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am prepared to hear the very worst that malice can have
suggested. Why should you conceal it from me? I must know it
sooner or later; and what purpose can be gained by trifling with
the matter for a few minutes, when half the time would put me in
possession of all that has occurred? Tell me at once, pray.’

‘Tomorrow morning,’ said Newman; ‘hear it tomorrow.’
‘What purpose would that answer?’ urged Nicholas.
‘You would sleep the better,’ replied Newman.

‘I should sleep the worse,’ answered Nicholas, impatiently.
‘Sleep! Exhausted as I am, and standing in no common need of
rest, I cannot hope to close my eyes all night, unless you tell me

‘And if I should tell you everything,’ said Newman, hesitating.
‘Why, then you may rouse my indignation or wound my pride,’
rejoined Nicholas; ‘but you will not break my rest; for if the scene
were acted over again, I could take no other part than I have
taken; and whatever consequences may accrue to myself from it, I
shall never regret doing as I have done--never, if I starve or beg in
consequence. What is a little poverty or suffering, to the disgrace
of the basest and most inhuman cowardice! I tell you, if I had
stood by, tamely and passively, I should have hated myself, and
merited the contempt of every man in existence. The black-
hearted scoundrel!’

With this gentle allusion to the absent Mr Squeers, Nicholas
repressed his rising wrath, and relating to Newman exactly what
had passed at Dotheboys Hall, entreated him to speak out without
more pressing. Thus adjured, Mr Noggs took, from an old trunk, a
sheet of paper, which appeared to have been scrawled over in
great haste; and after sundry extraordinary demonstrations of

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