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‘Kate, my dear,’ said Mrs Nickleby; ‘I don’t know how it is, but a
fine warm summer day like this, with the birds singing in every
direction, always puts me in mind of roast pig, with sage and onion
sauce, and made gravy.’

‘That’s a curious association of ideas, is it not, mama?’
‘Upon my word, my dear, I don’t know,’ replied Mrs Nickleby.
‘Roast pig; let me see. On the day five weeks after you were
christened, we had a roast--no, that couldn’t have been a pig,
either, because I recollect there were a pair of them to carve, and
your poor papa and I could never have thought of sitting down to
two pigs--they must have been partridges. Roast pig! I hardly
think we ever could have had one, now I come to remember, for
your papa could never bear the sight of them in the shops, and
used to say that they always put him in mind of very little babies,
only the pigs had much fairer complexions; and he had a horror of
little babies, to, because he couldn’t very well afford any increase
to his family, and had a natural dislike to the subject. It’s very odd
now, what can have put that in my head! I recollect dining once at
Mrs Bevan’s, in that broad street round the corner by the
coachmaker’s, where the tipsy man fell through the cellar-flap of
an empty house nearly a week before the quarter-day, and wasn’t
found till the new tenant went in--and we had roast pig there. It
must be that, I think, that reminds me of it, especially as there was
a little bird in the room that would keep on singing all the time of
dinner--at least, not a little bird, for it was a parrot, and he didn’t
sing exactly, for he talked and swore dreadfully: but I think it must
be that. Indeed I am sure it must. Shouldn’t you say so, my dear?’

‘I should say there was not a doubt about it, mama,’ returned
Kate, with a cheerful smile.

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