The Professional Gentlemen at Madame Mantalini's

The Professional Gentlemen at Madame Mantalini's

Phiz (Hablot K. Browne)

Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby

1838

Steel engraving

Source: J. A. Hammerton, The Dickens Picture-Book, p. 155.

"What's the demd total?" Mr. Mantalini inquired of Mr. Scaley and Mr. Tix. [Ch. 21, "Madame Mantalini finds herself in a Situation of some Difficulty, and Miss Nickleby finds herself in no Situation at all."]

The strangers who demand that Mantalini repay a massive gambling debt of over fifteen hundred pounds, Mr. Scaley and Mr. Tix, cause a financial as well as a marital crisis. As a result of her husband's fiscal irresponsibility or, she puts it, 'destructive extravagance', Madame Mantalini is thrown into bankruptcy, with the upshot that Kate loses her job.