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Janet, returning into my aunt's service when she came back to
Dover, had finally carried out her renunciation of mankind by
entering into wedlock with a thriving tavern-keeper; and how my
aunt had finally set her seal on the same great principle, by
aiding and abetting the bride, and crowning the marriage-ceremony
with her presence; were among our topics - already more or less
familiar to me through the letters I had had. Mr. Dick, as usual,
was not forgotten. My aunt informed me how he incessantly occupied
himself in copying everything he could lay his hands on, and kept
King Charles the First at a respectful distance by that semblance
of employment; how it was one of the main joys and rewards of her
life that he was free and happy, instead of pining in monotonous
restraint; and how (as a novel general conclusion) nobody but she
could ever fully know what he was.

'And when, Trot,' said my aunt, patting the back of my hand, as we
sat in our old way before the fire, 'when are you going over to

'I shall get a horse, and ride over tomorrow morning, aunt, unless
you will go with me?'

'No!' said my aunt, in her short abrupt way. 'I mean to stay where
I am.'

Then, I should ride, I said. I could not have come through
Canterbury today without stopping, if I had been coming to anyone
but her.

She was pleased, but answered, 'Tut, Trot; MY old bones would have
kept till tomorrow!' and softly patted my hand again, as I sat
looking thoughtfully at the fire.

Thoughtfully, for I could not be here once more, and so near Agnes,
without the revival of those regrets with which I had so long been
occupied. Softened regrets they might be, teaching me what I had
failed to learn when my younger life was all before me, but not the
less regrets. 'Oh, Trot,' I seemed to hear my aunt say once more;
and I understood her better now - 'Blind, blind, blind!'

We both kept silence for some minutes. When I raised my eyes, I
found that she was steadily observant of me. Perhaps she had
followed the current of my mind; for it seemed to me an easy one to
track now, wilful as it had been once.
<- Previous | Table Of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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