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necessity for self-command and restraint became every day more
imperious, and the difficulty greater, I never, for one instant,
spoke or looked but as I would have done had you been by. I
never, for one moment, deserted my trust, nor have I to this
instant. But I find that constant association and companionship
with this sweet girl is fatal to my peace of mind, and may prove
destructive to the resolutions I made in the beginning, and up to
this time have faithfully kept. In short, sir, I cannot trust myself,
and I implore and beseech you to remove this young lady from
under the charge of my mother and sister without delay. I know
that to anyone but myself--to you, who consider the
immeasurable distance between me and this young lady, who is
now your ward, and the object of your peculiar care--my loving
her, even in thought, must appear the height of rashness and
presumption. I know it is so. But who can see her as I have seen,
who can know what her life has been, and not love her? I have no
excuse but that; and as I cannot fly from this temptation, and
cannot repress this passion, with its object constantly before me,
what can I do but pray and beseech you to remove it, and to leave
me to forget her?’

‘Mr Nickleby,’ said the old man, after a short silence, ‘you can
do no more. I was wrong to expose a young man like you to this
trial. I might have foreseen what would happen. Thank you, sir,
thank you. Madeline shall be removed.’

‘If you would grant me one favour, dear sir, and suffer her to
remember me with esteem, by never revealing to her this

‘I will take care,’ said Mr Cheeryble. ‘And now, is this all you
have to tell me?’

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