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He looked at me for a moment without speaking, and then rejoined,
still holding me as before, and giving me a shake:

'Come! Say the next day, and pass as much of tomorrow as you can
with us! Who knows when we may meet again, else? Come! Say the
next day! I want you to stand between Rosa Dartle and me, and keep
us asunder.'

'Would you love each other too much, without me?'

'Yes; or hate,' laughed Steerforth; 'no matter which. Come! Say
the next day!'

I said the next day; and he put on his great-coat and lighted his
cigar, and set off to walk home. Finding him in this intention, I
put on my own great-coat (but did not light my own cigar, having
had enough of that for one while) and walked with him as far as the
open road: a dull road, then, at night. He was in great spirits
all the way; and when we parted, and I looked after him going so
gallantly and airily homeward, I thought of his saying, 'Ride on
over all obstacles, and win the race!' and wished, for the first
time, that he had some worthy race to run.

I was undressing in my own room, when Mr. Micawber's letter tumbled
on the floor. Thus reminded of it, I broke the seal and read as
follows. It was dated an hour and a half before dinner. I am not
sure whether I have mentioned that, when Mr. Micawber was at any
particularly desperate crisis, he used a sort of legal phraseology,
which he seemed to think equivalent to winding up his affairs.

'SIR - for I dare not say my dear Copperfield,

'It is expedient that I should inform you that the undersigned is
Crushed. Some flickering efforts to spare you the premature
knowledge of his calamitous position, you may observe in him this
day; but hope has sunk beneath the horizon, and the undersigned is

'The present communication is penned within the personal range (I
cannot call it the society) of an individual, in a state closely
bordering on intoxication, employed by a broker. That individual
is in legal possession of the premises, under a distress for rent.

His inventory includes, not only the chattels and effects of every
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