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CHAPTER 63: The Brothers Cheeryble make various Declarations...
The Brothers Cheeryble make various Declarations for themselves and others. Tim Linkinwater makes a Declaration for himself
Some weeks had passed, and the first shock of these events had subsided. Madeline had been removed; Frank had been absent; and Nicholas and Kate had begun to try in good earnest to stifle their own regrets, and to live for each other and for their mother--who, poor lady, could in nowise be reconciled to this dull and altered state of affairs--when there came one evening, per favour of Mr Linkinwater, an invitation from the brothers to dinner on the next day but one: comprehending, not only Mrs Nickleby, Kate, and Nicholas, but little Miss La Creevy, who was most particularly mentioned.
'Now, my dears,' said Mrs Nickleby, when they had rendered becoming honour to the bidding, and Tim had taken his departure, 'what does THIS mean?'
'What do YOU mean, mother?' asked Nicholas, smiling.
'I say, my dear,' rejoined that lady, with a face of unfathomable mystery, 'what does this invitation to dinner mean? What is its intention and object?'
'I conclude it means, that on such a day we are to eat and drink in their house, and that its intent and object is to confer pleasure upon us,' said Nicholas.
'And that's all you conclude it is, my dear?'
'I have not yet arrived at anything deeper, mother.'
'Then I'll just tell you one thing,' said Mrs Nickleby, you'll find yourself a little surprised; that's all. You may depend upon it that this means something besides dinner.'
'Tea and supper, perhaps,' suggested Nicholas.
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