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was both drunk and mad; and, with this parting observation, he
led his hopeful son away.

In exact proportion as Ralph Nickleby became conscious of a
struggling and lingering regard for Kate, had his detestation of
Nicholas augmented. It might be, that to atone for the weakness of
inclining to any one person, he held it necessary to hate some
other more intensely than before; but such had been the course of
his feelings. And now, to be defied and spurned, to be held up to
her in the worst and most repulsive colours, to know that she was
taught to hate and despise him: to feel that there was infection in
his touch, and taint in his companionship--to know all this, and to
know that the mover of it all was that same boyish poor relation
who had twitted him in their very first interview, and openly
bearded and braved him since, wrought his quiet and stealthy
malignity to such a pitch, that there was scarcely anything he
would not have hazarded to gratify it, if he could have seen his
way to some immediate retaliation.

But, fortunately for Nicholas, Ralph Nickleby did not; and
although he cast about all that day, and kept a corner of his brain
working on the one anxious subject through all the round of
schemes and business that came with it, night found him at last,
still harping on the same theme, and still pursuing the same
unprofitable reflections.

‘When my brother was such as he,’ said Ralph, ‘the first
comparisons were drawn between us--always in my disfavour. HE
was open, liberal, gallant, gay; I a crafty hunks of cold and
stagnant blood, with no passion but love of saving, and no spirit
beyond a thirst for gain. I recollected it well when I first saw this
whipster; but I remember it better now.’

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