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‘No!’ returned Nicholas, meeting his eye, ‘it is not.’
‘I know the rest,’ said Mr Cheeryble, apparently very much
relieved by this prompt reply. ‘When did it come to your

‘When I reached home this morning.’
‘You felt it your duty immediately to come to me, and tell me
what your sister no doubt acquainted you with?’

‘I did,’ said Nicholas, ‘though I could have wished to have
spoken to Mr Frank first.’

‘Frank was with me last night,’ replied the old gentleman. ‘You
have done well, Mr Nickleby--very well, sir--and I thank you

Upon this head, Nicholas requested permission to add a few
words. He ventured to hope that nothing he had said would lead to
the estrangement of Kate and Madeline, who had formed an
attachment for each other, any interruption of which would, he
knew, be attended with great pain to them, and, most of all, with
remorse and pain to him, as its unhappy cause. When these things
were all forgotten, he hoped that Frank and he might still be warm
friends, and that no word or thought of his humble home, or of her
who was well contented to remain there and share his quiet
fortunes, would ever again disturb the harmony between them. He
recounted, as nearly as he could, what had passed between
himself and Kate that morning: speaking of her with such warmth
of pride and affection, and dwelling so cheerfully upon the
confidence they had of overcoming any selfish regrets and living
contented and happy in each other’s love, that few could have
heard him unmoved. More moved himself than he had been yet,
he expressed in a few hurried words--as expressive, perhaps, as

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