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penetrated, if he had thought fit to approach the window. The attic
chamber in which he sat was bare and mean; the bedstead, and
such few other articles of necessary furniture as it contained, were
of the commonest description, in a most crazy state, and of a most
uninviting appearance. The street was muddy, dirty, and deserted.
Having but one outlet, it was traversed by few but the inhabitants
at any time; and the night being one of those on which most
people are glad to be within doors, it now presented no other signs
of life than the dull glimmering of poor candles from the dirty
windows, and few sounds but the pattering of the rain, and
occasionally the heavy closing of some creaking door.

Mr Squeers continued to look disconsolately about him, and to
listen to these noises in profound silence, broken only by the
rustling of his large coat, as he now and then moved his arm to
raise his glass to his lips. Mr Squeers continued to do this for some
time, until the increasing gloom warned him to snuff the candle.
Seeming to be slightly roused by this exertion, he raised his eye to
the ceiling, and fixing it upon some uncouth and fantastic figures,
traced upon it by the wet and damp which had penetrated through
the roof, broke into the following soliloquy:

‘Well, this is a pretty go, is this here! An uncommon pretty go!
Here have I been, a matter of how many weeks--hard upon six--a
follering up this here blessed old dowager petty larcenerer,’--Mr
Squeers delivered himself of this epithet with great difficulty and
effort,--‘and Dotheboys Hall a-running itself regularly to seed the
while! That’s the worst of ever being in with a owdacious chap like
that old Nickleby. You never know when he’s done with you, and if
you’re in for a penny, you’re in for a pound.’

This remark, perhaps, reminded Mr Squeers that he was in for

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