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Chapter 64

An old Acquaintance is recognised under
melancholy Circumstances, and Dotheboys Hall
breaks up for ever.

Nicholas was one of those whose joy is incomplete unless it
is shared by the friends of adverse and less fortunate
days. Surrounded by every fascination of love and hope,
his warm heart yearned towards plain John Browdie. He
remembered their first meeting with a smile, and their second
with a tear; saw poor Smike once again with the bundle on his
shoulder trudging patiently by his side; and heard the honest
Yorkshireman’s rough words of encouragement as he left them on
their road to London.

Madeline and he sat down, very many times, jointly to produce
a letter which should acquaint John at full length with his altered
fortunes, and assure him of his friendship and gratitude. It so
happened, however, that the letter could never be written.
Although they applied themselves to it with the best intentions in
the world, it chanced that they always fell to talking about
something else, and when Nicholas tried it by himself, he found it
impossible to write one-half of what he wished to say, or to pen
anything, indeed, which on reperusal did not appear cold and
unsatisfactory compared with what he had in his mind. At last,
after going on thus from day to day, and reproaching himself more
and more, he resolved (the more readily as Madeline strongly
urged him) to make a hasty trip into Yorkshire, and present

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