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a hundred pound at any rate. His countenance relaxed, and he
raised his glass to his mouth with an air of greater enjoyment of its
contents than he had before evinced.

‘I never see,’ soliloquised Mr Squeers in continuation, ‘I never
see nor come across such a file as that old Nickleby. Never! He’s
out of everybody’s depth, he is. He’s what you may call a rasper, is
Nickleby. To see how sly and cunning he grubbed on, day after
day, a-worming and plodding and tracing and turning and twining
of hisself about, till he found out where this precious Mrs Peg was
hid, and cleared the ground for me to work upon. Creeping and
crawling and gliding, like a ugly, old, bright-eyed, stagnation-
blooded adder! Ah! He’d have made a good ’un in our line, but it
would have been too limited for him; his genius would have busted
all bonds, and coming over every obstacle, broke down all before
it, till it erected itself into a monneyment of--Well, I’ll think of the
rest, and say it when conwenient.’

Making a halt in his reflections at this place, Mr Squeers again
put his glass to his lips, and drawing a dirty letter from his pocket,
proceeded to con over its contents with the air of a man who had
read it very often, and now refreshed his memory rather in the
absence of better amusement than for any specific information.

‘The pigs is well,’ said Mr Squeers, ‘the cows is well, and the
boys is bobbish. Young Sprouter has been a-winking, has he? I’ll
wink him when I get back. “Cobbey would persist in sniffing while
he was a-eating his dinner, and said that the beef was so strong it
made him.”--Very good, Cobbey, we’ll see if we can’t make you
sniff a little without beef. “Pitcher was took with another fever,”--
of course he was--“and being fetched by his friends, died the day
after he got home,”--of course he did, and out of aggravation; it’s

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