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so much tenderness the memory of my affection for him, that I think
I should have been as weak as a spirit-wounded child, in all but
the entertainment of a thought that we could ever be re-united.
That thought I never had. I felt, as he had felt, that all was at
an end between us. What his remembrances of me were, I have never
known - they were light enough, perhaps, and easily dismissed - but
mine of him were as the remembrances of a cherished friend, who was
Yes, Steerforth, long removed from the scenes of this poor history!
My sorrow may bear involuntary witness against you at the judgement
Throne; but my angry thoughts or my reproaches never will, I know!
The news of what had happened soon spread through the town;
insomuch that as I passed along the streets next morning, I
overheard the people speaking of it at their doors. Many were hard
upon her, some few were hard upon him, but towards her second
father and her lover there was but one sentiment. Among all kinds
of people a respect for them in their distress prevailed, which was
full of gentleness and delicacy. The seafaring men kept apart,
when those two were seen early, walking with slow steps on the
beach; and stood in knots, talking compassionately among
It was on the beach, close down by the sea, that I found them. It
would have been easy to perceive that they had not slept all last
night, even if Peggotty had failed to tell me of their still
sitting just as I left them, when it was broad day. They looked
worn; and I thought Mr. Peggotty's head was bowed in one night more
than in all the years I had known him. But they were both as grave
and steady as the sea itself, then lying beneath a dark sky,
waveless - yet with a heavy roll upon it, as if it breathed in its
rest - and touched, on the horizon, with a strip of silvery light
from the unseen sun.
'We have had a mort of talk, sir,' said Mr. Peggotty to me, when we
had all three walked a little while in silence, 'of what we ought
and doen't ought to do. But we see our course now.'
I happened to glance at Ham, then looking out to sea upon the
distant light, and a frightful thought came into my mind - not that
his face was angry, for it was not; I recall nothing but an
expression of stern determination in it - that if ever he
encountered Steerforth, he would kill him.