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shock in this unexpected and cold reply. But turning quickly upon
him, and seeing a laugh in his eyes, I answered, much relieved:

'Ah, Steerforth! It's well for you to joke about the poor! You
may skirmish with Miss Dartle, or try to hide your sympathies in
jest from me, but I know better. When I see how perfectly you
understand them, how exquisitely you can enter into happiness like
this plain fisherman's, or humour a love like my old nurse's, I
know that there is not a joy or sorrow, not an emotion, of such
people, that can be indifferent to you. And I admire and love you
for it, Steerforth, twenty times the more!'

He stopped, and, looking in my face, said, 'Daisy, I believe you
are in earnest, and are good. I wish we all were!' Next moment he
was gaily singing Mr. Peggotty's song, as we walked at a round pace
back to Yarmouth.


Steerforth and I stayed for more than a fortnight in that part of
the country. We were very much together, I need not say; but
occasionally we were asunder for some hours at a time. He was a
good sailor, and I was but an indifferent one; and when he went out
boating with Mr. Peggotty, which was a favourite amusement of his,
I generally remained ashore. My occupation of Peggotty's
spare-room put a constraint upon me, from which he was free: for,
knowing how assiduously she attended on Mr. Barkis all day, I did
not like to remain out late at night; whereas Steerforth, lying at
the Inn, had nothing to consult but his own humour. Thus it came
about, that I heard of his making little treats for the fishermen
at Mr. Peggotty's house of call, 'The Willing Mind', after I was in
bed, and of his being afloat, wrapped in fishermen's clothes, whole
moonlight nights, and coming back when the morning tide was at
flood. By this time, however, I knew that his restless nature and
bold spirits delighted to find a vent in rough toil and hard
weather, as in any other means of excitement that presented itself
freshly to him; so none of his proceedings surprised me.

Another cause of our being sometimes apart, was, that I had
naturally an interest in going over to Blunderstone, and revisiting
the old familiar scenes of my childhood; while Steerforth, after
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