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mother had painted a nosegay. The ground-work of that stool, and
Peggotty's complexion appeared to me to be one and the same thing.
The stool was smooth, and Peggotty was rough, but that made no

'Me handsome, Davy!' said Peggotty. 'Lawk, no, my dear! But what
put marriage in your head?'

'I don't know! - You mustn't marry more than one person at a time,
may you, Peggotty?'

'Certainly not,' says Peggotty, with the promptest decision.

'But if you marry a person, and the person dies, why then you may
marry another person, mayn't you, Peggotty?'

'YOU MAY,' says Peggotty, 'if you choose, my dear. That's a matter
of opinion.'

'But what is your opinion, Peggotty?' said I.

I asked her, and looked curiously at her, because she looked so
curiously at me.

'My opinion is,' said Peggotty, taking her eyes from me, after a
little indecision and going on with her work, 'that I never was
married myself, Master Davy, and that I don't expect to be. That's
all I know about the subject.'

'You an't cross, I suppose, Peggotty, are you?' said I, after
sitting quiet for a minute.

I really thought she was, she had been so short with me; but I was
quite mistaken: for she laid aside her work (which was a stocking
of her own), and opening her arms wide, took my curly head within
them, and gave it a good squeeze. I know it was a good squeeze,
because, being very plump, whenever she made any little exertion
after she was dressed, some of the buttons on the back of her gown
flew off. And I recollect two bursting to the opposite side of the
parlour, while she was hugging me.

'Now let me hear some more about the Crorkindills,' said Peggotty,
who was not quite right in the name yet, 'for I an't heard half
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