turned, if there was anything of it left to turn.” (My aunt always excused any weakness of her own in my behalf, by transferring it in this way to my poor mother.) “Bless me, Trotwood, how you do remind me of her!”

“Pleasantly, I hope, aunt?” said I.

“He’s as like her, Dick,” said my aunt, emphatically, “he’s as like her, as she was that afternoon, before she began to fret—bless my heart, he’s as like her as he can look at me out of his two eyes!”

“Is he indeed?” said Mr. Dick.

“And he’s like David, too,” said my aunt, decisively.

“He is very like David!” said Mr. Dick.

“But what I want you to be, Trot,” resumed my aunt,—“I don’t mean physically, but morally; you are very well physically—is, a firm fellow. A fine firm fellow, with a will of your own. With resolution,” said my aunt, shaking her cap at me, and clenching her hand. “With determination. With character, Trot—with strength of character that is not to be influenced, except on good reason, by anybody, or by anything. That’s what I want you to be. That’s what your father and mother might both have been, Heaven knows, and been the better for it.”

I intimated that I hoped I should be what she described.

“That you may begin, in a small way, to have a reliance upon yourself, and to act for yourself,” said my aunt, “I shall send you upon your trip alone. I did think, once, of Mr. Dick’s going with you; but, on second thoughts, I shall keep him to take care of me.”

Mr. Dick, for a moment, looked a little disappointed; until the honour and dignity of having to take care of the most wonderful woman in the world, restored the sunshine to his face.

“Besides,” said my aunt, “there’s the Memorial.”

“Oh, certainly,” said Mr. Dick, in a hurry, “I intend, Trotwood, to get that done immediately—it really must be done immediately! And then it will go in, you know—and then—,” said Mr. Dick, after checking himself, and pausing a long time, “there’ll be a pretty kettle of fish!”

In pursuance of my aunt’s kind scheme, I was shortly afterwards fitted out with a handsome purse of money, and a portmanteau, and tenderly dismissed upon my expedition. At parting, my aunt gave me some good advice, and a good many kisses; and said that as her object was that I should look about me, and should think a little, she would recommend me to stay a few days in London, if I liked it, either on my way down into Suffolk, or in coming back. In a word, I was at liberty to do what I would, for three weeks or a month, and no other conditions were imposed upon my freedom than the before-mentioned thinking and looking about me, and a pledge to write three times a week and faithfully report myself.

I went to Canterbury first, that I might take leave of Agnes and Mr. Wickfield (my old room in whose house I had not yet relinquished), and also of the good Doctor. Agnes was very glad to see me, and told me that the house had not been like itself since I had left it.

“I am sure I am not like myself when I am away,” said I. “I seem to want my right hand when I miss you. Though that’s not saying much; for there’s no head in my right hand, and no heart. Every one who knows you, consults with you, and is guided by you, Agnes.”

“Every one who knows me, spoils me, I believe,” she answered, smiling.

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