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'Ah! that's not enough!' she cried. 'That is because you are good;
not because I am! Oh, my dear, it might have been a better fortune
for you, if you had been fond of someone else - of someone steadier
and much worthier than me, who was all bound up in you, and never
vain and changeable like me!'

'Poor little tender-heart,' said Ham, in a low voice. 'Martha has
overset her, altogether.'

'Please, aunt,' sobbed Em'ly, 'come here, and let me lay my head
upon you. Oh, I am very miserable tonight, aunt! Oh, I am not as
good a girl as I ought to be. I am not, I know!'

Peggotty had hastened to the chair before the fire. Em'ly, with
her arms around her neck, kneeled by her, looking up most earnestly
into her face.

'Oh, pray, aunt, try to help me! Ham, dear, try to help me! Mr.
David, for the sake of old times, do, please, try to help me! I
want to be a better girl than I am. I want to feel a hundred times
more thankful than I do. I want to feel more, what a blessed thing
it is to be the wife of a good man, and to lead a peaceful life.

Oh me, oh me! Oh my heart, my heart!'

She dropped her face on my old nurse's breast, and, ceasing this
supplication, which in its agony and grief was half a woman's, half
a child's, as all her manner was (being, in that, more natural, and
better suited to her beauty, as I thought, than any other manner
could have been), wept silently, while my old nurse hushed her like
an infant.

She got calmer by degrees, and then we soothed her; now talking
encouragingly, and now jesting a little with her, until she began
to raise her head and speak to us. So we got on, until she was
able to smile, and then to laugh, and then to sit up, half ashamed;
while Peggotty recalled her stray ringlets, dried her eyes, and
made her neat again, lest her uncle should wonder, when she got
home, why his darling had been crying.

I saw her do, that night, what I had never seen her do before. I
saw her innocently kiss her chosen husband on the cheek, and creep
close to his bluff form as if it were her best support. When they
went away together, in the waning moonlight, and I looked after
them, comparing their departure in my mind with Martha's, I saw
that she held his arm with both her hands, and still kept close to
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