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the silent presence of my aunt at my bedside. I felt it in my
sleep, as I suppose we all do feel such things.

'Trot, my dear,' she said, when I opened my eyes, 'I couldn't make
up my mind to disturb you. Mr. Peggotty is here; shall he come

I replied yes, and he soon appeared.

'Mas'r Davy,' he said, when we had shaken hands, 'I giv Em'ly your
letter, sir, and she writ this heer; and begged of me fur to ask
you to read it, and if you see no hurt in't, to be so kind as take
charge on't.'

'Have you read it?' said I.

He nodded sorrowfully. I opened it, and read as follows:

'I have got your message. Oh, what can I write, to thank you for
your good and blessed kindness to me!

'I have put the words close to my heart. I shall keep them till I
die. They are sharp thorns, but they are such comfort. I have
prayed over them, oh, I have prayed so much. When I find what you
are, and what uncle is, I think what God must be, and can cry to

'Good-bye for ever. Now, my dear, my friend, good-bye for ever in
this world. In another world, if I am forgiven, I may wake a child
and come to you. All thanks and blessings. Farewell, evermore.'

This, blotted with tears, was the letter.

'May I tell her as you doen't see no hurt in't, and as you'll be so
kind as take charge on't, Mas'r Davy?' said Mr. Peggotty, when I
had read it.

'Unquestionably,' said I - 'but I am thinking -'

'Yes, Mas'r Davy?'

'I am thinking,' said I, 'that I'll go down again to Yarmouth.
There's time, and to spare, for me to go and come back before the
ship sails. My mind is constantly running on him, in his solitude;
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