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The Roman Students: A Tale of the Renaissance (Alcock)

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Raymond felt the force of the last argument. Besides, he could not contend the point; his schoolfellow had him in his power. A little water from the crystal flask that lay on the table, a fine white handkerchief from the looms of Cambray, and a pair of gentle, firm, skillful hands soon accomplished the task. Theodore's words sometimes missed their aim and hurt where they where meant to heal, his fingers never. Their very form - long, slender, sensitive - evidenced at once fineness of perception and exquisite dexterity.

Meanwhile the schoolfellows talked of the unfair and dastardly conduct of the Nicoloti, and formed plans of revenge. What they said was commonplace enough, but they speedily established a friendly understanding with each other.

"I had not known you were destined to be a physician," said Raymond. "Is not that to sacrifice your genius and your learning?"