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I grasped him by both hands, and could not let them go. But for
very shame, and the fear that it might displease him, I could have
held him round the neck and cried.
'I never, never, never was so glad! My dear Steerforth, I am so
overjoyed to see you!'
'And I am rejoiced to see you, too!' he said, shaking my hands
heartily. 'Why, Copperfield, old boy, don't be overpowered!' And
yet he was glad, too, I thought, to see how the delight I had in
meeting him affected me.
I brushed away the tears that my utmost resolution had not been
able to keep back, and I made a clumsy laugh of it, and we sat down
together, side by side.
'Why, how do you come to be here?' said Steerforth, clapping me on
'I came here by the Canterbury coach, today. I have been adopted
by an aunt down in that part of the country, and have just finished
my education there. How do YOU come to be here, Steerforth?'
'Well, I am what they call an Oxford man,' he returned; 'that is to
say, I get bored to death down there, periodically - and I am on my
way now to my mother's. You're a devilish amiable-looking fellow,
Copperfield. just what you used to be, now I look at you! Not
altered in the least!'
'I knew you immediately,' I said; 'but you are more easily
He laughed as he ran his hand through the clustering curls of his
hair, and said gaily:
'Yes, I am on an expedition of duty. My mother lives a little way
out of town; and the roads being in a beastly condition, and our
house tedious enough, I remained here tonight instead of going on.
I have not been in town half-a-dozen hours, and those I have been
dozing and grumbling away at the play.'
'I have been at the play, too,' said I. 'At Covent Garden. What
a delightful and magnificent entertainment, Steerforth!'
Steerforth laughed heartily.