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The repetition of the word ‘gone’ seemed to afford Newman
Noggs inexpressible delight, in proportion as it annoyed Ralph
Nickleby. He uttered the word with a full round emphasis,
dwelling upon it as long as he decently could, and when he could
hold out no longer without attracting observation, stood gasping it
to himself as if even that were a satisfaction.

‘And where has he gone?’ said Ralph.
‘France,’ replied Newman. ‘Danger of another attack of
erysipelas--a worse attack--in the head. So the doctors ordered
him off. And he’s gone.’

‘And Lord Frederick--?’ began Ralph.
‘He’s gone too,’ replied Newman.
‘And he carries his drubbing with him, does he?’ said Ralph,
turning away; ‘pockets his bruises, and sneaks off without the
retaliation of a word, or seeking the smallest reparation!’

‘He’s too ill,’ said Newman.
‘Too ill!’ repeated Ralph. ‘Why I would have it if I were dying; in
that case I should only be the more determined to have it, and that
without delay--I mean if I were he. But he’s too ill! Poor Sir
Mulberry! Too ill!’

Uttering these words with supreme contempt and great
irritation of manner, Ralph signed hastily to Newman to leave the
room; and throwing himself into his chair, beat his foot
impatiently upon the ground.

‘There is some spell about that boy,’ said Ralph, grinding his
teeth. ‘Circumstances conspire to help him. Talk of fortune’s
favours! What is even money to such Devil’s luck as this?’

He thrust his hands impatiently into his pockets, but
notwithstanding his previous reflection there was some

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