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CHAPTER 7. MORE CONFIDENCES THAN ONE (continued)
'I am sorry I used them, and especially to you, sir. I beg to recall them. But permit me to set you right on one point. You spoke of my sister's tears. My sister would have let him tear her to pieces, before she would have let him believe that he could make her shed a tear.'
Mr. Crisparkle reviewed those mental notes of his, and was neither at all surprised to hear it, nor at all disposed to question it.
'Perhaps you will think it strange, sir,'--this was said in a hesitating voice--'that I should so soon ask you to allow me to confide in you, and to have the kindness to hear a word or two from me in my defence?'
'Defence?' Mr. Crisparkle repeated. 'You are not on your defence, Mr. Neville.'
'I think I am, sir. At least I know I should be, if you were better acquainted with my character.'
'Well, Mr. Neville,' was the rejoinder. 'What if you leave me to find it out?'
'Since it is your pleasure, sir,' answered the young man, with a quick change in his manner to sullen disappointment: 'since it is your pleasure to check me in my impulse, I must submit.'
There was that in the tone of this short speech which made the conscientious man to whom it was addressed uneasy. It hinted to him that he might, without meaning it, turn aside a trustfulness beneficial to a mis-shapen young mind and perhaps to his own power of directing and improving it. They were within sight of the lights in his windows, and he stopped.
'Let us turn back and take a turn or two up and down, Mr. Neville, or you may not have time to finish what you wish to say to me. You are hasty in thinking that I mean to check you. Quite the contrary. I invite your confidence.'
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