Hard Times Book 1 Chapter 4 Page 7

egg-box. As soon as I was big enough to run away, of course I ran away. Then I became a young vagabond; and instead of one old woman knocking me about and starving me, everybody of all ages knocked me about and starved me. They were right; they had no business to do anything else. I was a nuisance, an incumbrance, and a pest. I know that very well.’

His pride in having at any time of his life achieved such a great social distinction as to be a nuisance, an incumbrance, and a pest, was only to be satisfied by three sonorous repetitions of the boast.

‘I was to pull through it, I suppose, Mrs. Gradgrind. Whether I was to do it or not, ma’am, I did it. I pulled through it, though nobody threw me out a rope. Vagabond, errand-boy, vagabond,