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look at, he warn't,' said Mr. Peggotty, 'something o' my own build
- rough - a good deal o' the sou'-wester in him - wery salt - but,
on the whole, a honest sort of a chap, with his art in the right

I thought I had never seen Ham grin to anything like the extent to
which he sat grinning at us now.

'What does this here blessed tarpaulin go and do,' said Mr.
Peggotty, with his face one high noon of enjoyment, 'but he loses
that there art of his to our little Em'ly. He follers her about,
he makes hisself a sort o' servant to her, he loses in a great
measure his relish for his wittles, and in the long-run he makes it
clear to me wot's amiss. Now I could wish myself, you see, that
our little Em'ly was in a fair way of being married. I could wish
to see her, at all ewents, under articles to a honest man as had a
right to defend her. I don't know how long I may live, or how soon
I may die; but I know that if I was capsized, any night, in a gale
of wind in Yarmouth Roads here, and was to see the town-lights
shining for the last time over the rollers as I couldn't make no
head against, I could go down quieter for thinking "There's a man
ashore there, iron-true to my little Em'ly, God bless her, and no
wrong can touch my Em'ly while so be as that man lives."'

Mr. Peggotty, in simple earnestness, waved his right arm, as if he
were waving it at the town-lights for the last time, and then,
exchanging a nod with Ham, whose eye he caught, proceeded as

'Well! I counsels him to speak to Em'ly. He's big enough, but he's
bashfuller than a little un, and he don't like. So I speak.

"What! Him!" says Em'ly. "Him that I've know'd so intimate so
many years, and like so much. Oh, Uncle! I never can have him.
He's such a good fellow!" I gives her a kiss, and I says no more to
her than, "My dear, you're right to speak out, you're to choose for
yourself, you're as free as a little bird." Then I aways to him,
and I says, "I wish it could have been so, but it can't. But you
can both be as you was, and wot I say to you is, Be as you was with
her, like a man." He says to me, a-shaking of my hand, "I will!" he
says. And he was - honourable and manful - for two year going on,
and we was just the same at home here as afore.'

Mr. Peggotty's face, which had varied in its expression with the
various stages of his narrative, now resumed all its former
triumphant delight, as he laid a hand upon my knee and a hand upon
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