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'She was quite overcome, I am afraid,' said Mr. Dick, with great

'What! Did you ever see a crocodile overcome?' inquired my aunt.

'I don't think I ever saw a crocodile,' returned Mr. Dick, mildly.

'There never would have been anything the matter, if it hadn't been
for that old Animal,' said my aunt, with strong emphasis. 'It's
very much to be wished that some mothers would leave their
daughters alone after marriage, and not be so violently
affectionate. They seem to think the only return that can be made
them for bringing an unfortunate young woman into the world - God
bless my soul, as if she asked to be brought, or wanted to come! -
is full liberty to worry her out of it again. What are you
thinking of, Trot?'

I was thinking of all that had been said. My mind was still
running on some of the expressions used. 'There can be no
disparity in marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose.'
'The first mistaken impulse of an undisciplined heart.' 'My love
was founded on a rock.' But we were at home; and the trodden
leaves were lying under-foot, and the autumn wind was blowing.


I must have been married, if I may trust to my imperfect memory for
dates, about a year or so, when one evening, as I was returning
from a solitary walk, thinking of the book I was then writing - for
my success had steadily increased with my steady application, and
I was engaged at that time upon my first work of fiction - I came
past Mrs. Steerforth's house. I had often passed it before, during
my residence in that neighbourhood, though never when I could
choose another road. Howbeit, it did sometimes happen that it was
not easy to find another, without making a long circuit; and so I
had passed that way, upon the whole, pretty often.

I had never done more than glance at the house, as I went by with
a quickened step. It had been uniformly gloomy and dull. None of
the best rooms abutted on the road; and the narrow, heavily-framed
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