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'Dear me!' cried Mr. Chillip. 'But no doubt you are a good deal
changed since then, sir?'

'Probably,' said I.

'Well, sir,' observed Mr. Chillip, 'I hope you'll excuse me, if I
am compelled to ask the favour of your name?'

On my telling him my name, he was really moved. He quite shook
hands with me - which was a violent proceeding for him, his usual
course being to slide a tepid little fish-slice, an inch or two in
advance of his hip, and evince the greatest discomposure when
anybody grappled with it. Even now, he put his hand in his
coat-pocket as soon as he could disengage it, and seemed relieved
when he had got it safe back.

'Dear me, sir!' said Mr. Chillip, surveying me with his head on one
side. 'And it's Mr. Copperfield, is it? Well, sir, I think I
should have known you, if I had taken the liberty of looking more
closely at you. There's a strong resemblance between you and your
poor father, sir.'

'I never had the happiness of seeing my father,' I observed.

'Very true, sir,' said Mr. Chillip, in a soothing tone. 'And very
much to be deplored it was, on all accounts! We are not ignorant,
sir,' said Mr. Chillip, slowly shaking his little head again, 'down
in our part of the country, of your fame. There must be great
excitement here, sir,' said Mr. Chillip, tapping himself on the
forehead with his forefinger. 'You must find it a trying
occupation, sir!'

'What is your part of the country now?' I asked, seating myself
near him.

'I am established within a few miles of Bury St. Edmund's, sir,'
said Mr. Chillip. 'Mrs. Chillip, coming into a little property in
that neighbourhood, under her father's will, I bought a practice
down there, in which you will be glad to hear I am doing well. My
daughter is growing quite a tall lass now, sir,' said Mr. Chillip,
giving his little head another little shake. 'Her mother let down
two tucks in her frocks only last week. Such is time, you see,

As the little man put his now empty glass to his lips, when he made
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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