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Chapter 63

The Brothers Cheeryble make various Declarations
for themselves and others. Tim Linkinwater makes
a Declaration for himself.

Some weeks had passed, and the first shock of these events
had subsided. Madeline had been removed; Frank had
been absent; and Nicholas and Kate had begun to try in
good earnest to stifle their own regrets, and to live for each other
and for their mother--who, poor lady, could in nowise be
reconciled to this dull and altered state of affairs--when there
came one evening, per favour of Mr Linkinwater, an invitation
from the brothers to dinner on the next day but one:
comprehending, not only Mrs Nickleby, Kate, and Nicholas, but
little Miss La Creevy, who was most particularly mentioned.

‘Now, my dears,’ said Mrs Nickleby, when they had rendered
becoming honour to the bidding, and Tim had taken his
departure, ‘what does this mean?’

‘What do you mean, mother?’ asked Nicholas, smiling.
‘I say, my dear,’ rejoined that lady, with a face of unfathomable
mystery, ‘what does this invitation to dinner mean? What is its
intention and object?’

‘I conclude it means, that on such a day we are to eat and drink
in their house, and that its intent and object is to confer pleasure
upon us,’ said Nicholas.

‘And that’s all you conclude it is, my dear?’
‘I have not yet arrived at anything deeper, mother.’

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