‘To be sure, I see it all,’ said poor Nicholas, delighted with a thousand visionary ideas, that his good spirits and his inexperience were conjuring up before him. ‘Or suppose some young nobleman who is being educated at the Hall, were to take a fancy to me, and get his father to appoint me his travelling tutor when he left, and when we come back from the continent, procured me some handsome appointment. Eh! uncle?’
‘Ah, to be sure!’ sneered Ralph.
‘And who knows, but when he came to see me when I was settled (as he would of course), he might fall in love with Kate, who would be keeping my house, and—and marry her, eh! uncle? Who knows?’
‘Who, indeed!’ snarled Ralph.
‘How happy we should be!’ cried Nicholas with enthusiasm. ‘The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again. Kate will be a beautiful woman, and I so proud to hear them say so, and mother so happy to be with us once again, and all these sad times forgotten, and—’ The picture was too bright a one to bear, and Nicholas, fairly overpowered by it, smiled faintly, and burst into tears.
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