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40. Chapter XL (continued)
"I should be a damned fool if I thought I had any chance of borrowing money from you."
"You've come down in the world if you can bring yourself to flatter."
"You'll never really dislike me so long as I give you the opportunity to get off a good thing now and then."
I had to bite my lip to prevent myself from laughing. What he said had a hateful truth in it, and another defect of my character is that I enjoy the company of those, however depraved, who can give me a Roland for my Oliver. I began to feel that my abhorrence for Strickland could only be sustained by an effort on my part. I recognised my moral weakness, but saw that my disapprobation had in it already something of a pose; and I knew that if I felt it, his own keen instinct had discovered it, too. He was certainly laughing at me up his sleeve. I left him the last word, and sought refuge in a shrug of the shoulders and taciturnity.
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