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.......The operator and headmaster of the school where Nicholas works is a cruel man named Wackford Squeers.
He and his wife teach the students next to nothing, beat them often, and serve them barely enough food to sustain them. Nicholas grits his teeth as he attempts to weather Squeers and earn money to provide income for the family. In retaliation, Ralph and Squeers accused Nicholas of thievery, a charge that Nicholas was cleared of with the help of Newman Noggs, Ralph's honest clerk. In a foul mood, Ralph, with the help of Squeers, retrieves Gride's documents for his own benefit and strikes back at Nicholas by having poor Smike kidnapped for return to Squeers's school and enrolled as a child of a man named Snawley, who had earlier enrolled two stepsons in the school. He arrives at the door in the midst of a rebellion inside by the students after Mrs. Squeers serves them one of the school's typically horrid breakfasts-a treacle mixture. While one detachment [of boys] rushed to the door and locked it, and another mounted on the desks . . . the stoutest (and consequently the newest) boy seized the cane, and confronting Mrs. Squeers with a stern countenance, snatched off her cap and beaver bonnet, put them on his own head, armed himself with the wooden spoon, and bade her, on pain of death, go down upon her knees and take a dose directly. Before that estimable lady could recover herself, or offer the slightest retaliation, she was forced into a kneeling posture by a crowd of shouting tormentors, and compelled to swallow a spoonful of the odious mixture, rendered more than usually savoury by the immersion in the bowl of Master Wackford's head, whose ducking was intrusted to another rebel. The success of this first achievement prompted the malicious crowd, whose faces were clustered together in every variety of lank and half-starved ugliness, to further acts of outrage. They tell Browdie, "Squeers is in prison, and we are going to run away! Wackford Squeers: Cruel headmaster of a boarding school, Dotheboys Hall. Mrs. Squeers: Wife of Wackford Squeers. She is his accomplice in maltreating the children at the school. Wackford Squeers Jr.: Son of Wackford Squeers. His parents spoil him with gifts intended for the other children at the school. The elder Squeers intends to turn the school over him to when he grows up. He dislikes Wackford Squeers and assists Nicholas after the latter beats Squeers and leaves Dotheboys Hall. He dislikes Wackford Squeers and assists Nicholas after the latter beats Squeers and leaves Dotheboys Hall. Mr. Squeers was emptying his great-coat pockets of letters to different boys, and other small documents, which he had brought down in them. In Chapter 4, when Nicholas Nickleby travels to the Newgate section of London to meet his prospective employer, Wackford Squeers, the narrator presents this grim picture of the district:
StarExponent.com - The Culpeper Star Exponent | St. Lukes to get dramatic
12-year-old Conner Doggett, who plays Wackford Squeers, the evil owner of the Dotheboys Hall."I love the scene that I am funny in with Ralph Nickleby," said 15-year-old Alexa Franco who plays Mrs. Squeers.
Nicholas Nickleby - Charles Dickens Gad's Hill Place
It is a school where there are no holidays, no trips home for the abused and neglected pupils of Mr. Wackford Squeers.
Wackford Squeers, the headmaster at Dotheboys Hall, proved that it takes more than position to be a gentleman.
The headmaster, Wackford Squeers, the 19th century version of our corporate masters, feasts while the boys in his charge are made to go hungry.
'This is twopenn'orth of milk, is it waiter? said Mr. Squeers. 'That's twopenn'orth, sir," replied the waiter. 'What a rare article milk is, to be sure, in London! said Mr. Squeers, with a sigh. 'Just fill that mug up with lukewarm water, William, will you?" 'You needn't hurry yourself," said Squeers, 'there's plenty of time. Nicholas did not see that anybody was breakfasting, except Mr. Squeers; but he bowed with all becoming reverence, and looked as cheerful as he could. 'Oh, that's the milk and water, is it, William? said Mr. Squeers. 'Very good; don't forget the bread and butter presently." At this fresh mention of the bread and butter, the five little boys looked very eager, and followed the waiter out, with their eyes; meanwhile Mr. Squeers tasted the milk and water.
John Wells's phonetic blog
This reduction also leads to uncertainty in spelling for the not-too-literate (since e.g. pillow and pillar are now homophones.) A case in point was Dickens's Mr Wackford Squeers, headmaster of Dotheboys Hall in Nicholas Nickleby, who liked to impart the correct spelling of W-I-N-D-E-R [sic] by the practical method of getting the boys to clean them.