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corners and flutings, for sticking knives and forks in, which,
happily for mankind, are now obsolete.

Miss Murdstone gave me her chilly finger-nails, and sat severely
rigid. Mr. Spenlow shut the door, motioned me to a chair, and
stood on the hearth-rug in front of the fireplace.

'Have the goodness to show Mr. Copperfield,' said Mr. Spenlow, what
you have in your reticule, Miss Murdstone.'

I believe it was the old identical steel-clasped reticule of my
childhood, that shut up like a bite. Compressing her lips, in
sympathy with the snap, Miss Murdstone opened it - opening her
mouth a little at the same time - and produced my last letter to
Dora, teeming with expressions of devoted affection.

'I believe that is your writing, Mr. Copperfield?' said Mr.

I was very hot, and the voice I heard was very unlike mine, when I
said, 'It is, sir!'

'If I am not mistaken,' said Mr. Spenlow, as Miss Murdstone brought
a parcel of letters out of her reticule, tied round with the
dearest bit of blue ribbon, 'those are also from your pen, Mr.

I took them from her with a most desolate sensation; and, glancing
at such phrases at the top, as 'My ever dearest and own Dora,' 'My
best beloved angel,' 'My blessed one for ever,' and the like,
blushed deeply, and inclined my head.

'No, thank you!' said Mr. Spenlow, coldly, as I mechanically
offered them back to him. 'I will not deprive you of them. Miss
Murdstone, be so good as to proceed!'

That gentle creature, after a moment's thoughtful survey of the
carpet, delivered herself with much dry unction as follows.

'I must confess to having entertained my suspicions of Miss
Spenlow, in reference to David Copperfield, for some time. I
observed Miss Spenlow and David Copperfield, when they first met;
and the impression made upon me then was not agreeable. The
depravity of the human heart is such -'
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