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'Beggared Outcast,


I was so shocked by the contents of this heart-rending letter, that
I ran off directly towards the little hotel with the intention of
taking it on my way to Doctor Strong's, and trying to soothe Mr.
Micawber with a word of comfort. But, half-way there, I met the
London coach with Mr. and Mrs. Micawber up behind; Mr. Micawber,
the very picture of tranquil enjoyment, smiling at Mrs. Micawber's
conversation, eating walnuts out of a paper bag, with a bottle
sticking out of his breast pocket. As they did not see me, I
thought it best, all things considered, not to see them. So, with
a great weight taken off my mind, I turned into a by-street that
was the nearest way to school, and felt, upon the whole, relieved
that they were gone; though I still liked them very much,


My school-days! The silent gliding on of my existence - the
unseen, unfelt progress of my life - from childhood up to youth!
Let me think, as I look back upon that flowing water, now a dry
channel overgrown with leaves, whether there are any marks along
its course, by which I can remember how it ran.

A moment, and I occupy my place in the Cathedral, where we all went
together, every Sunday morning, assembling first at school for that
purpose. The earthy smell, the sunless air, the sensation of the
world being shut out, the resounding of the organ through the black
and white arched galleries and aisles, are wings that take me back,
and hold me hovering above those days, in a half-sleeping and
half-waking dream.

I am not the last boy in the school. I have risen in a few months,
over several heads. But the first boy seems to me a mighty
creature, dwelling afar off, whose giddy height is unattainable.
Agnes says 'No,' but I say 'Yes,' and tell her that she little
thinks what stores of knowledge have been mastered by the wonderful
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