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Chapter 58

In which one Scene of this History is closed.

Dividing the distance into two daysí journey, in order that
his charge might sustain the less exhaustion and fatigue
from travelling so far, Nicholas, at the end of the second
day from their leaving home, found himself within a very few miles
of the spot where the happiest years of his life had been passed,
and which, while it filled his mind with pleasant and peaceful
thoughts, brought back many painful and vivid recollections of the
circumstances in which he and his had wandered forth from their
old home, cast upon the rough world and the mercy of strangers.

It needed no such reflections as those which the memory of old
days, and wanderings among scenes where our childhood has
been passed, usually awaken in the most insensible minds, to
soften the heart of Nicholas, and render him more than usually
mindful of his drooping friend. By night and day, at all times and
seasons: always watchful, attentive, and solicitous, and never
varying in the discharge of his self-imposed duty to one so
friendless and helpless as he whose sands of life were now fast
running out and dwindling rapidly away: he was ever at his side.
He never left him. To encourage and animate him, administer to
his wants, support and cheer him to the utmost of his power, was
now his constant and unceasing occupation.

They procured a humble lodging in a small farmhouse,
surrounded by meadows where Nicholas had often revelled when
a child with a troop of merry schoolfellows; and here they took up

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