We see the Nickleby family discussing their financial condition and Nicholas deciding to answer Squeers' advertisement for an assistant. Then we see Mr. Squeers gathering together some of his prospective charges, his meeting with Nicholas, their departure from the "Saracen's Head," a London hostelry, their arrival at the school, the incidents in the school room showing Squeers' brutality and introducing Smike in his pathetic character. Nicholas expresses to Smike his deep sympathy for him, and while he is doing so Squeers enters and takes Smike by the collar, striking him a blow with his cane and threatening Nicholas. That night Smike steals away from the school, only to be brought back by the wily Squeers. The next day as Nicholas is teaching his class Squeers enters, dragging Smike after him, and, after telling all of the shivering youngsters that he is going to give them a practical illustration of the dangers of running away, proceeds to belabor Smike. Nicholas can stand it no ...
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