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hand upon his arm, that did wonders for him.
My aunt (who was busy nearly all this while with Peggotty, in the
inner room) would not accompany us to the place where they were
staying, but insisted on my going; and I went. We dined together.
After dinner, Agnes sat beside him, as of old, and poured out his
wine. He took what she gave him, and no more - like a child - and
we all three sat together at a window as the evening gathered in.
When it was almost dark, he lay down on a sofa, Agnes pillowing his
head and bending over him a little while; and when she came back to
the window, it was not so dark but I could see tears glittering in
I pray Heaven that I never may forget the dear girl in her love and
truth, at that time of my life; for if I should, I must be drawing
near the end, and then I would desire to remember her best! She
filled my heart with such good resolutions, strengthened my
weakness so, by her example, so directed - I know not how, she was
too modest and gentle to advise me in many words - the wandering
ardour and unsettled purpose within me, that all the little good I
have done, and all the harm I have forborne, I solemnly believe I
may refer to her.
And how she spoke to me of Dora, sitting at the window in the dark;
listened to my praises of her; praised again; and round the little
fairy-figure shed some glimpses of her own pure light, that made it
yet more precious and more innocent to me! Oh, Agnes, sister of my
boyhood, if I had known then, what I knew long afterwards! -
There was a beggar in the street, when I went down; and as I turned
my head towards the window, thinking of her calm seraphic eyes, he
made me start by muttering, as if he were an echo of the morning:
'Blind! Blind! Blind!'
I began the next day with another dive into the Roman bath, and
then started for Highgate. I was not dispirited now. I was not
afraid of the shabby coat, and had no yearnings after gallant
greys. My whole manner of thinking of our late misfortune was
changed. What I had to do, was, to show my aunt that her past
goodness to me had not been thrown away on an insensible,