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Chapter 47

Mr Ralph Nickleby has some confidential
Intercourse with another old Friend. They concert
between them a Project, which promises well for

here go the three-quarters past!’ muttered Newman
Noggs, listening to the chimes of some neighbouring
church ‘and my dinner time’s two. He does it on
purpose. He makes a point of it. It’s just like him.’

It was in his own little den of an office and on the top of his
official stool that Newman thus soliloquised; and the soliloquy
referred, as Newman’s grumbling soliloquies usually did, to Ralph

‘I don’t believe he ever had an appetite,’ said Newman, ‘except
for pounds, shillings, and pence, and with them he’s as greedy as a
wolf. I should like to have him compelled to swallow one of every
English coin. The penny would be an awkward morsel--but the
crown--ha! ha!’

His good-humour being in some degree restored by the vision
of Ralph Nickleby swallowing, perforce, a five-shilling piece,
Newman slowly brought forth from his desk one of those portable
bottles, currently known as pocket-pistols, and shaking the same
close to his ear so as to produce a rippling sound very cool and
pleasant to listen to, suffered his features to relax, and took a
gurgling drink, which relaxed them still more. Replacing the cork,
he smacked his lips twice or thrice with an air of great relish, and,


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