1. As the play begins, what are members of the company doing?
Members of the company, speaking in turn, give the family background of the Nickleby family. Mr. Godfrey Nickleby married late in life, fathered two sons, received an unexpected inheritance, bought a farm, and upon his death left the older son a large sum of money, and the younger son a smaller sum of money and the farm. The older son, Ralph, went to the city and successfully pursued a career in money making, while the younger son stayed on the farm. Encouraged by his wife to learn from his older brother, the younger Mr. Nickleby put a lot of money into the markets. Unfortunately, he lost everything and soon died, leaving his wife, son, Nicholas, and daughter, Kate to fend for themselves.
2. What takes place at a public meeting in a tavern?
At a public meeting in a tavern, Member of Parliament, Sir Matthew Pupker, faces angry muffin and crumpet sellers when he presents a report on the dismal state of the muffin and crumpet trade. He turns to businessman, Mr. Bonney, who moves that the government enact a bill to create a publicly offered muffin and crumpet corporation. Pupker then turns to Ralph Nickleby, who seconds Bonney's motion. There is a chorus of votes in favor, and the motion is passed.
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