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Chapter 53

Containing the further Progress of the Plot
contrived by Mr Ralph Nickleby and Mr Arthur

With that settled resolution, and steadiness of purpose to
which extreme circumstances so often give birth, acting
upon far less excitable and more sluggish
temperaments than that which was the lot of Madeline Bray’s
admirer, Nicholas started, at dawn of day, from the restless couch
which no sleep had visited on the previous night, and prepared to
make that last appeal, by whose slight and fragile thread her only
remaining hope of escape depended.

Although, to restless and ardent minds, morning may be the
fitting season for exertion and activity, it is not always at that time
that hope is strongest or the spirit most sanguine and buoyant. In
trying and doubtful positions, youth, custom, a steady
contemplation of the difficulties which surround us, and a
familiarity with them, imperceptibly diminish our apprehensions
and beget comparative indifference, if not a vague and reckless
confidence in some relief, the means or nature of which we care
not to foresee. But when we come, fresh, upon such things in the
morning, with that dark and silent gap between us and yesterday;
with every link in the brittle chain of hope, to rivet afresh; our hot
enthusiasm subdued, and cool calm reason substituted in its stead;
doubt and misgiving revive. As the traveller sees farthest by day,
and becomes aware of rugged mountains and trackless plains

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