you were engaged with her in fraudulently destroying others, and can give no satisfactory account of yourself; I shall remand you for a week, in order that inquiries may be made, and evidence got--and meanwhile I can't take any bail for your appearance." Well then, what I say now is, that I can give a satisfactory account of myself; I can hand in the card of my establishment and say, "I am the Wackford Squeers as is therein named, sir. I am the man as is guaranteed, by unimpeachable references, to be a out-and-outer in morals and uprightness of principle. Whatever is wrong in this business is no fault of mine. I had no evil design in it, sir. I was not aware that anything was wrong. I was merely employed by a friend--my friend Mr Ralph Nickleby, of Golden Square. Send for him, sir, and ask him what he has to say--he's the man; not me!"'

`What document was it that you had?' asked Ralph, evading, for the moment, the point just raised.

`What document? Why, the document,' replied Squeers. `The Madeline What's-her-name one. It was a will; that's what it was.'

`Of what nature, whose will, when dated, how benefiting her, to what extent?' asked Ralph hurriedly.

`A will in her favour; that's all I know,' rejoined Squeers, `and that's more than you'd have known, if you'd had them bellows on your head. It's all owing to your precious caution that they got hold of it. If you had let me burn it, and taken my word that it was gone, it would have been a heap of ashes behind the fire, instead of being whole and sound, inside of my greatcoat.'

`Beaten at every point!' muttered Ralph.

`Ah!' sighed Squeers, who, between the brandy-and-water and his broken head, wandered strangely, `at the delightful village of Dotheboys near Greta Bridge in Yorkshire, youth are boarded, clothed, booked, washed, furnished with pocket-money, provided with all necessaries, instructed in all languages living and dead, mathematics, orthography, geometry, astronomy, trigonometry--this is a altered state of trigonomics, this is! A double!--all, everything--a cobbler's weapon. U-p--up, adjective, not down. S-q-u- double e-r-s-- Squeers, noun substantive, a educator of youth. Total, all up with Squeers!'

His running on in this way had afforded Ralph an opportunity of recovering his presence of mind, which at once suggested to him the necessity of removing, as far as possible, the schoolmaster's misgivings, and leading him to believe that his safety and best policy lay in the preservation of a rigid silence.

`I tell you, once again,' he said, `they can't hurt you. You shall have an action for false imprisonment, and make a profit of this, yet. We will devise a story for you that should carry you through twenty times such a trivial scrape as this; and if they want security in a thousand pounds for your reappearance in case you should be called upon, you shall have it. All you have to do is, to keep back the truth. You're a little fuddled tonight, and may not be able to see this as clearly as you would at another time; but this is what you must do, and you'll need all your senses about you; for a slip might be awkward.'

`Oh!' said Squeers, who had looked cunningly at him, with his head stuck on one side, like an old raven. `That's what I'm to do, is it? Now then, just you hear a word or two from me. I an't a-going to have any stories made for me, and I an't a-going to stick to any. If I find matters going again me, I shall expect you to take your share, and I'll take care you do. You never said anything about danger. I never bargained for being brought into such a plight as this, and I don't mean to take it as quiet as you think. I let you lead me on, from one thing to another, because we had been mixed up together in a certain sort of a way, and if you had liked to be ill-natured you might perhaps have hurt the business, and if you liked to be good-natured you might throw a good deal in my way. Well; if all goes right now, that's quite correct, and I don't mind it; but if anything goes wrong, then times are altered, and I shall just say and do whatever I think may serve me most, and take advice from nobody. My moral influence with them lads,' added Mr Squeers, with deeper gravity, `is a tottering to its basis. The images of Mrs Squeers, my daughter, and my son Wackford, all short of vittles, is perpetually before me; every other consideration melts away and

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