But throughout the disaster the will for the light remained alive in men. Each generation handed onto its successor the essential wisdom of the developed mind, the essential loyalty to the spirit. When the earth’s crust had settled down to its new form, recovery was carefully planned, and rapid. The main centre of henceforth was not China, which had been largely submerged, but the great new island of Atlantis, thrust up between America and Europe. At first a continent of mud, it soon became fertile beyond other lands, and in time was invaded by colonists from Europe and America, who crossed the narrow oceans in their sailing ships, and settled down to farm and rediscover the lost arts of civilization. Within a few centuries the planet was once more a well-ordered, flourishing, diversified, populous, human world.
Thus I began my new life, in a new name, and with everything new about me. Now that the state of doubt was over, I felt, for many days, like one in a dream. I never thought that I had a curious couple of guardians, in my aunt and Mr. Dick. I never thought of anything about myself, distinctly. The two things clearest in my mind were, that a remoteness had come upon the old Blunderstone life - which seemed to lie in the haze of an immeasurable distance; and that a curtain had for ever fallen on my life at Murdstone and Grinby's. No one has ever raised that curtain since. I have lifted it for a moment, even in this narrative, with a reluctant hand, and dropped it gladly. The remembrance of that life is fraught with so much pain to me, with so much mental suffering and want of hope, that I have never had the courage even to examine how long I was doomed to lead it. Whether it lasted for a year, or more, or less, I do not know. I only know that it was, and ceased to be; and that I have written, and there I leave it.
“Yes, I saw him at the time you speak of: he leaned one hand on the back of the horse, and looked up at the stand as he was passing. I saw him bow to some ladies in the next window,” she added, lowering her voice.
'This is very kind of you, Mas'r Davy,' said Mr. Peggotty.
'Mas'r Davy, shall you see her, d'ye think?'