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and cry.

Ralph remained in the same attitude till he heard the noise of
the closing door, when he shrugged his shoulders, and after a few
turns about the room--hasty at first, but gradually becoming
slower, as he relapsed into himself--sat down before his desk.

It is one of those problems of human nature, which may be
noted down, but not solved;--although Ralph felt no remorse at
that moment for his conduct towards the innocent, true-hearted
girl; although his libertine clients had done precisely what he had
expected, precisely what he most wished, and precisely what
would tend most to his advantage, still he hated them for doing it,
from the very bottom of his soul.

‘Ugh!’ said Ralph, scowling round, and shaking his clenched
hand as the faces of the two profligates rose up before his mind;
‘you shall pay for this. Oh! you shall pay for this!’

As the usurer turned for consolation to his books and papers, a
performance was going on outside his office door, which would
have occasioned him no small surprise, if he could by any means
have become acquainted with it.

Newman Noggs was the sole actor. He stood at a little distance
from the door, with his face towards it; and with the sleeves of his
coat turned back at the wrists, was occupied in bestowing the most
vigorous, scientific, and straightforward blows upon the empty air.

At first sight, this would have appeared merely a wise
precaution in a man of sedentary habits, with the view of opening
the chest and strengthening the muscles of the arms. But the
intense eagerness and joy depicted in the face of Newman Noggs,
which was suffused with perspiration; the surprising energy with
which he directed a constant succession of blows towards a

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