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PinkMonkey.com-Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens




665

by any refreshing associations with leaves, however dingy, or
grass, however bare and thin. The city square has no enclosure,
save the lamp-post in the middle: and no grass, but the weeds
which spring up round its base. It is a quiet, little-frequented,
retired spot, favourable to melancholy and contemplation, and
appointments of long-waiting; and up and down its every side the
Appointed saunters idly by the hour together wakening the echoes
with the monotonous sound of his footsteps on the smooth worn
stones, and counting, first the windows, and then the very bricks
of the tall silent houses that hem him round about. In winter-time,
the snow will linger there, long after it has melted from the busy
streets and highways. The summerís sun holds it in some respect,
and while he darts his cheerful rays sparingly into the square,
keeps his fiery heat and glare for noisier and less-imposing
precincts. It is so quiet, that you can almost hear the ticking of
your own watch when you stop to cool in its refreshing
atmosphere. There is a distant hum--of coaches, not of insects--
but no other sound disturbs the stillness of the square. The ticket
porter leans idly against the post at the corner: comfortably warm,
but not hot, although the day is broiling. His white apron flaps
languidly in the air, his head gradually droops upon his breast, he
takes very long winks with both eyes at once; even he is unable to
withstand the soporific influence of the place, and is gradually
falling asleep. But now, he starts into full wakefulness, recoils a
step or two, and gazes out before him with eager wildness in his
eye. Is it a job, or a boy at marbles? Does he see a ghost, or hear an
organ? No; sight more unwonted still--there is a butterfly in the
square--a real, live butterfly! astray from flowers and sweets, and
fluttering among the iron heads of the dusty area railings.


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PinkMonkey.com-Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens



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