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him! Does he think to reduce me by long absence? He knows his
mother very little if he does. Let him put away his whim now, and
he is welcome back. Let him not put her away now, and he never
shall come near me, living or dying, while I can raise my hand to
make a sign against it, unless, being rid of her for ever, he comes
humbly to me and begs for my forgiveness. This is my right. This
is the acknowledgement I WILL HAVE. This is the separation that
there is between us! And is this,' she added, looking at her
visitor with the proud intolerant air with which she had begun, 'no

While I heard and saw the mother as she said these words, I seemed
to hear and see the son, defying them. All that I had ever seen in
him of an unyielding, wilful spirit, I saw in her. All the
understanding that I had now of his misdirected energy, became an
understanding of her character too, and a perception that it was,
in its strongest springs, the same.

She now observed to me, aloud, resuming her former restraint, that
it was useless to hear more, or to say more, and that she begged to
put an end to the interview. She rose with an air of dignity to
leave the room, when Mr. Peggotty signified that it was needless.

'Doen't fear me being any hindrance to you, I have no more to say,
ma'am,' he remarked, as he moved towards the door. 'I come beer
with no hope, and I take away no hope. I have done what I thowt
should be done, but I never looked fur any good to come of my
stan'ning where I do. This has been too evil a house fur me and
mine, fur me to be in my right senses and expect it.'

With this, we departed; leaving her standing by her elbow-chair, a
picture of a noble presence and a handsome face.

We had, on our way out, to cross a paved hall, with glass sides and
roof, over which a vine was trained. Its leaves and shoots were
green then, and the day being sunny, a pair of glass doors leading
to the garden were thrown open. Rosa Dartle, entering this way
with a noiseless step, when we were close to them, addressed
herself to me:

'You do well,' she said, 'indeed, to bring this fellow here!'

Such a concentration of rage and scorn as darkened her face, and
flashed in her jet-black eyes, I could not have thought
compressible even into that face. The scar made by the hammer was,
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