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and the light upon the window of our room shone out upon the
earthly bourne of all such travellers, and the mound above the
ashes and the dust that once was he, without whom I had never been.


The first objects that assume a distinct presence before me, as I
look far back, into the blank of my infancy, are my mother with her
pretty hair and youthful shape, and Peggotty with no shape at all,
and eyes so dark that they seemed to darken their whole
neighbourhood in her face, and cheeks and arms so hard and red that
I wondered the birds didn't peck her in preference to apples.

I believe I can remember these two at a little distance apart,
dwarfed to my sight by stooping down or kneeling on the floor, and
I going unsteadily from the one to the other. I have an impression
on my mind which I cannot distinguish from actual remembrance, of
the touch of Peggotty's forefinger as she used to hold it out to
me, and of its being roughened by needlework, like a pocket

This may be fancy, though I think the memory of most of us can go
farther back into such times than many of us suppose; just as I
believe the power of observation in numbers of very young children
to be quite wonderful for its closeness and accuracy. Indeed, I
think that most grown men who are remarkable in this respect, may
with greater propriety be said not to have lost the faculty, than
to have acquired it; the rather, as I generally observe such men to
retain a certain freshness, and gentleness, and capacity of being
pleased, which are also an inheritance they have preserved from
their childhood.

I might have a misgiving that I am 'meandering' in stopping to say
this, but that it brings me to remark that I build these
conclusions, in part upon my own experience of myself; and if it
should appear from anything I may set down in this narrative that
I was a child of close observation, or that as a man I have a
strong memory of my childhood, I undoubtedly lay claim to both of
these characteristics.

Looking back, as I was saying, into the blank of my infancy, the
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