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ever did see her, is more than humanity can comprehend - it was
clear enough that the poor soft little thing would marry somebody,
at some time or other; but I did hope it wouldn't have been as bad
as it has turned out. That was the time, Mr. Murdstone, when she
gave birth to her boy here,' said my aunt; 'to the poor child you
sometimes tormented her through afterwards, which is a disagreeable
remembrance and makes the sight of him odious now. Aye, aye! you
needn't wince!' said my aunt. 'I know it's true without that.'

He had stood by the door, all this while, observant of her with a
smile upon his face, though his black eyebrows were heavily
contracted. I remarked now, that, though the smile was on his face
still, his colour had gone in a moment, and he seemed to breathe as
if he had been running.

'Good day, sir,' said my aunt, 'and good-bye! Good day to you,
too, ma'am,' said my aunt, turning suddenly upon his sister. 'Let
me see you ride a donkey over my green again, and as sure as you
have a head upon your shoulders, I'll knock your bonnet off, and
tread upon it!'

It would require a painter, and no common painter too, to depict my
aunt's face as she delivered herself of this very unexpected
sentiment, and Miss Murdstone's face as she heard it. But the
manner of the speech, no less than the matter, was so fiery, that
Miss Murdstone, without a word in answer, discreetly put her arm
through her brother's, and walked haughtily out of the cottage; my
aunt remaining in the window looking after them; prepared, I have
no doubt, in case of the donkey's reappearance, to carry her threat
into instant execution.

No attempt at defiance being made, however, her face gradually
relaxed, and became so pleasant, that I was emboldened to kiss and
thank her; which I did with great heartiness, and with both my arms
clasped round her neck. I then shook hands with Mr. Dick, who
shook hands with me a great many times, and hailed this happy close
of the proceedings with repeated bursts of laughter.

'You'll consider yourself guardian, jointly with me, of this child,
Mr. Dick,' said my aunt.

'I shall be delighted,' said Mr. Dick, 'to be the guardian of
David's son.'

'Very good,' returned my aunt, 'that's settled. I have been
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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