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‘Does it take long to get a nose, now?’ inquired Nicholas,

‘Why, that depends in a great measure on the pattern,’ replied
Miss La Creevy. ‘Snubs and Romans are plentiful enough, and
there are flats of all sorts and sizes when there’s a meeting at
Exeter Hall; but perfect aquilines, I am sorry to say, are scarce,
and we generally use them for uniforms or public characters.’

‘Indeed!’ said Nicholas. ‘If I should meet with any in my travels,
I’ll endeavour to sketch them for you.’

‘You don’t mean to say that you are really going all the way
down into Yorkshire this cold winter’s weather, Mr Nickleby?’
said Miss La Creevy. ‘I heard something of it last night.’

‘I do, indeed,’ replied Nicholas. ‘Needs must, you know, when
somebody drives. Necessity is my driver, and that is only another
name for the same gentleman.’

‘Well, I am very sorry for it; that’s all I can say,’ said Miss La
Creevy; ‘as much on your mother’s and sister’s account as on
yours. Your sister is a very pretty young lady, Mr Nickleby, and
that is an additional reason why she should have somebody to
protect her. I persuaded her to give me a sitting or two, for the
street-door case. ‘Ah! she’ll make a sweet miniature.’ As Miss La
Creevy spoke, she held up an ivory countenance intersected with
very perceptible sky-blue veins, and regarded it with so much
complacency, that Nicholas quite envied her.

‘If you ever have an opportunity of showing Kate some little
kindness,’ said Nicholas, presenting his hand, ‘I think you will.’

‘Depend upon that,’ said the good-natured miniature painter;
‘and God bless you, Mr Nickleby; and I wish you well.’

It was very little that Nicholas knew of the world, but he

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