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that time, but that he must come also; for he would find that his
renown had preceded him, and that he was almost as great a
personage as I was.

'I'll come anywhere you like,' said Steerforth, 'or do anything you
like. Tell me where to come to; and in two hours I'll produce
myself in any state you please, sentimental or comical.'

I gave him minute directions for finding the residence of Mr.
Barkis, carrier to Blunderstone and elsewhere; and, on this
understanding, went out alone. There was a sharp bracing air; the
ground was dry; the sea was crisp and clear; the sun was diffusing
abundance of light, if not much warmth; and everything was fresh
and lively. I was so fresh and lively myself, in the pleasure of
being there, that I could have stopped the people in the streets
and shaken hands with them.

The streets looked small, of course. The streets that we have only
seen as children always do, I believe, when we go back to them.
But I had forgotten nothing in them, and found nothing changed,
until I came to Mr. Omer's shop. OMER AND Joram was now written
up, where OMER used to be; but the inscription, DRAPER, TAILOR,
HABERDASHER, FUNERAL FURNISHER, &c., remained as it was.

My footsteps seemed to tend so naturally to the shop door, after I
had read these words from over the way, that I went across the road
and looked in. There was a pretty woman at the back of the shop,
dancing a little child in her arms, while another little fellow
clung to her apron. I had no difficulty in recognizing either
Minnie or Minnie's children. The glass door of the parlour was not
open; but in the workshop across the yard I could faintly hear the
old tune playing, as if it had never left off.

'Is Mr. Omer at home?' said I, entering. 'I should like to see
him, for a moment, if he is.'

'Oh yes, sir, he is at home,' said Minnie; 'the weather don't suit
his asthma out of doors. Joe, call your grandfather!'

The little fellow, who was holding her apron, gave such a lusty
shout, that the sound of it made him bashful, and he buried his
face in her skirts, to her great admiration. I heard a heavy
puffing and blowing coming towards us, and soon Mr. Omer,
shorter-winded than of yore, but not much older-looking, stood
before me.
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