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improve in boxing. It gave me no manner of concern that Steerforth
should find me a novice in these sciences, but I never could bear
to show my want of skill before the respectable Littimer. I had no
reason to believe that Littimer understood such arts himself; he
never led me to suppose anything of the kind, by so much as the
vibration of one of his respectable eyelashes; yet whenever he was
by, while we were practising, I felt myself the greenest and most
inexperienced of mortals.

I am particular about this man, because he made a particular effect
on me at that time, and because of what took place thereafter.

The week passed away in a most delightful manner. It passed
rapidly, as may be supposed, to one entranced as I was; and yet it
gave me so many occasions for knowing Steerforth better, and
admiring him more in a thousand respects, that at its close I
seemed to have been with him for a much longer time. A dashing way
he had of treating me like a plaything, was more agreeable to me
than any behaviour he could have adopted. It reminded me of our
old acquaintance; it seemed the natural sequel of it; it showed me
that he was unchanged; it relieved me of any uneasiness I might
have felt, in comparing my merits with his, and measuring my claims
upon his friendship by any equal standard; above all, it was a
familiar, unrestrained, affectionate demeanour that he used towards
no one else. As he had treated me at school differently from all
the rest, I joyfully believed that he treated me in life unlike any
other friend he had. I believed that I was nearer to his heart
than any other friend, and my own heart warmed with attachment to

He made up his mind to go with me into the country, and the day
arrived for our departure. He had been doubtful at first whether
to take Littimer or not, but decided to leave him at home. The
respectable creature, satisfied with his lot whatever it was,
arranged our portmanteaux on the little carriage that was to take
us into London, as if they were intended to defy the shocks of
ages, and received my modestly proffered donation with perfect

We bade adieu to Mrs. Steerforth and Miss Dartle, with many thanks
on my part, and much kindness on the devoted mother's. The last
thing I saw was Littimer's unruffled eye; fraught, as I fancied,
with the silent conviction that I was very young indeed.

What I felt, in returning so auspiciously to the old familiar
places, I shall not endeavour to describe. We went down by the
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