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It's now been about ten years since Agnes and David were married.
David and Agnes are sitting by the fire with three of their children.
A stranger comes in asking to see David.
A couple of the children, including their youngest, little Agnes, hide at the news that a stranger is coming to see David.
This stranger is a handsome old man.
Little Agnes is so charmed by his appearance that she rushes over to him.
Agnes identifies the old man as Mr. Peggotty.
Mr. Peggotty tells David that he is glad to see him and to see David's lovely children.
David's old friend has sailed from Australia just to stay for a month in England; he's then heading back to Australia and little Emily.
Mr. Peggotty wanted to come especially to see David and his wife and their happiness.
Australia has been good for Mr. Peggotty: he has taken up farming, and has prospered.
Emily was depressed when they first sailed away from England, but she began to feel better about herself once she dedicated herself to helping the sick.
Once Mr. Peggotty heard the news of the storm that killed Ham, he kept it from Emily for almost a year.
Emily found out by accident: she happened to help a traveler originally from their area of England, who was carrying a newspaper with an account of the disaster.
Mr. Peggotty says that she has pulled through these dark times, but she is much changed: her manner is timid and kind.
The people in the neighborhood don't know the truth of Emily's disgrace, and she has had lots of opportunities to get married.
Even so, she keeps telling Mr. Peggotty she won't be married: she says that's over for her.
Martha Endell has gotten married, to a man who knows her true history, but who doesn't care.
Mrs. Gummidge has also gotten a proposal, but she didn't accept it – in fact, she refused by overturning a bucket on the poor man's head.
But Mrs. Gummidge has been a true friend to Mr. Peggotty, and has not complained once of loneliness or sorrow since arriving at the colony.
Mr. Peggotty then pulls out a bit of newspaper with an article on Mr. Micawber.
Mr. Micawber is doing very well indeed in Australia: he's become a magistrate, a kind of local judge.
The newspaper also mentions young Master Micawber's singing and Mrs. Micawber's family (which, it claims, is well known in England – if those poor Australians only knew how wrong they were!).
Weirdly enough, the town where the Micawbers have settled also has a school called Colonial Salem House, run by, of all people, Mr. Mell – you remember, the poor teacher who got kicked out of David's first school thanks to Steerforth's bad treatment in Chapter 7?
David is very glad to hear that Mr. Mell (now Doctor Mell) has wound up in happier circumstances.
Mr. Peggotty has also brought a letter from Mr. Micawber, which salutes David in a very grand style.
Mr. Micawber has been following David's writing career from Australia, and he's very impressed.
David also finds that Mr. Micawber has, in fact, written the article David was just reading in Mr. Peggotty's local newspaper.
Mr. Peggotty spends many evenings with David and Agnes chatting over old and new events.
Before he sails back to Australia, Mr. Peggotty and David go the graveyard in Yarmouth where David has put up a plaque for Ham.
Mr. Peggotty takes a handful of grass from the gravesite to bring back to Little Emily.