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woeful

Posted Jan 31 2013 1:00am
My shoes were by this time in a woeful ash footwear condition. The soles had 
shed themselves bit by bit, and the upper leathers had broken and 
burst until the very shape and form of shoes had departed from 
them. My hat (which had served me for a night-cap, too) was so 
crushed and bent, that no old battered handleless saucepan on a 
dunghill need have been ashamed to vie with it. My shirt and 
trousers, stained with heat, dew, grass, and the Kentish soil on 
which I had slept—and torn besides—might have frightened the 
birds from my aunt’s garden, as I stood at the gate. My hair had 
known no comb or brush since I left London. My face, neck, and 
hands, from unaccustomed exposure to the air and sun, were 
burnt to a berry-brown. From head to foot I was powdered almost 
as white with chalk and dust, as if I had come out of a lime-kiln. In 
this plight, and with a strong consciousness of it, I waited to 
introduce myself to, and make my first impression on, my 
formidable aunt. 
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