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what new wonder you have found out, in the compass of this street
and the next one.’

‘No,’ said Smike, shaking his head mournfully; ‘I must talk of
something else today.’

‘Of what you like,’ replied Nicholas, good-humouredly.
‘Of this,’ said Smike. ‘I know you are unhappy, and have got
into great trouble by bringing me away. I ought to have known
that, and stopped behind--I would, indeed, if I had thought it
then. You--you--are not rich; you have not enough for yourself,
and I should not be here. You grow,’ said the lad, laying his hand
timidly on that of Nicholas, ‘you grow thinner every day; your
cheek is paler, and your eye more sunk. Indeed I cannot bear to
see you so, and think how I am burdening you. I tried to go away
today, but the thought of your kind face drew me back. I could not
leave you without a word.’ The poor fellow could say no more, for
his eyes filled with tears, and his voice was gone.

‘The word which separates us,’ said Nicholas, grasping him
heartily by the shoulder, ‘shall never be said by me, for you are my
only comfort and stay. I would not lose you now, Smike, for all the
world could give. The thought of you has upheld me through all I
have endured today, and shall, through fifty times such trouble.
Give me your hand. My heart is linked to yours. We will journey
from this place together, before the week is out. What, if I am
steeped in poverty? You lighten it, and we will be poor together.’

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