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PinkMonkey.com-Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens




240

To judge from the size of the houses, they have been, at one
time, tenanted by persons of better condition than their present
occupants; but they are now let off, by the week, in floors or
rooms, and every door has almost as many plates or bell-handles
as there are apartments within. The windows are, for the same
reason, sufficiently diversified in appearance, being ornamented
with every variety of common blind and curtain that can easily be
imagined; while every doorway is blocked up, and rendered nearly
impassable, by a motley collection of children and porter pots of
all sizes, from the baby in arms and the half-pint pot, to the full-
grown girl and half-gallon can.

In the parlour of one of these houses, which was perhaps a
thought dirtier than any of its neighbours; which exhibited more
bell-handles, children, and porter pots, and caught in all its
freshness the first gust of the thick black smoke that poured forth,
night and day, from a large brewery hard by; hung a bill,
announcing that there was yet one room to let within its walls,
though on what story the vacant room could be--regard being had
to the outward tokens of many lodgers which the whole front
displayed, from the mangle in the kitchen window to the flower-
pots on the parapet--it would have been beyond the power of a
calculating boy to discover.

The common stairs of this mansion were bare and carpetless;
but a curious visitor who had to climb his way to the top, might
have observed that there were not wanting indications of the
progressive poverty of the inmates, although their rooms were
shut. Thus, the first-floor lodgers, being flush of furniture, kept an
old mahogany table--real mahogany--on the landing-place
outside, which was only taken in, when occasion required. On the


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