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And I’m glad of it, I am very glad I told him he was a barbarian,
very glad indeed!’

By this time brother Charles was in such a very warm state of
indignation, that Nicholas thought he might venture to put in a
word, but the moment he essayed to do so, Mr Cheeryble laid his
hand softly upon his arm, and pointed to a chair.

‘The subject is at an end for the present,’ said the old
gentleman, wiping his face. ‘Don’t revive it by a single word. I am
going to speak upon another subject, a confidential subject, Mr
Nickleby. We must be cool again, we must be cool.’

After two or three turns across the room he resumed his seat,
and drawing his chair nearer to that on which Nicholas was
seated, said:

‘I am about to employ you, my dear sir, on a confidential and
delicate mission.’

‘You might employ many a more able messenger, sir,’ said
Nicholas, ‘but a more trustworthy or zealous one, I may be bold to
say, you could not find.’

‘Of that I am well assured,’ returned brother Charles, ‘well
assured. You will give me credit for thinking so, when I tell you
that the object of this mission is a young lady.’

‘A young lady, sir!’ cried Nicholas, quite trembling for the
moment with his eagerness to hear more.

‘A very beautiful young lady,’ said Mr Cheeryble, gravely.
‘Pray go on, sir,’ returned Nicholas.

‘I am thinking how to do so,’ said brother Charles; sadly, as it
seemed to his young friend, and with an expression allied to pain.
‘You accidentally saw a young lady in this room one morning, my
dear sir, in a fainting fit. Do you remember? Perhaps you have

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