Charles Dickens, Bleak House: Ch. 36

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One thing troubled me, and I considered it for a long time before I went to sleep.  I had kept Mr. Woodcourt's flowers.  When they were withered I had dried them and put them in a book that I was fond of.  Nobody knew this, not even Ada.  I was doubtful whether I had a right to preserve what he had sent to one so different—whether it was generous towards him to do it.  I wished to be generous to him, even in the secret depths of my heart, which he would never know, because I could have loved him—could have been devoted to him.  At last I came to the conclusion that I might keep them if I treasured them only as a remembrance of what was irrevocably past and gone, never to be looked back on any more, in any other light.  I hope this may not seem trivial.  I was very much in earnest.

I took care to be up early in the morning and to be before the glass when Charley came in on tiptoe.

"Dear, dear, miss!" cried Charley, starting.  "Is that you?"

"Yes, Charley," said I, quietly putting up my hair.  "And I am very well indeed, and very happy."

I saw it was a weight off Charley's mind, but it was a greater weight off mine.  I knew the worst now and was composed to it.  I shall not conceal, as I go on, the weaknesses I could not quite conquer, but they always passed from me soon and the happier frame of mind stayed by me faithfully.

Wishing to be fully re-established in my strength and my good spirits before Ada came, I now laid down a little series of plans with Charley for being in the fresh air all day long.  We were to be out before breakfast, and were to dine early, and were to be out again before and after dinner, and were to talk in the garden after tea, and were to go to rest betimes, and were to climb every hill and explore every road, lane, and field in the neighbourhood.  As to restoratives and strengthening delicacies, Mr. Boythorn's good housekeeper was for ever trotting about with something to eat or drink in her hand; I could not even be heard of as resting in the park but she would come trotting after me with a basket, her cheerful face shining with a lecture on the importance of frequent nourishment.  Then there was a pony expressly for my riding, a chubby pony with a short neck and a mane all over his eyes who could canter—when he would—so easily and quietly that he was a treasure.  In a very few days he would come to me in the paddock when I called him, and eat out of my hand, and follow me about.  We arrived at such a capital understanding that when he was jogging with me lazily, and rather obstinately, down some shady lane, if I patted his neck and said, "Stubbs, I am surprised you don't canter when you know how much I like it; and I think you might oblige me, for you are only getting stupid and going to sleep," he would give his head a comical shake or two and set off directly, while Charley would stand still and laugh with such enjoyment that her laughter was like music.  I don't know who had given Stubbs his name, but it seemed to belong to him as naturally as his rough coat.  Once we put him in a little chaise and drove him triumphantly through the green lanes for five miles; but all at once, as we were extolling him to the skies, he seemed to take it ill that he should have been accompanied so far by the circle of tantalizing little gnats that had been hovering round and round his ears the whole way without appearing to advance an inch, and stopped to think about it.  I suppose he came to the decision that it was not to be borne, for he steadily refused to move until I gave the reins to Charley and got out and walked, when he followed me with a sturdy sort of good humour, putting his head under my arm and rubbing his ear against my sleeve.  It was in vain for me to say, "Now, Stubbs, I feel quite sure from what I know of you that you will go on if I ride a little while," for the moment I left him, he stood stock still again.  Consequently I was obliged to lead the way, as before; and in this order we returned home, to the great delight of the village.