
    night, at a cottage, where beds were let at a cheap rate to the more
    humble class of travellers; and, rising betimes next morning, made
    his way before night to Boroughbridge. Passing through that town in
    search of some cheap resting-place, he stumbled upon an empty barn
    within a couple of hundred yards of the roadside; in a warm corner
    of which, he stretched his weary limbs, and soon fell asleep.

    When he awoke next morning, and tried to recollect his dreams, which
    had been all connected with his recent sojourn at Dotheboys Hall, he
    sat up, rubbed his eyes and stared--not with the most composed
    countenance possible--at some motionless object which seemed to be
    stationed within a few yards in front of him.

    'Strange!' cried Nicholas; 'can this be some lingering creation of
    the visions that have scarcely left me! It cannot be real--and yet
    I--I am awake! Smike!'

    The form moved, rose, advanced, and dropped upon its knees at his
    feet. It was Smike indeed.

    'Why do you kneel to me?' said Nicholas, hastily raising him.

    'To go with you--anywhere--everywhere--to the world's end--to the
    churchyard grave,' replied Smike, clinging to his hand. 'Let me, oh
    do let me. You are my home--my kind friend--take me with you,

    'I am a friend who can do little for you,' said Nicholas, kindly.
    'How came you here?'

    He had followed him, it seemed; had never lost sight of him all the
    way; had watched while he slept, and when he halted for refreshment;
    and had feared to appear before, lest he should be sent back. He
    had not intended to appear now, but Nicholas had awakened more
    suddenly than he looked for, and he had had no time to conceal

    'Poor fellow!' said Nicholas, 'your hard fate denies you any friend
    but one, and he is nearly as poor and helpless as yourself.'

    'May I--may I go with you?' asked Smike, timidly. 'I will be your
    faithful hard-working servant, I will, indeed. I want no clothes,'
    added the poor creature, drawing his rags together; 'these will do
    very well. I only want to be near you.'

    'And you shall,' cried Nicholas. 'And the world shall deal by you
    as it does by me, till one or both of us shall quit it for a better.

    With these words, he strapped his burden on his shoulders, and,
    taking his stick in one hand, extended the other to his delighted
    charge; and so they passed out of the old barn, together.
    آرزوهایت را روی کاغذ بنویس و یکی یکی از خدا بخواه خدا فراموش نمی کند اما تو یادت می رود آنچه که امروز داری آرزوی دیروز تو بوده است!!!

  9. #18
    فرناز آواتار ها
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    عنوان کاربری
    مدير بازنشسته تالار زبان و ادبيات انگلیسی
    تاریخ عضویت
    Jul 2009
    محل تحصیل
    شغل , تخصص
    مدرس زبان انگلیسی
    رشته تحصیلی
    راه های ارتباطی
    تشکر ها

    پیش فرض

    CHAPTER 14

    Having the Misfortune to treat of none but Common People, is
    necessarily of a Mean and Vulgar Character

    In that quarter of London in which Golden Square is situated, there
    is a bygone, faded, tumble-down street, with two irregular rows of
    tall meagre houses, which seem to have stared each other out of
    countenance years ago. The very chimneys appear to have grown
    dismal and melancholy, from having had nothing better to look at
    than the chimneys over the way. Their tops are battered, and
    broken, and blackened with smoke; and, here and there, some taller
    stack than the rest, inclining heavily to one side, and toppling
    over the roof, seems to mediate taking revenge for half a century's
    neglect, by crushing the inhabitants of the garrets beneath.

    The fowls who peck about the kennels, jerking their bodies hither
    and thither with a gait which none but town fowls are ever seen to
    adopt, and which any country cock or hen would be puzzled to
    understand, are perfectly in keeping with the crazy habitations of
    their owners. Dingy, ill-plumed, drowsy flutterers, sent, like many
    of the neighbouring children, to get a livelihood in the streets,
    they hop, from stone to stone, in forlorn search of some hidden
    eatable in the mud, and can scarcely raise a crow among them. The
    only one with anything approaching to a voice, is an aged bantam at
    the baker's; and even he is hoarse, in consequence of bad living in
    his last place.

    To judge from the size of the houses, they have been, at one time,
    tenanted by persons of better condition than their present
    occupants; but they are now let off, by the week, in floors or
    rooms, and every door has almost as many plates or bell-handles as
    there are apartments within. The windows are, for the same reason,
    sufficiently diversified in appearance, being ornamented with every
    variety of common blind and curtain that can easily be imagined;
    while every doorway is blocked up, and rendered nearly impassable,
    by a motley collection of children and porter pots of all sizes,
    from the baby in arms and the half-pint pot, to the full-grown girl
    and half-gallon can.

    In the parlour of one of these houses, which was perhaps a thought
    dirtier than any of its neighbours; which exhibited more bell-
    handles, children, and porter pots, and caught in all its freshness
    the first gust of the thick black smoke that poured forth, night and
    day, from a large brewery hard by; hung a bill, announcing that
    there was yet one room to let within its walls, though on what story
    the vacant room could be--regard being had to the outward tokens of
    many lodgers which the whole front displayed, from the mangle in the
    kitchen window to the flower-pots on the parapet--it would have been
    beyond the power of a calculating boy to discover.

    The common stairs of this mansion were bare and carpetless; but a
    curious visitor who had to climb his way to the top, might have
    observed that there were not wanting indications of the progressive
    poverty of the inmates, although their rooms were shut. Thus, the
    first-floor lodgers, being flush of furniture, kept an old mahogany
    table--real mahogany--on the landing-place outside, which was only
    taken in, when occasion required. On the second story, the spare
    furniture dwindled down to a couple of old deal chairs, of which
    one, belonging to the back-room, was shorn of a leg, and bottomless.
    The story above, boasted no greater excess than a worm-eaten wash-
    tub; and the garret landing-place displayed no costlier articles
    than two crippled pitchers, and some broken blacking-bottles.

    It was on this garret landing-place that a hard-featured square-
    faced man, elderly and shabby, stopped to unlock the door of the
    front attic, into which, having surmounted the task of turning the
    rusty key in its still more rusty wards, he walked with the air of
    legal owner.

    This person wore a wig of short, coarse, red hair, which he took off
    with his hat, and hung upon a nail. Having adopted in its place a
    dirty cotton nightcap, and groped about in the dark till he found a
    remnant of candle, he knocked at the partition which divided the two
    garrets, and inquired, in a loud voice, whether Mr Noggs had a

    The sounds that came back were stifled by the lath and plaster, and
    it seemed moreover as though the speaker had uttered them from the
    interior of a mug or other drinking vessel; but they were in the
    voice of Newman, and conveyed a reply in the affirmative.

    'A nasty night, Mr Noggs!' said the man in the nightcap, stepping in
    to light his candle.

    'Does it rain?' asked Newman.

    'Does it?' replied the other pettishly. 'I am wet through.'

    'It doesn't take much to wet you and me through, Mr Crowl,' said
    Newman, laying his hand upon the lappel of his threadbare coat.

    'Well; and that makes it the more vexatious,' observed Mr Crowl, in
    the same pettish tone.

    Uttering a low querulous growl, the speaker, whose harsh countenance
    was the very epitome of selfishness, raked the scanty fire nearly
    out of the grate, and, emptying the glass which Noggs had pushed
    towards him, inquired where he kept his coals.

    Newman Noggs pointed to the bottom of a cupboard, and Mr Crowl,
    seizing the shovel, threw on half the stock: which Noggs very
    deliberately took off again, without saying a word.

    'You have not turned saving, at this time of day, I hope?' said

    Newman pointed to the empty glass, as though it were a sufficient
    refutation of the charge, and briefly said that he was going
    downstairs to supper.

    'To the Kenwigses?' asked Crowl.

    Newman nodded assent.

    'Think of that now!' said Crowl. 'If I didn't--thinking that you
    were certain not to go, because you said you wouldn't--tell Kenwigs
    I couldn't come, and make up my mind to spend the evening with you!'

    'I was obliged to go,' said Newman. 'They would have me.'

    'Well; but what's to become of me?' urged the selfish man, who never
    thought of anybody else. 'It's all your fault. I'll tell you what
    --I'll sit by your fire till you come back again.'

    Newman cast a despairing glance at his small store of fuel, but, not
    having the courage to say no--a word which in all his life he never
    had said at the right time, either to himself or anyone else--gave
    way to the proposed arrangement. Mr Crowl immediately went about
    making himself as comfortable, with Newman Nogg's means, as
    circumstances would admit of his being made.

    The lodgers to whom Crowl had made allusion under the designation of
    'the Kenwigses,' were the wife and olive branches of one Mr Kenwigs,
    a turner in ivory, who was looked upon as a person of some
    consideration on the premises, inasmuch as he occupied the whole of
    the first floor, comprising a suite of two rooms. Mrs Kenwigs, too,
    was quite a lady in her manners, and of a very genteel family,
    having an uncle who collected a water-rate; besides which
    distinction, the two eldest of her little girls went twice a week to
    a dancing school in the neighbourhood, and had flaxen hair, tied
    with blue ribbons, hanging in luxuriant pigtails down their backs;
    and wore little white trousers with frills round the ankles--for all
    of which reasons, and many more equally valid but too numerous to
    mention, Mrs Kenwigs was considered a very desirable person to know,
    and was the constant theme of all the gossips in the street, and
    even three or four doors round the corner at both ends.

    It was the anniversary of that happy day on which the Church of
    England as by law established, had bestowed Mrs Kenwigs upon Mr
    Kenwigs; and in grateful commemoration of the same, Mrs Kenwigs had
    invited a few select friends to cards and a supper in the first
    floor, and had put on a new gown to receive them in: which gown,
    being of a flaming colour and made upon a juvenile principle, was so
    successful that Mr Kenwigs said the eight years of matrimony and the
    five children seemed all a dream, and Mrs Kenwigs younger and more
    blooming than on the very first Sunday he had kept company with her.

    Beautiful as Mrs Kenwigs looked when she was dressed though, and so
    stately that you would have supposed she had a cook and housemaid at
    least, and nothing to do but order them about, she had a world of
    trouble with the preparations; more, indeed, than she, being of a
    delicate and genteel constitution, could have sustained, had not the
    pride of housewifery upheld her. At last, however, all the things
    that had to be got together were got together, and all the things
    that had to be got out of the way were got out of the way, and
    everything was ready, and the collector himself having promised to
    come, fortune smiled upon the occasion.

    The party was admirably selected. There were, first of all, Mr
    Kenwigs and Mrs Kenwigs, and four olive Kenwigses who sat up to
    supper; firstly, because it was but right that they should have a
    treat on such a day; and secondly, because their going to bed, in
    presence of the company, would have been inconvenient, not to say
    improper. Then, there was a young lady who had made Mrs Kenwigs's
    dress, and who--it was the most convenient thing in the world--
    living in the two-pair back, gave up her bed to the baby, and got a
    little girl to watch it. Then, to match this young lady, was a
    young man, who had known Mr Kenwigs when he was a bachelor, and was
    much esteemed by the ladies, as bearing the reputation of a rake.
    To these were added a newly-married couple, who had visited Mr and
    Mrs Kenwigs in their courtship; and a sister of Mrs Kenwigs's, who
    was quite a beauty; besides whom, there was another young man,
    supposed to entertain honourable designs upon the lady last
    mentioned; and Mr Noggs, who was a genteel person to ask, because he
    had been a gentleman once. There were also an elderly lady from the
    back-parlour, and one more young lady, who, next to the collector,
    perhaps was the great lion of the party, being the daughter of a
    theatrical fireman, who 'went on' in the pantomime, and had the
    greatest turn for the stage that was ever known, being able to sing
    and recite in a manner that brought the tears into Mrs Kenwigs's
    eyes. There was only one drawback upon the pleasure of seeing such
    friends, and that was, that the lady in the back-parlour, who was
    very fat, and turned of sixty, came in a low book-muslin dress and
    short kid gloves, which so exasperated Mrs Kenwigs, that that lady
    assured her visitors, in private, that if it hadn't happened that
    the supper was cooking at the back-parlour grate at that moment, she
    certainly would have requested its representative to withdraw.

    'My dear,' said Mr Kenwigs, 'wouldn't it be better to begin a round

    'Kenwigs, my dear,' returned his wife, 'I am surprised at you.
    Would you begin without my uncle?'

    'I forgot the collector,' said Kenwigs; 'oh no, that would never

    'He's so particular,' said Mrs Kenwigs, turning to the other married
    lady, 'that if we began without him, I should be out of his will for

    'Dear!' cried the married lady.

    'You've no idea what he is,' replied Mrs Kenwigs; 'and yet as good a
    creature as ever breathed.'

    'The kindest-hearted man as ever was,' said Kenwigs.

    'It goes to his heart, I believe, to be forced to cut the water off,
    when the people don't pay,' observed the bachelor friend, intending
    a joke.

    'George,' said Mr Kenwigs, solemnly, 'none of that, if you please.'

    'It was only my joke,' said the friend, abashed.

    'George,' rejoined Mr Kenwigs, 'a joke is a wery good thing--a wery
    good thing--but when that joke is made at the expense of Mrs
    Kenwigs's feelings, I set my face against it. A man in public life
    expects to be sneered at--it is the fault of his elewated
    sitiwation, and not of himself. Mrs Kenwigs's relation is a public
    man, and that he knows, George, and that he can bear; but putting
    Mrs Kenwigs out of the question (if I COULD put Mrs Kenwigs out of
    the question on such an occasion as this), I have the honour to be
    connected with the collector by marriage; and I cannot allow these
    remarks in my--' Mr Kenwigs was going to say 'house,' but he rounded
    the sentence with 'apartments'.

    At the conclusion of these observations, which drew forth evidences
    of acute feeling from Mrs Kenwigs, and had the intended effect of
    impressing the company with a deep sense of the collector's dignity,
    a ring was heard at the bell.

    'That's him,' whispered Mr Kenwigs, greatly excited. 'Morleena, my
    dear, run down and let your uncle in, and kiss him directly you get
    the door open. Hem! Let's be talking.'

    Adopting Mr Kenwigs's suggestion, the company spoke very loudly, to
    look easy and unembarrassed; and almost as soon as they had begun to
    do so, a short old gentleman in drabs and gaiters, with a face that
    might have been carved out of LIGNUM VITAE, for anything that
    appeared to the contrary, was led playfully in by Miss Morleena
    Kenwigs, regarding whose uncommon Christian name it may be here
    remarked that it had been invented and composed by Mrs Kenwigs
    previous to her first lying-in, for the special distinction of her
    eldest child, in case it should prove a daughter.

    'Oh, uncle, I am SO glad to see you,' said Mrs Kenwigs, kissing the
    collector affectionately on both cheeks. 'So glad!'

    'Many happy returns of the day, my dear,' replied the collector,
    returning the compliment.

    Now, this was an interesting thing. Here was a collector of water-
    rates, without his book, without his pen and ink, without his double
    knock, without his intimidation, kissing--actually kissing--an
    agreeable female, and leaving taxes, summonses, notices that he had
    called, or announcements that he would never call again, for two
    quarters' due, wholly out of the question. It was pleasant to see
    how the company looked on, quite absorbed in the sight, and to
    behold the nods and winks with which they expressed their
    gratification at finding so much humanity in a tax-gatherer.

    'Where will you sit, uncle?' said Mrs Kenwigs, in the full glow of
    family pride, which the appearance of her distinguished relation

    'Anywheres, my dear,' said the collector, 'I am not particular.'

    Not particular! What a meek collector! If he had been an author,
    who knew his place, he couldn't have been more humble.

    'Mr Lillyvick,' said Kenwigs, addressing the collector, 'some
    friends here, sir, are very anxious for the honour of--thank you--Mr
    and Mrs Cutler, Mr Lillyvick.'

    'Proud to know you, sir,' said Mr Cutler; 'I've heerd of you very
    often.' These were not mere words of ceremony; for, Mr Cutler,
    having kept house in Mr Lillyvick's parish, had heard of him very
    often indeed. His attention in calling had been quite extraordinary.

    'George, you know, I think, Mr Lillyvick,' said Kenwigs; 'lady from
    downstairs--Mr Lillyvick. Mr Snewkes--Mr Lillyvick. Miss Green--Mr
    Lillyvick. Mr Lillyvick--Miss Petowker of the Theatre Royal, Drury
    Lane. Very glad to make two public characters acquainted! Mrs
    Kenwigs, my dear, will you sort the counters?'

    Mrs Kenwigs, with the assistance of Newman Noggs, (who, as he
    performed sundry little acts of kindness for the children, at all
    times and seasons, was humoured in his request to be taken no notice
    of, and was merely spoken about, in a whisper, as the decayed
    gentleman), did as he was desired; and the greater part of the
    guests sat down to speculation, while Newman himself, Mrs Kenwigs,
    and Miss Petowker of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, looked after the

    While the ladies were thus busying themselves, Mr Lillyvick was
    intent upon the game in progress, and as all should be fish that
    comes to a water-collector's net, the dear old gentleman was by no
    means scrupulous in appropriating to himself the property of his
    neighbours, which, on the contrary, he abstracted whenever an
    opportunity presented itself, smiling good-humouredly all the while,
    and making so many condescending speeches to the owners, that they
    were delighted with his amiability, and thought in their hearts that
    he deserved to be Chancellor of the Exchequer at least.

    After a great deal of trouble, and the administration of many slaps
    on the head to the infant Kenwigses, whereof two of the most
    rebellious were summarily banished, the cloth was laid with much
    elegance, and a pair of boiled fowls, a large piece of pork, apple-
    pie, potatoes and greens, were served; at sight of which, the worthy
    Mr Lillyvick vented a great many witticisms, and plucked up
    amazingly: to the immense delight and satisfaction of the whole body
    of admirers.

    Very well and very fast the supper went off; no more serious
    difficulties occurring, than those which arose from the incessant
    demand for clean knives and forks; which made poor Mrs Kenwigs wish,
    more than once, that private society adopted the principle of
    schools, and required that every guest should bring his own knife,
    fork, and spoon; which doubtless would be a great accommodation in
    many cases, and to no one more so than to the lady and gentleman of
    the house, especially if the school principle were carried out to
    the full extent, and the articles were expected, as a matter of
    delicacy, not to be taken away again.

    Everybody having eaten everything, the table was cleared in a most
    alarming hurry, and with great noise; and the spirits, whereat the
    eyes of Newman Noggs glistened, being arranged in order, with water
    both hot and cold, the party composed themselves for conviviality;
    Mr Lillyvick being stationed in a large armchair by the fireside,
    and the four little Kenwigses disposed on a small form in front of
    the company with their flaxen tails towards them, and their faces to
    the fire; an arrangement which was no sooner perfected, than Mrs
    Kenwigs was overpowered by the feelings of a mother, and fell upon
    the left shoulder of Mr Kenwigs dissolved in tears.

    'They are so beautiful!' said Mrs Kenwigs, sobbing.

    'Oh, dear,' said all the ladies, 'so they are! it's very natural you
    should feel proud of that; but don't give way, don't.'

    'I can--not help it, and it don't signify,' sobbed Mrs Kenwigs; 'oh!
    they're too beautiful to live, much too beautiful!'

    On hearing this alarming presentiment of their being doomed to an
    early death in the flower of their infancy, all four little girls
    raised a hideous cry, and burying their heads in their mother's lap
    simultaneously, screamed until the eight flaxen tails vibrated
    again; Mrs Kenwigs meanwhile clasping them alternately to her bosom,
    with attitudes expressive of distraction, which Miss Petowker
    herself might have copied.

    At length, the anxious mother permitted herself to be soothed into a
    more tranquil state, and the little Kenwigses, being also composed,
    were distributed among the company, to prevent the possibility of
    Mrs Kenwigs being again overcome by the blaze of their combined
    beauty. This done, the ladies and gentlemen united in prophesying
    that they would live for many, many years, and that there was no
    occasion at all for Mrs Kenwigs to distress herself; which, in good
    truth, there did not appear to be; the loveliness of the children by
    no means justifying her apprehensions.

    'This day eight year,' said Mr Kenwigs after a pause. 'Dear me--

    This reflection was echoed by all present, who said 'Ah!' first, and
    'dear me,' afterwards.

    'I was younger then,' tittered Mrs Kenwigs.

    'No,' said the collector.

    'Certainly not,' added everybody.

    'I remember my niece,' said Mr Lillyvick, surveying his audience
    with a grave air; 'I remember her, on that very afternoon, when she
    first acknowledged to her mother a partiality for Kenwigs.
    "Mother," she says, "I love him."'

    '"Adore him," I said, uncle,' interposed Mrs Kenwigs.

    '"Love him," I think, my dear,' said the collector, firmly.

    'Perhaps you are right, uncle,' replied Mrs Kenwigs, submissively.
    'I thought it was "adore."'

    '"Love," my dear,' retorted Mr Lillyvick. '"Mother," she says, "I
    love him!" "What do I hear?" cries her mother; and instantly falls
    into strong conwulsions.'

    A general exclamation of astonishment burst from the company.

    'Into strong conwulsions,' repeated Mr Lillyvick, regarding them
    with a rigid look. 'Kenwigs will excuse my saying, in the presence
    of friends, that there was a very great objection to him, on the
    ground that he was beneath the family, and would disgrace it. You
    remember, Kenwigs?'

    'Certainly,' replied that gentleman, in no way displeased at the
    reminiscence, inasmuch as it proved, beyond all doubt, what a high
    family Mrs Kenwigs came of.

    'I shared in that feeling,' said Mr Lillyvick: 'perhaps it was
    natural; perhaps it wasn't.'

    A gentle murmur seemed to say, that, in one of Mr Lillyvick's
    station, the objection was not only natural, but highly praiseworthy.

    'I came round to him in time,' said Mr Lillyvick. 'After they were
    married, and there was no help for it, I was one of the first to say
    that Kenwigs must be taken notice of. The family DID take notice of
    him, in consequence, and on my representation; and I am bound to
    say--and proud to say--that I have always found him a very honest,
    well-behaved, upright, respectable sort of man. Kenwigs, shake

    'I am proud to do it, sir,' said Mr Kenwigs.

    'So am I, Kenwigs,' rejoined Mr Lillyvick.

    'A very happy life I have led with your niece, sir,' said Kenwigs.

    'It would have been your own fault if you had not, sir,' remarked Mr

    'Morleena Kenwigs,' cried her mother, at this crisis, much affected,
    'kiss your dear uncle!'

    The young lady did as she was requested, and the three other little
    girls were successively hoisted up to the collector's countenance,
    and subjected to the same process, which was afterwards repeated on
    them by the majority of those present.

    'Oh dear, Mrs Kenwigs,' said Miss Petowker, 'while Mr Noggs is
    making that punch to drink happy returns in, do let Morleena go
    through that figure dance before Mr Lillyvick.'

    'No, no, my dear,' replied Mrs Kenwigs, 'it will only worry my

    'It can't worry him, I am sure,' said Miss Petowker. 'You will be
    very much pleased, won't you, sir?'

    'That I am sure I shall' replied the collector, glancing at the

    'Well then, I'll tell you what,' said Mrs Kenwigs, 'Morleena shall
    do the steps, if uncle can persuade Miss Petowker to recite us the
    Blood-Drinker's Burial, afterwards.'

    There was a great clapping of hands and stamping of feet, at this
    proposition; the subject whereof, gently inclined her head several
    times, in acknowledgment of the reception.

    'You know,' said Miss Petowker, reproachfully, 'that I dislike doing
    anything professional in private parties.'

    'Oh, but not here!' said Mrs Kenwigs. 'We are all so very friendly
    and pleasant, that you might as well be going through it in your own
    room; besides, the occasion--'

    'I can't resist that,' interrupted Miss Petowker; 'anything in my
    humble power I shall be delighted to do.'

    Mrs Kenwigs and Miss Petowker had arranged a small PROGRAMME of the
    entertainments between them, of which this was the prescribed order,
    but they had settled to have a little pressing on both sides,
    because it looked more natural. The company being all ready, Miss
    Petowker hummed a tune, and Morleena danced a dance; having
    previously had the soles of her shoes chalked, with as much care as
    if she were going on the tight-rope. It was a very beautiful
    figure, comprising a great deal of work for the arms, and was
    received with unbounded applause.

    'If I was blessed with a--a child--' said Miss Petowker, blushing,
    'of such genius as that, I would have her out at the Opera

    Mrs Kenwigs sighed, and looked at Mr Kenwigs, who shook his head,
    and observed that he was doubtful about it.

    'Kenwigs is afraid,' said Mrs K.

    'What of?' inquired Miss Petowker, 'not of her failing?'

    'Oh no,' replied Mrs Kenwigs, 'but if she grew up what she is now,--
    only think of the young dukes and marquises.'

    'Very right,' said the collector.

    'Still,' submitted Miss Petowker, 'if she took a proper pride in
    herself, you know--'

    'There's a good deal in that,' observed Mrs Kenwigs, looking at her

    'I only know--' faltered Miss Petowker,--'it may be no rule to be
    sure--but I have never found any inconvenience or unpleasantness of
    that sort.'

    Mr Kenwigs, with becoming gallantry, said that settled the question
    at once, and that he would take the subject into his serious
    consideration. This being resolved upon, Miss Petowker was
    entreated to begin the Blood-Drinker's Burial; to which end, that
    young lady let down her back hair, and taking up her position at the
    other end of the room, with the bachelor friend posted in a corner,
    to rush out at the cue 'in death expire,' and catch her in his arms
    when she died raving mad, went through the performance with
    extraordinary spirit, and to the great terror of the little
    Kenwigses, who were all but frightened into fits.

    The ecstasies consequent upon the effort had not yet subsided, and
    Newman (who had not been thoroughly sober at so late an hour for a
    long long time,) had not yet been able to put in a word of
    announcement, that the punch was ready, when a hasty knock was heard
    at the room-door, which elicited a shriek from Mrs Kenwigs, who
    immediately divined that the baby had fallen out of bed.

    'Who is that?' demanded Mr Kenwigs, sharply.

    'Don't be alarmed, it's only me,' said Crowl, looking in, in his
    nightcap. 'The baby is very comfortable, for I peeped into the room
    as I came down, and it's fast asleep, and so is the girl; and I
    don't think the candle will set fire to the bed-curtain, unless a
    draught was to get into the room--it's Mr Noggs that's wanted.'

    'Me!' cried Newman, much astonished.

    'Why, it IS a queer hour, isn't it?' replied Crowl, who was not best
    pleased at the prospect of losing his fire; 'and they are queer-
    looking people, too, all covered with rain and mud. Shall I tell
    them to go away?'

    'No,' said Newman, rising. 'People? How many?'

    'Two,' rejoined Crowl.

    'Want me? By name?' asked Newman.

    'By name,' replied Crowl. 'Mr Newman Noggs, as pat as need be.'

    Newman reflected for a few seconds, and then hurried away, muttering
    that he would be back directly. He was as good as his word; for, in
    an exceedingly short time, he burst into the room, and seizing,
    without a word of apology or explanation, a lighted candle and
    tumbler of hot punch from the table, darted away like a madman.

    'What the deuce is the matter with him?' exclaimed Crowl, throwing
    the door open. 'Hark! Is there any noise above?'

    The guests rose in great confusion, and, looking in each other's
    faces with much perplexity and some fear, stretched their necks
    forward, and listened attentively.
    آرزوهایت را روی کاغذ بنویس و یکی یکی از خدا بخواه خدا فراموش نمی کند اما تو یادت می رود آنچه که امروز داری آرزوی دیروز تو بوده است!!!

  10. #19
    فرناز آواتار ها
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    عنوان کاربری
    مدير بازنشسته تالار زبان و ادبيات انگلیسی
    تاریخ عضویت
    Jul 2009
    محل تحصیل
    شغل , تخصص
    مدرس زبان انگلیسی
    رشته تحصیلی
    راه های ارتباطی
    تشکر ها

    پیش فرض

    CHAPTER 15

    Acquaints the Reader with the Cause and Origin of the Interruption
    described in the last Chapter, and with some other Matters necessary
    to be known

    Newman Noggs scrambled in violent haste upstairs with the steaming
    beverage, which he had so unceremoniously snatched from the table of
    Mr Kenwigs, and indeed from the very grasp of the water-rate
    collector, who was eyeing the contents of the tumbler, at the moment
    of its unexpected abstraction, with lively marks of pleasure visible
    in his countenance. He bore his prize straight to his own back-
    garret, where, footsore and nearly shoeless, wet, dirty, jaded, and
    disfigured with every mark of fatiguing travel, sat Nicholas and
    Smike, at once the cause and partner of his toil; both perfectly
    worn out by their unwonted and protracted exertion.

    Newman's first act was to compel Nicholas, with gentle force, to
    swallow half of the punch at a breath, nearly boiling as it was; and
    his next, to pour the remainder down the throat of Smike, who, never
    having tasted anything stronger than aperient medicine in his whole
    life, exhibited various odd manifestations of surprise and delight,
    during the passage of the liquor down his throat, and turned up his
    eyes most emphatically when it was all gone.

    'You are wet through,' said Newman, passing his hand hastily over
    the coat which Nicholas had thrown off; 'and I--I--haven't even a
    change,' he added, with a wistful glance at the shabby clothes he
    wore himself.

    'I have dry clothes, or at least such as will serve my turn well, in
    my bundle,' replied Nicholas. 'If you look so distressed to see me,
    you will add to the pain I feel already, at being compelled, for one
    night, to cast myself upon your slender means for aid and shelter.'

    Newman did not look the less distressed to hear Nicholas talking in
    this strain; but, upon his young friend grasping him heartily by the
    hand, and assuring him that nothing but implicit confidence in the
    sincerity of his professions, and kindness of feeling towards
    himself, would have induced him, on any consideration, even to have
    made him acquainted with his arrival in London, Mr Noggs brightened
    up again, and went about making such arrangements as were in his
    power for the comfort of his visitors, with extreme alacrity.

    These were simple enough; poor Newman's means halting at a very
    considerable distance short of his inclinations; but, slight as they
    were, they were not made without much bustling and running about.
    As Nicholas had husbanded his scanty stock of money, so well that it
    was not yet quite expended, a supper of bread and cheese, with some
    cold beef from the cook's shop, was soon placed upon the table; and
    these viands being flanked by a bottle of spirits and a pot of
    porter, there was no ground for apprehension on the score of hunger
    or thirst, at all events. Such preparations as Newman had it in his
    power to make, for the accommodation of his guests during the night,
    occupied no very great time in completing; and as he had insisted,
    as an express preliminary, that Nicholas should change his clothes,
    and that Smike should invest himself in his solitary coat (which no
    entreaties would dissuade him from stripping off for the purpose),
    the travellers partook of their frugal fare, with more satisfaction
    than one of them at least had derived from many a better meal.

    They then drew near the fire, which Newman Noggs had made up as well
    as he could, after the inroads of Crowl upon the fuel; and Nicholas,
    who had hitherto been restrained by the extreme anxiety of his
    friend that he should refresh himself after his journey, now pressed
    him with earnest questions concerning his mother and sister.

    'Well,' replied Newman, with his accustomed taciturnity; 'both

    'They are living in the city still?' inquired Nicholas.

    'They are,' said Newman.

    'And my sister,'--added Nicholas. 'Is she still engaged in the
    business which she wrote to tell me she thought she should like so

    Newman opened his eyes rather wider than usual, but merely replied
    by a gasp, which, according to the action of the head that
    accompanied it, was interpreted by his friends as meaning yes or no.
    In the present instance, the pantomime consisted of a nod, and not a
    shake; so Nicholas took the answer as a favourable one.

    'Now listen to me,' said Nicholas, laying his hand on Newman's
    shoulder. 'Before I would make an effort to see them, I deemed it
    expedient to come to you, lest, by gratifying my own selfish desire,
    I should inflict an injury upon them which I can never repair. What
    has my uncle heard from Yorkshire?'

    Newman opened and shut his mouth, several times, as though he were
    trying his utmost to speak, but could make nothing of it, and
    finally fixed his eyes on Nicholas with a grim and ghastly stare.

    'What has he heard?' urged Nicholas, colouring. 'You see that I am
    prepared to hear the very worst that malice can have suggested. Why
    should you conceal it from me? I must know it sooner or later; and
    what purpose can be gained by trifling with the matter for a few
    minutes, when half the time would put me in possession of all that
    has occurred? Tell me at once, pray.'

    'Tomorrow morning,' said Newman; 'hear it tomorrow.'

    'What purpose would that answer?' urged Nicholas.

    'You would sleep the better,' replied Newman.

    'I should sleep the worse,' answered Nicholas, impatiently. 'Sleep!
    Exhausted as I am, and standing in no common need of rest, I cannot
    hope to close my eyes all night, unless you tell me everything.'

    'And if I should tell you everything,' said Newman, hesitating.

    'Why, then you may rouse my indignation or wound my pride,' rejoined
    Nicholas; 'but you will not break my rest; for if the scene were
    acted over again, I could take no other part than I have taken; and
    whatever consequences may accrue to myself from it, I shall never
    regret doing as I have done--never, if I starve or beg in
    consequence. What is a little poverty or suffering, to the disgrace
    of the basest and most inhuman cowardice! I tell you, if I had
    stood by, tamely and passively, I should have hated myself, and
    merited the contempt of every man in existence. The black-hearted

    With this gentle allusion to the absent Mr Squeers, Nicholas
    repressed his rising wrath, and relating to Newman exactly what had
    passed at Dotheboys Hall, entreated him to speak out without more
    pressing. Thus adjured, Mr Noggs took, from an old trunk, a sheet
    of paper, which appeared to have been scrawled over in great haste;
    and after sundry extraordinary demonstrations of reluctance,
    delivered himself in the following terms.

    'My dear young man, you mustn't give way to--this sort of thing will
    never do, you know--as to getting on in the world, if you take
    everybody's part that's ill-treated--Damn it, I am proud to hear of
    it; and would have done it myself!'

    Newman accompanied this very unusual outbreak with a violent blow
    upon the table, as if, in the heat of the moment, he had mistaken it
    for the chest or ribs of Mr Wackford Squeers. Having, by this open
    declaration of his feelings, quite precluded himself from offering
    Nicholas any cautious worldly advice (which had been his first
    intention), Mr Noggs went straight to the point.

    'The day before yesterday,' said Newman, 'your uncle received this
    letter. I took a hasty copy of it, while he was out. Shall I read

    'If you please,' replied Nicholas. Newman Noggs accordingly read as



    'My pa requests me to write to you, the doctors considering it
    doubtful whether he will ever recuvver the use of his legs which
    prevents his holding a pen.

    'We are in a state of mind beyond everything, and my pa is one mask
    of brooses both blue and green likewise two forms are steepled in
    his Goar. We were kimpelled to have him carried down into the
    kitchen where he now lays. You will judge from this that he has
    been brought very low.

    'When your nevew that you recommended for a teacher had done this to
    my pa and jumped upon his body with his feet and also langwedge
    which I will not pollewt my pen with describing, he assaulted my ma
    with dreadful violence, dashed her to the earth, and drove her back
    comb several inches into her head. A very little more and it must
    have entered her skull. We have a medical certifiket that if it
    had, the tortershell would have affected the brain.

    'Me and my brother were then the victims of his feury since which we
    have suffered very much which leads us to the arrowing belief that
    we have received some injury in our insides, especially as no marks
    of violence are visible externally. I am screaming out loud all the
    time I write and so is my brother which takes off my attention
    rather and I hope will excuse mistakes.

    'The monster having sasiated his thirst for blood ran away, taking
    with him a boy of desperate caracter that he had excited to
    rebellyon, and a garnet ring belonging to my ma, and not having been
    apprehended by the constables is supposed to have been took up by
    some stage-coach. My pa begs that if he comes to you the ring may
    be returned, and that you will let the thief and assassin go, as if
    we prosecuted him he would only be transported, and if he is let go
    he is sure to be hung before long which will save us trouble and be
    much more satisfactory. Hoping to hear from you when convenient

    'I remain
    'Yours and cetrer

    'P.S. I pity his ignorance and despise him.'

    A profound silence succeeded to the reading of this choice epistle,
    during which Newman Noggs, as he folded it up, gazed with a kind of
    grotesque pity at the boy of desperate character therein referred
    to; who, having no more distinct perception of the matter in hand,
    than that he had been the unfortunate cause of heaping trouble and
    falsehood upon Nicholas, sat mute and dispirited, with a most
    woe-begone and heart-stricken look.

    'Mr Noggs,' said Nicholas, after a few moments' reflection, 'I must
    go out at once.'

    'Go out!' cried Newman.

    'Yes,' said Nicholas, 'to Golden Square. Nobody who knows me would
    believe this story of the ring; but it may suit the purpose, or
    gratify the hatred of Mr Ralph Nickleby to feign to attach credence
    to it. It is due--not to him, but to myself--that I should state
    the truth; and moreover, I have a word or two to exchange with him,
    which will not keep cool.'

    'They must,' said Newman.

    'They must not, indeed,' rejoined Nicholas firmly, as he prepared to
    leave the house.

    'Hear me speak,' said Newman, planting himself before his impetuous
    young friend. 'He is not there. He is away from town. He will not
    be back for three days; and I know that letter will not be answered
    before he returns.'

    'Are you sure of this?' asked Nicholas, chafing violently, and
    pacing the narrow room with rapid strides.

    'Quite,' rejoined Newman. 'He had hardly read it when he was called
    away. Its contents are known to nobody but himself and us.'

    'Are you certain?' demanded Nicholas, precipitately; 'not even to my
    mother or sister? If I thought that they--I will go there--I must
    see them. Which is the way? Where is it?'

    'Now, be advised by me,' said Newman, speaking for the moment, in
    his earnestness, like any other man--'make no effort to see even
    them, till he comes home. I know the man. Do not seem to have been
    tampering with anybody. When he returns, go straight to him, and
    speak as boldly as you like. Guessing at the real truth, he knows
    it as well as you or I. Trust him for that.'

    'You mean well to me, and should know him better than I can,'
    replied Nicholas, after some consideration. 'Well; let it be so.'

    Newman, who had stood during the foregoing conversation with his
    back planted against the door, ready to oppose any egress from the
    apartment by force, if necessary, resumed his seat with much
    satisfaction; and as the water in the kettle was by this time
    boiling, made a glassful of spirits and water for Nicholas, and a
    cracked mug-full for the joint accommodation of himself and Smike,
    of which the two partook in great harmony, while Nicholas, leaning
    his head upon his hand, remained buried in melancholy meditation.

    Meanwhile, the company below stairs, after listening attentively and
    not hearing any noise which would justify them in interfering for
    the gratification of their curiosity, returned to the chamber of the
    Kenwigses, and employed themselves in hazarding a great variety of
    conjectures relative to the cause of Mr Noggs' sudden disappearance
    and detention.

    'Lor, I'll tell you what,' said Mrs Kenwigs. 'Suppose it should be
    an express sent up to say that his property has all come back

    'Dear me,' said Mr Kenwigs; 'it's not impossible. Perhaps, in that
    case, we'd better send up and ask if he won't take a little more

    'Kenwigs!' said Mr Lillyvick, in a loud voice, 'I'm surprised at

    'What's the matter, sir?' asked Mr Kenwigs, with becoming submission
    to the collector of water-rates.

    'Making such a remark as that, sir,' replied Mr Lillyvick, angrily.
    'He has had punch already, has he not, sir? I consider the way in
    which that punch was cut off, if I may use the expression, highly
    disrespectful to this company; scandalous, perfectly scandalous. It
    may be the custom to allow such things in this house, but it's not
    the kind of behaviour that I've been used to see displayed, and so I
    don't mind telling you, Kenwigs. A gentleman has a glass of punch
    before him to which he is just about to set his lips, when another
    gentleman comes and collars that glass of punch, without a "with
    your leave", or "by your leave", and carries that glass of punch
    away. This may be good manners--I dare say it is--but I don't
    understand it, that's all; and what's more, I don't care if I never
    do. It's my way to speak my mind, Kenwigs, and that is my mind; and
    if you don't like it, it's past my regular time for going to bed,
    and I can find my way home without making it later.'

    Here was an untoward event! The collector had sat swelling and
    fuming in offended dignity for some minutes, and had now fairly
    burst out. The great man--the rich relation--the unmarried uncle--
    who had it in his power to make Morleena an heiress, and the very
    baby a legatee--was offended. Gracious Powers, where was this to

    'I am very sorry, sir,' said Mr Kenwigs, humbly.

    'Don't tell me you're sorry,' retorted Mr Lillyvick, with much
    sharpness. 'You should have prevented it, then.'

    The company were quite paralysed by this domestic crash. The back-
    parlour sat with her mouth wide open, staring vacantly at the
    collector, in a stupor of dismay; the other guests were scarcely
    less overpowered by the great man's irritation. Mr Kenwigs, not
    being skilful in such matters, only fanned the flame in attempting
    to extinguish it.

    'I didn't think of it, I am sure, sir,' said that gentleman. 'I
    didn't suppose that such a little thing as a glass of punch would
    have put you out of temper.'

    'Out of temper! What the devil do you mean by that piece of
    impertinence, Mr Kenwigs?' said the collector. 'Morleena, child--
    give me my hat.'

    'Oh, you're not going, Mr Lillyvick, sir,' interposed Miss Petowker,
    with her most bewitching smile.

    But still Mr Lillyvick, regardless of the siren, cried obdurately,
    'Morleena, my hat!' upon the fourth repetition of which demand, Mrs
    Kenwigs sunk back in her chair, with a cry that might have softened
    a water-butt, not to say a water-collector; while the four little
    girls (privately instructed to that effect) clasped their uncle's
    drab shorts in their arms, and prayed him, in imperfect English, to

    'Why should I stop here, my dears?' said Mr Lillyvick; 'I'm not
    wanted here.'

    'Oh, do not speak so cruelly, uncle,' sobbed Mrs Kenwigs, 'unless
    you wish to kill me.'

    'I shouldn't wonder if some people were to say I did,' replied Mr
    Lillyvick, glancing angrily at Kenwigs. 'Out of temper!'

    'Oh! I cannot bear to see him look so, at my husband,' cried Mrs
    Kenwigs. 'It's so dreadful in families. Oh!'

    'Mr Lillyvick,' said Kenwigs, 'I hope, for the sake of your niece,
    that you won't object to be reconciled.'

    The collector's features relaxed, as the company added their
    entreaties to those of his nephew-in-law. He gave up his hat, and
    held out his hand.

    'There, Kenwigs,' said Mr Lillyvick; 'and let me tell you, at the
    same time, to show you how much out of temper I was, that if I had
    gone away without another word, it would have made no difference
    respecting that pound or two which I shall leave among your children
    when I die.'

    'Morleena Kenwigs,' cried her mother, in a torrent of affection.
    'Go down upon your knees to your dear uncle, and beg him to love you
    all his life through, for he's more a angel than a man, and I've
    always said so.'

    Miss Morleena approaching to do homage, in compliance with this
    injunction, was summarily caught up and kissed by Mr Lillyvick; and
    thereupon Mrs Kenwigs darted forward and kissed the collector, and
    an irrepressible murmur of applause broke from the company who had
    witnessed his magnanimity.

    The worthy gentleman then became once more the life and soul of the
    society; being again reinstated in his old post of lion, from which
    high station the temporary distraction of their thoughts had for a
    moment dispossessed him. Quadruped lions are said to be savage,
    only when they are hungry; biped lions are rarely sulky longer than
    when their appetite for distinction remains unappeased. Mr
    Lillyvick stood higher than ever; for he had shown his power; hinted
    at his property and testamentary intentions; gained great credit for
    disinterestedness and virtue; and, in addition to all, was finally
    accommodated with a much larger tumbler of punch than that which
    Newman Noggs had so feloniously made off with.

    'I say! I beg everybody's pardon for intruding again,' said Crowl,
    looking in at this happy juncture; 'but what a queer business this
    is, isn't it? Noggs has lived in this house, now going on for five
    years, and nobody has ever been to see him before, within the memory
    of the oldest inhabitant.'

    'It's a strange time of night to be called away, sir, certainly,'
    said the collector; 'and the behaviour of Mr Noggs himself, is, to
    say the least of it, mysterious.'

    'Well, so it is,' rejoined Growl; 'and I'll tell you what's more--I
    think these two geniuses, whoever they are, have run away from

    'What makes you think that, sir?' demanded the collector, who
    seemed, by a tacit understanding, to have been chosen and elected
    mouthpiece to the company. 'You have no reason to suppose that they
    have run away from anywhere without paying the rates and taxes due,
    I hope?'

    Mr Crowl, with a look of some contempt, was about to enter a general
    protest against the payment of rates or taxes, under any
    circumstances, when he was checked by a timely whisper from Kenwigs,
    and several frowns and winks from Mrs K., which providentially
    stopped him.

    'Why the fact is,' said Crowl, who had been listening at Newman's
    door with all his might and main; 'the fact is, that they have been
    talking so loud, that they quite disturbed me in my room, and so I
    couldn't help catching a word here, and a word there; and all I
    heard, certainly seemed to refer to their having bolted from some
    place or other. I don't wish to alarm Mrs Kenwigs; but I hope they
    haven't come from any jail or hospital, and brought away a fever or
    some unpleasantness of that sort, which might be catching for the

    Mrs Kenwigs was so overpowered by this supposition, that it needed
    all the tender attentions of Miss Petowker, of the Theatre Royal,
    Drury Lane, to restore her to anything like a state of calmness; not
    to mention the assiduity of Mr Kenwigs, who held a fat smelling-
    bottle to his lady's nose, until it became matter of some doubt
    whether the tears which coursed down her face were the result of
    feelings or SAL VOLATILE.

    The ladies, having expressed their sympathy, singly and separately,
    fell, according to custom, into a little chorus of soothing
    expressions, among which, such condolences as 'Poor dear!'--'I
    should feel just the same, if I was her'--'To be sure, it's a very
    trying thing'--and 'Nobody but a mother knows what a mother's
    feelings is,' were among the most prominent, and most frequently
    repeated. In short, the opinion of the company was so clearly
    manifested, that Mr Kenwigs was on the point of repairing to Mr
    Noggs's room, to demand an explanation, and had indeed swallowed a
    preparatory glass of punch, with great inflexibility and steadiness
    of purpose, when the attention of all present was diverted by a new
    and terrible surprise.

    This was nothing less than the sudden pouring forth of a rapid
    succession of the shrillest and most piercing screams, from an upper
    story; and to all appearance from the very two-pair back, in which
    the infant Kenwigs was at that moment enshrined. They were no
    sooner audible, than Mrs Kenwigs, opining that a strange cat had
    come in, and sucked the baby's breath while the girl was asleep,
    made for the door, wringing her hands, and shrieking dismally; to
    the great consternation and confusion of the company.

    'Mr Kenwigs, see what it is; make haste!' cried the sister, laying
    violent hands upon Mrs Kenwigs, and holding her back by force. 'Oh
    don't twist about so, dear, or I can never hold you.'

    'My baby, my blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed baby!' screamed Mrs
    Kenwigs, making every blessed louder than the last. 'My own
    darling, sweet, innocent Lillyvick--Oh let me go to him. Let me go-

    Pending the utterance of these frantic cries, and the wails and
    lamentations of the four little girls, Mr Kenwigs rushed upstairs to
    the room whence the sounds proceeded; at the door of which, he
    encountered Nicholas, with the child in his arms, who darted out
    with such violence, that the anxious father was thrown down six
    stairs, and alighted on the nearest landing-place, before he had
    found time to open his mouth to ask what was the matter.

    'Don't be alarmed,' cried Nicholas, running down; 'here it is; it's
    all out, it's all over; pray compose yourselves; there's no harm
    done;' and with these, and a thousand other assurances, he delivered
    the baby (whom, in his hurry, he had carried upside down), to Mrs
    Kenwigs, and ran back to assist Mr Kenwigs, who was rubbing his head
    very hard, and looking much bewildered by his tumble.

    Reassured by this cheering intelligence, the company in some degree
    recovered from their fears, which had been productive of some most
    singular instances of a total want of presence of mind; thus, the
    bachelor friend had, for a long time, supported in his arms Mrs
    Kenwigs's sister, instead of Mrs Kenwigs; and the worthy Mr
    Lillyvick had been actually seen, in the perturbation of his
    spirits, to kiss Miss Petowker several times, behind the room-door,
    as calmly as if nothing distressing were going forward.

    'It is a mere nothing,' said Nicholas, returning to Mrs Kenwigs;
    'the little girl, who was watching the child, being tired I suppose,
    fell asleep, and set her hair on fire.'

    'Oh you malicious little wretch!' cried Mrs Kenwigs, impressively
    shaking her forefinger at the small unfortunate, who might be
    thirteen years old, and was looking on with a singed head and a
    frightened face.

    'I heard her cries,' continued Nicholas, 'and ran down, in time to
    prevent her setting fire to anything else. You may depend upon it
    that the child is not hurt; for I took it off the bed myself, and
    brought it here to convince you.'

    This brief explanation over, the infant, who, as he was christened
    after the collector! rejoiced in the names of Lillyvick Kenwigs, was
    partially suffocated under the caresses of the audience, and
    squeezed to his mother's bosom, until he roared again. The
    attention of the company was then directed, by a natural transition,
    to the little girl who had had the audacity to burn her hair off,
    and who, after receiving sundry small slaps and pushes from the more
    energetic of the ladies, was mercifully sent home: the ninepence,
    with which she was to have been rewarded, being escheated to the
    Kenwigs family.

    'And whatever we are to say to you, sir,' exclaimed Mrs Kenwigs,
    addressing young Lillyvick's deliverer, 'I am sure I don't know.'

    'You need say nothing at all,' replied Nicholas. 'I have done
    nothing to found any very strong claim upon your eloquence, I am

    'He might have been burnt to death, if it hadn't been for you, sir,'
    simpered Miss Petowker.

    'Not very likely, I think,' replied Nicholas; 'for there was
    abundance of assistance here, which must have reached him before he
    had been in any danger.'

    'You will let us drink your health, anyvays, sir!' said Mr Kenwigs
    motioning towards the table.

    '--In my absence, by all means,' rejoined Nicholas, with a smile.
    'I have had a very fatiguing journey, and should be most indifferent
    company--a far greater check upon your merriment, than a promoter of
    it, even if I kept awake, which I think very doubtful. If you will
    allow me, I'll return to my friend, Mr Noggs, who went upstairs
    again, when he found nothing serious had occurred. Good-night.'

    Excusing himself, in these terms, from joining in the festivities,
    Nicholas took a most winning farewell of Mrs Kenwigs and the other
    ladies, and retired, after making a very extraordinary impression
    upon the company.

    'What a delightful young man!' cried Mrs Kenwigs.

    'Uncommon gentlemanly, really,' said Mr Kenwigs. 'Don't you think
    so, Mr Lillyvick?'

    'Yes,' said the collector, with a dubious shrug of his shoulders,
    'He is gentlemanly, very gentlemanly--in appearance.'

    'I hope you don't see anything against him, uncle?' inquired Mrs

    'No, my dear,' replied the collector, 'no. I trust he may not turn
    out--well--no matter--my love to you, my dear, and long life to the

    'Your namesake,' said Mrs Kenwigs, with a sweet smile.

    'And I hope a worthy namesake,' observed Mr Kenwigs, willing to
    propitiate the collector. 'I hope a baby as will never disgrace his
    godfather, and as may be considered, in arter years, of a piece with
    the Lillyvicks whose name he bears. I do say--and Mrs Kenwigs is of
    the same sentiment, and feels it as strong as I do--that I consider
    his being called Lillyvick one of the greatest blessings and Honours
    of my existence.'

    'THE greatest blessing, Kenwigs,' murmured his lady.

    'THE greatest blessing,' said Mr Kenwigs, correcting himself. 'A
    blessing that I hope, one of these days, I may be able to deserve.'

    This was a politic stroke of the Kenwigses, because it made Mr
    Lillyvick the great head and fountain of the baby's importance. The
    good gentleman felt the delicacy and dexterity of the touch, and at
    once proposed the health of the gentleman, name unknown, who had
    signalised himself, that night, by his coolness and alacrity.

    'Who, I don't mind saying,' observed Mr Lillyvick, as a great
    concession, 'is a good-looking young man enough, with manners that I
    hope his character may be equal to.'

    'He has a very nice face and style, really,' said Mrs Kenwigs.

    'He certainly has,' added Miss Petowker. 'There's something in his
    appearance quite--dear, dear, what's that word again?'

    'What word?' inquired Mr Lillyvick.

    'Why--dear me, how stupid I am,' replied Miss Petowker, hesitating.
    'What do you call it, when Lords break off door-knockers and beat
    policemen, and play at coaches with other people's money, and all
    that sort of thing?'

    'Aristocratic?' suggested the collector.

    'Ah! aristocratic,' replied Miss Petowker; 'something very
    aristocratic about him, isn't there?'

    The gentleman held their peace, and smiled at each other, as who
    should say, 'Well! there's no accounting for tastes;' but the ladies
    resolved unanimously that Nicholas had an aristocratic air; and
    nobody caring to dispute the position, it was established

    The punch being, by this time, drunk out, and the little Kenwigses
    (who had for some time previously held their little eyes open with
    their little forefingers) becoming fractious, and requesting rather
    urgently to be put to bed, the collector made a move by pulling out
    his watch, and acquainting the company that it was nigh two o'clock;
    whereat some of the guests were surprised and others shocked, and
    hats and bonnets being groped for under the tables, and in course of
    time found, their owners went away, after a vast deal of shaking of
    hands, and many remarks how they had never spent such a delightful
    evening, and how they marvelled to find it so late, expecting to
    have heard that it was half-past ten at the very latest, and how
    they wished that Mr and Mrs Kenwigs had a wedding-day once a week,
    and how they wondered by what hidden agency Mrs Kenwigs could
    possibly have managed so well; and a great deal more of the same
    kind. To all of which flattering expressions, Mr and Mrs Kenwigs
    replied, by thanking every lady and gentleman, SERIATIM, for the
    favour of their company, and hoping they might have enjoyed
    themselves only half as well as they said they had.

    As to Nicholas, quite unconscious of the impression he had produced,
    he had long since fallen asleep, leaving Mr Newman Noggs and Smike
    to empty the spirit bottle between them; and this office they
    performed with such extreme good-will, that Newman was equally at a
    loss to determine whether he himself was quite sober, and whether he
    had ever seen any gentleman so heavily, drowsily, and completely
    intoxicated as his new acquaintance.
    آرزوهایت را روی کاغذ بنویس و یکی یکی از خدا بخواه خدا فراموش نمی کند اما تو یادت می رود آنچه که امروز داری آرزوی دیروز تو بوده است!!!

  11. #20
    فرناز آواتار ها
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    عنوان کاربری
    مدير بازنشسته تالار زبان و ادبيات انگلیسی
    تاریخ عضویت
    Jul 2009
    محل تحصیل
    شغل , تخصص
    مدرس زبان انگلیسی
    رشته تحصیلی
    راه های ارتباطی
    تشکر ها

    پیش فرض

    CHAPTER 16

    Nicholas seeks to employ himself in a New Capacity, and being
    unsuccessful, accepts an engagement as Tutor in a Private Family

    The first care of Nicholas, next morning, was, to look after some
    room in which, until better times dawned upon him, he could contrive
    to exist, without trenching upon the hospitality of Newman Noggs,
    who would have slept upon the stairs with pleasure, so that his
    young friend was accommodated.

    The vacant apartment to which the bill in the parlour window bore
    reference, appeared, on inquiry, to be a small back-room on the
    second floor, reclaimed from the leads, and overlooking a soot-
    bespeckled prospect of tiles and chimney-pots. For the letting of
    this portion of the house from week to week, on reasonable terms,
    the parlour lodger was empowered to treat; he being deputed by the
    landlord to dispose of the rooms as they became vacant, and to keep
    a sharp look-out that the lodgers didn't run away. As a means of
    securing the punctual discharge of which last service he was
    permitted to live rent-free, lest he should at any time be tempted
    to run away himself.

    Of this chamber, Nicholas became the tenant; and having hired a few
    common articles of furniture from a neighbouring broker, and paid
    the first week's hire in advance, out of a small fund raised by the
    conversion of some spare clothes into ready money, he sat himself
    down to ruminate upon his prospects, which, like the prospect
    outside his window, were sufficiently confined and dingy. As they
    by no means improved on better acquaintance, and as familiarity
    breeds contempt, he resolved to banish them from his thoughts by
    dint of hard walking. So, taking up his hat, and leaving poor Smike
    to arrange and rearrange the room with as much delight as if it had
    been the costliest palace, he betook himself to the streets, and
    mingled with the crowd which thronged them.

    Although a man may lose a sense of his own importance when he is a
    mere unit among a busy throng, all utterly regardless of him, it by
    no means follows that he can dispossess himself, with equal
    facility, of a very strong sense of the importance and magnitude of
    his cares. The unhappy state of his own affairs was the one idea
    which occupied the brain of Nicholas, walk as fast as he would; and
    when he tried to dislodge it by speculating on the situation and
    prospects of the people who surrounded him, he caught himself, in a
    few seconds, contrasting their condition with his own, and gliding
    almost imperceptibly back into his old train of thought again.

    Occupied in these reflections, as he was making his way along one of
    the great public thoroughfares of London, he chanced to raise his
    eyes to a blue board, whereon was inscribed, in characters of gold,
    'General Agency Office; for places and situations of all kinds
    inquire within.' It was a shop-front, fitted up with a gauze blind
    and an inner door; and in the window hung a long and tempting array
    of written placards, announcing vacant places of every grade, from a
    secretary's to a foot-boy's.

    Nicholas halted, instinctively, before this temple of promise, and
    ran his eye over the capital-text openings in life which were so
    profusely displayed. When he had completed his survey he walked on
    a little way, and then back, and then on again; at length, after
    pausing irresolutely several times before the door of the General
    Agency Office, he made up his mind, and stepped in.

    He found himself in a little floor-clothed room, with a high desk
    railed off in one corner, behind which sat a lean youth with cunning
    eyes and a protruding chin, whose performances in capital-text
    darkened the window. He had a thick ledger lying open before him,
    and with the fingers of his right hand inserted between the leaves,
    and his eyes fixed on a very fat old lady in a mob-cap--evidently
    the proprietress of the establishment--who was airing herself at the
    fire, seemed to be only waiting her directions to refer to some
    entries contained within its rusty clasps.

    As there was a board outside, which acquainted the public that
    servants-of-all-work were perpetually in waiting to be hired from
    ten till four, Nicholas knew at once that some half-dozen strong
    young women, each with pattens and an umbrella, who were sitting
    upon a form in one corner, were in attendance for that purpose:
    especially as the poor things looked anxious and weary. He was not
    quite so certain of the callings and stations of two smart young
    ladies who were in conversation with the fat lady before the fire,
    until--having sat himself down in a corner, and remarked that he
    would wait until the other customers had been served--the fat lady
    resumed the dialogue which his entrance had interrupted.

    'Cook, Tom,' said the fat lady, still airing herself as aforesaid.

    'Cook,' said Tom, turning over some leaves of the ledger. 'Well!'

    'Read out an easy place or two,' said the fat lady.

    'Pick out very light ones, if you please, young man,' interposed a
    genteel female, in shepherd's-plaid boots, who appeared to be the

    '"Mrs Marker,"' said Tom, reading, '"Russell Place, Russell Square;
    offers eighteen guineas; tea and sugar found. Two in family, and
    see very little company. Five servants kept. No man. No

    'Oh Lor!' tittered the client. 'THAT won't do. Read another, young
    man, will you?'

    '"Mrs Wrymug,"' said Tom, '"Pleasant Place, Finsbury. Wages, twelve
    guineas. No tea, no sugar. Serious family--"'

    'Ah! you needn't mind reading that,' interrupted the client.

    '"Three serious footmen,"' said Tom, impressively.

    'Three? did you say?' asked the client in an altered tone.

    'Three serious footmen,' replied Tom. '"Cook, housemaid, and
    nursemaid; each female servant required to join the Little Bethel
    Congregation three times every Sunday--with a serious footman. If
    the cook is more serious than the footman, she will be expected to
    improve the footman; if the footman is more serious than the cook,
    he will be expected to improve the cook."'

    'I'll take the address of that place,' said the client; 'I don't
    know but what it mightn't suit me pretty well.'

    'Here's another,' remarked Tom, turning over the leaves. '"Family
    of Mr Gallanbile, MP. Fifteen guineas, tea and sugar, and servants
    allowed to see male cousins, if godly. Note. Cold dinner in the
    kitchen on the Sabbath, Mr Gallanbile being devoted to the
    Observance question. No victuals whatever cooked on the Lord's Day,
    with the exception of dinner for Mr and Mrs Gallanbile, which, being
    a work of piety and necessity, is exempted. Mr Gallanbile dines
    late on the day of rest, in order to prevent the sinfulness of the
    cook's dressing herself."'

    'I don't think that'll answer as well as the other,' said the
    client, after a little whispering with her friend. 'I'll take the
    other direction, if you please, young man. I can but come back
    again, if it don't do.'

    Tom made out the address, as requested, and the genteel client,
    having satisfied the fat lady with a small fee, meanwhile, went away
    accompanied by her friend.

    As Nicholas opened his mouth, to request the young man to turn to
    letter S, and let him know what secretaryships remained undisposed
    of, there came into the office an applicant, in whose favour he
    immediately retired, and whose appearance both surprised and
    interested him.

    This was a young lady who could be scarcely eighteen, of very slight
    and delicate figure, but exquisitely shaped, who, walking timidly up
    to the desk, made an inquiry, in a very low tone of voice, relative
    to some situation as governess, or companion to a lady. She raised
    her veil, for an instant, while she preferred the inquiry, and
    disclosed a countenance of most uncommon beauty, though shaded by a
    cloud of sadness, which, in one so young, was doubly remarkable.
    Having received a card of reference to some person on the books, she
    made the usual acknowledgment, and glided away.

    She was neatly, but very quietly attired; so much so, indeed, that
    it seemed as though her dress, if it had been worn by one who
    imparted fewer graces of her own to it, might have looked poor and
    shabby. Her attendant--for she had one--was a red-faced, round-
    eyed, slovenly girl, who, from a certain roughness about the bare
    arms that peeped from under her draggled shawl, and the half-washed-
    out traces of smut and blacklead which tattooed her countenance, was
    clearly of a kin with the servants-of-all-work on the form: between
    whom and herself there had passed various grins and glances,
    indicative of the freemasonry of the craft.

    This girl followed her mistress; and, before Nicholas had recovered
    from the first effects of his surprise and admiration, the young
    lady was gone. It is not a matter of such complete and utter
    improbability as some sober people may think, that he would have
    followed them out, had he not been restrained by what passed between
    the fat lady and her book-keeper.

    'When is she coming again, Tom?' asked the fat lady.

    'Tomorrow morning,' replied Tom, mending his pen.

    'Where have you sent her to?' asked the fat lady.

    'Mrs Clark's,' replied Tom.

    'She'll have a nice life of it, if she goes there,' observed the fat
    lady, taking a pinch of snuff from a tin box.

    Tom made no other reply than thrusting his tongue into his cheek,
    and pointing the feather of his pen towards Nicholas--reminders
    which elicited from the fat lady an inquiry, of 'Now, sir, what can
    we do for YOU?'

    Nicholas briefly replied, that he wanted to know whether there was
    any such post to be had, as secretary or amanuensis to a gentleman.

    'Any such!' rejoined the mistress; 'a-dozen-such. An't there, Tom?'

    'I should think so,' answered that young gentleman; and as he said
    it, he winked towards Nicholas, with a degree of familiarity which
    he, no doubt, intended for a rather flattering compliment, but with
    which Nicholas was most ungratefully disgusted.

    Upon reference to the book, it appeared that the dozen secretaryships
    had dwindled down to one. Mr Gregsbury, the great member of
    parliament, of Manchester Buildings, Westminster, wanted a
    young man, to keep his papers and correspondence in order; and
    Nicholas was exactly the sort of young man that Mr Gregsbury wanted.

    'I don't know what the terms are, as he said he'd settle them
    himself with the party,' observed the fat lady; 'but they must be
    pretty good ones, because he's a member of parliament.'

    Inexperienced as he was, Nicholas did not feel quite assured of the
    force of this reasoning, or the justice of this conclusion; but
    without troubling himself to question it, he took down the address,
    and resolved to wait upon Mr Gregsbury without delay.

    'I don't know what the number is,' said Tom; 'but Manchester
    Buildings isn't a large place; and if the worst comes to the worst
    it won't take you very long to knock at all the doors on both sides
    of the way till you find him out. I say, what a good-looking gal
    that was, wasn't she?'

    'What girl?' demanded Nicholas, sternly.

    'Oh yes. I know--what gal, eh?' whispered Tom, shutting one eye,
    and cocking his chin in the air. 'You didn't see her, you didn't--I
    say, don't you wish you was me, when she comes tomorrow morning?'

    Nicholas looked at the ugly clerk, as if he had a mind to reward his
    admiration of the young lady by beating the ledger about his ears,
    but he refrained, and strode haughtily out of the office; setting at
    defiance, in his indignation, those ancient laws of chivalry, which
    not only made it proper and lawful for all good knights to hear the
    praise of the ladies to whom they were devoted, but rendered it
    incumbent upon them to roam about the world, and knock at head all
    such matter-of-fact and un-poetical characters, as declined to
    exalt, above all the earth, damsels whom they had never chanced to
    look upon or hear of--as if that were any excuse!

    Thinking no longer of his own misfortunes, but wondering what could
    be those of the beautiful girl he had seen, Nicholas, with many
    wrong turns, and many inquiries, and almost as many misdirections,
    bent his steps towards the place whither he had been directed.

    Within the precincts of the ancient city of Westminster, and within
    half a quarter of a mile of its ancient sanctuary, is a narrow and
    dirty region, the sanctuary of the smaller members of Parliament in
    modern days. It is all comprised in one street of gloomy lodging-
    houses, from whose windows, in vacation-time, there frown long
    melancholy rows of bills, which say, as plainly as did the
    countenances of their occupiers, ranged on ministerial and
    opposition benches in the session which slumbers with its fathers,
    'To Let', 'To Let'. In busier periods of the year these bills
    disappear, and the houses swarm with legislators. There are
    legislators in the parlours, in the first floor, in the second, in
    the third, in the garrets; the small apartments reek with the breath
    of deputations and delegates. In damp weather, the place is
    rendered close, by the steams of moist acts of parliament and frouzy
    petitions; general postmen grow faint as they enter its infected
    limits, and shabby figures in quest of franks, flit restlessly to
    and fro like the troubled ghosts of Complete Letter-writers
    departed. This is Manchester Buildings; and here, at all hours of
    the night, may be heard the rattling of latch-keys in their
    respective keyholes: with now and then--when a gust of wind sweeping
    across the water which washes the Buildings' feet, impels the sound
    towards its entrance--the weak, shrill voice of some young member
    practising tomorrow's speech. All the livelong day, there is a
    grinding of organs and clashing and clanging of little boxes of
    music; for Manchester Buildings is an eel-pot, which has no outlet
    but its awkward mouth--a case-bottle which has no thoroughfare, and
    a short and narrow neck--and in this respect it may be typical of
    the fate of some few among its more adventurous residents, who,
    after wriggling themselves into Parliament by violent efforts and
    contortions, find that it, too, is no thoroughfare for them; that,
    like Manchester Buildings, it leads to nothing beyond itself; and
    that they are fain at last to back out, no wiser, no richer, not one
    whit more famous, than they went in.

    Into Manchester Buildings Nicholas turned, with the address of the
    great Mr Gregsbury in his hand. As there was a stream of people
    pouring into a shabby house not far from the entrance, he waited
    until they had made their way in, and then making up to the servant,
    ventured to inquire if he knew where Mr Gregsbury lived.

    The servant was a very pale, shabby boy, who looked as if he had
    slept underground from his infancy, as very likely he had. 'Mr
    Gregsbury?' said he; 'Mr Gregsbury lodges here. It's all right.
    Come in!'

    Nicholas thought he might as well get in while he could, so in he
    walked; and he had no sooner done so, than the boy shut the door,
    and made off.

    This was odd enough: but what was more embarrassing was, that all
    along the passage, and all along the narrow stairs, blocking up the
    window, and making the dark entry darker still, was a confused crowd
    of persons with great importance depicted in their looks; who were,
    to all appearance, waiting in silent expectation of some coming
    event. From time to time, one man would whisper his neighbour, or a
    little group would whisper together, and then the whisperers would
    nod fiercely to each other, or give their heads a relentless shake,
    as if they were bent upon doing something very desperate, and were
    determined not to be put off, whatever happened.

    As a few minutes elapsed without anything occurring to explain this
    phenomenon, and as he felt his own position a peculiarly
    uncomfortable one, Nicholas was on the point of seeking some
    information from the man next him, when a sudden move was visible on
    the stairs, and a voice was heard to cry, 'Now, gentleman, have the
    goodness to walk up!'

    So far from walking up, the gentlemen on the stairs began to walk
    down with great alacrity, and to entreat, with extraordinary
    politeness, that the gentlemen nearest the street would go first;
    the gentlemen nearest the street retorted, with equal courtesy, that
    they couldn't think of such a thing on any account; but they did it,
    without thinking of it, inasmuch as the other gentlemen pressing
    some half-dozen (among whom was Nicholas) forward, and closing up
    behind, pushed them, not merely up the stairs, but into the very
    sitting-room of Mr Gregsbury, which they were thus compelled to
    enter with most unseemly precipitation, and without the means of
    retreat; the press behind them, more than filling the apartment.

    'Gentlemen,' said Mr Gregsbury, 'you are welcome. I am rejoiced to
    see you.'

    For a gentleman who was rejoiced to see a body of visitors, Mr
    Gregsbury looked as uncomfortable as might be; but perhaps this was
    occasioned by senatorial gravity, and a statesmanlike habit of
    keeping his feelings under control. He was a tough, burly, thick-
    headed gentleman, with a loud voice, a pompous manner, a tolerable
    command of sentences with no meaning in them, and, in short, every
    requisite for a very good member indeed.

    'Now, gentlemen,' said Mr Gregsbury, tossing a great bundle of
    papers into a wicker basket at his feet, and throwing himself back
    in his chair with his arms over the elbows, 'you are dissatisfied
    with my conduct, I see by the newspapers.'

    'Yes, Mr Gregsbury, we are,' said a plump old gentleman in a violent
    heat, bursting out of the throng, and planting himself in the front.

    'Do my eyes deceive me,' said Mr Gregsbury, looking towards the
    speaker, 'or is that my old friend Pugstyles?'

    'I am that man, and no other, sir,' replied the plump old gentleman.

    'Give me your hand, my worthy friend,' said Mr Gregsbury.
    'Pugstyles, my dear friend, I am very sorry to see you here.'

    'I am very sorry to be here, sir,' said Mr Pugstyles; 'but your
    conduct, Mr Gregsbury, has rendered this deputation from your
    constituents imperatively necessary.'

    'My conduct, Pugstyles,' said Mr Gregsbury, looking round upon the
    deputation with gracious magnanimity--'my conduct has been, and ever
    will be, regulated by a sincere regard for the true and real
    interests of this great and happy country. Whether I look at home,
    or abroad; whether I behold the peaceful industrious communities of
    our island home: her rivers covered with steamboats, her roads with
    locomotives, her streets with cabs, her skies with balloons of a
    power and magnitude hitherto unknown in the history of aeronautics
    in this or any other nation--I say, whether I look merely at home,
    or, stretching my eyes farther, contemplate the boundless prospect
    of conquest and possession--achieved by British perseverance and
    British valour--which is outspread before me, I clasp my hands, and
    turning my eyes to the broad expanse above my head, exclaim, "Thank
    Heaven, I am a Briton!"'

    The time had been, when this burst of enthusiasm would have been
    cheered to the very echo; but now, the deputation received it with
    chilling coldness. The general impression seemed to be, that as an
    explanation of Mr Gregsbury's political conduct, it did not enter
    quite enough into detail; and one gentleman in the rear did not
    scruple to remark aloud, that, for his purpose, it savoured rather
    too much of a 'gammon' tendency.

    'The meaning of that term--gammon,' said Mr Gregsbury, 'is unknown
    to me. If it means that I grow a little too fervid, or perhaps even
    hyperbolical, in extolling my native land, I admit the full justice
    of the remark. I AM proud of this free and happy country. My form
    dilates, my eye glistens, my breast heaves, my heart swells, my
    bosom burns, when I call to mind her greatness and her glory.'

    'We wish, sir,' remarked Mr Pugstyles, calmly, 'to ask you a few

    'If you please, gentlemen; my time is yours--and my country's--and
    my country's--' said Mr Gregsbury.

    This permission being conceded, Mr Pugstyles put on his spectacles,
    and referred to a written paper which he drew from his pocket;
    whereupon nearly every other member of the deputation pulled a
    written paper from HIS pocket, to check Mr Pugstyles off, as he read
    the questions.

    This done, Mr Pugstyles proceeded to business.

    'Question number one.--Whether, sir, you did not give a voluntary
    pledge previous to your election, that in event of your being
    returned, you would immediately put down the practice of coughing
    and groaning in the House of Commons. And whether you did not
    submit to be coughed and groaned down in the very first debate of
    the session, and have since made no effort to effect a reform in
    this respect? Whether you did not also pledge yourself to astonish
    the government, and make them shrink in their shoes? And whether
    you have astonished them, and made them shrink in their shoes, or

    'Go on to the next one, my dear Pugstyles,' said Mr Gregsbury.

    'Have you any explanation to offer with reference to that question,
    sir?' asked Mr Pugstyles.

    'Certainly not,' said Mr Gregsbury.

    The members of the deputation looked fiercely at each other, and
    afterwards at the member. 'Dear Pugstyles' having taken a very long
    stare at Mr Gregsbury over the tops of his spectacles, resumed his
    list of inquiries.

    'Question number two.--Whether, sir, you did not likewise give a
    voluntary pledge that you would support your colleague on every
    occasion; and whether you did not, the night before last, desert him
    and vote upon the other side, because the wife of a leader on that
    other side had invited Mrs Gregsbury to an evening party?'

    'Go on,' said Mr Gregsbury.

    'Nothing to say on that, either, sir?' asked the spokesman.

    'Nothing whatever,' replied Mr Gregsbury. The deputation, who had
    only seen him at canvassing or election time, were struck dumb by
    his coolness. He didn't appear like the same man; then he was all
    milk and honey; now he was all starch and vinegar. But men ARE so
    different at different times!

    'Question number three--and last,' said Mr Pugstyles, emphatically.
    'Whether, sir, you did not state upon the hustings, that it was your
    firm and determined intention to oppose everything proposed; to
    divide the house upon every question, to move for returns on every
    subject, to place a motion on the books every day, and, in short, in
    your own memorable words, to play the very devil with everything and
    everybody?' With this comprehensive inquiry, Mr Pugstyles folded up
    his list of questions, as did all his backers.

    Mr Gregsbury reflected, blew his nose, threw himself further back in
    his chair, came forward again, leaning his elbows on the table, made
    a triangle with his two thumbs and his two forefingers, and tapping
    his nose with the apex thereof, replied (smiling as he said it), 'I
    deny everything.'

    At this unexpected answer, a hoarse murmur arose from the
    deputation; and the same gentleman who had expressed an opinion
    relative to the gammoning nature of the introductory speech, again
    made a monosyllabic demonstration, by growling out 'Resign!' Which
    growl being taken up by his fellows, swelled into a very earnest and
    general remonstrance.

    'I am requested, sir, to express a hope,' said Mr Pugstyles, with a
    distant bow, 'that on receiving a requisition to that effect from a
    great majority of your constituents, you will not object at once to
    resign your seat in favour of some candidate whom they think they
    can better trust.'

    To this, Mr Gregsbury read the following reply, which, anticipating
    the request, he had composed in the form of a letter, whereof copies
    had been made to send round to the newspapers.


    'Next to the welfare of our beloved island--this great and free
    and happy country, whose powers and resources are, I sincerely
    believe, illimitable--I value that noble independence which is
    an Englishman's proudest boast, and which I fondly hope to bequeath
    to my children, untarnished and unsullied. Actuated by no personal
    motives, but moved only by high and great constitutional
    considerations; which I will not attempt to explain, for they are
    really beneath the comprehension of those who have not made
    themselves masters, as I have, of the intricate and arduous
    study of politics; I would rather keep my seat, and intend doing so.

    'Will you do me the favour to present my compliments to the
    constituent body, and acquaint them with this circumstance?

    'With great esteem,
    'My dear Mr Pugstyles,

    'Then you will not resign, under any circumstances?' asked the

    Mr Gregsbury smiled, and shook his head.

    'Then, good-morning, sir,' said Pugstyles, angrily.

    'Heaven bless you!' said Mr Gregsbury. And the deputation, with
    many growls and scowls, filed off as quickly as the narrowness of
    the staircase would allow of their getting down.

    The last man being gone, Mr Gregsbury rubbed his hands and chuckled,
    as merry fellows will, when they think they have said or done a more
    than commonly good thing; he was so engrossed in this self-
    congratulation, that he did not observe that Nicholas had been left
    behind in the shadow of the window-curtains, until that young
    gentleman, fearing he might otherwise overhear some soliloquy
    intended to have no listeners, coughed twice or thrice, to attract
    the member's notice.

    'What's that?' said Mr Gregsbury, in sharp accents.

    Nicholas stepped forward, and bowed.

    'What do you do here, sir?' asked Mr Gregsbury; 'a spy upon my
    privacy! A concealed voter! You have heard my answer, sir. Pray
    follow the deputation.'

    'I should have done so, if I had belonged to it, but I do not,' said

    'Then how came you here, sir?' was the natural inquiry of Mr
    Gregsbury, MP. 'And where the devil have you come from, sir?' was
    the question which followed it.

    'I brought this card from the General Agency Office, sir,' said
    Nicholas, 'wishing to offer myself as your secretary, and
    understanding that you stood in need of one.'

    'That's all you have come for, is it?' said Mr Gregsbury, eyeing him
    in some doubt.

    Nicholas replied in the affirmative.

    'You have no connection with any of those rascally papers have you?'
    said Mr Gregsbury. 'You didn't get into the room, to hear what was
    going forward, and put it in print, eh?'

    'I have no connection, I am sorry to say, with anything at present,'
    rejoined Nicholas,--politely enough, but quite at his ease.

    'Oh!' said Mr Gregsbury. 'How did you find your way up here, then?'

    Nicholas related how he had been forced up by the deputation.

    'That was the way, was it?' said Mr Gregsbury. 'Sit down.'

    Nicholas took a chair, and Mr Gregsbury stared at him for a long
    time, as if to make certain, before he asked any further questions,
    that there were no objections to his outward appearance.

    'You want to be my secretary, do you?' he said at length.

    'I wish to be employed in that capacity, sir,' replied Nicholas.

    'Well,' said Mr Gregsbury; 'now what can you do?'

    'I suppose,' replied Nicholas, smiling, 'that I can do what usually
    falls to the lot of other secretaries.'

    'What's that?' inquired Mr Gregsbury.

    'What is it?' replied Nicholas.

    'Ah! What is it?' retorted the member, looking shrewdly at him,
    with his head on one side.

    'A secretary's duties are rather difficult to define, perhaps,' said
    Nicholas, considering. 'They include, I presume, correspondence?'

    'Good,' interposed Mr Gregsbury.

    'The arrangement of papers and documents?'

    'Very good.'

    'Occasionally, perhaps, the writing from your dictation; and
    possibly, sir,' said Nicholas, with a half-smile, 'the copying of
    your speech for some public journal, when you have made one of more
    than usual importance.'

    'Certainly,' rejoined Mr Gregsbury. 'What else?'

    'Really,' said Nicholas, after a moment's reflection, 'I am not
    able, at this instant, to recapitulate any other duty of a
    secretary, beyond the general one of making himself as agreeable and
    useful to his employer as he can, consistently with his own
    respectability, and without overstepping that line of duties which
    he undertakes to perform, and which the designation of his office is
    usually understood to imply.'

    Mr Gregsbury looked fixedly at Nicholas for a short time, and then
    glancing warily round the room, said in a suppressed voice:

    'This is all very well, Mr--what is your name?'


    'This is all very well, Mr Nickleby, and very proper, so far as it
    goes--so far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. There are
    other duties, Mr Nickleby, which a secretary to a parliamentary
    gentleman must never lose sight of. I should require to be crammed,

    'I beg your pardon,' interposed Nicholas, doubtful whether he had
    heard aright.

    '--To be crammed, sir,' repeated Mr Gregsbury.

    'May I beg your pardon again, if I inquire what you mean, sir?' said

    'My meaning, sir, is perfectly plain,' replied Mr Gregsbury with a
    solemn aspect. 'My secretary would have to make himself master of
    the foreign policy of the world, as it is mirrored in the
    newspapers; to run his eye over all accounts of public meetings, all
    leading articles, and accounts of the proceedings of public bodies;
    and to make notes of anything which it appeared to him might be made
    a point of, in any little speech upon the question of some petition
    lying on the table, or anything of that kind. Do you understand?'

    'I think I do, sir,' replied Nicholas.

    'Then,' said Mr Gregsbury, 'it would be necessary for him to make
    himself acquainted, from day to day, with newspaper paragraphs on
    passing events; such as "Mysterious disappearance, and supposed
    suicide of a potboy," or anything of that sort, upon which I might
    found a question to the Secretary of State for the Home Department.
    Then, he would have to copy the question, and as much as I
    remembered of the answer (including a little compliment about
    independence and good sense); and to send the manuscript in a frank
    to the local paper, with perhaps half-a-dozen lines of leader, to
    the effect, that I was always to be found in my place in parliament,
    and never shrunk from the responsible and arduous duties, and so
    forth. You see?'

    Nicholas bowed.

    'Besides which,' continued Mr Gregsbury, 'I should expect him, now
    and then, to go through a few figures in the printed tables, and to
    pick out a few results, so that I might come out pretty well on
    timber duty questions, and finance questions, and so on; and I
    should like him to get up a few little arguments about the
    disastrous effects of a return to cash payments and a metallic
    currency, with a touch now and then about the exportation of
    bullion, and the Emperor of Russia, and bank notes, and all that
    kind of thing, which it's only necessary to talk fluently about,
    because nobody understands it. Do you take me?'

    'I think I understand,' said Nicholas.

    'With regard to such questions as are not political,' continued Mr
    Gregsbury, warming; 'and which one can't be expected to care a curse
    about, beyond the natural care of not allowing inferior people to be
    as well off as ourselves--else where are our privileges?--I should
    wish my secretary to get together a few little flourishing speeches,
    of a patriotic cast. For instance, if any preposterous bill were
    brought forward, for giving poor grubbing devils of authors a right
    to their own property, I should like to say, that I for one would
    never consent to opposing an insurmountable bar to the diffusion of
    literature among THE PEOPLE,--you understand?--that the creations of
    the pocket, being man's, might belong to one man, or one family; but
    that the creations of the brain, being God's, ought as a matter of
    course to belong to the people at large--and if I was pleasantly
    disposed, I should like to make a joke about posterity, and say that
    those who wrote for posterity should be content to be rewarded by
    the approbation OF posterity; it might take with the house, and
    could never do me any harm, because posterity can't be expected to
    know anything about me or my jokes either--do you see?'

    'I see that, sir,' replied Nicholas.

    'You must always bear in mind, in such cases as this, where our
    interests are not affected,' said Mr Gregsbury, 'to put it very
    strong about the people, because it comes out very well at election-
    time; and you could be as funny as you liked about the authors;
    because I believe the greater part of them live in lodgings, and are
    not voters. This is a hasty outline of the chief things you'd have
    to do, except waiting in the lobby every night, in case I forgot
    anything, and should want fresh cramming; and, now and then, during
    great debates, sitting in the front row of the gallery, and saying
    to the people about--'You see that gentleman, with his hand to his
    face, and his arm twisted round the pillar--that's Mr Gregsbury--the
    celebrated Mr Gregsbury,'--with any other little eulogium that might
    strike you at the moment. And for salary,' said Mr Gregsbury,
    winding up with great rapidity; for he was out of breath--'and for
    salary, I don't mind saying at once in round numbers, to prevent any
    dissatisfaction--though it's more than I've been accustomed to give
    --fifteen shillings a week, and find yourself. There!'

    With this handsome offer, Mr Gregsbury once more threw himself back
    in his chair, and looked like a man who had been most profligately
    liberal, but is determined not to repent of it notwithstanding.

    'Fifteen shillings a week is not much,' said Nicholas, mildly.

    'Not much! Fifteen shillings a week not much, young man?' cried Mr
    Gregsbury. 'Fifteen shillings a--'

    'Pray do not suppose that I quarrel with the sum, sir,' replied
    Nicholas; 'for I am not ashamed to confess, that whatever it may be
    in itself, to me it is a great deal. But the duties and
    responsibilities make the recompense small, and they are so very
    heavy that I fear to undertake them.'

    'Do you decline to undertake them, sir?' inquired Mr Gregsbury, with
    his hand on the bell-rope.

    'I fear they are too great for my powers, however good my will may
    be, sir,' replied Nicholas.

    'That is as much as to say that you had rather not accept the place,
    and that you consider fifteen shillings a week too little,' said Mr
    Gregsbury, ringing. 'Do you decline it, sir?'

    'I have no alternative but to do so,' replied Nicholas.

    'Door, Matthews!' said Mr Gregsbury, as the boy appeared.

    'I am sorry I have troubled you unnecessarily, sir,' said Nicholas,

    'I am sorry you have,' rejoined Mr Gregsbury, turning his back upon
    him. 'Door, Matthews!'

    'Good-morning, sir,' said Nicholas.

    'Door, Matthews!' cried Mr Gregsbury.

    The boy beckoned Nicholas, and tumbling lazily downstairs before
    him, opened the door, and ushered him into the street. With a sad
    and pensive air, he retraced his steps homewards.

    Smike had scraped a meal together from the remnant of last night's
    supper, and was anxiously awaiting his return. The occurrences of
    the morning had not improved Nicholas's appetite, and, by him, the
    dinner remained untasted. He was sitting in a thoughtful attitude,
    with the plate which the poor fellow had assiduously filled with the
    choicest morsels, untouched, by his side, when Newman Noggs looked
    into the room.

    'Come back?' asked Newman.

    'Yes,' replied Nicholas, 'tired to death: and, what is worse, might
    have remained at home for all the good I have done.'

    'Couldn't expect to do much in one morning,' said Newman.

    'Maybe so, but I am sanguine, and did expect,' said Nicholas, 'and
    am proportionately disappointed.' Saying which, he gave Newman an
    account of his proceedings.

    'If I could do anything,' said Nicholas, 'anything, however slight,
    until Ralph Nickleby returns, and I have eased my mind by
    confronting him, I should feel happier. I should think it no
    disgrace to work, Heaven knows. Lying indolently here, like a half-
    tamed sullen beast, distracts me.'

    'I don't know,' said Newman; 'small things offer--they would pay the
    rent, and more--but you wouldn't like them; no, you could hardly be
    expected to undergo it--no, no.'

    'What could I hardly be expected to undergo?' asked Nicholas,
    raising his eyes. 'Show me, in this wide waste of London, any
    honest means by which I could even defray the weekly hire of this
    poor room, and see if I shrink from resorting to them! Undergo! I
    have undergone too much, my friend, to feel pride or squeamishness
    now. Except--' added Nicholas hastily, after a short silence,
    'except such squeamishness as is common honesty, and so much pride
    as constitutes self-respect. I see little to choose, between
    assistant to a brutal pedagogue, and toad-eater to a mean and
    ignorant upstart, be he member or no member.'

    'I hardly know whether I should tell you what I heard this morning,
    or not,' said Newman.

    'Has it reference to what you said just now?' asked Nicholas.

    'It has.'

    'Then in Heaven's name, my good friend, tell it me,' said Nicholas.
    'For God's sake consider my deplorable condition; and, while I
    promise to take no step without taking counsel with you, give me, at
    least, a vote in my own behalf.'

    Moved by this entreaty, Newman stammered forth a variety of most
    unaccountable and entangled sentences, the upshot of which was, that
    Mrs Kenwigs had examined him, at great length that morning, touching
    the origin of his acquaintance with, and the whole life, adventures,
    and pedigree of, Nicholas; that Newman had parried these questions
    as long as he could, but being, at length, hard pressed and driven
    into a corner, had gone so far as to admit, that Nicholas was a
    tutor of great accomplishments, involved in some misfortunes which
    he was not at liberty to explain, and bearing the name of Johnson.
    That Mrs Kenwigs, impelled by gratitude, or ambition, or maternal
    pride, or maternal love, or all four powerful motives conjointly,
    had taken secret conference with Mr Kenwigs, and had finally
    returned to propose that Mr Johnson should instruct the four Miss
    Kenwigses in the French language as spoken by natives, at the weekly
    stipend of five shillings, current coin of the realm; being at the
    rate of one shilling per week, per each Miss Kenwigs, and one
    shilling over, until such time as the baby might be able to take it
    out in grammar.

    'Which, unless I am very much mistaken,' observed Mrs Kenwigs in
    making the proposition, 'will not be very long; for such clever
    children, Mr Noggs, never were born into this world, I do believe.'

    'There,' said Newman, 'that's all. It's beneath you, I know; but I
    thought that perhaps you might--'

    'Might!' cried Nicholas, with great alacrity; 'of course I shall. I
    accept the offer at once. Tell the worthy mother so, without delay,
    my dear fellow; and that I am ready to begin whenever she pleases.'

    Newman hastened, with joyful steps, to inform Mrs Kenwigs of his
    friend's acquiescence, and soon returning, brought back word that
    they would be happy to see him in the first floor as soon as
    convenient; that Mrs Kenwigs had, upon the instant, sent out to
    secure a second-hand French grammar and dialogues, which had long
    been fluttering in the sixpenny box at the bookstall round the
    corner; and that the family, highly excited at the prospect of this
    addition to their gentility, wished the initiatory lesson to come
    off immediately.

    And here it may be observed, that Nicholas was not, in the ordinary
    sense of the word, a young man of high spirit. He would resent an
    affront to himself, or interpose to redress a wrong offered to
    another, as boldly and freely as any knight that ever set lance in
    rest; but he lacked that peculiar excess of coolness and great-
    minded selfishness, which invariably distinguish gentlemen of high
    spirit. In truth, for our own part, we are disposed to look upon
    such gentleman as being rather incumbrances than otherwise in rising
    families: happening to be acquainted with several whose spirit
    prevents their settling down to any grovelling occupation, and only
    displays itself in a tendency to cultivate moustachios, and look
    fierce; and although moustachios and ferocity are both very pretty
    things in their way, and very much to be commended, we confess to a
    desire to see them bred at the owner's proper cost, rather than at
    the expense of low-spirited people.

    Nicholas, therefore, not being a high-spirited young man according
    to common parlance, and deeming it a greater degradation to borrow,
    for the supply of his necessities, from Newman Noggs, than to teach
    French to the little Kenwigses for five shillings a week, accepted
    the offer with the alacrity already described, and betook himself to
    the first floor with all convenient speed.

    Here, he was received by Mrs Kenwigs with a genteel air, kindly
    intended to assure him of her protection and support; and here, too,
    he found Mr Lillyvick and Miss Petowker; the four Miss Kenwigses on
    their form of audience; and the baby in a dwarf porter's chair with
    a deal tray before it, amusing himself with a toy horse without a
    head; the said horse being composed of a small wooden cylinder, not
    unlike an Italian iron, supported on four crooked pegs, and painted
    in ingenious resemblance of red wafers set in blacking.

    'How do you do, Mr Johnson?' said Mrs Kenwigs. 'Uncle--Mr Johnson.'

    'How do you do, sir?' said Mr Lillyvick--rather sharply; for he had
    not known what Nicholas was, on the previous night, and it was
    rather an aggravating circumstance if a tax collector had been too
    polite to a teacher.

    'Mr Johnson is engaged as private master to the children, uncle,'
    said Mrs Kenwigs.

    'So you said just now, my dear,' replied Mr Lillyvick.

    'But I hope,' said Mrs Kenwigs, drawing herself up, 'that that will
    not make them proud; but that they will bless their own good
    fortune, which has born them superior to common people's children.
    Do you hear, Morleena?'

    'Yes, ma,' replied Miss Kenwigs.

    'And when you go out in the streets, or elsewhere, I desire that you
    don't boast of it to the other children,' said Mrs Kenwigs; 'and
    that if you must say anything about it, you don't say no more than
    "We've got a private master comes to teach us at home, but we ain't
    proud, because ma says it's sinful." Do you hear, Morleena?'

    'Yes, ma,' replied Miss Kenwigs again.

    'Then mind you recollect, and do as I tell you,' said Mrs Kenwigs.
    'Shall Mr Johnson begin, uncle?'

    'I am ready to hear, if Mr Johnson is ready to commence, my dear,'
    said the collector, assuming the air of a profound critic. 'What
    sort of language do you consider French, sir?'

    'How do you mean?' asked Nicholas.

    'Do you consider it a good language, sir?' said the collector; 'a
    pretty language, a sensible language?'

    'A pretty language, certainly,' replied Nicholas; 'and as it has a
    name for everything, and admits of elegant conversation about
    everything, I presume it is a sensible one.'

    'I don't know,' said Mr Lillyvick, doubtfully. 'Do you call it a
    cheerful language, now?'

    'Yes,' replied Nicholas, 'I should say it was, certainly.'

    'It's very much changed since my time, then,' said the collector,
    'very much.'

    'Was it a dismal one in your time?' asked Nicholas, scarcely able to
    repress a smile.

    'Very,' replied Mr Lillyvick, with some vehemence of manner. 'It's
    the war time that I speak of; the last war. It may be a cheerful
    language. I should be sorry to contradict anybody; but I can only
    say that I've heard the French prisoners, who were natives, and
    ought to know how to speak it, talking in such a dismal manner, that
    it made one miserable to hear them. Ay, that I have, fifty times,
    sir--fifty times!'

    Mr Lillyvick was waxing so cross, that Mrs Kenwigs thought it
    expedient to motion to Nicholas not to say anything; and it was not
    until Miss Petowker had practised several blandishments, to soften
    the excellent old gentleman, that he deigned to break silence by

    'What's the water in French, sir?'

    'L'EAU,' replied Nicholas.

    'Ah!' said Mr Lillyvick, shaking his head mournfully, 'I thought as
    much. Lo, eh? I don't think anything of that language--nothing at

    'I suppose the children may begin, uncle?' said Mrs Kenwigs.

    'Oh yes; they may begin, my dear,' replied the collector,
    discontentedly. 'I have no wish to prevent them.'

    This permission being conceded, the four Miss Kenwigses sat in a
    row, with their tails all one way, and Morleena at the top: while
    Nicholas, taking the book, began his preliminary explanations. Miss
    Petowker and Mrs Kenwigs looked on, in silent admiration, broken
    only by the whispered assurances of the latter, that Morleena would
    have it all by heart in no time; and Mr Lillyvick regarded the group
    with frowning and attentive eyes, lying in wait for something upon
    which he could open a fresh discussion on the language.
    آرزوهایت را روی کاغذ بنویس و یکی یکی از خدا بخواه خدا فراموش نمی کند اما تو یادت می رود آنچه که امروز داری آرزوی دیروز تو بوده است!!!

صفحه 2 از 2 اولیناولین 12

مجوز های ارسال و ویرایش

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