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rid of it, which was the best thing she could do, why don't you
give her the benefit of the change? What's your name now, - P?'
said my aunt, as a compromise for the obnoxious appellation.

'Barkis, ma'am,' said Peggotty, with a curtsey.

'Well! That's human,' said my aunt. 'It sounds less as if you
wanted a missionary. How d'ye do, Barkis? I hope you're well?'

Encouraged by these gracious words, and by my aunt's extending her
hand, Barkis came forward, and took the hand, and curtseyed her

'We are older than we were, I see,' said my aunt. 'We have only
met each other once before, you know. A nice business we made of
it then! Trot, my dear, another cup.'

I handed it dutifully to my aunt, who was in her usual inflexible
state of figure; and ventured a remonstrance with her on the
subject of her sitting on a box.

'Let me draw the sofa here, or the easy-chair, aunt,' said I. 'Why
should you be so uncomfortable?'

'Thank you, Trot,' replied my aunt, 'I prefer to sit upon my
property.' Here my aunt looked hard at Mrs. Crupp, and observed,
'We needn't trouble you to wait, ma'am.'

'Shall I put a little more tea in the pot afore I go, ma'am?' said
Mrs. Crupp.

'No, I thank you, ma'am,' replied my aunt.

'Would you let me fetch another pat of butter, ma'am?' said Mrs.
Crupp. 'Or would you be persuaded to try a new-laid hegg? or
should I brile a rasher? Ain't there nothing I could do for your
dear aunt, Mr. Copperfull?'

'Nothing, ma'am,' returned my aunt. 'I shall do very well, I thank

Mrs. Crupp, who had been incessantly smiling to express sweet
temper, and incessantly holding her head on one side, to express a
general feebleness of constitution, and incessantly rubbing her
hands, to express a desire to be of service to all deserving
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