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think, Oh what a fatal name it was, and how the blossom withered in
its bloom upon the tree!


I received one morning by the post, the following letter, dated
Canterbury, and addressed to me at Doctor's Commons; which I read
with some surprise:


'Circumstances beyond my individual control have, for a
considerable lapse of time, effected a severance of that intimacy
which, in the limited opportunities conceded to me in the midst of
my professional duties, of contemplating the scenes and events of
the past, tinged by the prismatic hues of memory, has ever afforded
me, as it ever must continue to afford, gratifying emotions of no
common description. This fact, my dear sir, combined with the
distinguished elevation to which your talents have raised you,
deters me from presuming to aspire to the liberty of addressing the
companion of my youth, by the familiar appellation of Copperfield!
It is sufficient to know that the name to which I do myself the
honour to refer, will ever be treasured among the muniments of our
house (I allude to the archives connected with our former lodgers,
preserved by Mrs. Micawber), with sentiments of personal esteem
amounting to affection.

'It is not for one, situated, through his original errors and a
fortuitous combination of unpropitious events, as is the foundered
Bark (if he may be allowed to assume so maritime a denomination),
who now takes up the pen to address you - it is not, I repeat, for
one so circumstanced, to adopt the language of compliment, or of
congratulation. That he leaves to abler and to purer hands.

'If your more important avocations should admit of your ever
tracing these imperfect characters thus far - which may be, or may
not be, as circumstances arise - you will naturally inquire by what
object am I influenced, then, in inditing the present missive?
Allow me to say that I fully defer to the reasonable character of
that inquiry, and proceed to develop it; premising that it is not
an object of a pecuniary nature.
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