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Nicholas Nickleby
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Nicholas Nickleby
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  • Perhaps you recollect me?
  • Noggs was going to add public-house clock, but recollecting himself, substituted ’regular time.’
  • ’He recollects what it is, does he?’ said Ralph.
  • The recollection of past pleasure may become pain—’
  • ’Nicholas, my dear, recollect yourself,’ remonstrated Mrs Nickleby.
  • Stay, and hear from me what these recollections are, which you would cherish above eternity, and awaken—if in mercy they slumbered—by means of idle toys.
  • ’That was before you began to lose your recollection, you know,’ said Nicholas quietly.
  • ’I recollect getting three young milliners to sit to me, when I first began to paint, and I remember that they were all very pale and sickly.’
  • ’Then mind you recollect, and do as I tell you,’ said Mrs Kenwigs.
  • I recollect he was a jovial, ruddy, broad-faced man; that we got acquainted directly; and that we talked on all kinds of subjects, except the school, which he showed a great anxiety to avoid.
  • I—I—only mean that with the feelings and recollection of better times upon me, I could not bear to live on anybody’s bounty—not his particularly, but anybody’s.’
  • I know it was he who said so, because I recollect, as well as if it was only yesterday, his borrowing twenty pounds of her poor dear papa the very moment afterwards.’
  • The boy put his hand to his head as if he were making an effort to recollect something, and then, looking vacantly at his questioner, gradually broke into a smile, and limped away.
  • In the hurry of leaving London, it had escaped his attention, and had not occurred to him since, but it at once brought back to him the recollection of the mysterious behaviour of Newman Noggs.
  • The recollection of the last teacher’s leanness seemed to afford Mr Browdie the most exquisite delight, for he laughed until he found it necessary to apply his coat-cuffs to his eyes.
  • Kate knew, perfectly well, that this torrent of favourable recollection was occasioned by some opening, real or imaginary, which her mother had discovered, in the companionship walk of life.
  • ’But come,’ said Pyke, as if suddenly recollecting himself; ’we must not forget our mission in the pleasure of this interview.
  • I recollected it well when I first saw this whipster; but I remember it better now.’
  • ’The distressed lady, overpowered by old recollections, faints at the end of the dance, and you close in with a picture.’
  • Recollections like these,’ pursued Ralph, with a bitter smile, ’flock upon me—when I resign myself to them—in crowds, and from countless quarters.
  • May every recollection of your life cling to your false heart, and cast their darkness on your death-bed.’
  • It was rather a ticklish recollection for John just then, for he was within an ace of breaking out into a loud guffaw.
  • ’You pause,’ said Nicholas; ’you recollect to have heard a clock strike ten in your infancy.
  • ’I think,’ said Smike, ’if you were to keep saying it to me in little bits, over and over again, I should be able to recollect it from hearing you.’
  • I used it for the first time, I recollect, the day after Christmas Day, and by the middle of April following the cold was gone.
  • Why, I recollect old Tim Linkinwater quite a little boy, don’t you?
  • So saying Miss Snevellicci’s papa rubbed the tip of his nose with a very yellow silk handkerchief, and gave the company to understand that these recollections overcame him.
  • ’Yes, I am positive about that, because I recollect I was in the family way with my son Nicholas at the time, and I had been very much frightened by an Italian image boy that very morning.
  • ’I recollect meeting a gentleman at Canterbury,’ said Miss Snevellicci, ’only for a few moments, for I was leaving the company as he joined it, so like you that I felt almost certain it was the same.’
  • ’You will have the goodness to recollect, Miss Nickleby,’ said Mrs Wititterly, ’that when you use such terms as "unjust", and "unfounded", you charge me, in effect, with stating that which is untrue.’
  • When he awoke next morning, and tried to recollect his dreams, which had been all connected with his recent sojourn at Dotheboys Hall, he sat up, rubbed his eyes and stared—not with the most composed countenance possible—at some motionless object which seemed to be stationed within a few yards in front of him.
  • John laughed so heartily at the mere recollection, that he communicated the contagion to both his hearers, and all three burst into peals of laughter, which were renewed again and again, until they could laugh no longer.
  • As he led them into the drawing-room, the recollection of the scene which had taken place there seemed to occur to him, for he cast a curious look at Sir Mulberry, who bestowed upon it no other acknowledgment than a careless smile.
  • I knew I recollected the face.’
  • She had not failed to recollect, either, how much more agreeable she could render his situation if she were his friend, and how much more disagreeable if she were his enemy; and, doubtless, many less scrupulous young gentlemen than Nicholas would have encouraged her extravagance had it been only for this very obvious and intelligible reason.
  • It was no very easy matter to mistake Newman Noggs, after having once seen him, and as Kate, attracted by the singularity of his manner (in which on this occasion, however, there was something respectful and even delicate, notwithstanding the abruptness of his speech), looked at him more closely, she recollected having caught a passing glimpse of that strange figure before.
  • To do Mrs Nickleby justice, her attachment to her children would have prevented her seriously contemplating a second marriage, even if she could have so far conquered her recollections of her late husband as to have any strong inclinations that way.
  • I recollect when she was only two years and a half old, that a gentleman who used to visit very much at our house—Mr Watkins, you know, Kate, my dear, that your poor papa went bail for, who afterwards ran away to the United States, and sent us a pair of snow shoes, with such an affectionate letter that it made your poor dear father cry for a week.
  • But there were other persons associated with these recollections, and many changes came about before they had being.
  • But I have no very strong recollection on the subject.
  • I travelled down there, that I might recall myself, if possible, to his recollection and confirm my story.
  • Tim was so completely overcome by this little mark of recollection, that he was quite unequal to any more conversation at the moment.
  • Recollect, you an’t worth powder and shot, but I’ll be even with you one way or another.’
  • 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.
  • This speedily engaged him in an animated conversation with that lady, in the interest of which, all recollection of his recent discussion with Nicholas very quickly evaporated.
  • 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.
  • Our recollections are unfortunately mingled with much that we deplore, and with many actions which we bitterly repent; still in the most chequered life I firmly think there are so many little rays of sunshine to look back upon, that I do not believe any mortal (unless he had put himself without the pale of hope) would deliberately drain a goblet of the waters of Lethe, if he had it in his power.’
  • The absence of any pocket at all in the usual direction, suddenly recalled to his recollection the fact that he had no waistcoat on; and this leading him to a contemplation of the extreme scantiness of his attire, he shut the door abruptly, and retired upstairs with great precipitation.
  • Yes, to be sure it was; you recollect, Kate, my dear, the very last time young Mr Cheeryble was here—last Tuesday night he went off in just the same strange way, at the very moment the knock came to the door.
  • ’If you seek to recall any particular dashing man to my recollection by such a trait as that,’ said Ralph, shrugging his shoulders, ’I shall confound him with nine-tenths of the dashing men I have ever known.’
  • He could hear that the sick man came gradually, but slowly, to himself, and that without any reference to what had just occurred, as though he had no distinct recollection of it as yet, he requested to be left alone.
  • He knows how quickly he recognised me again, how often he had described me and my leaving him at the school, and how he told him of a garret he recollected: which is the one I have spoken of, and in his father’s house to this day.
  • The lock of hair that had escaped and curled loosely over her brow, the traces of tears yet scarcely dry, the flushed cheek, the look of sorrow, all fired some dormant train of recollection in the old man’s breast; and the face of his dead brother seemed present before him, with the very look it bore on some occasion of boyish grief, of which every minutest circumstance flashed upon his mind, with the distinctness of a scene of yesterday.
  • It will be comfort to you, my dear Nicholas, to the end of your life, to recollect how kind and good you always were to him—so it will be to me, to think what excellent terms we were always upon, and how fond he always was of me, poor fellow!
  • …fell first to deploring her hard fate, and then to remarking, with many sobs, that to be sure she had been a slave to poor Nicholas, and had often told him she might have married better (as indeed she had, very often), and that she never knew in his lifetime how the money went, but that if he had confided in her they might all have been better off that day; with other bitter recollections common to most married ladies, either during their coverture, or afterwards, or at both periods.
  • The cruelty of which he had been an unwilling witness, the coarse and ruffianly behaviour of Squeers even in his best moods, the filthy place, the sights and sounds about him, all contributed to this state of feeling; but when he recollected that, being there as an assistant, he actually seemed—no matter what unhappy train of circumstances had brought him to that pass—to be the aider and abettor of a system which filled him with honest disgust and indignation, he loathed himself, and…
  • ’Your black silk frock will be quite dress enough, my dear, with that pretty little scarf, and a plain band in your hair, and a pair of black silk stock—Dear, dear,’ cried Mrs Nickleby, flying off at another angle, ’if I had but those unfortunate amethysts of mine—you recollect them, Kate, my love—how they used to sparkle, you know—but your papa, your poor dear papa—ah! there never was anything so cruelly sacrificed as those jewels were, never!’
  • …some time before placed in a mercantile house in London, applied himself passionately to his old pursuit of money-getting, in which he speedily became so buried and absorbed, that he quite forgot his brother for many years; and if, at times, a recollection of his old playfellow broke upon him through the haze in which he lived—for gold conjures up a mist about a man, more destructive of all his old senses and lulling to his feelings than the fumes of charcoal—it brought along with it a…
  • To this act of desertion he was led, not only by his own inclinations, but by his anxiety on account of Smike, who, having to sustain the character of the Apothecary, had been as yet wholly unable to get any more of the part into his head than the general idea that he was very hungry, which—perhaps from old recollections—he had acquired with great aptitude.
  • It seems but yesterday that we were playfellows, Kate, and it will seem but tomorrow when we are staid old people, looking back to these cares as we look back, now, to those of our childish days: and recollecting with a melancholy pleasure that the time was, when they could move us.
  • Now, Kate thought thus SO hurriedly, and the surprise was so great, and moreover brought back so forcibly the recollection of what had passed at Ralph’s delectable dinner, that she turned extremely pale and appeared greatly agitated, which symptoms being observed by Mrs Nickleby, were at once set down by that acute lady as being caused and occasioned by violent love.
  • There are very good places to be got about the court, I know; for a friend of ours (Miss Cropley, at Exeter, my dear Kate, you recollect), he had one, and I know that it was the chief part of his duty to wear silk stockings, and a bag wig like a black watch-pocket; and to think that it should come to this after all—oh, dear, dear, it’s enough to kill one, that it is!’
  • After concluding this effort of invention without being interrupted, Miss Knag fell into many more recollections, no less interesting than true, the full tide of which, Mrs Nickleby in vain attempting to stem, at length sailed smoothly down by adding an under-current of her own recollections; and so both ladies went on talking together in perfect contentment; the only difference between them being, that whereas Miss Knag addressed herself to Kate, and talked very loud, Mrs Nickleby…
  • ’Nay,’ said Nicholas gently, ’what better reward could I have, than the knowledge that his last days were peaceful and happy, and the recollection that I was his constant companion, and was not prevented, as I might have been by a hundred circumstances, from being beside him?’
  • …fire than St Anthony’s; but a little brandy and water was made at last, and the guests, having been previously regaled with cold leg of mutton and bread and cheese, soon afterwards took leave; Kate amusing herself, all the way home, with the recollection of her last glimpse of Mr Mortimer Knag deeply abstracted in the shop; and Mrs Nickleby by debating within herself whether the dressmaking firm would ultimately become ’Mantalini, Knag, and Nickleby’, or ’Mantalini, Nickleby, and…
  • …without being interrupted, Miss Knag fell into many more recollections, no less interesting than true, the full tide of which, Mrs Nickleby in vain attempting to stem, at length sailed smoothly down by adding an under-current of her own recollections; and so both ladies went on talking together in perfect contentment; the only difference between them being, that whereas Miss Knag addressed herself to Kate, and talked very loud, Mrs Nickleby kept on in one unbroken monotonous flow,…
  • …while Miss Squeers, who had been peeping through the keyhole in expectation of a very different scene, darted in at the very beginning of the attack, and after launching a shower of inkstands at the usher’s head, beat Nicholas to her heart’s content; animating herself, at every blow, with the recollection of his having refused her proffered love, and thus imparting additional strength to an arm which (as she took after her mother in this respect) was, at no time, one of the weakest.
  • ’I recollect when your poor papa and I came to town after we were married, that a young lady brought me home a chip cottage-bonnet, with white and green trimming, and green persian lining, in her own carriage, which drove up to the door full gallop;—at least, I am not quite certain whether it was her own carriage or a hackney chariot, but I remember very well that the horse dropped down dead as he was turning round, and that your poor papa said he hadn’t had any corn for a fortnight.’
  • When they had passed on, and he was left alone again, he resumed his speculation with a new kind of interest; for he recollected that the last person who had seen the suicide alive, had left him very merry, and he remembered how strange he and the other jurors had thought that at the time.
  • ’Why, that Mr Watkins, my dear,’ said Mrs Nickleby slowly, as if she were making a tremendous effort to recollect something of paramount importance; ’that Mr Watkins—he wasn’t any relation, Miss Knag will understand, to the Watkins who kept the Old Boar in the village; by-the-bye, I don’t remember whether it was the Old Boar or the George the Third, but it was one of the two, I know, and it’s much the same—that Mr Watkins said, when you were only two years and a half old, that you were…
  • But Mrs Nickleby was not to be so easily moved, for first she insisted on going upstairs to see that nothing had been left, and then on going downstairs to see that everything had been taken away; and when she was getting into the coach she had a vision of a forgotten coffee-pot on the back-kitchen hob, and after she was shut in, a dismal recollection of a green umbrella behind some unknown door.
  • He could not tell how he came to recollect it now, when he had so often passed and never thought about him, or how it was that he felt an interest in the circumstance; but he did both; and stopping, and clasping the iron railings with his hands, looked eagerly in, wondering which might be his grave.
  • There are a great many things you might do; such as taking a walk in the garden sometimes, or sitting upstairs in your own room for a little while, or making believe to fall asleep occasionally, or pretending that you recollected some business, and going out for an hour or so, and taking Mr Smike with you.
  • With similar recollections Mrs Nickleby beguiled the tediousness of the way, until they reached the omnibus, which the extreme politeness of her new friends would not allow them to leave until it actually started, when they took their hats, as Mrs Nickleby solemnly assured her hearers on many subsequent occasions, ’completely off,’ and kissed their straw-coloured kid gloves till they were no longer visible.
  • To render these recollections the more vivid, it came on to snow as night set in; and, passing through Stamford and Grantham, and by the little alehouse where he had heard the story of the bold Baron of Grogzwig, everything looked as if he had seen it but yesterday, and not even a flake of the white crust on the roofs had melted away.
  • Mrs Nickleby confirming her daughter with the best possible grace—for there was patronage in that too, and a kind of implication that she had a discerning taste in such matters, and was something of a critic—John Browdie proceeded to consider the words of some north-country ditty, and to take his wife’s recollection respecting the same.
  • That through the utmost depths of poverty and affliction she had toiled, never turning aside for an instant from her task, never wearied by the petulant gloom of a sick man sustained by no consoling recollections of the past or hopes of the future; never repining for the comforts she had rejected, or bewailing the hard lot she had voluntarily incurred.
  • But Mrs Squeers’s lord it was; and in a tolerably disconsolate mood Mrs Squeers’s lord appeared to be, as, helping himself from a black bottle which stood on the table beside him, he cast round the chamber a look, in which very slight regard for the objects within view was plainly mingled with some regretful and impatient recollection of distant scenes and persons.
  • ’If ever one mortal had reason to be penetrated with love and reverence for another: with such attachment as would make the hardest service in his behalf a pleasure and delight: with such grateful recollections as must rouse the utmost zeal and fidelity of his nature: those are the feelings which I should entertain for you, and do, from my heart and soul, believe me!’
  • By degrees these raptures subsided, and Mrs Nickleby went on to entertain her guests with a lament over her fallen fortunes, and a picturesque account of her old house in the country: comprising a full description of the different apartments, not forgetting the little store-room, and a lively recollection of how many steps you went down to get into the garden, and which way you turned when you came out at the parlour door, and what capital fixtures there were in the kitchen.
  • …to form on hearing the fervent encomiums bestowed upon it by Tim Linkinwater, was, nevertheless, a sufficiently desirable nook in the heart of a busy town like London, and one which occupied a high place in the affectionate remembrances of several grave persons domiciled in the neighbourhood, whose recollections, however, dated from a much more recent period, and whose attachment to the spot was far less absorbing, than were the recollections and attachment of the enthusiastic Tim.
  • …to form on hearing the fervent encomiums bestowed upon it by Tim Linkinwater, was, nevertheless, a sufficiently desirable nook in the heart of a busy town like London, and one which occupied a high place in the affectionate remembrances of several grave persons domiciled in the neighbourhood, whose recollections, however, dated from a much more recent period, and whose attachment to the spot was far less absorbing, than were the recollections and attachment of the enthusiastic Tim.
  • The sarcastic tone of this reply might have provoked a rather acrimonious retort from Miss Squeers, who, besides being of a constitutionally vicious temper—aggravated, just now, by travel and recent jolting—was somewhat irritated by old recollections and the failure of her own designs upon Mr Browdie; and the acrimonious retort might have led to a great many other retorts, which might have led to Heaven knows what, if the subject of conversation had not been, at that precise moment,…
  • …and cordial welcome, not only from Kate, but from Mrs Nickleby also, who assured him of her future favour and regard, and was so obliging as to relate, for his entertainment and that of the assembled circle, a most remarkable account extracted from some work the name of which she had never known, of a miraculous escape from some prison, but what one she couldn’t remember, effected by an officer whose name she had forgotten, confined for some crime which she didn’t clearly recollect.
  • On the anniversary of her birthday, which was upon the nineteenth of July (’at ten minutes past three o’clock in the morning,’ thought Mrs Nickleby in a parenthesis, ’for I recollect asking what o’clock it was’), Sir Mulberry would give a great feast to all his tenants, and would return them three and a half per cent on the amount of their last half-year’s rent, as would be fully described and recorded in the fashionable intelligence, to the immeasurable delight and admiration of all…
  • To these, he applied himself with such steadiness and perseverance that, although he brought no greater amount of previous knowledge to the subject than certain dim recollections of two or three very long sums entered into a ciphering-book at school, and relieved for parental inspection by the effigy of a fat swan tastefully flourished by the writing-master’s own hand, he found himself, at the end of a fortnight, in a condition to report his proficiency to Mr Linkinwater, and to claim…
  • …in silence; ’for, soon after I was married, I went to Stratford with my poor dear Mr Nickleby, in a post-chaise from Birmingham—was it a post-chaise though?’ said Mrs Nickleby, considering; ’yes, it must have been a post-chaise, because I recollect remarking at the time that the driver had a green shade over his left eye;—in a post-chaise from Birmingham, and after we had seen Shakespeare’s tomb and birthplace, we went back to the inn there, where we slept that night, and I recollect…
  • Whether it was that Tim’s accounts were more than usually intricate that morning, or whether it was that his habitual serenity had been a little disturbed by these recollections, it so happened that when Nicholas returned from executing some commission, and inquired whether Mr Charles Cheeryble was alone in his room, Tim promptly, and without the smallest hesitation, replied in the affirmative, although somebody had passed into the room not ten minutes before, and Tim took especial and…
  • …I recollect remarking at the time that the driver had a green shade over his left eye;—in a post-chaise from Birmingham, and after we had seen Shakespeare’s tomb and birthplace, we went back to the inn there, where we slept that night, and I recollect that all night long I dreamt of nothing but a black gentleman, at full length, in plaster-of-Paris, with a lay-down collar tied with two tassels, leaning against a post and thinking; and when I woke in the morning and described him to Mr…
  • …exalted by this triumph, and incontestable proof of his popularity with the fair sex, quickly grew convivial, not to say uproarious; volunteering more than one song of no inconsiderable length, and regaling the social circle between-whiles with recollections of divers splendid women who had been supposed to entertain a passion for himself, several of whom he toasted by name, taking occasion to remark at the same time that if he had been a little more alive to his own interest, he might…
  • But now, when the happiness of all that Nicholas had just told them, and of their new and peaceful life, brought these recollections so strongly upon Kate that she could not suppress them, Mrs Nickleby began to have a glimmering that she had been rather thoughtless now and then, and was conscious of something like self-reproach as she embraced her daughter, and yielded to the emotions which such a conversation naturally awakened.
  • After waiting until late in the afternoon, tortured by various apprehensions and misgivings, and the recollection of the warning which his nephew had given him when they last met: the further confirmation of which now presented itself in one shape of probability, now in another, and haunted him perpetually: he left home, and, scarcely knowing why, save that he was in a suspicious and agitated mood, betook himself to Snawley’s house.
  • He stopped, as if to recollect, and looking away from Ralph, and addressing himself to the brothers, proceeded in a subdued and humble tone: ’Among those who once had dealings with this man, gentlemen—that’s from twenty to five-and-twenty years ago—there was one: a rough fox-hunting, hard-drinking gentleman, who had run through his own fortune, and wanted to squander away that of his sister: they were both orphans, and she lived with him and managed his house.
  • That his, of all others, should have been the hands to rescue his miserable child; that he should have been his protector and faithful friend; that he should have shown him that love and tenderness which, from the wretched moment of his birth, he had never known; that he should have taught him to hate his own parent and execrate his very name; that he should now know and feel all this, and triumph in the recollection; was gall and madness to the usurer’s heart.
  • Kate saw that for the ease and comfort of the visitors it was high time to stay this flood of recollection, so answered that she entertained of the Peltiroguses a most vivid and distinct remembrance; and then said that Mr Browdie had half promised, early in the evening, that he would sing a Yorkshire song, and that she was most impatient that he should redeem his promise, because she was sure it would afford her mama more amusement and pleasure than it was possible to express.
  • The place they had just been in called up so many recollections, and Kate had so many anecdotes of Madeline, and Nicholas so many anecdotes of Frank, and each was so interested in what the other said, and both were so happy and confiding, and had so much to talk about, that it was not until they had plunged for a full half-hour into that labyrinth of streets which lies between Seven Dials and Soho, without emerging into any large thoroughfare, that Nicholas began to think it just…
  • …sustain the less exhaustion and fatigue from travelling so far, Nicholas, at the end of the second day from their leaving home, found himself within a very few miles of the spot where the happiest years of his life had been passed, and which, while it filled his mind with pleasant and peaceful thoughts, brought back many painful and vivid recollections of the circumstances in which he and his had wandered forth from their old home, cast upon the rough world and the mercy of strangers.

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  • I think I recollect that she was away at college that year.
  • I don’t recollect her name, but I’d recognize her.

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