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The mother who lay in the grave, was the mother of my infancy; the
little creature in her arms, was myself, as I had once been, hushed
for ever on her bosom.


The first act of business Miss Murdstone performed when the day of
the solemnity was over, and light was freely admitted into the
house, was to give Peggotty a month's warning. Much as Peggotty
would have disliked such a service, I believe she would have
retained it, for my sake, in preference to the best upon earth.

She told me we must part, and told me why; and we condoled with one
another, in all sincerity.

As to me or my future, not a word was said, or a step taken. Happy
they would have been, I dare say, if they could have dismissed me
at a month's warning too. I mustered courage once, to ask Miss
Murdstone when I was going back to school; and she answered dryly,
she believed I was not going back at all. I was told nothing more.

I was very anxious to know what was going to be done with me, and
so was Peggotty; but neither she nor I could pick up any
information on the subject.

There was one change in my condition, which, while it relieved me
of a great deal of present uneasiness, might have made me, if I had
been capable of considering it closely, yet more uncomfortable
about the future. It was this. The constraint that had been put
upon me, was quite abandoned. I was so far from being required to
keep my dull post in the parlour, that on several occasions, when
I took my seat there, Miss Murdstone frowned to me to go away. I
was so far from being warned off from Peggotty's society, that,
provided I was not in Mr. Murdstone's, I was never sought out or
inquired for. At first I was in daily dread of his taking my
education in hand again, or of Miss Murdstone's devoting herself to
it; but I soon began to think that such fears were groundless, and
that all I had to anticipate was neglect.

I do not conceive that this discovery gave me much pain then. I
was still giddy with the shock of my mother's death, and in a kind
of stunned state as to all tributary things. I can recollect,
indeed, to have speculated, at odd times, on the possibility of my
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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