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at home, and proceeded to dilate with great rapture, but much
respect on the manifold perfections of Miss Nickleby.

‘What a delight, what a comfort, what a happiness, this amiable
creature must be to you,’ said Sir Mulberry, throwing into his
voice an indication of the warmest feeling.

‘She is indeed, sir,’ replied Mrs Nickleby; ‘she is the sweetest-
tempered, kindest-hearted creature--and so clever!’

‘She looks clayver,’ said Lord Verisopht, with the air of a judge
of cleverness. ‘I assure you she is, my lord,’ returned Mrs
Nickleby. ‘When she was at school in Devonshire, she was
universally allowed to be beyond all exception the very cleverest
girl there, and there were a great many very clever ones too, and
that’s the truth--twenty-five young ladies, fifty guineas a year
without the et-ceteras, both the Miss Dowdles the most
accomplished, elegant, fascinating creatures--Oh dear me!’ said
Mrs Nickleby, ‘I never shall forget what pleasure she used to give
me and her poor dear papa, when she was at that school, never--
such a delightful letter every half-year, telling us that she was the
first pupil in the whole establishment, and had made more
progress than anybody else! I can scarcely bear to think of it even
now. The girls wrote all the letters themselves,’ added Mrs
Nickleby, ‘and the writing-master touched them up afterwards
with a magnifying glass and a silver pen; at least I think they wrote
them, though Kate was never quite certain about that, because she
didn’t know the handwriting of hers again; but anyway, I know it
was a circular which they all copied, and of course it was a very
gratifying thing--very gratifying.’

With similar recollections Mrs Nickleby beguiled the
tediousness of the way, until they reached the omnibus, which the

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