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Chapter 7

Mr and Mrs Squeers at Home.

Mr Squeers, being safely landed, left Nicholas and the
boys standing with the luggage in the road, to amuse
themselves by looking at the coach as it changed
horses, while he ran into the tavern and went through the leg-
stretching process at the bar. After some minutes, he returned,
with his legs thoroughly stretched, if the hue of his nose and a
short hiccup afforded any criterion; and at the same time there
came out of the yard a rusty pony-chaise, and a cart, driven by two
labouring men.

‘Put the boys and the boxes into the cart,’ said Squeers, rubbing
his hands; ‘and this young man and me will go on in the chaise.
Get in, Nickleby.’

Nicholas obeyed. Mr. Squeers with some difficulty inducing the
pony to obey also, they started off, leaving the cart-load of infant
misery to follow at leisure.

‘Are you cold, Nickleby?’ inquired Squeers, after they had
travelled some distance in silence.

‘Rather, sir, I must say.’
‘Well, I don’t find fault with that,’ said Squeers; ‘it’s a long
journey this weather.’

‘Is it much farther to Dotheboys Hall, sir?’ asked Nicholas.
‘About three mile from here,’ replied Squeers. ‘But you needn’t
call it a Hall down here.’

Nicholas coughed, as if he would like to know why.

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