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elegant, fascinating, and once dashing Mantalini.
‘Oh you false traitor!’ cried the lady, threatening personal
violence on Mr Mantalini’s face.
‘False! Oh dem! Now my soul, my gentle, captivating,
bewitching, and most demnebly enslaving chick-a-biddy, be calm,’
said Mr Mantalini, humbly.
‘I won’t!’ screamed the woman. ‘I’ll tear your eyes out!’
‘Oh! What a demd savage lamb!’ cried Mr Mantalini.
‘You’re never to be trusted,’ screamed the woman; ‘you were
out all day yesterday, and gallivanting somewhere I know. You
know you were! Isn’t it enough that I paid two pound fourteen for
you, and took you out of prison and let you live here like a
gentleman, but must you go on like this: breaking, my heart
‘I will never break its heart, I will be a good boy, and never do
so any more; I will never be naughty again; I beg its little pardon,’
said Mr Mantalini, dropping the handle of the mangle, and folding
his palms together; ‘it is all up with its handsome friend! He has
gone to the demnition bow-wows. It will have pity? It will not
scratch and claw, but pet and comfort? Oh, demmit!’
Very little affected, to judge from her action, by this tender
appeal, the lady was on the point of returning some angry reply,
when Nicholas, raising his voice, asked his way to Piccadilly.
Mr Mantalini turned round, caught sight of Kate, and, without
another word, leapt at one bound into a bed which stood behind
the door, and drew the counterpane over his face: kicking
‘Demmit,’ he cried, in a suffocating voice, ‘it’s little Nickleby!
Shut the door, put out the candle, turn me up in the bedstead! Oh,