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who should say, ‘Well! there’s no accounting for tastes;’ but the
ladies resolved unanimously that Nicholas had an aristocratic air;
and nobody caring to dispute the position, it was established

The punch being, by this time, drunk out, and the little
Kenwigses (who had for some time previously held their little eyes
open with their little forefingers) becoming fractious, and
requesting rather urgently to be put to bed, the collector made a
move by pulling out his watch, and acquainting the company that
it was nigh two o’clock; whereat some of the guests were surprised
and others shocked, and hats and bonnets being groped for under
the tables, and in course of time found, their owners went away,
after a vast deal of shaking of hands, and many remarks how they
had never spent such a delightful evening, and how they
marvelled to find it so late, expecting to have heard that it was
half-past ten at the very latest, and how they wished that Mr and
Mrs Kenwigs had a wedding-day once a week, and how they
wondered by what hidden agency Mrs Kenwigs could possibly
have managed so well; and a great deal more of the same kind. To
all of which flattering expressions, Mr and Mrs Kenwigs replied,
by thanking every lady and gentleman, seriatim, for the favour of
their company, and hoping they might have enjoyed themselves
only half as well as they said they had.

As to Nicholas, quite unconscious of the impression he had
produced, he had long since fallen asleep, leaving Mr Newman
Noggs and Smike to empty the spirit bottle between them; and
this office they performed with such extreme good-will, that
Newman was equally at a loss to determine whether he himself
was quite sober, and whether he had ever seen any gentleman so

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