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Chapter 18

Miss Knag, after doting on Kate Nickleby for three
whole Days, makes up her Mind to hate her for
evermore. The Causes which led Miss Knag to form
this Resolution.

There are many lives of much pain, hardship, and suffering,
which, having no stirring interest for any but those who
lead them, are disregarded by persons who do not want
thought or feeling, but who pamper their compassion and need
high stimulants to rouse it.

There are not a few among the disciples of charity who require,
in their vocation, scarcely less excitement than the votaries of
pleasure in theirs; and hence it is that diseased sympathy and
compassion are every day expended on out-of-the-way objects,
when only too many demands upon the legitimate exercise of the
same virtues in a healthy state, are constantly within the sight and
hearing of the most unobservant person alive. In short, charity
must have its romance, as the novelist or playwright must have
his. A thief in fustian is a vulgar character, scarcely to be thought
of by persons of refinement; but dress him in green velvet, with a
high-crowned hat, and change the scene of his operations, from a
thickly-peopled city, to a mountain road, and you shall find in him
the very soul of poetry and adventure. So it is with the one great
cardinal virtue, which, properly nourished and exercised, leads to,
if it does not necessarily include, all the others. It must have its
romance; and the less of real, hard, struggling work-a-day life

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