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old men and women who seemed to have but a week or two of life
before them; and from ploughmen bodily carrying out soil of England
on their boots, to smiths taking away samples of its soot and smoke
upon their skins; every age and occupation appeared to be crammed
into the narrow compass of the 'tween decks.

As my eye glanced round this place, I thought I saw sitting, by an
open port, with one of the Micawber children near her, a figure
like Emily's; it first attracted my attention, by another figure
parting from it with a kiss; and as it glided calmly away through
the disorder, reminding me of - Agnes! But in the rapid motion and
confusion, and in the unsettlement of my own thoughts, I lost it
again; and only knew that the time was come when all visitors were
being warned to leave the ship; that my nurse was crying on a chest
beside me; and that Mrs. Gummidge, assisted by some younger
stooping woman in black, was busily arranging Mr. Peggotty's goods.

'Is there any last wured, Mas'r Davy?' said he. 'Is there any one
forgotten thing afore we parts?'

'One thing!' said I. 'Martha!'

He touched the younger woman I have mentioned on the shoulder, and
Martha stood before me.

'Heaven bless you, you good man!' cried I. 'You take her with

She answered for him, with a burst of tears. I could speak no more
at that time, but I wrung his hand; and if ever I have loved and
honoured any man, I loved and honoured that man in my soul.

The ship was clearing fast of strangers. The greatest trial that
I had, remained. I told him what the noble spirit that was gone,
had given me in charge to say at parting. It moved him deeply.
But when he charged me, in return, with many messages of affection
and regret for those deaf ears, he moved me more.

The time was come. I embraced him, took my weeping nurse upon my
arm, and hurried away. On deck, I took leave of poor Mrs.
Micawber. She was looking distractedly about for her family, even
then; and her last words to me were, that she never would desert
Mr. Micawber.

We went over the side into our boat, and lay at a little distance,
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