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irascibility and impatience.

'Good Lord, man, there's no occasion to say that. Left to her
unconditionally! I think I see David Copperfield looking forward
to any condition of any sort or kind, though it stared him
point-blank in the face! Of course it was left to her
unconditionally. But when she married again - when she took that
most disastrous step of marrying you, in short,' said my aunt, 'to
be plain - did no one put in a word for the boy at that time?'

'My late wife loved her second husband, ma'am,' said Mr. Murdstone,
'and trusted implicitly in him.'

'Your late wife, sir, was a most unworldly, most unhappy, most
unfortunate baby,' returned my aunt, shaking her head at him.
'That's what she was. And now, what have you got to say next?'

'Merely this, Miss Trotwood,' he returned. 'I am here to take
David back - to take him back unconditionally, to dispose of him as
I think proper, and to deal with him as I think right. I am not
here to make any promise, or give any pledge to anybody. You may
possibly have some idea, Miss Trotwood, of abetting him in his
running away, and in his complaints to you. Your manner, which I
must say does not seem intended to propitiate, induces me to think
it possible. Now I must caution you that if you abet him once, you
abet him for good and all; if you step in between him and me, now,
you must step in, Miss Trotwood, for ever. I cannot trifle, or be
trifled with. I am here, for the first and last time, to take him
away. Is he ready to go? If he is not - and you tell me he is
not; on any pretence; it is indifferent to me what - my doors are
shut against him henceforth, and yours, I take it for granted, are
open to him.'

To this address, my aunt had listened with the closest attention,
sitting perfectly upright, with her hands folded on one knee, and
looking grimly on the speaker. When he had finished, she turned
her eyes so as to command Miss Murdstone, without otherwise
disturbing her attitude, and said:

'Well, ma'am, have YOU got anything to remark?'

'Indeed, Miss Trotwood,' said Miss Murdstone, 'all that I could say
has been so well said by my brother, and all that I know to be the
fact has been so plainly stated by him, that I have nothing to add
except my thanks for your politeness. For your very great
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