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Nickleby, that my name is Pluck; whether I shall claim your
acquaintance on the plain ground of the strong interest I take in
your welfare, or whether I shall make myself known to you as the
friend of Sir Mulberry Hawk--these, Mrs Nickleby, are
considerations which I leave to you to determine.’

‘Any friend of Sir Mulberry Hawk’s requires no better
introduction to me,’ observed Mrs Nickleby, graciously.

‘It is delightful to hear you say so,’ said Mr Pluck, drawing a
chair close to Mrs Nickleby, and sitting himself down. ‘It is
refreshing to know that you hold my excellent friend, Sir
Mulberry, in such high esteem. A word in your ear, Mrs Nickleby.
When Sir Mulberry knows it, he will be a happy man--I say, Mrs
Nickleby, a happy man. Pyke, be seated.’

My good opinion,’ said Mrs Nickleby, and the poor lady exulted
in the idea that she was marvellously sly,--‘my good opinion can
be of very little consequence to a gentleman like Sir Mulberry.’

‘Of little consequence!’ exclaimed Mr Pluck. ‘Pyke, of what
consequence to our friend, Sir Mulberry, is the good opinion of
Mrs Nickleby?’

‘Of what consequence?’ echoed Pyke.
‘Ay,’ repeated Pluck; ‘is it of the greatest consequence?’
‘Of the very greatest consequence,’ replied Pyke.

‘Mrs Nickleby cannot be ignorant,’ said Mr Pluck, ‘of the
immense impression which that sweet girl has--’

‘Pluck!’ said his friend, ‘beware!’
‘Pyke is right,’ muttered Mr Pluck, after a short pause; ‘I was
not to mention it. Pyke is very right. Thank you, Pyke.’

‘Well now, really,’ thought Mrs Nickleby within herself. ‘Such
delicacy as that, I never saw!’

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