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'Where?' cried Ham, interposing himself before the door.

'Anywhere! I'm a going to seek my niece through the wureld. I'm
a going to find my poor niece in her shame, and bring her back. No
one stop me! I tell you I'm a going to seek my niece!'

'No, no!' cried Mrs. Gummidge, coming between them, in a fit of
crying. 'No, no, Dan'l, not as you are now. Seek her in a little
while, my lone lorn Dan'l, and that'll be but right! but not as you
are now. Sit ye down, and give me your forgiveness for having ever
been a worrit to you, Dan'l - what have my contraries ever been to
this! - and let us speak a word about them times when she was first
an orphan, and when Ham was too, and when I was a poor widder
woman, and you took me in. It'll soften your poor heart, Dan'l,'
laying her head upon his shoulder, 'and you'll bear your sorrow
better; for you know the promise, Dan'l, "As you have done it unto
one of the least of these, you have done it unto me",- and that can
never fail under this roof, that's been our shelter for so many,
many year!'

He was quite passive now; and when I heard him crying, the impulse
that had been upon me to go down upon my knees, and ask their
pardon for the desolation I had caused, and curse Steer-forth,
yielded to a better feeling, My overcharged heart found the same
relief, and I cried too.


What is natural in me, is natural in many other men, I infer, and
so I am not afraid to write that I never had loved Steerforth
better than when the ties that bound me to him were broken. In the
keen distress of the discovery of his unworthiness, I thought more
of all that was brilliant in him, I softened more towards all that
was good in him, I did more justice to the qualities that might
have made him a man of a noble nature and a great name, than ever
I had done in the height of my devotion to him. Deeply as I felt
my own unconscious part in his pollution of an honest home, I
believed that if I had been brought face to face with him, I could
not have uttered one reproach. I should have loved him so well
still - though he fascinated me no longer - I should have held in
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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