Let him try to forgive me mine!'
'Oh Mama!' said Florence. 'How it lightens my heart, even in such a strange meeting and parting, to hear this!'
'Strange words in my own ears,' said Edith, 'and foreign to the sound of my own voice! But even if I had been the wretched creature I have given him occasion to believe me, I think I could have said them still, hearing that you and he were very dear to one another. Let him, when you are dearest, ever feel that he is most forbearing in his thoughts of me - that I am most forbearing in my thoughts of him! Those are the last words I send him! Now, goodbye, my life!'
She clasped her in her arms, and seemed to pour out all her woman's soul of love and tenderness at once.
'This kiss for your child! These kisses for a blessing on your head! My own dear Florence, my sweet girl, farewell!'
'To meet again!' cried Florence.
'Never again! Never again! When you leave me in this dark room, think that you have left me in the grave. Remember only that I was once, and that I loved you!'
And Florence left her, seeing her face no more, but accompanied by her embraces and caresses to the last.
Cousin Feenix met her at the door, and took her down to Walter in the dingy dining room, upon whose shoulder she laid her head weeping.
'I am devilish sorry,' said Cousin Feenix, lifting his wristbands to his eyes in the simplest manner possible, and without the least concealment, 'that the lovely and accomplished daughter of my friend Dombey and amiable wife of my friend Gay, should have had her sensitive nature so very much distressed and cut up by the interview which is just concluded. But I hope and trust I have acted for the best, and that my honourable friend Dombey will find his mind relieved by the disclosures which have taken place. I exceedingly lament that my friend Dombey should have got himself, in point of fact, into the devil's own state of conglomeration by an alliance with our family; but am strongly of opinion that if it hadn't been for the infernal scoundrel Barker - man with white teeth - everything would have gone on pretty smoothly. In regard to my relative who does me the honour to have formed an uncommonly good opinion of myself, I can assure the amiable wife of my friend Gay, that she may rely on my being, in point of fact, a father to her. And in regard to the changes of human life, and the extraordinary manner in which we are perpetually conducting ourselves, all I can say is, with my friend Shakespeare - man who wasn't for an age but for all time, and with whom my friend Gay is no doubt acquainted - that its like the shadow of a dream.'
A bottle that has been long excluded from the light of day, and is hoary with dust and cobwebs, has been brought into the sunshine; and the golden wine within it sheds a lustre on the table.
It is the last bottle of the old Madiera.
'You are quite right, Mr Gills,' says Mr Dombey. 'This is a very rare and most delicious wine.'
The Captain, who is of the party, beams with joy. There is a very halo of delight round his glowing forehead.
'We always promised ourselves, Sir,' observes Mr Gills,' Ned and myself, I mean - '
Mr Dombey nods at the Captain, who shines more and more with speechless gratification.
'-that we would drink this, one day or other, to Walter safe at home: though such a home we never thought of.