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consolation, and her honest feeling was hurt. May not the
complaint, that common people are above their station, often take
its rise in the fact of uncommon people being below theirs?

In such scenes and occupations the time wore on until nine
o’clock, when Kate, jaded and dispirited with the occurrences of
the day, hastened from the confinement of the workroom, to join
her mother at the street corner, and walk home:--the more sadly,
from having to disguise her real feelings, and feign to participate
in all the sanguine visions of her companion.

‘Bless my soul, Kate,’ said Mrs Nickleby; ‘I’ve been thinking all
day what a delightful thing it would be for Madame Mantalini to
take you into partnership--such a likely thing too, you know! Why,
your poor dear papa’s cousin’s sister-in-law--a Miss Browndock--
was taken into partnership by a lady that kept a school at
Hammersmith, and made her fortune in no time at all. I forget, by-
the-bye, whether that Miss Browndock was the same lady that got
the ten thousand pounds prize in the lottery, but I think she was;
indeed, now I come to think of it, I am sure she was. “Mantalini
and Nickleby”, how well it would sound!--and if Nicholas has any
good fortune, you might have Doctor Nickleby, the head-master of
Westminster School, living in the same street.’

‘Dear Nicholas!’ cried Kate, taking from her reticule her
brother’s letter from Dotheboys Hall. ‘In all our misfortunes, how
happy it makes me, mama, to hear he is doing well, and to find
him writing in such good spirits! It consoles me for all we may
undergo, to think that he is comfortable and happy.’

Poor Kate! she little thought how weak her consolation was,
and how soon she would be undeceived.

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