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sleeper had awakened to the misery of another day; and, as
morning took the place of night, the smiles gradually faded away,
with the friendly darkness which had given them birth.

Dreams are the bright creatures of poem and legend, who sport
on earth in the night season, and melt away in the first beam of the
sun, which lights grim care and stern reality on their daily
pilgrimage through the world.

Nicholas looked upon the sleepers; at first, with the air of one
who gazes upon a scene which, though familiar to him, has lost
none of its sorrowful effect in consequence; and, afterwards, with
a more intense and searching scrutiny, as a man would who
missed something his eye was accustomed to meet, and had
expected to rest upon. He was still occupied in this search, and
had half risen from his bed in the eagerness of his quest, when the
voice of Squeers was heard, calling from the bottom of the stairs.

‘Now then,’ cried that gentleman, ‘are you going to sleep all day,
up there--’

‘You lazy hounds?’ added Mrs Squeers, finishing the sentence,
and producing, at the same time, a sharp sound, like that which is
occasioned by the lacing of stays.

‘We shall be down directly, sir,’ replied Nicholas.
‘Down directly!’ said Squeers. ‘Ah! you had better be down
directly, or I’ll be down upon some of you in less. Where’s that

Nicholas looked hurriedly round again, but made no answer.
‘Smike!’ shouted Squeers.

‘Do you want your head broke in a fresh place, Smike?’
demanded his amiable lady in the same key.

Still there was no reply, and still Nicholas stared about him, as

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