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object of his persecution and Nicholasís love, his own wretched
boy; everything crumbled and fallen upon him, and he beaten
down beneath the ruins and grovelling in the dust.

If he had known his child to be alive; if no deceit had been ever
practised, and he had grown up beneath his eye; he might have
been a careless, indifferent, rough, harsh father--like enough--he
felt that; but the thought would come that he might have been
otherwise, and that his son might have been a comfort to him, and
they two happy together. He began to think now, that his
supposed death and his wifeís flight had had some share in
making him the morose, hard man he was. He seemed to
remember a time when he was not quite so rough and obdurate;
and almost thought that he had first hated Nicholas because he
was young and gallant, and perhaps like the stripling who had
brought dishonour and loss of fortune on his head.

But one tender thought, or one of natural regret, in his
whirlwind of passion and remorse, was as a drop of calm water in
a stormy maddened sea. His hatred of Nicholas had been fed upon
his own defeat, nourished on his interference with his schemes,
fattened upon his old defiance and success. There were reasons
for its increase; it had grown and strengthened gradually. Now it
attained a height which was sheer wild lunacy. That his, of all
others, should have been the hands to rescue his miserable child;
that he should have been his protector and faithful friend; that he
should have shown him that love and tenderness which, from the
wretched moment of his birth, he had never known; that he should
have taught him to hate his own parent and execrate his very
name; that he should now know and feel all this, and triumph in
the recollection; was gall and madness to the usurerís heart. The

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