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'Hush! Pray!' she answered, I could not conceive why. 'You
disturb the company. Look at the stage!'

I tried, on her injunction, to fix it, and to hear something of
what was going on there, but quite in vain. I looked at her again
by and by, and saw her shrink into her corner, and put her gloved
hand to her forehead.

'Agnes!' I said. 'I'mafraidyou'renorwell.'

'Yes, yes. Do not mind me, Trotwood,' she returned. 'Listen! Are
you going away soon?'

'Amigoarawaysoo?' I repeated.


I had a stupid intention of replying that I was going to wait, to
hand her downstairs. I suppose I expressed it, somehow; for after
she had looked at me attentively for a little while, she appeared
to understand, and replied in a low tone:

'I know you will do as I ask you, if I tell you I am very earnest
in it. Go away now, Trotwood, for my sake, and ask your friends to
take you home.'

She had so far improved me, for the time, that though I was angry
with her, I felt ashamed, and with a short 'Goori!' (which I
intended for 'Good night!') got up and went away. They followed,
and I stepped at once out of the box-door into my bedroom, where
only Steerforth was with me, helping me to undress, and where I was
by turns telling him that Agnes was my sister, and adjuring him to
bring the corkscrew, that I might open another bottle of wine.

How somebody, lying in my bed, lay saying and doing all this over
again, at cross purposes, in a feverish dream all night - the bed
a rocking sea that was never still! How, as that somebody slowly
settled down into myself, did I begin to parch, and feel as if my
outer covering of skin were a hard board; my tongue the bottom of
an empty kettle, furred with long service, and burning up over a
slow fire; the palms of my hands, hot plates of metal which no ice
could cool!

But the agony of mind, the remorse, and shame I felt when I became
conscious next day! My horror of having committed a thousand
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