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flower-beds of the heart, I took a personal offence against them
all. The Bench was nothing to me but an insensible blunderer. The
Bar had no more tenderness or poetry in it, than the bar of a

Taking the management of Peggotty's affairs into my own hands, with
no little pride, I proved the will, and came to a settlement with
the Legacy Duty-office, and took her to the Bank, and soon got
everything into an orderly train. We varied the legal character of
these proceedings by going to see some perspiring Wax-work, in
Fleet Street (melted, I should hope, these twenty years); and by
visiting Miss Linwood's Exhibition, which I remember as a Mausoleum
of needlework, favourable to self-examination and repentance; and
by inspecting the Tower of London; and going to the top of St.
Paul's. All these wonders afforded Peggotty as much pleasure as
she was able to enjoy, under existing circumstances: except, I
think, St. Paul's, which, from her long attachment to her work-box,
became a rival of the picture on the lid, and was, in some
particulars, vanquished, she considered, by that work of art.

Peggotty's business, which was what we used to call 'common-form
business' in the Commons (and very light and lucrative the
common-form business was), being settled, I took her down to the
office one morning to pay her bill. Mr. Spenlow had stepped out,
old Tiffey said, to get a gentleman sworn for a marriage licence;
but as I knew he would be back directly, our place lying close to
the Surrogate's, and to the Vicar-General's office too, I told
Peggotty to wait.

We were a little like undertakers, in the Commons, as regarded
Probate transactions; generally making it a rule to look more or
less cut up, when we had to deal with clients in mourning. In a
similar feeling of delicacy, we were always blithe and
light-hearted with the licence clients. Therefore I hinted to
Peggotty that she would find Mr. Spenlow much recovered from the
shock of Mr. Barkis's decease; and indeed he came in like a

But neither Peggotty nor I had eyes for him, when we saw, in
company with him, Mr. Murdstone. He was very little changed. His
hair looked as thick, and was certainly as black, as ever; and his
glance was as little to be trusted as of old.

'Ah, Copperfield?' said Mr. Spenlow. 'You know this gentleman, I
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