I returned the phial to Nurelion; I wish I hadn't. He accused me of breaking it, then insulted me by saying I wouldn't have the intelligence to do so. He gave me 5 drakes for my efforts, and I am surprised he didn't spit on me on my way out! His assistant, Quintus, was more understanding, and paid me 500 drakes. I'm not entirely sure it was worth risking my life over, as I could have easily died of my wounds. I am still weak and weary from my injury, but I chose to travel, despite that.
... I met with Jarl Stormcloak's court mage, Wuunferth the Unliving. I was asked by one of the merchants to deliver some specimens, and to my astonishment, the mage paid me 250 drakes! While I was there, I asked for some training in destructive magic, and told him my interest in visiting the college. Wuunferth also taught me how to produce a proper firebolt, so as soon as I've met with Grelod, I shall, once more, return to Winterhold.
P.S. I lay awake, thinking of Nurelion. I feel badly for my attitude this morning. I can't imagine what it would be like, devoting your entire life to one quest, only to be disappointed with what you've found. It would seem a waste of a life, I think. He might otherwise have married, had a family, and been happy; instead, he shall die a bitter, lonely old man. I think I may make a donation to the temple in his name, after he passes. I have a heavy heart, knowing how much I've profited, while Nurelion's hopes and dreams were dashed.