thick before him many and many a time, and, rustling above the dusty growth of years, came back green boughs of yesterday.

But there were other persons associated with these recollections, and many changes came about before they had being -- a necessary reflection for the purposes of these adventures, which at once subside into their accustomed train, and shunning all flighty anticipations or wayward wanderings, pursue their steady and decorous course.

If the brothers Cheeryble, as they found Nicholas worthy of trust and confidence, bestowed upon him every day some new and substantial mark of kindness, they were not less mindful of those who depended on him. Various little presents to Mrs Nickleby -- always of the very things they most required -- tended in no slight degree to the improvement and embellishment of the cottage. Kate's little store of trinkets became quite dazzling; and for company -- ! If brother Charles and brother Ned failed to look in for at least a few minutes every Sunday, or one evening in the week, there was Mr Tim Linkinwater (who had never made half-a-dozen other acquaintances in all his life, and who took such delight in his new friends as no words can express) constantly coming and going in his evening walks, and stopping to rest; while Mr Frank Cheeryble happened, by some strange conjunction of circumstances, to be passing the door on some business or other at least three nights in the week.

`He is the most attentive young man I ever saw, Kate,' said Mrs Nickleby to her daughter one evening, when this last-named gentleman had been the subject of the worthy lady's eulogium for some time, and Kate had sat perfectly silent.

`Attentive, mamma!' rejoined Kate.

`Bless my heart, Kate!' cried Mrs Nickleby, with her wonted suddenness, `what a colour you have got; why, you're quite flushed!'

`Oh, mamma! what strange things you fancy!'

`It wasn't fancy, Kate, my dear, I'm certain of that,' returned her mother. `However, it's gone now at any rate, so it don't much matter whether it was or not. What was it we were talking about? Oh! Mr Frank. I never saw such attention in my life, never.'

`Surely you are not serious,' returned Kate, colouring again; and this time beyond all dispute.

`Not serious!' returned Mrs Nickleby; `why shouldn't I be serious? I'm sure I never was more serious. I will say that his politeness and attention to me is one of the most becoming, gratifying, pleasant things I have seen for a very long time. You don't often meet with such behaviour in young men, and it strikes one more when one does meet with it.'

`Oh! attention to you, mamma,' rejoined Kate quickly -- `oh yes.'

`Dear me, Kate,' retorted Mrs Nickleby, `what an extraordinary girl you are! Was it likely I should be talking of his attention to anybody else? I declare I'm quite sorry to think he should be in love with a German lady, that I am.'

`He said very positively that it was no such thing, mamma,' returned Kate. `Don't you remember his saying so that very first night he came here? Besides,' she added, in a more gentle tone, `why should we be sorry if it is the case? What is it to us, mamma?'

`Nothing to us, Kate, perhaps,' said Mrs Nickleby, emphatically; `but something to me, I confess. I like English people to be thorough English people, and not half English and half I don't know what. I shall tell him point-blank next time he comes, that I wish he would marry one of his own country-women; and see what he says to that.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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