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had already told you this.’ With which sentiment, and various
hints of the pleasure she derived from the knowledge that her
daughter inherited so large an instalment of her own excellent
sense and discretion (to nearly the full measure of which she
might hope, with care, to succeed in time), Mrs Nickleby
concluded a very long and rather illegible letter.

Poor Kate was well-nigh distracted on the receipt of four
closely-written and closely-crossed sides of congratulation on the
very subject which had prevented her closing her eyes all night,
and kept her weeping and watching in her chamber; still worse
and more trying was the necessity of rendering herself agreeable
to Mrs Wititterly, who, being in low spirits after the fatigue of the
preceding night, of course expected her companion (else
wherefore had she board and salary?) to be in the best spirits
possible. As to Mr Wititterly, he went about all day in a tremor of
delight at having shaken hands with a lord, and having actually
asked him to come and see him in his own house. The lord
himself, not being troubled to any inconvenient extent with the
power of thinking, regaled himself with the conversation of Messrs
Pyke and Pluck, who sharpened their wit by a plentiful indulgence
in various costly stimulants at his expense.

It was four in the afternoon--that is, the vulgar afternoon of the
sun and the clock--and Mrs Wititterly reclined, according to
custom, on the drawing-room sofa, while Kate read aloud a new
novel in three volumes, entitled ‘The Lady Flabella,’ which
Alphonse the doubtful had procured from the library that very
morning. And it was a production admirably suited to a lady
labouring under Mrs Wititterly’s complaint, seeing that there was
not a line in it, from beginning to end, which could, by the most

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