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She looked so quiet and good, and reminded me so strongly of my
airy fresh school days at Canterbury, and the sodden, smoky, stupid
wretch I had been the other night, that, nobody being by, I yielded
to my self-reproach and shame, and - in short, made a fool of
myself. I cannot deny that I shed tears. To this hour I am
undecided whether it was upon the whole the wisest thing I could
have done, or the most ridiculous.

'If it had been anyone but you, Agnes,' said I, turning away my
head, 'I should not have minded it half so much. But that it
should have been you who saw me! I almost wish I had been dead,

She put her hand - its touch was like no other hand - upon my arm
for a moment; and I felt so befriended and comforted, that I could
not help moving it to my lips, and gratefully kissing it.

'Sit down,' said Agnes, cheerfully. 'Don't be unhappy, Trotwood.
If you cannot confidently trust me, whom will you trust?'

'Ah, Agnes!' I returned. 'You are my good Angel!'

She smiled rather sadly, I thought, and shook her head.

'Yes, Agnes, my good Angel! Always my good Angel!'

'If I were, indeed, Trotwood,' she returned, 'there is one thing
that I should set my heart on very much.'

I looked at her inquiringly; but already with a foreknowledge of
her meaning.

'On warning you,' said Agnes, with a steady glance, 'against your
bad Angel.'

'My dear Agnes,' I began, 'if you mean Steerforth -'

'I do, Trotwood,' she returned.
'Then, Agnes, you wrong him very much. He my bad Angel, or
anyone's! He, anything but a guide, a support, and a friend to me!
My dear Agnes! Now, is it not unjust, and unlike you, to judge him
from what you saw of me the other night?'

'I do not judge him from what I saw of you the other night,' she
quietly replied.
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