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PinkMonkey.com-Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens




257

I have dry clothes, or at least such as will serve my turn well, in
my bundle, replied Nicholas. If you look so distressed to see me,
you will add to the pain I feel already, at being compelled, for one
night, to cast myself upon your slender means for aid and shelter.

Newman did not look the less distressed to hear Nicholas
talking in this strain; but, upon his young friend grasping him
heartily by the hand, and assuring him that nothing but implicit
confidence in the sincerity of his professions, and kindness of
feeling towards himself, would have induced him, on any
consideration, even to have made him acquainted with his arrival
in London, Mr Noggs brightened up again, and went about
making such arrangements as were in his power for the comfort of
his visitors, with extreme alacrity.

These were simple enough; poor Newmans means halting at a
very considerable distance short of his inclinations; but, slight as
they were, they were not made without much bustling and
running about. As Nicholas had husbanded his scanty stock of
money, so well that it was not yet quite expended, a supper of
bread and cheese, with some cold beef from the cooks shop, was
soon placed upon the table; and these viands being flanked by a
bottle of spirits and a pot of porter, there was no ground for
apprehension on the score of hunger or thirst, at all events. Such
preparations as Newman had it in his power to make, for the
accommodation of his guests during the night, occupied no very
great time in completing; and as he had insisted, as an express
preliminary, that Nicholas should change his clothes, and that
Smike should invest himself in his solitary coat (which no
entreaties would dissuade him from stripping off for the purpose),
the travellers partook of their frugal fare, with more satisfaction


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