it very often, and now refreshed his memory rather in the absence of better amusement than for any specific information.

`The pigs is well,' said Mr Squeers, `the cows is well, and the boys is bobbish. Young Sprouter has been a-winking, has he? I'll wink him when I get back. "Cobbey would persist in sniffing while he was a-eating his dinner, and said that the beef was so strong it made him."--Very good, Cobbey, we'll see if we can't make you sniff a little without beef. "Pitcher was took with another fever,"--of course he was--"and being fetched by his friends, died the day after he got home,"--of course he did, and out of aggravation; it's part of a deep-laid system. There an't another chap in the school but that boy as would have died exactly at the end of the quarter: taking it out of me to the very last, and then carrying his spite to the utmost extremity. "The juniorest Palmer said he wished he was in Heaven,"--I really don't know, I do not know what's to be done with that young fellow; he's always a-wishing something horrid. He said once, he wished he was a donkey, because then he wouldn't have a father as didn't love him!--pretty wicious that for a child of six!'

Mr Squeers was so much moved by the contemplation of this hardened nature in one so young, that he angrily put up the letter, and sought, in a new train of ideas, a subject of consolation.

`It's a long time to have been a-lingering in London,' he said; `and this is a precious hole to come and live in, even if it has been only for a week or so. Still, one hundred pound is five boys, and five boys takes a whole year to pay one hundred pounds, and there's their keep to be substracted, besides. There's nothing lost, neither, by one's being here; because the boys' money comes in just the same as if I was at home, and Mrs Squeers she keeps them in order. There'll be some lost time to make up, of course-- there'll be an arrear of flogging as'll have to be gone through: still, a couple of days makes that all right, and one don't mind a little extra work for one hundred pound. It's pretty nigh the time to wait upon the old woman. From what she said last night, I suspect that if I'm to succeed at all, I shall succeed tonight; so I'll have half a glass more, to wish myself success, and put myself in spirits. Mrs Squeers, my dear, your health!'

Leering with his one eye as if the lady to whom he drank had been actually present, Mr Squeers--in his enthusiasm, no doubt--poured out a full glass, and emptied it; and as the liquor was raw spirits, and he had applied himself to the same bottle more than once already, it is not surprising that he found himself, by this time, in an extremely cheerful state, and quite enough excited for his purpose.

What this purpose was soon appeared; for, after a few turns about the room to steady himself, he took the bottle under his arm and the glass in his hand, and blowing out the candle as if he purposed being gone some time, stole out upon the staircase, and creeping softly to a door opposite his own, tapped gently at it.

`But what's the use of tapping?' he said, `She'll never hear. I suppose she isn't doing anything very particular; and if she is, it don't much matter, that I see.'

With this brief preface, Mr Squeers applied his hand to the latch of the door, and thrusting his head into a garret far more deplorable than that he had just left, and seeing that there was nobody there but an old woman, who was bending over a wretched fire (for although the weather was still warm, the evening was chilly), walked in, and tapped her on the shoulder.

`Well, my Slider,' said Mr Squeers, jocularly.

`Is that you?' inquired Peg.

`Ah! it's me, and me's the first person singular, nominative case, agreeing with the verb "it's", and governed by Squeers understood, as a acorn, a hour; but when the h is sounded, the a only is to be used, as a and, a art, a ighway,' replied Mr Squeers, quoting at random from the grammar. `At least, if it isn't, you don't know any better, and if it is, I've done it accidentally.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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