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Agnes had so often sat beside me at my books. Nobody came near me
until late at night. I took up a book, and tried to read. I heard
the clocks strike twelve, and was still reading, without knowing
what I read, when Agnes touched me.

'You will be going early in the morning, Trotwood! Let us say
good-bye, now!'

She had been weeping, but her face then was so calm and beautiful!

'Heaven bless you!' she said, giving me her hand.

'Dearest Agnes!' I returned, 'I see you ask me not to speak of
tonight - but is there nothing to be done?'

'There is God to trust in!' she replied.

'Can I do nothing-I, who come to you with my poor sorrows?'

'And make mine so much lighter,' she replied. 'Dear Trotwood, no!'

'Dear Agnes,' I said, 'it is presumptuous for me, who am so poor in
all in which you are so rich - goodness, resolution, all noble
qualities - to doubt or direct you; but you know how much I love
you, and how much I owe you. You will never sacrifice yourself to
a mistaken sense of duty, Agnes?'

More agitated for a moment than I had ever seen her, she took her
hands from me, and moved a step back.

'Say you have no such thought, dear Agnes! Much more than sister!
Think of the priceless gift of such a heart as yours, of such a
love as yours!'

Oh! long, long afterwards, I saw that face rise up before me, with
its momentary look, not wondering, not accusing, not regretting.
Oh, long, long afterwards, I saw that look subside, as it did now,
into the lovely smile, with which she told me she had no fear for
herself - I need have none for her - and parted from me by the name
of Brother, and was gone!

It was dark in the morning, when I got upon the coach at the inn
door. The day was just breaking when we were about to start, and
then, as I sat thinking of her, came struggling up the coach side,
through the mingled day and night, Uriah's head.
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