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'He was there once before,' said my aunt presently. 'He was ailing
a long time - a shattered, broken man, these many years. When he
knew his state in this last illness, he asked them to send for me.
He was sorry then. Very sorry.'
'You went, I know, aunt.'
'I went. I was with him a good deal afterwards.'
'He died the night before we went to Canterbury?' said I.
My aunt nodded. 'No one can harm him now,' she said. 'It was a
We drove away, out of town, to the churchyard at Hornsey. 'Better
here than in the streets,' said my aunt. 'He was born here.'
We alighted; and followed the plain coffin to a corner I remember
well, where the service was read consigning it to the dust.
'Six-and-thirty years ago, this day, my dear,' said my aunt, as we
walked back to the chariot, 'I was married. God forgive us all!'
We took our seats in silence; and so she sat beside me for a long
time, holding my hand. At length she suddenly burst into tears,
'He was a fine-looking man when I married him, Trot - and he was
It did not last long. After the relief of tears, she soon became
composed, and even cheerful. Her nerves were a little shaken, she
said, or she would not have given way to it. God forgive us all!
So we rode back to her little cottage at Highgate, where we found
the following short note, which had arrived by that morning's post
from Mr. Micawber:
'My dear Madam, and Copperfield,
'The fair land of promise lately looming on the horizon is again