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Being, at whose place she thinks I, even I, weak aspirant, may
arrive in time. He is not my private friend and public patron, as
Steerforth was, but I hold him in a reverential respect. I chiefly
wonder what he'll be, when he leaves Doctor Strong's, and what
mankind will do to maintain any place against him.

But who is this that breaks upon me? This is Miss Shepherd, whom
I love.

Miss Shepherd is a boarder at the Misses Nettingalls'
establishment. I adore Miss Shepherd. She is a little girl, in a
spencer, with a round face and curly flaxen hair. The Misses
Nettingalls' young ladies come to the Cathedral too. I cannot look
upon my book, for I must look upon Miss Shepherd. When the
choristers chaunt, I hear Miss Shepherd. In the service I mentally
insert Miss Shepherd's name - I put her in among the Royal Family.
At home, in my own room, I am sometimes moved to cry out, 'Oh, Miss
Shepherd!' in a transport of love.

For some time, I am doubtful of Miss Shepherd's feelings, but, at
length, Fate being propitious, we meet at the dancing-school. I
have Miss Shepherd for my partner. I touch Miss Shepherd's glove,
and feel a thrill go up the right arm of my jacket, and come out at
my hair. I say nothing to Miss Shepherd, but we understand each
other. Miss Shepherd and myself live but to be united.

Why do I secretly give Miss Shepherd twelve Brazil nuts for a
present, I wonder? They are not expressive of affection, they are
difficult to pack into a parcel of any regular shape, they are hard
to crack, even in room doors, and they are oily when cracked; yet
I feel that they are appropriate to Miss Shepherd. Soft, seedy
biscuits, also, I bestow upon Miss Shepherd; and oranges
innumerable. Once, I kiss Miss Shepherd in the cloak-room.
Ecstasy! What are my agony and indignation next day, when I hear
a flying rumour that the Misses Nettingall have stood Miss Shepherd
in the stocks for turning in her toes!

Miss Shepherd being the one pervading theme and vision of my life,
how do I ever come to break with her? I can't conceive. And yet
a coolness grows between Miss Shepherd and myself. Whispers reach
me of Miss Shepherd having said she wished I wouldn't stare so, and
having avowed a preference for Master Jones - for Jones! a boy of
no merit whatever! The gulf between me and Miss Shepherd widens.
At last, one day, I meet the Misses Nettingalls' establishment out
walking. Miss Shepherd makes a face as she goes by, and laughs to
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