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distress; an interval, in which I even supposed that its sharpest
pangs were past; and when my mind could soothe itself by resting on
all that was most innocent and beautiful, in the tender story that
was closed for ever.

When it was first proposed that I should go abroad, or how it came
to be agreed among us that I was to seek the restoration of my
peace in change and travel, I do not, even now, distinctly know.
The spirit of Agnes so pervaded all we thought, and said, and did,
in that time of sorrow, that I assume I may refer the project to
her influence. But her influence was so quiet that I know no more.

And now, indeed, I began to think that in my old association of her
with the stained-glass window in the church, a prophetic
foreshadowing of what she would be to me, in the calamity that was
to happen in the fullness of time, had found a way into my mind.

In all that sorrow, from the moment, never to be forgotten, when
she stood before me with her upraised hand, she was like a sacred
presence in my lonely house. When the Angel of Death alighted
there, my child-wife fell asleep - they told me so when I could
bear to hear it - on her bosom, with a smile. From my swoon, I
first awoke to a consciousness of her compassionate tears, her
words of hope and peace, her gentle face bending down as from a
purer region nearer Heaven, over my undisciplined heart, and
softening its pain.

Let me go on.

I was to go abroad. That seemed to have been determined among us
from the first. The ground now covering all that could perish of
my departed wife, I waited only for what Mr. Micawber called the
'final pulverization of Heep'; and for the departure of the

At the request of Traddles, most affectionate and devoted of
friends in my trouble, we returned to Canterbury: I mean my aunt,
Agnes, and I. We proceeded by appointment straight to Mr.
Micawber's house; where, and at Mr. Wickfield's, my friend had been
labouring ever since our explosive meeting. When poor Mrs.
Micawber saw me come in, in my black clothes, she was sensibly
affected. There was a great deal of good in Mrs. Micawber's heart,
which had not been dunned out of it in all those many years.

'Well, Mr. and Mrs. Micawber,' was my aunt's first salutation after
we were seated. 'Pray, have you thought about that emigration
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