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“There was a considerable number of people in the little parlour—to wit, Mr. Bates in his big chair on one side of the fire, sipping rum-and-water, and reading a newspaper which was soft and crumpled with the usage of the day at the nearest public-house; and Mrs. Bates on the other, seated between the fireplace and the table, mending the stockings of the family. Charley was reading an old yellow novel behind his mother, and Matilda was making her winter bonnet with a quantity of materials in a large piece of paper on the table, which was covered with a red and green cloth. It was October, and not cold, but there was a fire, and a branched gas pendant with two lights, shed heat as well as light into the close little room. There was another daughter, Sarah Jane, who was coming and going about the table, now and then making incursions into the kitchen; and behind backs in the corner, on a black haircloth sofa against the wall, were seated the pair of lovers."