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The Personal History And Experience Of David Copperfield The Younger

CHAPTER 51 :  THE BEGINNING OF A LONGER JOURNEY

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It was yet early in the morning of the following day, when, as I was walking in my garden with my aunt (who took little other exercise now, being so much in attendance on my dear Dora), I was told that Mr. Peggotty desired to speak with me. He came into the garden to meet me half-way, on my going towards the gate; and bared his head, as it was always his custom to do when he saw my aunt, for whom he had a high respect. I had been telling her all that had happened overnight. Without saying a word, she walked up with a cordial face, shook hands with him, and patted him on the arm. It was so expressively done, that she had no need to say a word. Mr. Peggotty understood her quite as well as if she had said a thousand.

'I'll go in now, Trot,' said my aunt, 'and look after Little Blossom, who will be getting up presently.'

'Not along of my being heer, ma'am, I hope?' said Mr. Peggotty. 'Unless my wits is gone a bahd's neezing' - by which Mr. Peggotty meant to say, bird's-nesting - 'this morning, 'tis along of me as you're a-going to quit us?'

'You have something to say, my good friend,' returned my aunt, 'and will do better without me.'

'By your leave, ma'am,' returned Mr. Peggotty, 'I should take it kind, pervising you doen't mind my clicketten, if you'd bide heer.'

'Would you?' said my aunt, with short good-nature. 'Then I am sure I will!'

So, she drew her arm through Mr. Peggotty's, and walked with him to a leafy little summer-house there was at the bottom of the garden, where she sat down on a bench, and I beside her. There was a seat for Mr. Peggotty too, but he preferred to stand, leaning his hand on the small rustic table. As he stood, looking at his cap for a little while before beginning to speak, I could not help observing what power and force of character his sinewy hand expressed, and what a good and trusty companion it was to his honest brow and iron-grey hair.

'I took my dear child away last night,' Mr. Peggotty began, as he raised his eyes to ours, 'to my lodging, wheer I have a long time been expecting of her and preparing fur her. It was hours afore she knowed me right; and when she did, she kneeled down at my feet, and kiender said to me, as if it was her prayers, how it all come to be. You may believe me, when I heerd her voice, as I had heerd at home so playful - and see her humbled, as it might be in the dust our Saviour wrote in with his blessed hand - I felt a wownd go to my 'art, in the midst of all its thankfulness.'

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