David Copperfield

By Charles Dickens

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PREFACE TO 1850 EDITION

I

do not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from this Book, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require. My interest in it, is so recent and strong; and my mind is so divided between pleasure and regret pleasure in the achievement of a long design, regret in the separation from many companions - that I am in danger of wearying the reader whom I love, with personal confidences, and private emotions. Besides which, all that I could say of the Story, to any purpose, I have endeavoured to say in it. It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know, how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two-years’ imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his brain are going from him for ever. Yet, I have nothing else to tell; unless, indeed, I were to confess (which might be of less moment still) that no one can ever believe this Narrative, in the reading, more than I have believed it in the writing. Instead of looking back, therefore, I will look forward. I cannot close this Volume more agreeably to myself, than with a hopeful glance towards the time when I shall again put forth my two green leaves once a month, and with a
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faithful remembrance of the genial sun and showers that have fallen on these leaves of David Copperfield, and made me happy. London, October, 1850.

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PREFACE TO THE CHARLES DICKENS EDITION

I

REMARKED in the original Preface to this Book, that I did not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from it, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require. My interest in it was so recent and strong, and my mind was so divided between pleasure and regret - pleasure in the achievement of a long design, regret in the separation from many companions - that I was in danger of wearying the reader with personal confidences and private emotions. Besides which, all that I could have said of the Story to any purpose, I had endeavoured to say in it. It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two-years’ imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his brain are going from him for ever. Yet, I had nothing else to tell; unless, indeed, I were to confess (which might be of less moment still), that no one can ever believe this Narrative, in the reading, more than I believed it in the writing. So true are these avowals at the present day, that I can now only take the reader into one confidence more. Of all
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my books, I like this the best. It will be easily believed that I am a fond parent to every child of my fancy, and that no one can ever love that family as dearly as I love them. But, like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is DAVID COPPERFIELD. 1869

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THE PERSONAL HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE OF DAVID COPPERFIELD THE YOUNGER 

David Copperfield

CHAPTER 1 I AM BORN

W

hether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously. In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was declared by the nurse, and by some sage women in the neighbourhood who had taken a lively interest in me several months before there was any possibility of our becoming personally acquainted, first, that I was destined to be unlucky in life; and secondly, that I was privileged to see ghosts and spirits; both these gifts inevitably attaching, as they believed, to all unlucky infants of either gender, born towards the small hours on a Friday night. I need say nothing here, on the first head, because nothing can show better than my history whether that prediction was verified or falsified by the result. On the second branch of the question, I will only remark, that unless I ran
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through that part of my inheritance while I was still a baby, I have not come into it yet. But I do not at all complain of having been kept out of this property; and if anybody else should be in the present enjoyment of it, he is heartily welcome to keep it. I was born with a caul, which was advertised for sale, in the newspapers, at the low price of fifteen guineas. Whether sea-going people were short of money about that time, or were short of faith and preferred cork jackets, I don’t know; all I know is, that there was but one solitary bidding, and that was from an attorney connected with the bill-broking business, who offered two pounds in cash, and the balance in sherry, but declined to be guaranteed from drowning on any higher bargain. Consequently the advertisement was withdrawn at a dead loss - for as to sherry, my poor dear mother’s own sherry was in the market then - and ten years afterwards, the caul was put up in a raffle down in our part of the country, to fifty members at half-a-crown a head, the winner to spend five shillings. I was present myself, and I remember to have felt quite uncomfortable and confused, at a part of myself being disposed of in that way. The caul was won, I recollect, by an old lady with a hand-basket, who, very reluctantly, produced from it the stipulated five shillings, all in halfpence, and twopence halfpenny short - as it took an immense time and a great waste of arithmetic, to endeavour without any effect to prove to her. It is a fact which will be long remembered as remarkable down there, that she was never drowned, but died triumphantly in bed, at ninety-two. I have understood that it was, to the last, her 
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proudest boast, that she never had been on the water in her life, except upon a bridge; and that over her tea (to which she was extremely partial) she, to the last, expressed her indignation at the impiety of mariners and others, who had the presumption to go ‘meandering’ about the world. It was in vain to represent to her that some conveniences, tea perhaps included, resulted from this objectionable practice. She always returned, with greater emphasis and with an instinctive knowledge of the strength of her objection, ‘Let us have no meandering.’ Not to meander myself, at present, I will go back to my birth. I was born at Blunderstone, in Suffolk, or ‘there by’, as they say in Scotland. I was a posthumous child. My father’s eyes had closed upon the light of this world six months, when mine opened on it. There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white grave-stone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable compassion I used to feel for it lying out alone there in the dark night, when our little parlour was warm and bright with fire and candle, and the doors of our house were - almost cruelly, it seemed to me sometimes - bolted and locked against it. An aunt of my father’s, and consequently a great-aunt of mine, of whom I shall have more to relate by and by, was the principal magnate of our family. Miss Trotwood, or Miss Betsey, as my poor mother always called her, when she sufficiently overcame her dread of this formidable personage
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to mention her at all (which was seldom), had been married to a husband younger than herself, who was very handsome, except in the sense of the homely adage, ‘handsome is, that handsome does’ - for he was strongly suspected of having beaten Miss Betsey, and even of having once, on a disputed question of supplies, made some hasty but determined arrangements to throw her out of a two pair of stairs’ window. These evidences of an incompatibility of temper induced Miss Betsey to pay him off, and effect a separation by mutual consent. He went to India with his capital, and there, according to a wild legend in our family, he was once seen riding on an elephant, in company with a Baboon; but I think it must have been a Baboo - or a Begum. Anyhow, from India tidings of his death reached home, within ten years. How they affected my aunt, nobody knew; for immediately upon the separation, she took her maiden name again, bought a cottage in a hamlet on the sea-coast a long way off, established herself there as a single woman with one servant, and was understood to live secluded, ever afterwards, in an inflexible retirement. My father had once been a favourite of hers, I believe; but she was mortally affronted by his marriage, on the ground that my mother was ‘a wax doll’. She had never seen my mother, but she knew her to be not yet twenty. My father and Miss Betsey never met again. He was double my mother’s age when he married, and of but a delicate constitution. He died a year afterwards, and, as I have said, six months before I came into the world. This was the state of matters, on the afternoon of, what
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I may be excused for calling, that eventful and important Friday. I can make no claim therefore to have known, at that time, how matters stood; or to have any remembrance, founded on the evidence of my own senses, of what follows. My mother was sitting by the fire, but poorly in health, and very low in spirits, looking at it through her tears, and desponding heavily about herself and the fatherless little stranger, who was already welcomed by some grosses of prophetic pins, in a drawer upstairs, to a world not at all excited on the subject of his arrival; my mother, I say, was sitting by the fire, that bright, windy March afternoon, very timid and sad, and very doubtful of ever coming alive out of the trial that was before her, when, lifting her eyes as she dried them, to the window opposite, she saw a strange lady coming up the garden. MY mother had a sure foreboding at the second glance, that it was Miss Betsey. The setting sun was glowing on the strange lady, over the garden-fence, and she came walking up to the door with a fell rigidity of figure and composure of countenance that could have belonged to nobody else. When she reached the house, she gave another proof of her identity. My father had often hinted that she seldom conducted herself like any ordinary Christian; and now, instead of ringing the bell, she came and looked in at that identical window, pressing the end of her nose against the glass to that extent, that my poor dear mother used to say it became perfectly flat and white in a moment. She gave my mother such a turn, that I have always been convinced I am indebted to Miss Betsey for having been
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born on a Friday. My mother had left her chair in her agitation, and gone behind it in the corner. Miss Betsey, looking round the room, slowly and inquiringly, began on the other side, and carried her eyes on, like a Saracen’s Head in a Dutch clock, until they reached my mother. Then she made a frown and a gesture to my mother, like one who was accustomed to be obeyed, to come and open the door. My mother went. ‘Mrs. David Copperfield, I think,’ said Miss Betsey; the emphasis referring, perhaps, to my mother’s mourning weeds, and her condition. ‘Yes,’ said my mother, faintly. ‘Miss Trotwood,’ said the visitor. ‘You have heard of her, I dare say?’ My mother answered she had had that pleasure. And she had a disagreeable consciousness of not appearing to imply that it had been an overpowering pleasure. ‘Now you see her,’ said Miss Betsey. My mother bent her head, and begged her to walk in. They went into the parlour my mother had come from, the fire in the best room on the other side of the passage not being lighted - not having been lighted, indeed, since my father’s funeral; and when they were both seated, and Miss Betsey said nothing, my mother, after vainly trying to restrain herself, began to cry. ‘Oh tut, tut, tut!’ said Miss Betsey, in a hurry. ‘Don’t do that! Come, come!’ My mother couldn’t help it notwithstanding, so she cried until she had had her cry out. ‘Take off your cap, child,’ said Miss Betsey, ‘and let me
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see you.’ MY mother was too much afraid of her to refuse compliance with this odd request, if she had any disposition to do so. Therefore she did as she was told, and did it with such nervous hands that her hair (which was luxuriant and beautiful) fell all about her face. ‘Why, bless my heart!’ exclaimed Miss Betsey. ‘You are a very Baby!’ My mother was, no doubt, unusually youthful in appearance even for her years; she hung her head, as if it were her fault, poor thing, and said, sobbing, that indeed she was afraid she was but a childish widow, and would be but a childish mother if she lived. In a short pause which ensued, she had a fancy that she felt Miss Betsey touch her hair, and that with no ungentle hand; but, looking at her, in her timid hope, she found that lady sitting with the skirt of her dress tucked up, her hands folded on one knee, and her feet upon the fender, frowning at the fire. ‘In the name of Heaven,’ said Miss Betsey, suddenly, ‘why Rookery?’ ‘Do you mean the house, ma’am?’ asked my mother. ‘Why Rookery?’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Cookery would have been more to the purpose, if you had had any practical ideas of life, either of you.’ ‘The name was Mr. Copperfield’s choice,’ returned my mother. ‘When he bought the house, he liked to think that there were rooks about it.’ The evening wind made such a disturbance just now, among some tall old elm-trees at the bottom of the garFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1

den, that neither my mother nor Miss Betsey could forbear glancing that way. As the elms bent to one another, like giants who were whispering secrets, and after a few seconds of such repose, fell into a violent flurry, tossing their wild arms about, as if their late confidences were really too wicked for their peace of mind, some weatherbeaten ragged old rooks’-nests, burdening their higher branches, swung like wrecks upon a stormy sea. ‘Where are the birds?’ asked Miss Betsey. ‘The -? ‘ My mother had been thinking of something else. ‘The rooks - what has become of them?’ asked Miss Betsey. ‘There have not been any since we have lived here,’ said my mother. ‘We thought - Mr. Copperfield thought - it was quite a large rookery; but the nests were very old ones, and the birds have deserted them a long while.’ ‘David Copperfield all over!’ cried Miss Betsey. ‘David Copperfield from head to foot! Calls a house a rookery when there’s not a rook near it, and takes the birds on trust, because he sees the nests!’ ‘Mr. Copperfield,’ returned my mother, ‘is dead, and if you dare to speak unkindly of him to me -’ My poor dear mother, I suppose, had some momentary intention of committing an assault and battery upon my aunt, who could easily have settled her with one hand, even if my mother had been in far better training for such an encounter than she was that evening. But it passed with the action of rising from her chair; and she sat down again very
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meekly, and fainted. When she came to herself, or when Miss Betsey had restored her, whichever it was, she found the latter standing at the window. The twilight was by this time shading down into darkness; and dimly as they saw each other, they could not have done that without the aid of the fire. ‘Well?’ said Miss Betsey, coming back to her chair, as if she had only been taking a casual look at the prospect; ‘and when do you expect -’ ‘I am all in a tremble,’ faltered my mother. ‘I don’t know what’s the matter. I shall die, I am sure!’ ‘No, no, no,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Have some tea.’ ‘Oh dear me, dear me, do you think it will do me any good?’ cried my mother in a helpless manner. ‘Of course it will,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘It’s nothing but fancy. What do you call your girl?’ ‘I don’t know that it will be a girl, yet, ma’am,’ said my mother innocently. ‘Bless the Baby!’ exclaimed Miss Betsey, unconsciously quoting the second sentiment of the pincushion in the drawer upstairs, but applying it to my mother instead of me, ‘I don’t mean that. I mean your servant-girl.’ ‘Peggotty,’ said my mother. ‘Peggotty!’ repeated Miss Betsey, with some indignation. ‘Do you mean to say, child, that any human being has gone into a Christian church, and got herself named Peggotty?’ ‘It’s her surname,’ said my mother, faintly. ‘Mr. Copperfield called her by it, because her Christian name was the same as mine.’
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‘Here! Peggotty!’ cried Miss Betsey, opening the parlour door. ‘Tea. Your mistress is a little unwell. Don’t dawdle.’ Having issued this mandate with as much potentiality as if she had been a recognized authority in the house ever since it had been a house, and having looked out to confront the amazed Peggotty coming along the passage with a candle at the sound of a strange voice, Miss Betsey shut the door again, and sat down as before: with her feet on the fender, the skirt of her dress tucked up, and her hands folded on one knee. ‘You were speaking about its being a girl,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘I have no doubt it will be a girl. I have a presentiment that it must be a girl. Now child, from the moment of the birth of this girl -’ ‘Perhaps boy,’ my mother took the liberty of putting in. ‘I tell you I have a presentiment that it must be a girl,’ returned Miss Betsey. ‘Don’t contradict. From the moment of this girl’s birth, child, I intend to be her friend. I intend to be her godmother, and I beg you’ll call her Betsey Trotwood Copperfield. There must be no mistakes in life with THIS Betsey Trotwood. There must be no trifling with HER affections, poor dear. She must be well brought up, and well guarded from reposing any foolish confidences where they are not deserved. I must make that MY care.’ There was a twitch of Miss Betsey’s head, after each of these sentences, as if her own old wrongs were working within her, and she repressed any plainer reference to them by strong constraint. So my mother suspected, at least, as she observed her by the low glimmer of the fire: too much
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scared by Miss Betsey, too uneasy in herself, and too subdued and bewildered altogether, to observe anything very clearly, or to know what to say. ‘And was David good to you, child?’ asked Miss Betsey, when she had been silent for a little while, and these motions of her head had gradually ceased. ‘Were you comfortable together?’ ‘We were very happy,’ said my mother. ‘Mr. Copperfield was only too good to me.’ ‘What, he spoilt you, I suppose?’ returned Miss Betsey. ‘For being quite alone and dependent on myself in this rough world again, yes, I fear he did indeed,’ sobbed my mother. ‘Well! Don’t cry!’ said Miss Betsey. ‘You were not equally matched, child - if any two people can be equally matched - and so I asked the question. You were an orphan, weren’t you?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘And a governess?’ ‘I was nursery-governess in a family where Mr. Copperfield came to visit. Mr. Copperfield was very kind to me, and took a great deal of notice of me, and paid me a good deal of attention, and at last proposed to me. And I accepted him. And so we were married,’ said my mother simply. ‘Ha! Poor Baby!’ mused Miss Betsey, with her frown still bent upon the fire. ‘Do you know anything?’ ‘I beg your pardon, ma’am,’ faltered my mother. ‘About keeping house, for instance,’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Not much, I fear,’ returned my mother. ‘Not so much as I could wish. But Mr. Copperfield was teaching me -’
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(’Much he knew about it himself!’) said Miss Betsey in a parenthesis. - ‘And I hope I should have improved, being very anxious to learn, and he very patient to teach me, if the great misfortune of his death’ - my mother broke down again here, and could get no farther. ‘Well, well!’ said Miss Betsey. -’I kept my housekeeping-book regularly, and balanced it with Mr. Copperfield every night,’ cried my mother in another burst of distress, and breaking down again. ‘Well, well!’ said Miss Betsey. ‘Don’t cry any more.’ - ‘And I am sure we never had a word of difference respecting it, except when Mr. Copperfield objected to my threes and fives being too much like each other, or to my putting curly tails to my sevens and nines,’ resumed my mother in another burst, and breaking down again. ‘You’ll make yourself ill,’ said Miss Betsey, ‘and you know that will not be good either for you or for my god-daughter. Come! You mustn’t do it!’ This argument had some share in quieting my mother, though her increasing indisposition had a larger one. There was an interval of silence, only broken by Miss Betsey’s occasionally ejaculating ‘Ha!’ as she sat with her feet upon the fender. ‘David had bought an annuity for himself with his money, I know,’ said she, by and by. ‘What did he do for you?’ ‘Mr. Copperfield,’ said my mother, answering with some difficulty, ‘was so considerate and good as to secure the reversion of a part of it to me.’
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‘How much?’ asked Miss Betsey. ‘A hundred and five pounds a year,’ said my mother. ‘He might have done worse,’ said my aunt. The word was appropriate to the moment. My mother was so much worse that Peggotty, coming in with the teaboard and candles, and seeing at a glance how ill she was, - as Miss Betsey might have done sooner if there had been light enough, - conveyed her upstairs to her own room with all speed; and immediately dispatched Ham Peggotty, her nephew, who had been for some days past secreted in the house, unknown to my mother, as a special messenger in case of emergency, to fetch the nurse and doctor. Those allied powers were considerably astonished, when they arrived within a few minutes of each other, to find an unknown lady of portentous appearance, sitting before the fire, with her bonnet tied over her left arm, stopping her ears with jewellers’ cotton. Peggotty knowing nothing about her, and my mother saying nothing about her, she was quite a mystery in the parlour; and the fact of her having a magazine of jewellers’ cotton in her pocket, and sticking the article in her ears in that way, did not detract from the solemnity of her presence. The doctor having been upstairs and come down again, and having satisfied himself, I suppose, that there was a probability of this unknown lady and himself having to sit there, face to face, for some hours, laid himself out to be polite and social. He was the meekest of his sex, the mildest of little men. He sidled in and out of a room, to take up the less space. He walked as softly as the Ghost in Hamlet, and
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more slowly. He carried his head on one side, partly in modest depreciation of himself, partly in modest propitiation of everybody else. It is nothing to say that he hadn’t a word to throw at a dog. He couldn’t have thrown a word at a mad dog. He might have offered him one gently, or half a one, or a fragment of one; for he spoke as slowly as he walked; but he wouldn’t have been rude to him, and he couldn’t have been quick with him, for any earthly consideration. Mr. Chillip, looking mildly at my aunt with his head on one side, and making her a little bow, said, in allusion to the jewellers’ cotton, as he softly touched his left ear: ‘Some local irritation, ma’am?’ ‘What!’ replied my aunt, pulling the cotton out of one ear like a cork. Mr. Chillip was so alarmed by her abruptness - as he told my mother afterwards - that it was a mercy he didn’t lose his presence of mind. But he repeated sweetly: ‘Some local irritation, ma’am?’ ‘Nonsense!’ replied my aunt, and corked herself again, at one blow. Mr. Chillip could do nothing after this, but sit and look at her feebly, as she sat and looked at the fire, until he was called upstairs again. After some quarter of an hour’s absence, he returned. ‘Well?’ said my aunt, taking the cotton out of the ear nearest to him. ‘Well, ma’am,’ returned Mr. Chillip, ‘we are- we are progressing slowly, ma’am.’ ‘Ba—a—ah!’ said my aunt, with a perfect shake on the 
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contemptuous interjection. And corked herself as before. Really - really - as Mr. Chillip told my mother, he was almost shocked; speaking in a professional point of view alone, he was almost shocked. But he sat and looked at her, notwithstanding, for nearly two hours, as she sat looking at the fire, until he was again called out. After another absence, he again returned. ‘Well?’ said my aunt, taking out the cotton on that side again. ‘Well, ma’am,’ returned Mr. Chillip, ‘we are - we are progressing slowly, ma’am.’ ‘Ya—a—ah!’ said my aunt. With such a snarl at him, that Mr. Chillip absolutely could not bear it. It was really calculated to break his spirit, he said afterwards. He preferred to go and sit upon the stairs, in the dark and a strong draught, until he was again sent for. Ham Peggotty, who went to the national school, and was a very dragon at his catechism, and who may therefore be regarded as a credible witness, reported next day, that happening to peep in at the parlour-door an hour after this, he was instantly descried by Miss Betsey, then walking to and fro in a state of agitation, and pounced upon before he could make his escape. That there were now occasional sounds of feet and voices overhead which he inferred the cotton did not exclude, from the circumstance of his evidently being clutched by the lady as a victim on whom to expend her superabundant agitation when the sounds were loudest. That, marching him constantly up and down by the
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collar (as if he had been taking too much laudanum), she, at those times, shook him, rumpled his hair, made light of his linen, stopped his ears as if she confounded them with her own, and otherwise tousled and maltreated him. This was in part confirmed by his aunt, who saw him at half past twelve o’clock, soon after his release, and affirmed that he was then as red as I was. The mild Mr. Chillip could not possibly bear malice at such a time, if at any time. He sidled into the parlour as soon as he was at liberty, and said to my aunt in his meekest manner: ‘Well, ma’am, I am happy to congratulate you.’ ‘What upon?’ said my aunt, sharply. Mr. Chillip was fluttered again, by the extreme severity of my aunt’s manner; so he made her a little bow and gave her a little smile, to mollify her. ‘Mercy on the man, what’s he doing!’ cried my aunt, impatiently. ‘Can’t he speak?’ ‘Be calm, my dear ma’am,’ said Mr. Chillip, in his softest accents. ‘There is no longer any occasion for uneasiness, ma’am. Be calm.’ It has since been considered almost a miracle that my aunt didn’t shake him, and shake what he had to say, out of him. She only shook her own head at him, but in a way that made him quail. ‘Well, ma’am,’ resumed Mr. Chillip, as soon as he had courage, ‘I am happy to congratulate you. All is now over, ma’am, and well over.’ 
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During the five minutes or so that Mr. Chillip devoted to the delivery of this oration, my aunt eyed him narrowly. ‘How is she?’ said my aunt, folding her arms with her bonnet still tied on one of them. ‘Well, ma’am, she will soon be quite comfortable, I hope,’ returned Mr. Chillip. ‘Quite as comfortable as we can expect a young mother to be, under these melancholy domestic circumstances. There cannot be any objection to your seeing her presently, ma’am. It may do her good.’ ‘And SHE. How is SHE?’ said my aunt, sharply. Mr. Chillip laid his head a little more on one side, and looked at my aunt like an amiable bird. ‘The baby,’ said my aunt. ‘How is she?’ ‘Ma’am,’ returned Mr. Chillip, ‘I apprehended you had known. It’s a boy.’ My aunt said never a word, but took her bonnet by the strings, in the manner of a sling, aimed a blow at Mr. Chillip’s head with it, put it on bent, walked out, and never came back. She vanished like a discontented fairy; or like one of those supernatural beings, whom it was popularly supposed I was entitled to see; and never came back any more. No. I lay in my basket, and my mother lay in her bed; but Betsey Trotwood Copperfield was for ever in the land of dreams and shadows, the tremendous region whence I had so lately travelled; and the light upon the window of our room shone out upon the earthly bourne of all such travellers, and the mound above the ashes and the dust that once was he, without whom I had never been.
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CHAPTER 2 I OBSERVE

T

he first objects that assume a distinct presence before me, as I look far back, into the blank of my infancy, are my mother with her pretty hair and youthful shape, and Peggotty with no shape at all, and eyes so dark that they seemed to darken their whole neighbourhood in her face, and cheeks and arms so hard and red that I wondered the birds didn’t peck her in preference to apples. I believe I can remember these two at a little distance apart, dwarfed to my sight by stooping down or kneeling on the floor, and I going unsteadily from the one to the other. I have an impression on my mind which I cannot distinguish from actual remembrance, of the touch of Peggotty’s forefinger as she used to hold it out to me, and of its being roughened by needlework, like a pocket nutmeg-grater. This may be fancy, though I think the memory of most of us can go farther back into such times than many of us suppose; just as I believe the power of observation in numbers of very young children to be quite wonderful for its closeness and accuracy. Indeed, I think that most grown men who are remarkable in this respect, may with greater
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propriety be said not to have lost the faculty, than to have acquired it; the rather, as I generally observe such men to retain a certain freshness, and gentleness, and capacity of being pleased, which are also an inheritance they have preserved from their childhood. I might have a misgiving that I am ‘meandering’ in stopping to say this, but that it brings me to remark that I build these conclusions, in part upon my own experience of myself; and if it should appear from anything I may set down in this narrative that I was a child of close observation, or that as a man I have a strong memory of my childhood, I undoubtedly lay claim to both of these characteristics. Looking back, as I was saying, into the blank of my infancy, the first objects I can remember as standing out by themselves from a confusion of things, are my mother and Peggotty. What else do I remember? Let me see. There comes out of the cloud, our house - not new to me, but quite familiar, in its earliest remembrance. On the ground-floor is Peggotty’s kitchen, opening into a back yard; with a pigeon-house on a pole, in the centre, without any pigeons in it; a great dog- kennel in a corner, without any dog; and a quantity of fowls that look terribly tall to me, walking about, in a menacing and ferocious manner. There is one cock who gets upon a post to crow, and seems to take particular notice of me as I look at him through the kitchen window, who makes me shiver, he is so fierce. Of the geese outside the side-gate who come waddling after me with their long necks stretched out when I go that way, I dream at night: as a man environed by wild beasts might
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dream of lions. Here is a long passage - what an enormous perspective I make of it! - leading from Peggotty’s kitchen to the front door. A dark store-room opens out of it, and that is a place to be run past at night; for I don’t know what may be among those tubs and jars and old tea-chests, when there is nobody in there with a dimly-burning light, letting a mouldy air come out of the door, in which there is the smell of soap, pickles, pepper, candles, and coffee, all at one whiff. Then there are the two parlours: the parlour in which we sit of an evening, my mother and I and Peggotty - for Peggotty is quite our companion, when her work is done and we are alone - and the best parlour where we sit on a Sunday; grandly, but not so comfortably. There is something of a doleful air about that room to me, for Peggotty has told me - I don’t know when, but apparently ages ago - about my father’s funeral, and the company having their black cloaks put on. One Sunday night my mother reads to Peggotty and me in there, how Lazarus was raised up from the dead. And I am so frightened that they are afterwards obliged to take me out of bed, and show me the quiet churchyard out of the bedroom window, with the dead all lying in their graves at rest, below the solemn moon. There is nothing half so green that I know anywhere, as the grass of that churchyard; nothing half so shady as its trees; nothing half so quiet as its tombstones. The sheep are feeding there, when I kneel up, early in the morning, in my little bed in a closet within my mother’s room, to look out at it; and I see the red light shining on the sun-dial, and think 
David Copperfield

in his Sunday neckcloth.and what am I to do? It’s a dreadful thing to gape. and what the feelings of Mrs. who likes to make herself as sure as she can that it’s not being robbed. that it can tell the time again?’ Here is our pew in the church. when affliction sore. but mutton . to the pulpit. long time Mr. and what would become of me then! I look up at the monumental tablets on the wall. I might be tempted to say something out loud. But though Peggotty’s eye wanders. as I stand upon the seat. and think what a good place it would be to play in. What a high-backed pew! With a window near it. by Peggotty.half making up his mind to come into the church. she is much offended if mine does. Bodgers must have been. I look at my mother. and perhaps stopping the service to inquire . but I must do something. I look at a boy in the aisle. how he likes to be reminded of it once a week. and he makes faces at me. I look from Mr.com  . Bodgers bore. I wonder whether they called in Mr. or is not in flames. and physicians were in vain. and he was in vain.I don’t mean a sinner. Chillip. and frowns to me. I wonder. and if so. But I can’t always look at him . and try to think of Mr. that I am to look at the clergyman. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and IS seen many times during the morning’s service. I look at the sunlight coming in at the open door through the porch.within myself. and what a castle it would make. Bodgers late of this parish. out of which our house can be seen. and I am afraid of his wondering why I stare so. ‘Is the sun-dial glad. and there I see a stray sheep .I know him without that white thing on. I feel that if I looked at him any longer. but she pretends not to see me. Chillip.

In time my eyes gradually shut up. and. were among the first opinions . with the latticed bedroom-windows standing open to let in the sweet-smelling air. We are playing in the winter twilight. dancing about the parlour. more dead than alive. riper and richer than fruit has ever been since. and submitted ourselves in most things to her direction. from seeming to hear the clergyman singing a drowsy song in the heat.  David Copperfield .with another boy coming up the stairs to attack it. I watch her winding her bright curls round her fingers. and is proud of being so pretty. That. with a high fence. as I remember it. and a sense that we were both a little afraid of Peggotty. in any other garden. I hear nothing.if they may be so called .that I ever derived from what I saw. and nobody knows better than I do that she likes to look so well. and a gate and padlock. and the ragged old rooks’-nests still dangling in the elm-trees at the bottom of the front garden. When my mother is out of breath and rests herself in an elbow-chair. and trying to look unmoved.a very preserve of butterflies. bolting furtive gooseberries. That is among my very earliest impressions. and am taken out. and where my mother gathers some in a basket. and the summer is gone in a moment. and straitening her waist. and having the velvet cushion with the tassels thrown down on his head. Now I am in the garden at the back. beyond the yard where the empty pigeon-house and dog-kennel are . while I stand by. A great wind rises. And now I see the outside of our house. where the fruit clusters on the trees. until I fall off the seat with a crash. by Peggotty.

or the poor soul must have been deeply interested. And then she stopped in her work. I was tired of reading.’ says I.com  . alone. I must have read very perspicuously. where the yard-measure lived. with her needle drawn out to its thread’s length. at the little bit of wax-candle she kept for her thread . whom I thought lovely. ‘What’s put marriage in your head?’ She answered with such a start. and looked at me. that it quite awoke me. cerFree eBooks at Planet eBook. at herself. Paul’s Cathedral (with a pink dome) painted on the top. I would rather have died upon my post (of course) than have gone to bed. that they were a sort of vegetable. I had been reading to Peggotty about crocodiles. ‘were you ever married?’ ‘Lord. suddenly. but having leave. with a view of St. being so wrinkled in all directions! . at the brass thimble on her finger.at the little house with a thatched roof.how old it looked. for I remember she had a cloudy impression. after I had done.’ replied Peggotty. I was gone.Peggotty and I were sitting one night by the parlour fire. I felt so sleepy. and dead sleepy. ‘Peggotty. I propped my eyelids open with my two forefingers. and looked perseveringly at her as she sat at work. as a high treat. Peggotty?’ says I. Master Davy. an’t you?’ I thought her in a different style from my mother. that I knew if I lost sight of anything for a moment. ‘You are a very handsome woman. I had reached that stage of sleepiness when Peggotty seemed to swell and grow immensely large. at her work-box with a sliding lid. to sit up until my mother came home from spending the evening at a neighbour’s. ‘But WERE you ever married.

I considered her a perfect example. ‘Lawk. after a little indecision and going on with her work. after sitting quiet for a minute. she had been so short with me. ‘if you choose. because she looked so curiously at me. ‘My opinion is. with the promptest decision. and Peggotty was rough. Peggotty?’ said I. The stool was smooth. my dear! But what put marriage in your head?’ ‘I don’t know! . why then you may marry another person. and the person dies. Peggotty?’ ‘YOU MAY. There was a red velvet footstool in the best parlour.You mustn’t marry more than one person at a time. Peggotty. but of another school of beauty. on which my mother had painted a nosegay. may you. but I was quite mistaken: for she laid aside her work (which was a stocking of her own). The ground-work of that stool. no.’ says Peggotty. I suppose. and looked curiously at her.’ ‘But what is your opinion. and opening her arms wide. taking her eyes from me. ‘that I never was married myself. I asked her. 0 David Copperfield . That’s all I know about the subject. my dear. but that made no difference. mayn’t you. Davy!’ said Peggotty. are you?’ said I.’ says Peggotty. Peggotty?’ ‘Certainly not. ‘But if you marry a person. and that I don’t expect to be. and Peggotty’s complexion appeared to me to be one and the same thing.’ ‘You an’t cross. I really thought she was. ‘Me handsome.tainly. That’s a matter of opinion. Master Davy.’ said Peggotty.

com 1 . We went out to the door. and in short we ran the whole crocodile gauntlet. all the time. on account of their unwieldy make. and there was my mother. whenever she made any little exertion after she was dressed. I did. being very plump. and baffled them by constantly turning. but I had my doubts of Peggotty. when the garden-bell rang. which they were unable to do quickly. who was not quite right in the name yet. we returned to those monsters. And I recollect two bursting to the opposite side of the parlour. and begun with the alligators. who was thoughtfully sticking her needle into various parts of her face and arms. because. and gave it a good squeeze. We had exhausted the crocodiles. while she was hugging me. looking unusually pretty. some of the buttons on the back of her gown flew off.took my curly head within them. I know it was a good squeeze. and put sharp pieces of timber down their throats.’ said Peggotty. I thought. with fresh wakefulness on my part. the gentleman said I was a more Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and we went into the water after them. ‘for I an’t heard half enough. or why she was so ready to go back to the crocodiles. at least. ‘Now let me hear some more about the Crorkindills. as natives. and with her a gentleman with beautiful black hair and whiskers. As my mother stooped down on the threshold to take me in her arms and kiss me. who had walked home with us from church last Sunday. and we ran away from them.’ I couldn’t quite understand why Peggotty looked so queer. and we left their eggs in the sand for the sun to hatch. However.

‘Why. keeping me close to her shawl. as he met it with his own.I saw him! . ‘What does that mean?’ I asked him. for my later understanding comes.or something like that. I put it away. and. at me.over my mother’s little glove. ‘I cannot wonder at his devotion!’ I never saw such a beautiful colour on my mother’s face before. ‘Oh. ‘Shake hands!’ My right hand was in my mother’s left. Davy!’ laughed the gentleman. over her shoulder. and I did  David Copperfield . I am sensible. so I gave him the other. and. to my aid here. I thought. Davy!’ remonstrated my mother. but I was resolved. She put out her hand to him as she spoke. laughing. when he had bent his head . that’s the Wrong hand. my fine boy. ‘Good night!’ said I. I didn’t like him or his deep voice. ‘Dear boy!’ said the gentleman. for my former reason. but somehow. He patted me on the head. MY mother drew my right hand forward. turned to thank the gentleman for taking so much trouble as to bring her home. ‘Come! Let us be the best friends in the world!’ said the gentleman. she glanced. ‘Let us say ‘good night’. not to give it him.’ said the gentleman.highly privileged little fellow than a monarch . She gently chid me for being rude.which it did. and I was jealous that his hand should touch my mother’s in touching me . as well as I could.

’ suggested Peggotty. I fell asleep. ‘Much obliged to you. My mother. and that I swear!’ ‘Good Heavens!’ cried my mother. and both talking. contrary to her usual habit. though I was not so sound asleep but that I could hear voices. in a cheerful voice.’ ‘A stranger or so makes an agreeable change.com  . who had not said a word or moved a finger. . indeed. instead of coming to the elbow-chair by the fire. and give us a last look with his ill-omened black eyes. and my mother resuming her singing. standing as stiff as a barrel in the centre of the room. ‘you’ll drive me mad! Was ever any poor girl so ill-used by her servants as I am! Why do I do myself the injustice of calling myself a girl? Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I found Peggotty and my mother both in tears. Peggotty. When I half awoke from this uncomfortable doze. before the door was shut. and he shook it heartily. and went away. without hearing what they said. ‘Not such a one as this. and sat singing to herself. with a candlestick in her hand. ‘I have had a VERY pleasant evening. secured the fastenings instantly.‘Hope you have had a pleasant evening.not. I gave him the other. Peggotty. Copperfield wouldn’t have liked.’ said Peggotty. At this minute I see him turn round in the garden. ‘That I say. ma’am. Peggotty continuing to stand motionless in the middle of the room. and said I was a brave fellow.’ said Peggotty.’ returned my mother. and we all went into the parlour. Mr. ‘A very agreeable change. remained at the other end of the room.’ returned my mother.

‘as to talk in such an unjust manner! How can you go on as if it was all settled and arranged.to make me so uncomfortable and say such bitter things to me. out of this place. how can you dare.I thought Peggotty would have thrown the candlestick away. ‘for saying that it won’t do. Peggotty. a single friend to turn to?’ ‘The more’s the reason. or something of that sort? I dare say you would. and caressing me.’ returned Peggotty. I thought. ‘Then.’ said  David Copperfield . Peggotty?’ ‘God knows you have.’ said my mother. I ask you? Would you wish me to shave my head and black my face. No! That it won’t do. No! No price could make it do.’ said my mother . you cruel thing. when you are well aware that I haven’t. shedding more tears than before. Peggotty. when I tell you over and over again. coming to the elbowchair in which I was. but how can you have the heart . is it my fault? What am I to do. I dare say you’d quite enjoy it. ‘my own little Davy! Is it to be hinted to me that I am wanting in affection for my precious treasure.’ cried my mother. ‘How can you be so aggravating.’ Peggotty seemed to take this aspersion very much to heart. she was so emphatic with it.Have I never been married.’ returned Peggotty. ma’am. Peggotty. ‘And my dear boy. No!’ . or disfigure myself with a burn.‘you know I don’t mean how can you dare. that beyond the commonest civilities nothing has passed! You talk of admiration. or a scald. What am I to do? If people are so silly as to indulge the sentiment. the dearest little fellow that ever was!’ ‘Nobody never went and hinted no such a thing.

and Peggotty’s love is a great deal better than mine. my child. after that.com  . We went to bed greatly dejected. but I am sure we were all sincere about it. You can’t deny it. turning affectionately to me. Davy? Am I a nasty. and am afraid that in the first transports of wounded tenderness I called Peggotty a ‘Beast’. Peggotty. for a long time. Peggotty!’ returned my mother. and must have become quite buttonless on the occasion. ‘Am I a naughty mama to you. bad mama? Say I am.’ Then. with her cheek against mine. ‘You know you did. selfish.Peggotty. I fell asleep in her arms. we all fell a-crying together. ‘You did. and slept soundly. say ‘yes’. and leaning over me. and Peggotty will love you. I remember. I don’t love you at all. I found my mother sitting on the coverlet. I was quite heart-broken myself. dear boy. you unkind creature. when. Whether it was the following Sunday when I saw the gentleman again. That honest creature was in deep affliction. My sobs kept waking me. and the fringe is perfectly mangy? You know it is. though that old green one is frayed the whole way up. and when one very strong sob quite hoisted me up in bed. when you know as well as I do. Davy. after having made it up with my mother. What else was it possible to infer from what you said. I think I was the loudest of the party. for a little volley of those explosives went off. she kneeled down by the elbow-chair. that on his account only last quarter I wouldn’t buy myself a new parasol. cruel. and made it up with me. do I?’ At this. or whether there was any greater lapse of Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

but I couldn’t. I liked him no better than at first. make out how it was. of an evening. than she had always been. and gave it into his hand. and a general idea that Peggotty and I could make much of my mother without any help. but as  David Copperfield . He said he would never. I became used to seeing the gentleman with the black whiskers. never part with it any more. it occurred to me . it certainly was not THE reason that I might have found if I had been older. I don’t profess to be clear about dates. and I thought he must be quite a fool not to know that it would fall to pieces in a day or two. I cannot recall. in church.I could not understand why . Peggotty began to be less with us. to my satisfaction.time before he reappeared. or to her going so often to visit at that neighbour’s. too. and he walked home with us afterwards.and we were all three excellent friends. but if I had any reason for it beyond a child’s instinctive dislike. or near it.so she plucked it for him. But there he was. and were not so comfortable among ourselves. still we were different from what we used to be. in little pieces. Sometimes I fancied that Peggotty perhaps objected to my mother’s wearing all the pretty dresses she had in her drawers. I could observe. It did not appear to me that he took much notice of it. My mother deferred to her very much . She begged him to choose it for himself. as it were. He came in. to look at a famous geranium we had. Gradually. but before he went he asked my mother to give him a bit of the blossom.more than usual. but he refused to do that . and had the same uneasy jealousy of him. in the parlour-window. No such thing came into my mind.

He held me quite easily with one arm. and I don’t think I was restless usually.I want a better Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com  . I recollect Peggotty and I peeping out at them from my little window. and brushed my hair the wrong way.to making a net of a number of these pieces. Murdstone and I were soon off. on horseback. and said he was going to Lowestoft to see some friends who were there with a yacht. The air was so clear and pleasant. and trotting along on the green turf by the side of the road. when Mr. that was. and in the meantime Mr. He reined up his horse to salute my mother. as yet. and the horse seemed to like the idea of the ride so much himself. beyond me. and. but I could not make up my mind to sit in front of him without turning my head sometimes. and how. and merrily proposed to take me on the saddle before him if I would like the ride.I knew him by that name now . So I was sent upstairs to Peggotty to be made spruce. and looking up in his face. from being in a perfectly angelic temper. Peggotty turned cross in a moment. while my mother walked slowly up and down on the inner to keep him company. I recollect how closely they seemed to be examining the sweetbriar between them. He had that kind of shallow black eye . and catching anybody in it. as they strolled along. excessively hard. Murdstone . as he stood snorting and pawing at the garden-gate. Murdstone dismounted.came by. One autumn morning I was with my mother in the front garden. Mr. with his horse’s bridle drawn over his arm. walked slowly up and down on the outer side of the sweetbriar fence. that I had a great desire to go.

when we came in. Each of them was lying on at least four chairs. and brown. where two gentlemen were smoking cigars in a room by themselves. all bundled up together. and had a large rough jacket on.’ returned Mr. ‘And who’s this shaver?’ said one of the gentlemen. his regular eyebrows. and the dotted indication of the strong black beard he shaved close every day. Murdstone! We thought you were dead!’ ‘Not yet. ‘Halloa. reminded me of the wax-work that had travelled into our neighbourhood some half-a-year before. and his memory! . of his complexion . Murdstone. His hair and whiskers were blacker and thicker. Murdstone.word to express an eye that has no depth in it to be looked into . by a cast. A squareness about the lower part of his face. Several times when I glanced at him.which. This. a very handsome man. We went to an hotel by the sea. I observed that appearance with a sort of awe. in spite of my misgivings. when it is abstracted. ‘Davy who?’ said the gentleman. and said. and the rich white. ‘Jones?’  David Copperfield . taking hold of me. I have no doubt that my poor dear mother thought him so too. for a moment at a time.made me think him. They both rolled on to their feet in an untidy sort of manner. and a flag. than even I had given them credit for being. and wondered what he was thinking about so closely. looked at so near.confound his complexion.’ said Mr. ‘That’s Davy. seems from some peculiarity of light to be disfigured. and black. In a corner was a heap of coats and boat-cloaks.

I was quite relieved to find that it was only Brooks of Sheffield. stand up and say. Quinion said he would ring the bell for some sherry in which to drink to Brooks. before I drank it. in reference to the projected business?’ ‘Why. and when the wine came. for both the gentlemen laughed heartily when he was mentioned.’ said Mr. After some laughing. ‘What! Bewitching Mrs. I believe. and such hearty laughter that it made me laugh too. Murdstone. he made me have a little.’ There was more laughter at this. ‘Only Brooks of Sheffield. Copperfield’s encumbrance?’ cried the gentleman. if you please. I don’t know that Brooks understands much about it at present. Murdstone. said: ‘And what is the opinion of Brooks of Sheffield. We walked about on the cliff after that. and.’ replied Mr. I really thought it was I.’ said Mr. ‘Confusion to Brooks of Sheffield!’ The toast was received with great applause. ‘but he is not generally favourable. and Mr. Somebody’s sharp. In short. and sat on the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Murdstone. I looked up. Murdstone was a good deal amused also. laughing. at which they laughed the more.com  . we quite enjoyed ourselves. for. Brooks of Sheffield.‘Copperfield. being curious to know.’ said Mr.’ ‘Who is?’ asked the gentleman. ‘The pretty little widow?’ ‘Quinion. ‘take care. Murdstone. the gentleman whom he had called Quinion. quickly. with a biscuit. at first. This he did. and Mr. There seemed to be something very comical in the reputation of Mr.

he trod upon his foot. he put it there instead. and gave him a secret caution with his eyes. but when I called him Mr.and then we came back to the hotel to an early dinner. and that they regarded him with something of my own feeling. they must have been doing.grass.which. Murdstone was graver and steadier than the two gentlemen. ever since the coats had first come home from the tailor’s. I observed all day that Mr. and that once when Mr. Quinion was talking. I thought it was his name. who was 0 David Copperfield . with ‘Skylark’ in capital letters across the chest. It appeared to me that he was more clever and cold than they were. he looked at Mr. during this time. All the time we were out. They were very gay and careless. Murdstone sideways. once or twice when Mr. with a very nice man with a very large head of red hair and a very small shiny hat upon it. and looked at things through a telescope . but seldom with him. I saw them quite hard at work. who had got a cross-barred shirt or waistcoat on. if I might judge from the smell of their rough coats. and that as he lived on board ship and hadn’t a street door to put his name on. and were busy with some papers. They joked freely with one another. to observe Mr. I must not forget that we went on board the yacht. when I looked down through the open skylight. Skylark. he said it meant the vessel. I thought. They left me. Passnidge (the other gentleman) was in high spirits. but I pretended I could . I remarked that. Murdstone. as if to make sure of his not being displeased. the two gentlemen smoked incessantly .I could make out nothing myself when it was put to my eye. where they all three descended into the cabin.

Nor do I recollect that Mr. or man ever is. that it faded. Davy? Tell me again. It was a very fine evening. said: ‘What was it they said.altered as I have reason to remember it. and told me they were impudent fellows who talked nonsense . but she answered No. Murdstone laughed at all that day. and she came to bid me good night. perished as I know it is . She kneeled down playfully by the side of the bed. and was no more. was his own. and. Can I say of her face . and laughing. by the by. and what they had said and done.and that. only she supposed he must be a manufacturer in the knife and fork way. I knew it quite as well as I know it now.com 1 . while I was sent in to get my tea.but I knew it pleased her. truer to its loving youth than I have been. my mother asked me all about the day I had had. When he was gone. when its breath falls on my cheek now. when my remembrance brings her back to life. as distinct as any face that I may choose to look on in a crowded street? Can I say of her innocent and girlish beauty. still holds fast what it cherished then? I write of her just as she was when I had gone to bed after this talk. We went home early in the evening. and my mother and he had another stroll by the sweetbriar. when here it comes before me at this instant.that it is gone. I mentioned what they had said about her. except at the Sheffield joke .sitting stern and silent. thus only. I can’t beFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and she laughed. as it fell that night? Can I say she ever changed. and laying her chin upon her hands. I took the opportunity of asking if she was at all acquainted with Mr. Brooks of Sheffield.

impudent creatures!’ cried my mother. it was never pretty. ‘And. in company with the stocking and the yard-measure.’ I repeated stoutly.‘‘ ‘No. It seems to me. and we kissed one another over and over again. Davy. laughing and covering her face.which I thought  David Copperfield . and the crocodile book. laughing. ‘What ridiculous men! An’t they? Davy dear -’ ‘Well. My mother put her hands upon my lips to stop me.’ ‘’Bewitching -‘‘ I began. of course. Ma.’ interposed my mother. ‘It was never bewitching. and opening her mouth as if she were going to speak. but I would rather Peggotty didn’t know. ‘pretty. without doing it . at this distance of time.’ ‘Don’t tell Peggotty. and the bit of wax. Copperfield’. after looking at me several times. Not pretty. Now I know it wasn’t!’ ‘Yes.’ I promised. I am dreadfully angry with them myself.’ she said. ‘It never could have been bewitching. ‘Bewitching Mrs. she might be angry with them. and I soon fell fast asleep. one evening (when my mother was out as before). no. it was. ‘Pretty little widow. when Peggotty. laying her fingers on my lips again. as if it were the next day when Peggotty broached the striking and adventurous proposition I am about to mention. ‘Yes it was. Paul’s on the lid. but it was probably about two months afterwards. We were sitting as before. and the box with St.lieve it.‘‘ ‘What foolish.

and replied that it would indeed be a treat. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. all of a sudden. you know. or I should have been rather alarmed said coaxingly: ‘Master Davy. looking at me again at last. ‘I say! Peggotty! She can’t live by herself. and not worth darning. but what would my mother say? ‘Why then I’ll as good as bet a guinea. ‘Then there’s the sea.’ ‘Oh. if you like. but she spoke of him as a morsel of English Grammar. holding up her hands. what an agreeable man he is!’ cried Peggotty. it must have been a very little one indeed. mentioned in my first chapter. I’ll ask her. and the fishermen. ‘Don’t you know? She’s going to stay for a fortnight with Mrs. bless you!’ said Peggotty. provisionally. and Am to play with -’ Peggotty meant her nephew Ham. how should you like to go along with me and spend a fortnight at my brother’s at Yarmouth? Wouldn’t that be a treat?’ ‘Is your brother an agreeable man.’ If Peggotty were looking for a hole. ‘Oh.was merely gaping. There now!’ ‘But what’s she to do while we’re away?’ said I. intent upon my face. and the beach. I was flushed by her summary of delights. and the boats and ships. putting my small elbows on the table to argue the point. as soon as ever she comes home.’ said Peggotty. Peggotty?’ I inquired. ‘She can’t live by herself. in the heel of that stocking. ‘that she’ll let us go.com  .

and sleep in my hat and boots. in the utmost impatience. It touches me nearly now. made me cry. I am glad to know that my mother cried too. and that I felt her heart beat against mine. I am glad to recollect that when the carrier began to move. and called to him to stop. until my mother came home from Mrs. might interpose to stop the expedition. and half afraid that an earthquake or a fiery mountain. who was in a fever of expectation. I am glad to recollect that when the carrier’s cart was at the gate. that she might kiss me once more. I waited. or some other great convulsion of nature. to think how little I suspected what I did leave for ever. It was such an early day that it came soon. even to me. although I tell it lightly. I would have given any money to have been allowed to wrap myself up over-night. and it was all arranged that night. I am glad to dwell  David Copperfield .’ Oh! If that was it. which departed in the morning after breakfast. Mrs. I was quite ready to go. Grayper’s going to have a lot of company. The day soon came for our going. Grayper’s (for it was that identical neighbour). to recollect how eager I was to leave my happy home. my mother entered into it readily. Without being nearly so much surprised as I had expected. my mother ran out at the gate. a grateful fondness for her and for the old place I had never turned my back upon before. to ascertain if we could get leave to carry out this great idea. and my mother stood there kissing me. We were to go in a carrier’s cart.Grayper. and my board and lodging during the visit were to be paid for.

As we left her standing in the road. and seemed to expostulate with her for being so moved. Murdstone came up to where she was. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. seemed anything but satisfied. I should be able to track my way home again by the buttons she would shed. and did so.upon the earnestness and love with which she lifted up her face to mine. and wondered what business it was of his. if she were employed to lose me like the boy in the fairy tale. I was looking back round the awning of the cart. who was also looking back on the other side. in a reverie on this supposititious case: whether. as the face she brought back in the cart denoted.com  . I sat looking at Peggotty for some time. Mr. Peggotty.

and I could not have believed unless I had heard her do it. David Copperfield  . and slept a good deal. her hold of which never relaxed. I should hope. and of drooping sleepily forward as he drove. that one defenceless woman could have snored so much. I fancied. like his horse. but it struck me that the cart would have gone to Yarmouth quite as well without him. Peggotty had a basket of refreshments on her knee. he had no idea of it but whistling. which would have lasted us out handsomely. and as to conversation. as if he liked to keep people waiting to whom the packages were directed. and shuffled along. I say ‘drove’. with his head down. indeed. with one of his arms on each of his knees. We ate a good deal. Peggotty always went to sleep with her chin upon the handle of the basket. The carrier had a way of keeping his head down. that he sometimes chuckled audibly over this reflection. for the horse did all that. if we had been going to London by the same conveyance.CHAPTER 3 I HAVE A CHANGE T he carrier’s horse was the laziest horse in the world. but the carrier said he was only troubled with a cough.

for her part. and saw the whole adjacent prospect lying a straight low line under the sky. and were such a long time delivering a bedstead at a publichouse. she was proud to call herself a Yarmouth Bloater. and the town and the tide had not been quite so much mixed up. it would have been nicer. as I carried my eye over the great dull waste that lay across the river. and also that if the land had been a little more separated from the sea. if the world were really as round as my geography book said. But I reflected that Yarmouth might be situated at one of the poles. I thought. As we drew a little nearer. with greater emphasis than usual. ‘Here’s my Am!’ screamed Peggotty. But Peggotty said. It looked rather spongy and soppy. ‘growed out of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I felt that I had done so busy a place an injustice. and oakum. that we must take things as we found them. and I could not help wondering. When we got into the street (which was strange enough to me) and smelt the fish. upon the whole. and saw the sailors walking about. when we saw Yarmouth. like toast and water. which would account for it.We made so many deviations up and down lanes. and that. that I was quite tired. the finest place in the universe. and the carts jingling up and down over the stones. and told me it was well known (I suppose to those who had the good fortune to be born Bloaters) that Yarmouth was. and said as much to Peggotty. how any part of it came to be so flat. and very glad. and calling at other places. and pitch. I hinted to Peggotty that a mound or so might have improved it. who heard my expressions of delight with great complacency.com  . and tar.

as far as I could stare over the wilderness. and a pair of such very stiff trousers that they would have stood quite as well alone. now. at the public-house. riggers’ lofts. and a great litter of such places. but no house could I make out. but with a simpering boy’s face and curly light hair that gave him quite a sheepish look.knowledge!’ He was waiting for us. a huge. and away at the river. Mas’r Davy!’ I looked in all directions. or some other kind of superannuated boat. ‘Yon’s our house. and naturally he had the advantage of me. in fact. like an old acquaintance. with something pitchy. strong fellow of six feet high. ship-breakers’ yards. high and dry  David Copperfield . smiths’ forges. because he had never come to our house since the night I was born. caulkers’ yards. until we came out upon the dull waste I had already seen at a distance. He was dressed in a canvas jacket. and Peggotty carrying another small box of ours. as that he was covered in a-top. rope-walks. He was. and round-shouldered. There was a black barge. we turned down lanes bestrewn with bits of chips and little hillocks of sand. not far off. without any legs in them. broad in proportion. Ham carrying me on his back and a small box of ours under his arm. when Ham said. and away at the sea. shipwrights’ yards. and asked me how I found myself. that I knew him as well as he knew me. like an old building. But our intimacy was much advanced by his taking me on his back to carry me home. I did not feel. and went past gas-works. boat-builders’ yards. at first. And you couldn’t so properly have said he wore a hat.

‘That ship-looking thing?’ ‘That’s it. I might have thought it small. or inconvenient. ‘That’s not it?’ said I. and there were little windows in it. of scripture subjects. roc’s egg and all. but the wonderful charm of it was. if it had tumbled down. on dry land. Abraham in red going to sacrifice Isaac in blue. There was a table. and as tidy as possible. There was a delightful door cut in the side. with an iron funnel sticking out of it for a chimney and smoking very cosily. If it had ever been meant to be lived in. and which had never been intended to be lived in. or lonely. it became a perfect abode. and the tray. and a Dutch clock. but nothing else in the way of a habitation that was visible to me.’ returned Ham. by a bible. and it was roofed in. without seeing the whole interior of Peggotty’s brother’s house again. such as I have never seen since in the hands of pedlars. at one view. If it had been Aladdin’s palace. The tray was kept from tumbling down. that it was a real boat which had no doubt been upon the water hundreds of times. framed and glazed. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. taking a walk with a military-looking child who was trundling a hoop.on the ground. would have smashed a quantity of cups and saucers and a teapot that were grouped around the book. and a chest of drawers. On the walls there were some common coloured pictures.com  . It was beautifully clean inside. and on the chest of drawers there was a tea-tray with a painting on it of a lady with a parasol. Mas’r Davy. but never having been designed for any such use. That was the captivation of it to me. I suppose I could not have been more charmed with the romantic idea of living in it.

The walls were whitewashed as white as milk. a work of art. and some lockers and boxes and conveniences of that sort. just the right height for me. nailed against the wall. in a state of wonderful conglomeration with one 0 David Copperfield . with a real little wooden stern stuck on to it. which served for seats and eked out the chairs. she informed me that her brother dealt in lobsters. It was the completest and most desirable bedroom ever seen . combining composition with carpentry. On my imparting this discovery in confidence to Peggotty. with a little window. which there was just room enough to get into. and I afterwards found that a heap of these creatures. was a picture of the ‘Sarah Jane’ lugger. where the rudder used to go through. a little looking-glass. One thing I particularly noticed in this delightful house. the use of which I did not divine then. built at Sunderland.and Daniel in yellow cast into a den of green lions. was the smell of fish.child-like. There were some hooks in the beams of the ceiling.and then Peggotty opened a little door and showed me my bedroom. Over the little mantelshelf. and a nosegay of seaweed in a blue mug on the table. according to my theory . which was so searching. which I considered to be one of the most enviable possessions that the world could afford. and framed with oyster-shells. a little bed.in the stern of the vessel. I found it smelt exactly as if it had wrapped up a lobster. were the most prominent of these. and the patchwork counterpane made my eyes quite ache with its brightness. that when I took out my pocket-handkerchief to wipe my nose. and crawfish. crabs. All this I saw in the first glance after I crossed the threshold .

Likewise by a most beautiful little girl (or I thought her so) with a necklace of blue beads on. melted butter. and so he turned out . about a quarter of a mile off. but you’ll find us ready.another. ‘Did you leave her pretty jolly?’ I gave Mr. We were welcomed by a very civil woman in a white apron. ‘long wi’ her.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. from the general propriety of her conduct.’ said Mr.being presently introduced to me as Mr. ‘and Ham. I had no doubt. and gave her a hearty smack on the cheek. ‘I’m much obleeged to her. were usually to be found in a little wooden outhouse where the pots and kettles were kept. with a chop for me. but ran away and hid herself. sir.which was a polite fiction on my part.’ I thanked him. I’m sure. ‘Well. fur a fortnut. whom I had seen curtseying at the door when I was on Ham’s back. and replied that I was sure I should be happy in such a delightful place. a hairy man with a very good-natured face came home. we shall be proud of your company. who wouldn’t let me kiss her when I offered to. Peggotty. Peggotty. and that she desired her compliments . and little Em’ly. Peggotty to understand that she was as jolly as I could wish.’ nodding at his sister. As he called Peggotty ‘Lass’. if you can make out here. and never leaving off pinching whatever they laid hold of. sir. sir?’ said Mr. sir. the master of the house. By and by. that he was her brother.’ said Mr. Peggotty. Peggotty. when we had dined in a sumptuous manner off boiled dabs. and potatoes. ‘How’s your Ma.com 1 . ‘You’ll find us rough. ‘Glad to see you.

was knitting on the opposite side of the fire. Little Em’ly had overcome her shyness. ‘Sir. that I couldn’t help thinking his face had this in common with the lobsters. He soon returned.  David Copperfield . which was just large enough for us two. who had been giving me my first lesson in all-fours. crabs. and just fitted into the chimney corner. Peggotty went out to wash himself in a kettleful of hot water. and crawfish. Peggotty with the white apron. was trying to recollect a scheme of telling fortunes with the dirty cards. and to look at the fire. Mrs. After tea.that it went into the hot water very black. Ham. and was printing off fishy impressions of his thumb on all the cards he turned. and came out very red. Peggotty was smoking his pipe. I felt it was a time for conversation and confidence. Peggotty!’ says I. Mr.’ says he. greatly improved in appearance. Peggotty at her needlework was as much at home with St. Mr. To hear the wind getting up out at sea. .Having done the honours of his house in this hospitable manner. ‘Mr. it seemed to me the most delicious retreat that the imagination of man could conceive. to know that the fog was creeping over the desolate flat outside. as if they had never known any other roof. Paul’s and the bit of wax-candle. and think that there was no house near but this one. when the door was shut and all was made snug (the nights being cold and misty now). and was sitting by my side upon the lowest and least of the lockers. was like enchantment. remarking that ‘cold would never get his muck off’. and this one a boat. but so rubicund.

Mr.’ I couldn’t help it. Peggotty. Peggotty was not Ham’s father.’ I said. because you lived in a sort of ark?’ Mr. ‘Drowndead.’ said Mr. Peggotty?’ ‘No. his father giv it him. Peggotty?’ I hinted. Mr.Dead. I felt the difficulty of resuming the subject. I was very much surprised that Mr. that I made up my mind to have it out with Mr.’ said Mr. I was so curious to know. sir. but answered: ‘No. sir. isn’t she. Mr. and must get to the bottom somehow. ‘She is your daughter. Peggotty. Peggotty. ‘Little Em’ly.‘Did you give your son the name of Ham. after another respectful silence. ‘Dead.’ said Mr. master. after a respectful pause.’ said Mr. sir. Peggotty?’ I hinted. was her father. then?’ said I. Peggotty. Mr. glancing at her. I never giv him no name. So I said: ‘Haven’t you ANY children. Peggotty.’ he answered with a short laugh. ‘I thought you were his father!’ ‘My brother Joe was his father. My brother-in-law. ‘Why.com  .’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Drowndead. Peggotty. and began to wonder whether I was mistaken about his relationship to anybody else there. Peggotty seemed to think it a deep idea. ‘I’m a bacheldore.’ ‘Who gave him that name. Tom. ‘. putting question number two of the catechism to Mr. Peggotty?’ ‘No. but had not got to the bottom of it yet.

Mr. He was but a poor man himself. Mr. and if it were ever referred to. who had died very poor.’ said Mr. ‘That’s Missis Gummidge. and to him and Ham  David Copperfield .I mean my own peculiar Peggotty . ‘Why. It appeared. until it was time to go to bed. he struck the table a heavy blow with his right hand (had split it on one such occasion). that I could only sit and look at all the silent company. Then. but as good as gold and as true as steel . ‘Gummidge. Peggotty?’ pointing to the person in the apron who was knitting. I was very sensible of my entertainer’s goodness. if it was ever mentioned again. on which he ever showed a violent temper or swore an oath. whom my host had at different times adopted in their childhood. she informed me that Ham and Em’ly were an orphan nephew and niece. she informed me.‘A bachelor!’ I said. and swore a dreadful oath that he would be ‘Gormed’ if he didn’t cut and run for good.made such impressive motions to me not to ask any more questions. that nobody had the least idea of the etymology of this terrible verb passive to be gormed. was this generosity of his. Gummidge was the widow of his partner in a boat. The only subject. said Peggotty. in answer to my inquiries. in the privacy of my own little cabin. when they were left destitute: and that Mrs. Peggotty. Peggotty?’ But at this point Peggotty .those were her similes. astonished. and listened to the women’s going to bed in another little crib like mine at the opposite end of the boat. but that they all regarded it as constituting a most solemn imprecation. who’s that. by any one of them.

with a becoming air of boldness. picking up stones upon the beach. I don’t know that I supposed anything of the kind. Nothing happened. that I had a lazy apprehension of the great deep rising in the night. I have seen it tear a boat as big as our house.’ said Em’ly. I heard the wind howling out at sea and coming on across the flat so fiercely. ‘I an’t!’ ‘Ah! but it’s cruel. but I felt it an act of gallantry to say something. worse than morning. shaking her head.’ ‘I hope it wasn’t the boat that -’ ‘That father was drownded in?’ said Em’ly. that it came into my head to say this. after all. ‘No.’ ‘Nor him?’ I asked her. all to pieces. ‘I have seen it very cruel to some of our men. ‘You’re quite a sailor. in her bright eye. Almost as soon as it shone upon the oyster-shell frame of my mirror I was out of bed. But I bethought myself that I was in a boat. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Peggotty was not a bad person to have on board if anything did happen. ‘I’m afraid of the sea. As slumber gradually stole upon me. and that a man like Mr.’ ‘Afraid!’ I said. at the moment. however. enhanced by my being sleepy. in a very luxurious state of mind. and looking very big at the mighty ocean. Not that one.hanging up two hammocks for themselves on the hooks I had noticed in the roof. I never see that boat.com  . and a shining sail close to us made such a pretty little image of itself. and out with little Em’ly. I suppose?’ I said to Em’ly. ‘No.’ replied Em’ly.

and my father was a fisherman and my mother was a fisherman’s daughter.yonder. beneath the boughs of which I had walked and heard the birds sing many a pleasant morning. except that it was somewhere in the depths of the sea. ‘your father was a gentleman and your mother is a lady. and how my mother and I had always lived by ourselves in the happiest state imaginable. a cocked hat. and a box of money. ‘Uncle Dan . She had lost her mother before her father. Peggotty well deserved these treasures.’ said Em’ly. and where her father’s grave was no one knew.’ ‘Dan is Mr. ‘Yes. I’d give him a sky-blue coat with diamond buttons. a large gold watch. and how my father’s grave was in the churchyard near our house. and shaded by a tree. and always meant to live so. nodding at the boat-house. is he?’ said I. ‘If I was ever to be a lady. and my uncle Dan is a fisherman.’ I said I had no doubt that Mr. Peggotty. a silver pipe. it appeared. I mean him. ‘Not to remember!’ Here was a coincidence! I immediately went into an explanation how I had never seen my own father. I must acknowledge that I felt it difficult to picture him quite at his ease in the raiment proposed for him by his grateful little niece. He must be very good. But there were some differences between Em’ly’s orphanhood and mine. as she looked about for shells and pebbles. ‘Besides.Little Em’ly shook her head. and lived so then. I should think?’ ‘Good?’ said Em’ly. nankeen trousers. a red velvet waistcoat. and that I was particularly  David Copperfield .’ answered Em’ly.

We would for the poor fishermen’s. shyly. Me. We went on again. ‘But I wake when it blows. Gummidge. when there comes stormy weather. . ‘I’m not afraid in this way. ‘You don’t seem to be either. to be sure. picking up shells and pebbles. However.for she was walking much too near the brink of a sort of old jetty or wooden causeway we had strolled upon. now?’ It was quiet enough to reassure me. I said ‘No. but I have no doubt if I had seen a moderately large wave come tumbling in. ‘I should like it very much. We would all be gentlefolks together.’ This seemed to me to be a very satisfactory and therefore not at all improbable picture.doubtful of the policy of the cocked hat. But I’m not afraid in this Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ . and laughed and nodded ‘yes’. and I was afraid of her falling over. I mean. ‘You would like to be a lady?’ I said. but I kept these sentiments to myself. and little Em’ly was emboldened to say. though you say you are. Emily looked at me. and Mrs. with an awful recollection of her drowned relations. and uncle. That’s why I should like so much to be a lady. then. We wouldn’t mind then.com  . Little Em’ly had stopped and looked up at the sky in her enumeration of these articles.’ said little Em’ly. I should have taken to my heels.’ and I added. and we’d help ‘em with money when they come to any hurt. and Ham. I expressed my pleasure in the contemplation of it. and tremble to think of Uncle Dan and Ham and believe I hear ‘em crying out for help. as if they were a glorious vision.Not for our own sakes. ‘Don’t you think you are afraid of the sea.

and I soon laughed at my fears. Not a bit. when I have thought. The incident is so impressed on my remembrance. There has been a time since . But there have been times since. many times there have been. that her life might have a chance of ending that day? There has been a time since when I have wondered whether. Look here!’ She started from my side. accurately as it was that day. for there was no one near. if the life before her could have been revealed to me at a glance. I ought to have held it up to save her.way. in my manhood. with a look that I have never forgotten. directed far out to sea. and so revealed as that a child could fully comprehend it. bold. fruitlessly in any case. and overhung the deep water at some height. among the possibilities of hidden things.I do not say it lasted long. there was any merciful attraction of her into danger. Is it possible. would it have been better for little Em’ly to have had the waters close above her head that morning in my sight. and when I have  David Copperfield . fluttering little figure turned and came back safe to me. and ran along a jagged timber which protruded from the place we stood upon. but it has been . and at the cry I had uttered. that if I were a draughtsman I could draw its form here. that in the sudden rashness of the child and her wild look so far off. I dare say. any tempting her towards him permitted on the part of her dead father. and little Em’ly springing forward to her destruction (as it appeared to me). The light. without the least defence. and if her preservation could have depended on a motion of my hand.when I have asked myself the question.

with greater purity and more disinterestedness. I don’t think I should have regarded it as much more than I had had reason to expect. Of course I was in love with little Em’ly. quite as tenderly. which etherealized.answered Yes. and loaded ourselves with things that we thought curious. as if Time had not grown up himself yet. and always at play. and made a very angel of her. than can enter into the best love of a later time of life. but were a child too. or the reverse . and received it as a compliment. I am sure my fancy raised up something round that blue-eyed mite of a child. perhaps. and went in to breakfast glowing with health and pleasure.I hardly know enough of the race at this moment to be quite certain whether they had reason to feel obliged to us for doing so.’ Mr. But let it stand.com  .and then made our way home to Mr. We stopped under the lee of the lobster-outhouse to exchange an innocent kiss. Peggotty said. Peggotty’s dwelling. hours and hours. high and ennobling as it is. The days sported by us. any sunny forenoon. I have set it down too soon. I told Em’ly I adored her. and put some stranded starfish carefully back into the water . ‘Like two young mavishes. I knew this meant. it would have been. This may be premature. like two young thrushes. and that unless Free eBooks at Planet eBook. We used to walk about that dim old flat at Yarmouth in a loving manner. If. I am sure I loved that baby quite as truly. We strolled a long way. she had spread a little pair of wings and flown away before my eyes. in our local dialect.

little Em’ly and I had no such trouble. by his being out on the second or third evening of our visit. or other difficulty in our way. between eight and nine. Gummidge had had a convenient apartment of her own to retire to. what was more. Peggotty smiled at us from behind his pipe. who used to whisper of an evening when we sat. Peggotty went occasionally to a public-house called The Willing Mind. and that. she 0 David Copperfield . or youthfulness. Gummidge’s was rather a fretful disposition. and I have no doubt she did. because we had no future. and Ham grinned all the evening and did nothing else. or a pocket model of the Colosseum. I discovered this. if Mrs. Mr. lovingly. but there were moments when it would have been more agreeable. Mrs. I soon found out that Mrs. As to any sense of inequality. than we did for growing younger.she confessed she adored me I should be reduced to the necessity of killing myself with a sword. and saying he was there. ‘Lor! wasn’t it beautiful!’ Mr. She said she did. Gummidge’s looking up at the Dutch clock. and had stopped there until her spirits revived. on our little locker side by side. I thought. Peggotty. and she whimpered more sometimes than was comfortable for other parties in so small an establishment. We made no more provision for growing older. They had something of the sort of pleasure in us. and by Mrs. under the circumstances of her residence with Mr. Gummidge and Peggotty. Gummidge did not always make herself so agreeable as she might have been expected to do. I suppose. We were the admiration of Mrs. that they might have had in a pretty toy. I was very sorry for her.

and shed tears again. ‘I am a lone lorn creetur’.’ said Mrs. Gummidge’s words. Gummidge. Mrs. Gummidge had been in a low state all day.’ ‘I feel it more.I again mean our Peggotty . it’ll soon leave off. Gummidge said she felt it more than we did. you know. Gummidge was always helped immediately after me. The fish were small and bony. It was a very cold day. when the fire smoked. but Mrs. when Mrs. but it didn’t suit her that day at all.‘and besides. it’s not more disagreeable to you than to us. ‘and everythink goes contrary with me. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to whom the preference was given as a visitor of distinction. and of its occasioning a visitation in her back which she called ‘the creeps’. and the potatoes were a little burnt. and made that former declaration with great bitterness. ‘Everybody must feel it so.com 1 . ‘It is certainly very cold. We all acknowledged that we felt this something of a disappointment. with cutting blasts of wind. when that unpleasant occurrence took place. At last she shed tears on that subject. and had burst into tears in the forenoon.’ said Mrs.had known in the morning he would go there. and said again that she was ‘a lone lorn creetur’ and everythink went contrary with her’.’ ‘I feel it more than other people. Gummidge.’ said Peggotty .’ were Mrs. Gummidge’s peculiar corner of the fireside seemed to me to be the warmest and snuggest in the place. She was constantly complaining of the cold.’ said Peggotty. Mrs.’ ‘Oh. as her chair was certainly the easiest. So at dinner.

‘What’s amiss?’ said Mr. Dan’l?’ ‘Why yes. She took out an old black silk handkerchief and wiped her eyes. Gummidge. Gummidge.Accordingly. or looked something. Mates. and wiped them again. Gummidge was knitting in her corner. ‘What’s amiss. with little Em’ly by my side. ‘You’ve come from The Willing Mind. Peggotty. ready for use. Peggotty with an honest laugh. Gummidge did not appear to be able to cheer up. Ham had been patching up a great pair of waterboots. Peggotty. and  David Copperfield . with a clap of his hands. and I.’ said Mr. Mrs. and had never raised her eyes since tea. Gummidge.’ returned Mrs.’ said Mrs.’ returned Mr. this unfortunate Mrs. when Mr. Peggotty meant old girl. Gummidge had never made any other remark than a forlorn sigh. Peggotty came home about nine o’clock. ‘and how are you?’ We all said something.’ said Mrs. ‘I only go too ready. to welcome him.’ said Mr. Peggotty had been working cheerfully.) Mrs. and still kept it out. had been reading to them. ‘I’m sorry I should drive you there. but instead of putting it in her pocket. kept it out. I’ve took a short spell at The Willing Mind tonight. ‘Cheer up. ‘Nothing. except Mrs. who only shook her head over her knitting. Peggotty. in a very wretched and miserable condition. shaking her head. taking his seat. ‘Well.’ ‘Very ready. old Mawther!’ (Mr. ‘Drive! I don’t want no driving. Gummidge. Peggotty. dame?’ said Mr.

’ Here I was suddenly melted. If thinks must go contrary with me. yes. Gummidge. and I show it more. Yes. I feel my troubles. ‘I am far from it. Mrs.’ said Mrs.’ cried Mrs. let me go contrary in my parish. and Master Davy.’ I really couldn’t help thinking. Gummidge to cheer up. Peggotty made no such retort. it is. I am a lone lorn creetur’. I make the house uncomfortable.’ ‘Yes. and roared out. you haven’t. and not only that everythink goes contrary with me. ‘I know what I am. It’s my misfortun’. as I sat taking in all this. Gummidge. But Mr. ‘It’s far from right that I should do it. very ready. but I an’t. ‘It an’t a fit return.’ in great mental distress. I’ve made your sister so all day. and die and be Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I don’t wonder at it. Gummidge. that the misfortune extended to some other members of that family besides Mrs. I wish I didn’t feel ‘em.’ ‘Along o’ you! It an’t along o’ you!’ said Mr. Peggotty. I feel more than other people do. I wish I could be hardened to ‘em. and had much better not make myself contrary here. Gummidge. I am sorry it should be along of me that you’re so ready. I know what I am. but I do. Gummidge. I’d better go into the house.wiping her eyes. ‘Yes. My troubles has made me contrary. yes. and I must go contrary myself. ‘Don’t ye believe a bit on it. only answering with another entreaty to Mrs. I know that I am a lone lorn creetur’. I had better go into the house and die.com  . ‘I an’t what I could wish myself to be. but that I go contrary with everybody. ‘No. and they make me contrary.’ said Mrs. yes. Dan’l.

Peggotty. Gummidge was overcome in a similar manner during the remainder of our stay (which happened some few times). Some time after he was in his hammock that night. who had not exhibited a trace of any feeling but the profoundest sympathy. and nodding his head with a lively expression of that sentiment still animating his face. which altered Mr. I don’t know why one slight set of impressions should be more particularly associated with a place than another. and always with the tenderest commiseration. and altered Ham’s engagements also. and that it always had a moving effect upon him. explained that it was the late Mr. So the fortnight slipped away. Peggotty’s times of going out and coming in. said in a whisper: ‘She’s been thinking of the old ‘un!’ I did not quite understand what old one Mrs. and that her brother always took that for a received truth on such occasions. varied by nothing but the variation of the tide. and once or twice he took us for a row. and betook herself to bed. ‘Poor thing! She’s been thinking of the old ‘un!’ And whenever Mrs. he sometimes walked with us to show us the boats and ships. looked round upon us. in reference especially to the associations of their  David Copperfield . Gummidge was supposed to have fixed her mind upon. Gummidge. he always said the same thing in extenuation of the circumstance. I heard him myself repeat to Ham. Gummidge retired with these words.a riddance!’ Mrs. When the latter was unemployed. on seeing me to bed. though I believe this obtains with most people. Mr. until Peggotty. When she was gone.

than my reproachful young conscience seemed to point that way with a ready finger. Gummidge. But I was no sooner turned towards it. the more familiar the objects became that we passed. and to run into her arms. and the sun. all the time I had been on my visit.com  . that it was my nest. I had one made that day. Ham lazily dropping stones into the water. so that the nearer we drew. little Em’ly leaning on my shoulder. instead of sharing in those transports. all the more for the sinking of my spirits. away at sea. This gained upon me as we went along. and had thought little or nothing about it. just breaking through the heavy mist. (I redeemed that promise afterwards. and showing us the ships. I never hear the name. Peggotty and Mrs. But Peggotty.) We were greatly overcome at parting. I have had a void made in my heart. I bore up against the separation from Mr. and I promised. and if ever. the bells ringing for church. the more excited I was to get there. in characters larger than those in which apartments are usually announced in manuscript. in my life. as being to let. and I felt. I had been ungrateful to my home again. on the road. We went arm-in-arm to the public-house where the carrier put up. like their own shadows. or read the name. Now. tried to check them (though very kindly). and that my mother was my comforter and friend. but my agony of mind at leaving little Em’ly was piercing. of Yarmouth. but I am reminded of a certain Sunday morning on the beach. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. At last the day came for going home. to write to her. and looked confused and out of sorts.childhood.

for my mother. Peggotty was making a most extraordinary festoon of herself. ‘Bless the precious boy!’ cried Peggotty. When she had got down. ‘Peggotty!’ said I. yes. into the kitchen. but I felt too blank and strange to tell her so. quite frightened.  David Copperfield . on a cold grey afternoon. and shut the door. wondering. in spite of her. but a strange servant.Blunderstone Rookery would come. she’s not dead. and her natural awkwardness in getting out of the cart. half laughing and half crying in my pleasant agitation. ‘Something’s the matter. with a dull sky. Peggotty?’ Peggotty cried out No! with an astonishing volume of voice. ‘What is it? Speak. ‘isn’t she come home?’ ‘Yes. I’m sure. Peggotty!’ I said.and did.’ Between her agitation.’ said Peggotty. and then sat down. ‘Why. led me. however. ruefully. Master Davy. Peggotty!’ My eyes were full. she took me by the hand.I’ll tell you something. and what have we come in here for? Oh. Wait a bit. and began to pant. taking hold of me. too! Oh. my pet!’ ‘Not dead. ‘Yes. ‘She’s come home. It was not she. assuming an air of sprightliness. and I’ll . ‘What’s the matter?’ ‘Nothing’s the matter. How well I recollect it. Master Davy?’ repeated Peggotty. and I felt as if I were going to tumble down. and I looked. and said I had given her a turn. bless you. Master Davy dear!’ she answered. Where’s mama?’ ‘Where’s mama. Why hasn’t she come out to the gate. threatening rain! The door opened. Master Davy. when the carrier’s horse pleased .

On one side of the fire.’ .I don’t know what. how do Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and. untying her bonnet with a shaking hand. I should have told you before now. Mr. and arose hurriedly.com  . seemed to strike me like an unwholesome wind. looking at her in anxious inquiry. My mother dropped her work. sat my mother. said: ‘Come and see him. Murdstone. always control yourself! Davy boy. ‘A new one. but timidly I thought. Peggotty gave a gasp. as if she were swallowing something that was very hard. I ceased to draw back. perhaps. ‘What do you think? You have got a Pa!’ I trembled.connected with the grave in the churchyard. ‘Now. ‘A new one?’ I repeated. Clara my dear. ‘Master Davy. on the other. where she left me.‘And your mama.’ said Peggotty.that was always the substitute for exactly. in Peggotty’s militia of words .‘bring my mind to it. or to give her another turn in the right direction. more frightened than before. ‘Recollect! control yourself. Murdstone.’ said Peggotty. but I couldn’t azackly’ . dear.I gave her a hug to take away the turn. and speaking in a breathless sort of way. Peggotty. ‘but I hadn’t an opportunity.’ said Peggotty. Something . and we went straight to the best parlour.’ ‘I don’t want to see him.’ said Mr. and the raising of the dead. ‘You see. putting out her hand.’ said Peggotty. and then stood before her.’ said I.’ ‘Go on. I ought to have made it. or how . and turned white.

 David Copperfield . I could not look at her. and I was to lie a long way off. I went and kissed my mother: she kissed me. I knew quite well that he was looking at us both. I very soon started back from there. I rambled downstairs to find anything that was like itself. for the empty dog-kennel was filled up with a great dog . patted me gently on the shoulder. and roamed into the yard. and sprang out to get at me. As soon as I could creep away. My old dear bedroom was changed.you do?’ I gave him my hand. After a moment of suspense. I crept upstairs. and sat down again to her work. I could not look at him.deep mouthed and black-haired like Him . at some shrubs that were drooping their heads in the cold. and I turned to the window and looked out there.and he was very angry at the sight of me. so altered it all seemed.

and having a discontented something about it. or to care about me.who sleeps there now. looking as blank and strange upon the room as the room looked upon me. hearing the dog in the yard bark after me all the way while I climbed the stairs. I thought of the oddest things. but. and had been torn away from her to come here where no one seemed to want me. Gummidge under the influence of the old one. of the paper on the walls. Of the shape of the room.com  . and thought. I wonder! . I was crying all the time.CHAPTER 4 I FALL INTO DISGRACE I f the room to which my bed was removed were a sentient thing that could give evidence. half as much as Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I might appeal to it at this day . except that I was conscious of being cold and dejected. I went up there. which reminded me of Mrs. sat down with my small hands crossed. of the cracks in the ceiling. of the washing-stand being rickety on its three legs. At last in my desolation I began to consider that I was dreadfully in love with little Em’ly. and. of the flaws in the window-glass making ripples and dimples on the prospect. I am sure I never thought why I cried.to bear witness for me what a heavy heart I carried to it.

she did. then. ‘Nothing. Mrs. ‘Lord forgive you.’ I turned over on my face. you sav0 David Copperfield . that I rolled myself up in a corner of the counterpane. to prejudice my own boy against me. I hid my tears in the bedclothes. I recollect. too. when my most inveterate enemy might relent. Peggotty?’ Poor Peggotty lifted up her hands and eyes. one would think.’ cried my mother. or against anybody who is dear to me? What do you mean by it. ‘Davy. to hide my trembling lip. my child!’ I dare say no words she could have uttered would have affected me so much. and for what you have said this minute.’ said my mother. and it was one of them who had done it. My mother and Peggotty had come to look for me. you cruel thing!’ said my mother. Copperfield. ‘In my honeymoon. when she would have raised me up. and pressed her from me with my hand. ‘What’s the matter?’ I thought it was very strange that she should ask me. ‘Davy. How can you reconcile it to your conscience. you naughty boy! Peggotty. may you never be truly sorry!’ ‘It’s enough to distract me. I wonder. and answered. Peggotty. and not envy me a little peace of mind and happiness. and cried myself to sleep. I was awoke by somebody saying ‘Here he is!’ and uncovering my hot head.’ said my mother. ‘This is your doing. ‘I have no doubt at all about it. as her calling me her child. and only answered. in a sort of paraphrase of the grace I usually repeated after dinner. Davy. ‘Davy. which answered her with greater truth. This made such a very miserable piece of business of it.

and kissed her.’ ‘Indeed!’ he answered. but I am so uncomfortable. ‘I ought to know it. ‘do you know your mistress’s name?’ ‘She has been my mistress a long time. Murdstone’s hand.’ turning a darkening face on Peggotty. address her by a name that is not hers. my dear!’ ‘I am very sorry. my love.’ said Mr.’ he answered. I knew as well. together.’ returned my mother.com 1 . you know. turning from one of us to the other.isn’t it?’ He drew her to him.’ answered Peggotty. and her arm touch his neck . Clara.very hard . She has taken mine. ‘Go you below. Murdstone. My friend.age creature! Oh. sir. have you forgotten? .I knew as well that he could mould her pliant nature into any form he chose. when he had watched my mother out.Firmness. ‘That’s a bad hearing. dear me!’ cried my mother. as I know. ‘I meant to be very good. ‘David and I will come down.’ ‘I say it’s very hard I should be made so now.’ said my mother. ‘what a troublesome world this is. now.’ ‘That’s true. Edward. my love. so soon. and slipped to my feet at the bed-side. and dismissed her with a nod and a smile. ‘But I thought I heard you. that he did it. in her pettish wilful manner. Will Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and he kept it on my arm as he said: ‘What’s this? Clara. when I saw my mother’s head lean down upon his shoulder. ‘and it is . whispered in her ear. pouting. when one has the most right to expect it to be as agreeable as possible!’ I felt the touch of a hand that I knew was neither hers nor Peggotty’s. It was Mr. as I came upstairs.

’ He pointed to the washing-stand. I should do it. with some uneasy glances at me. that she was expected to go.’ I said.’ I had answered in a kind of breathless whisper. seeing. ‘if I have an obstinate horse or dog to deal with. He knew it was the mark of tears as well as I. each time with twenty blows. ‘You have a good deal of intelligence for a little fellow. ‘David.’ ‘I beat him. ‘and you understood me very well. I see. and had no excuse for remaining.’ he said.’ he said. and come down with me. he shut the door. by pressing them together. sir. I seem again to hear my heart beat fast and high. making his lips thin. face to face. and if it were to cost him all the blood he had.you remember that?’ Peggotty. When we two were left alone. that my breath was shorter now. to his. in my silence. curtseyed herself out of the room without replying. but I felt. and smart. I say to myself. I suppose. I felt my own attracted. ‘I make him wince. As I recall our being opposed thus. looked steadily into my eyes. which I had made out  David Copperfield . with a grave smile that belonged to him. I believe my baby heart would have burst before I would have told him so. But if he had asked the question twenty times. and sitting on a chair. no less steadily. what do you think I do?’ ‘I don’t know. Wash that face. What is that upon your face?’ ‘Dirt. ‘I’ll conquer that fellow”. and holding me standing before him.

without being actively concerned in any business. for life. when I had done his bidding. A word of encouragement and explanation.and she was very fond of him. and that. and might have made me respect instead of hate him. He seemed to be very fond of my mother . some freedom in my childish tread .missing.to be like Mrs. by a kind word at that season. We shall soon improve our youthful humours. she followed me with her eyes more sorrowfully still . that. I gathered from what they said.’ he said. I might have been made another creature perhaps. with his hand still on my arm. We dined alone.I am afraid I liked him none the better for that .’ God help me. or afterwards. he had some share in. if I had hesitated. and I have less doubt now.com  . that he would have knocked me down without the least compunction. I am not certain whether I found out then. and motioned me with his head to obey him directly.but the word was not spoken. that an elder sister of his was coming to stay with them. ‘Clara. we three together. perhaps. instead of in my hypocritical outside. and that she was expected that evening. ‘you will not be made uncomfortable any more. and he walked me into the parlour. of reassurance to me that it was home. Gummidge. might have made me dutiful to him in my heart henceforth. or some annual charge upon the profits of. presently. I had little doubt then. and the time for it was gone. my dear. when I stole to a chair. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I hope. of welcome home. I thought my mother was sorry to see me standing in the room so scared and strange. of pity for my childish ignorance. I might have been improved for my whole life.

whether or no. nearly meeting over her large nose. seen such a metallic lady altogether as Miss Murd David Copperfield . held mine in it. as if it were wrong. with which his family had been connected from his great-grandfather’s time. whispered me to love my new father and be obedient to him. My mother followed him. and taking me in her embrace as she had been used to do. and I was meditating an escape to Peggotty without having the hardihood to slip away. When she paid the coachman she took her money out of a hard steel purse. It was Miss Murdstone who was arrived. and with very heavy eyebrows. I was timidly following her. After dinner. until we came near to where he was standing in the garden. and in which his sister had a similar interest. lest it should offend the master of the house. and a gloomylooking lady she was. and shut up like a bite. but I may mention it in this place.a wine-merchant’s house in London. and she kept the purse in a very jail of a bag which hung upon her arm by a heavy chain. when she turned round at the parlour door. where she let mine go. a coach drove up to the garden-gate and he went out to receive the visitor. She brought with her two uncompromising hard black boxes. she had carried them to that account. in the dusk. but tenderly. as if. and drew hers through his arm. at that time. I had never. being disabled by the wrongs of her sex from wearing whiskers. with her initials on the lids in hard brass nails. She did this hurriedly and secretly. whom she greatly resembled in face and voice. putting out her hand behind her. and. when we were sitting by the fire. like her brother. dark.

How d’ye do. boy?’ Under these encouraging circumstances. with which Miss Murdstone embellished herself when she was dressed. she begged the favour of being shown to her room. As well as I could make out. and had no intention of ever going again. ‘I don’t like boys. with such an indifferent grace. She began to ‘help’ my mother next morning. she had come for good. sister-in-law?’ My mother acknowledged me. She was brought into the parlour with many tokens of welcome. putting things to rights. and said: ‘Is that your boy. and there formally recognized my mother as a new and near relation. and where (for I peeped in once or twice when she was out) numerous little steel fetters and rivets. wherein the two black boxes were never seen open or known to be left unlocked. with great distinctness. and was in and out of the store-closet all day. generally hung upon the looking-glass in formidable array. and making havoc in the old arrangements. Then she looked at me.com  . I replied that I was very well. Almost the first remarkable thing I observed in Miss Murdstone was. her being constantly haunted by a suspicion that the servants had a man secreted somewhere Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and that I hoped she was the same.stone was. that Miss Murdstone disposed of me in two words: ‘Wants manner!’ Having uttered which.’ said Miss Murdstone. ‘Generally speaking. which became to me from that time forth a place of awe and dread.

you know. I am come here. to relieve you of all the trouble I can. Clara. My mother did not suffer her authority to pass from her without a shadow of protest. Miss Murdstone kept the keys in her own little jail all day. but I could not concur in this idea. as I believe to this hour. which was her nearest approach to a kiss. my dear.my mother blushed but laughed. On the very first morning after her arrival she was up and ringing her bell at cock-crow.’ From that time. and my mother had no more to do with them than I had. and under her pillow all night. in the belief that she had got him. my dear.on the premises. and seemed not to dislike this character . Miss Murdstone gave her a kind of peck on the cheek. One night when Miss Murd David Copperfield . Peggotty gave it as her opinion that she even slept with one eye open. and scarcely ever opened the door of a dark cupboard without clapping it to again. If you’ll be so good as give me your keys. she dived into the coal-cellar at the most untimely hours. When my mother came down to breakfast and was going to make the tea. Though there was nothing very airy about Miss Murdstone. She was up (and. I’ll attend to all this sort of thing in future. for I tried it myself after hearing the suggestion thrown out. she was a perfect Lark in point of getting up. and said: ‘Now. looking for that man) before anybody in the house was stirring.‘to have any duties imposed upon you that can be undertaken by me. Under the influence of this delusion. and found it couldn’t be done. You’re much too pretty and thoughtless’ .

She might be firm.’ said my mother. Murdstone. my mother suddenly began to cry. Murdstone. for everybody was to be bent to his firmness. but only in bearing their firmness. Mr. ‘It’s very hard. Murdstone was firm.’ faltered my mother. nobody else in his world was to be firm at all.com  .‘I hope you must know what I mean. and said she thought she might have been consulted. devil’s humour. I may observe. ‘Clara! I wonder at you. ‘Clara!’ said Mr.it’s very hard that in YOUR own house I may not have a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Edward .stone had been developing certain household plans to her brother. but you wouldn’t like it yourself. and in an inferior and tributary degree. I nevertheless did clearly comprehend in my own way. of which he signified his approbation. evidently frightened . ‘that in my own house -’ ‘My own house?’ repeated Mr. but only by relationship. ‘and it’s very well for you to talk about firmness. I mean. that was in them both. nobody in his world was to be so firm as Mr. Murdstone sternly. and firmly believing there was no other firmness upon earth. arrogant. it’s very well to say you wonder.’ ‘Oh. My mother was another exception. and must be. Miss Murdstone was an exception. was the grand quality on which both Mr. if I had been called upon.’ Firmness. and for a certain gloomy. ‘Clara!’ ‘OUR own house. and Miss Murdstone took their stand. as I should state it now. The creed. was this. However I might have expressed my comprehension of it at that time. Edward!’ cried my mother. She might be firm. that it was another name for tyranny.

I don’t ask much. and forming her character. ‘let there be an end of this.’ said her brother. and with many tears. you are so severe.word to say about domestic matters. I had a satisfaction in the thought of marrying an inexperienced and artless person.’ ‘Jane Murdstone. I am sure I managed very well before we were married. I should be very miserable and unhappy if anybody was to go. I go tomorrow. ‘let there be an end of this.’ ‘Jane Murdstone. looking at my mother. ‘Will you be silent? How dare you?’ Miss Murdstone made a jail-delivery of her pocket-handkerchief. sobbing. once. and I only want to be consulted as a mere form. at a grievous disadvantage. Murdstone. again.but you seem to hate me for it now.’ said Miss Murdstone. ‘ask Peggotty if I didn’t do very well when I wasn’t interfered with!’ ‘Edward. ‘Clara.I am sure you said so . with my being a little inexperienced and girlish. Edward .’ thundered Mr. I am not unreasonable. sometimes.’ my poor mother went on.’ said Miss Murdstone. There’s evidence. ‘I don’t want anybody to go. I only want to be consulted sometimes. and infusing into it some  David Copperfield . I thought you were pleased. I go tomorrow. and held it before her eyes. I am very much obliged to anybody who assists me. ‘you surprise me! You astound me! Yes. ‘be silent! How dare you to insinuate that you don’t know my character better than your words imply?’ ‘I am sure.’ he continued.’ said my mother.’ ‘Edward.

’ said my mother. and to assume. for my sake. Oh. ‘Oh. to endeavour to correct them for me. that feeling of mine is chilled and altered. don’t. if I wasn’t sure that I am.’ ‘Pray let us be friends. I should be quite broken-hearted if you thought of leaving -’ My mother was too much overcome to go on. I am sure she’ll tell you I’m affectionate.’ cried my mother.com  . I am sure I am not ungrateful. but not that. Edward! I can’t bear to hear it.’ he went on. Clara. pray. Ask Peggotty. I am affectionate. No one ever said I was before. I say. I wouldn’t say it. after waiting until my mother was silent. Murdstone to his sister. I hope. I know. say that!’ implored my mother very piteously. I know I am affectionate. But when Jane Murdstone is kind enough to come to my assistance in this endeavour. don’t.’ ‘There is no extent of mere weakness. with your strength of mind. ‘Jane Murdstone. my dear!’ ‘When Jane Murdstone meets. Jane. I have a great many defects.amount of that firmness and decision of which it stood in need. Whatever I am. pray. ‘with a base return. a condition something like a housekeeper’s. my love. uncommon. ‘any harsh words between us are. I don’t object to anything. It is not my Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I have many faults.’ ‘Don’t. You lose breath. Edward. Edward.’ said Mr. ‘that can have the least weight with me. ‘I couldn’t live under coldness or unkindness. Murdstone in reply.’ said Mr. and when she meets with a base return -’ ‘Oh. ‘don’t accuse me of being ungrateful. I am so sorry. and it’s very good of you.

after these magnanimous words. without seeing that my mother was in a terrible fright. awoke me. The gloomy taint that was in the Murdstone blood. I was so sorry for my mother’s distress. which that lady granted. darkened the Murdstone religion. and a perfect reconciliation took place. without first appealing to Miss Murdstone. an hour or so afterwards. I never knew my mother afterwards to give an opinion on any matter. and that Mr. And as this. or to get a candle from her. I paused outside the parlour door. She was very earnestly and humbly entreating Miss Murdstone’s pardon. I have thought. I was betrayed into it by another. when out of temper (she was infirm that way). without even having the heart to say good night to Peggotty. what Miss Murdstone’s opinion was.fault that so unusual an occurrence has taken place tonight. go to bed!’ I could hardly find the door. but I groped my way out. and Miss Murdstone were sitting alone. through the tears that stood in my eyes. she said that my mother had gone to bed poorly. and groped my way up to my room in the dark. which was austere and wrathful. that its assuming that char0 David Copperfield . move her hand towards her bag as if she were going to take out the keys and offer to resign them to my mother. You were betrayed into it by another.David. and I never saw Miss Murdstone. ‘is not a fit scene for the boy . Let us both try to forget it. on hearing my mother’s voice. since. Nor is it your fault. When her coming up to look for me.’ he added. Going down next morning rather earlier than usual. or without having first ascertained by some sure means.

Murdstone’s firmness. Yes. as in the old time. as if she were calling all the congregation names. Again. I listen to Miss Murdstone mumbling the responses. I catch rare glimpses of my mother. I follow some of those looks. then her husband. and the changed air of the place. Again.acter was a necessary consequence of Mr. the dreaded Sunday comes round. Be this as it may. and I linger behind alone. I note some neighbours looking at my mother and at me. then my mother. I wonder with a sudden fear whether it is likely that our good old clergyman can be wrong.com 1 . and I file into the old pew first. like a guarded captive brought to a condemned service. Again. Miss Murdstone pokes me with her prayer-book. as we walk home. and that all the angels in Heaven can be destroying angels. Miss Murdstone. and whispering. Again. I see her dark eyes roll round the church when she says ‘miserable sinners’. and wonder if my mother’s step be really not so light as I have seen it. and emphasizing all the dread words with a cruel relish. There is no Peggotty now. and if the gaiety of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and again. in a black velvet gown. and Mr. that looks as if it had been made out of a pall. and makes my side ache. if I move a finger or relax a muscle of my face. Again. Again. with one of them muttering at each ear like low thunder. Again. which wouldn’t allow him to let anybody off from the utmost weight of the severest penalties he could find any excuse for. Again. moving her lips timidly between the two. and Miss Murdstone right. as the three go on arm-in-arm. I well remember the tremendous visages with which we used to go to church. follows close upon me.

and to have been cheered by the gentleness of my mother’s voice and manner all the way. which was the bane of both our lives.perfectly unintelligible. was concluded on the subject yet. however. To this day. when I look upon the fat black letters in the primer. the puzzling novelty of their shapes. Nothing. seem to present themselves again before me as they used to do. Murdstone and his sister.school. I remember as the death-blow of my peace. very hard . and Miss Murdstone had originated it. and found them a favourable occasion for giving my mother lessons in that miscalled firmness. and I wonder stupidly about that. I believe I was kept at home for that purpose.and I was generally as much bewil David Copperfield . who were always present. and my mother had of course agreed with them. but really by Mr. Shall I ever forget those lessons! They were presided over nominally by my mother. Again. In the meantime. and the easy good-nature of O and Q and S. how we used to walk home together. I learnt lessons at home. But they recall no feeling of disgust or reluctance. I had been apt enough to learn. I wonder whether any of the neighbours call to mind. all the dreary dismal day. I seem to have walked along a path of flowers as far as the crocodile-book. and a grievous daily drudgery and misery. I can faintly remember learning the alphabet at her knee. she and I. They were very long. very numerous. On the contrary. There had been some talk on occasions of my going to boarding.her beauty be really almost worried away. But these solemn lessons which succeeded those. and willing enough. some of them. as I do. to me . Mr. when my mother and I had lived alone together.

or he does not know it.com  . Perhaps it is a grammar. and she says softly: ‘Oh. He knows his lesson.’ Miss Murdstone interposes awfully. Davy. by the by? I hand the first book to my mother. I trip over another word. Murdstone in his easy-chair by the window (though he pretends to be reading a book). Murdstone. perhaps a history. Davy. Don’t say. ‘Oh. Clara. Miss Murdstone looks up. or geography. but she does not dare. all sliding away. Mr. I redden. I think my mother would show me the book if she dared. and a slate. I come into the second-best parlour after breakfast. but not half so ready as Mr.’ says Mr. and stop. I wonder where they do go.dered by them as I believe my poor mother was herself. and bring one morning back again.’ ‘He does NOT know it. and going I don’t know where. and start off aloud at a racing pace while I have got it fresh. I take a last drowning look at the page as I give it into her hand. Davy!’ That’s childish. Let me remember how it used to be. ‘be firm with the boy. ‘I am really afraid he does not. Davy!’ ‘Now. I trip over a word. with my books. My mother is ready for me at her writing-desk. tumble over half-a-dozen words. Murdstone looks up. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. or as Miss Murdstone. sitting near my mother stringing steel beads. and an exercise-book. The very sight of these two has such an influence over me. that I begin to feel the words I have been at infinite pains to get into my head.’ says my mother.

Miss Murdstone does the same. I think of the number of yards of net in Miss Murdstone’s cap. Mr. Davy. and make him know it.’ I obey the first clause of the injunction by trying once more. is truly melancholy. The bigger it gets. who has been lying in wait  David Copperfield . At that instant. try once more. you see. My mother glances submissively at them. But the greatest effect in these miserable lessons is when my mother (thinking nobody is observing her) tries to give me the cue by the motion of her lips. There is a pile of these arrears very soon.‘Then. I tumble down before I get to the old place. or of the price of Mr. The case is so hopeless. The despairing way in which my mother and I look at each other. and lays it by as an arrear to be worked out when my other tasks are done. Now.’ says my mother. that I give up all idea of getting out.’ ‘Yes. Clara. ‘that is what I intend to do. Murdstone makes a movement of impatience which I have been expecting for a long time. and abandon myself to my fate. shuts the book. at a point where I was all right before. for I am very stupid. but am not so successful with the second. certainly. ‘you should just give him the book back.’ returns Miss Murdstone. Miss Murdstone. But I can’t think about the lesson. and I feel that I am wallowing in such a bog of nonsense. or any such ridiculous problem that I have no business with. and don’t want to have anything at all to do with. and stop to think. my dear Jane. as I blunder on. the more stupid I get. Murdstone’s dressing-gown. and it swells like a rolling snowball. and don’t be stupid.

Even when the lessons are done. for Miss Murdstone never could endure to see me untasked. there’s nothing like work .com  . colours.at which I see Miss Murdstone secretly overjoyed. my dear. at this distance of time. and am considered in disgrace for the rest of the evening. Murdstone comes out of his chair. It seems to me. there was not much gained but dinner.give your boy an exercise’. throws it at me or boxes my ears with it. ‘Clara. as if my unfortunate studies generally took this course. ‘If I go into a cheesemonger’s shop. and if I rashly made any show of being unemployed. present payment’ . and turns me out of the room by the shoulders. called her brother’s attention to me by saying. says in a deep warning voice: ‘Clara!’ My mother starts. and smiles faintly. in the shape of an appalling sum. I could have done very well if I had been without the Murdstones. Mr. I pore over these cheeses without any result or enlightenment until dinner-time. and begins. and delivered to me orally by Mr. Murdstone. Even when I did get through the morning with tolerable credit. and buy five thousand double-Gloucester cheeses at fourpence-halfpenny each. but the influence of the Murdstones upon me was like the fascination of two snakes on a wretched young bird. the worst is yet to happen.for nothing else all along. which caused me to be clapped Free eBooks at Planet eBook. This is invented for me. having made a Mulatto of myself by getting the dirt of the slate into the pores of my skin. takes the book. when. I have a slice of bread to help me out with the cheeses.

how I found time. and dogged.down to some new labour. From that blessed little room. . . for the gloomy theology of the Murdstones made all children out to be a swarm of little vipers (though there WAS a child once set in the midst of the Disciples). As to any recreation with other children of my age. for whatever harm was in some of them was not there for me. Don Quixote.and did me no harm. was to make me sullen. and my hope of something beyond that place and time. Tom Jones. I was not made the less so by my sense of being daily more and more shut out and alienated from my mother. to read those books as I did.as I did . dull. The natural result of this treatment. there and then. Humphrey Clinker. to which I had access (for it adjoined my own) and which nobody else in our house ever troubled. and Miss  David Copperfield . continued. for some six months or more. I suppose. It is curious to me how I could ever have consoled myself under my small troubles (which were great troubles to me). came out. a glorious host. by impersonating my favourite characters in them . to keep me company.and by putting Mr. in the midst of my porings and blunderings over heavier themes. I had very little of that. I believe I should have been almost stupefied but for one circumstance. It was this. Roderick Random. the Vicar of Wakefield. They kept alive my fancy. and Robinson Crusoe. Gil Blas.they. and the Arabian Nights. and held that they contaminated one another. and the Tales of the Genii. It is astonishing to me now. I knew nothing of it. My father had left a small collection of books in a little room upstairs. Peregrine Pickle.

and I know that Commodore Trunnion held that club with Mr. I have seen Tom Pipes go climbing up the churchsteeple. in my mind. in despite of all the grammars of all the languages in the world. the boys at play in the churchyard. connected with these books. in danger of being beset by savages.which I did too. every stone in the church. but the Captain was a Captain and a hero. with the knapsack on his back. I had a greedy relish for a few volumes of Voyages and Travels . in the parlour of our little village alehouse.I forget what. The Captain never lost dignity. I verily believe. Every barn in the neighbourhood. stopping to rest himself upon the wicket-gate. armed with the centre-piece out of an old set of boot-trees . dead or alive. I have been Tom Jones (a child’s Tom Jones. had some association of its own. from having his ears boxed with the Latin Grammar. When I think of it. now . of the Royal British Navy. The reader now understands. Pickle. reading as if for life. what I was when I came to that point of my youthful history to which I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I have sustained my own idea of Roderick Random for a month at a stretch. and I sitting on my bed. the picture always rises in my mind.com  .the perfect realization of Captain Somebody. and resolved to sell his life at a great price.that were on those shelves.Murdstone into all the bad ones . I did. of a summer evening. and stood for some locality made famous in them. This was my only and my constant comfort. and every foot of the churchyard. I have watched Strap. and for days and days I can remember to have gone about my region of our house. as well as I do. a harmless creature) for a week together.

my dear Jane. laid it down beside him.am now coming again. and having finished his preparation of it. and poised and switched in the air.and I saw that cast again as he said it . ‘Certainly. if I may so express  David Copperfield . I felt the words of my lessons slipping off. and another switch. but by the entire page. and Mr. ‘But . I found my mother looking anxious. and took up his book.’ said Mr. or line by line. I tried to lay hold of them. ‘Now. Murdstone. of course. ‘Certainly.’ faltered my mother. Miss Murdstone looking firm. Murdstone’s eye as it lighted on mine. with an impressive look. Murdstone binding something round the bottom of a cane .’ ‘To be sure. David. Clara?’ asked Mr. Clara. gravely. One morning when I went into the parlour with my books. ‘I tell you. my dear Jane. ‘I have been often flogged myself. but they seemed. I felt apprehensive that I was personally interested in this dialogue.’ and said no more.a lithe and limber cane.’ said Miss Murdstone.’ He gave the cane another poise. not one by one.but do you think it did Edward good?’ ‘Do you think it did Edward harm. which he left off binding when I came in. meekly. ‘That’s the point.‘you must be far more careful today than usual.’ said his sister.’ he said . as a beginning. This was a good freshener to my presence of mind. Murdstone. To this my mother returned. and sought Mr.

We began badly. with perfect firmness.’ said my mother. in her warning voice. ‘Don’t! Pray don’t beat me! I have tried to learn. That would be stoical. suddenly twisted my head under his arm.and when we got there.’ As he took me out at the door.com  . I saw my mother stop her ears then. as he rose and said. David. and I heard her crying. you and I will go upstairs. we can hardly expect Clara to bear. but I can’t learn while you Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I think.it. ‘Mr. boy. my dear Jane. sir. at his sister. I saw him wink. Miss Murdstone being firmly watchful of us all the time.I am certain he had a delight in that formal parade of executing justice . the worry and torment that David has occasioned her today. I remember). Miss Murdstone said. I had come in with an idea of distinguishing myself rather. Jane. conceiving that I was very well prepared. to have put skates on. He walked me up to my room slowly and gravely . ‘I am not quite well. but it turned out to be quite a mistake. my mother ran towards us. and went on worse. but we can hardly expect so much from her. and to skim away from me with a smoothness there was no checking. solemnly. Clara is greatly strengthened and improved. ‘Clara!’ said Miss Murdstone. my mother burst out crying. And when we came at last to the five thousand cheeses (canes he made it that day. taking up the cane: ‘Why. Murdstone! Sir!’ I cried to him. ‘Clara! are you a perfect fool?’ and interfered. Book after book was added to the heap of failures.

upon the floor. David?’ he said. It sets my teeth on edge to think of it. for he cut me heavily an instant afterwards. ‘We’ll try that. between my teeth. It had begun to grow dark. He beat me then. for the most part. Then he was gone. entreating him not to beat me. but they were nothing to the guilt I felt. how wicked I began to feel! I sat listening for a long while. and I was lying. when I became quiet. and saw my face in the glass. I heard them running up the stairs. so swollen. I dare say. and ugly that it almost frightened me. by turns crying. How well I recollect. Above all the noise we made. as if he would have beaten me to death. red.’ He had my head as in a vice. and made me cry afresh. and looking listlessly out). and torn. My stripes were sore and stiff. but there was not a sound. fevered and hot. and the door was locked outside. when my smart and passion began to cool. and raging in my puny way.and Peggotty. 0 David Copperfield . I can’t indeed!’ ‘Can’t you. It was only a moment that I stopped him. I crawled up from the floor. when I moved. indeed. with my head upon the sill. It lay heavier on my breast than if I had been a most atrocious criminal. and in the same instant I caught the hand with which he held me in my mouth. and bit it through.I heard my mother crying out .and Miss Murdstone are by. and crying out . and sore. but I twined round him somehow. dozing. what an unnatural stillness seemed to reign through the whole house! How well I remember. and I had shut the window (I had been lying. and stopped him for a moment.

I began to wonder fearfully what would be done to me. but I saw no one. Long after it was dark I sat there. and milk. during the whole time . and.except at evening prayers in the parlour. and did so every morning of my imprisonment. and went to bed. and then the being weighed down by the stale and dismal oppression of remembrance. Miss Murdstone reappeared before I was out of bed. before any one arose from Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and whence I was solemnly conducted by my jailer. and then retired. that I was free to walk in the garden for half an hour and no longer. the being cheerful and fresh for the first moment. next morning. wondering whether anybody else would come. Whether it was a criminal act that I had committed? Whether I should be taken into custody. that I might avail myself of that permission. and retired. leaving the door open.com 1 . to which I was escorted by Miss Murdstone after everybody else was placed. glaring at me the while with exemplary firmness. there. in so many words. which lasted five days. I undressed. If I could have seen my mother alone. Miss Murdstone excepted. I did so. told me.when the key was turned. When this appeared improbable for that night. These she put down upon the table without a word. locking the door after her. a young outlaw. I should have gone down on my knees to her and besought her forgiveness. and Miss Murdstone came in with some bread and meat. all alone by myself near the door. where I was stationed. and sent to prison? Whether I was at all in danger of being hanged? I never shall forget the waking.

the devotional posture. evening. and that Mr.the strange sensation of never hearing myself speak . when the boys played in the churchyard. and went away with it .the setting in of rain one evening. it is so vividly and strongly stamped on my remembrance. I  David Copperfield . afternoon. with a fresh smell. The length of those five days I can convey no idea of to any one. and kept her face another way so that I never saw it. The way in which I listened to all the incidents of the house that made themselves audible to me. the murmuring of voices. or singing. especially at night.all this appears to have gone round and round for years instead of days.the uncertain pace of the hours.the depressed dreams and nightmares I had . the footsteps on the stairs. and that all the length of night had yet to come .the fleeting intervals of something like cheerfulness.the return of day. being ashamed to show myself at the window lest they should know I was a prisoner . and remorse . Murdstone’s hand was bound up in a large linen wrapper. the opening and shutting of doors. On the last night of my restraint. noon. the ringing of bells. whistling. which came with eating and drinking. which seemed more dismal than anything else to me in my solitude and disgrace . They occupy the place of years in my remembrance. to any laughing. outside. I only observed that my mother was as far off from me as she could be. when I would wake thinking it was morning. and fear. and I watched them from a distance within the room. and its coming down faster and faster between me and the church. until it and gathering night seemed to quench me in gloom. and find that the family were not yet gone to bed.

my own precious Davy. ‘No. I didn’t hear them. in consequence of my having forgotten to take my mouth away from the keyhole and put my ear there.’ was Peggotty’s answer. and putting out my arms in the dark. and though her words tickled me a good deal. or the Cat’ll hear us. whispered: ‘Is that you. and putting my own lips to the keyhole. Peggotty?’ There was no immediate answer.com  . I started up in bed. that I think I should have gone into a fit.’ she replied. Peggotty dear? Do you know?’ ‘School. said: ‘Is that you.was awakened by hearing my own name spoken in a whisper. Near London. but presently I heard my name again. if it had not occurred to me that it must have come through the keyhole. ‘Be as soft as a mouse. Peggotty?’ ‘Tomorrow.’ ‘What is going to be done with me. I groped my way to the door. ‘When. before she answered.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. dear Peggotty? Is she very angry with me?’ I could hear Peggotty crying softly on her side of the keyhole. ‘How’s mama. Not very. her room being close by. Peggotty dear?’ ‘Yes. in a tone so very mysterious and awful. for she spoke it the first time quite down my throat. as I was doing on mine. and was sensible of the urgency of the case.’ I understood this to mean Miss Murdstone. I was obliged to get her to repeat it.

as she couldn’t kiss me.’ said Peggotty. ‘Davy. with infinite compassion. And for someone else besides. ‘What I want to say. Gummidge and Ham. Peggotty!’ I sobbed. as I used to be. though I have forgotten to mention it. It ain’t because I don’t love you. And I’ll . That you must never forget me. And I’ll write to you. ‘Yes. It’s because I thought it better for you. and Mrs. ‘My own!’ said Peggotty. are you listening? Can you hear?’ ‘Ye-ye-ye-yes. my darling. As ever I took of you. ‘Thank you. Lately. that I am not so bad as they might suppose. dear Peggotty!’ said I. For I’ll never forget you.  David Copperfield . Though I ain’t no scholar.’ said Peggotty.’ ‘Shan’t I see mama?’ ‘Yes. my dear.I’ll -’ Peggotty fell to kissing the keyhole. And I won’t leave her.’ Then Peggotty fitted her mouth close to the keyhole. And I’ll take as much care of your mama. Peggotty? Will you write and tell Mr.‘Is that the reason why Miss Murdstone took the clothes out of my drawers?’ which she had done. ‘Box. Davy. is. dear. Peggotty and little Em’ly. ‘Morning. my pretty poppet. On her stupid. ‘Oh. just as well and more. cross old Peggotty’s arm again. Davy. thank you! Thank you! Will you promise me one thing. The day may come when she’ll be glad to lay her poor head. and delivered these words through it with as much feeling and earnestness as a keyhole has ever been the medium of communicating. If I ain’t been azackly as intimate with you. I will venture to assert: shooting in each broken little sentence in a convulsive little burst of its own.

if you please. From that night there grew up in my breast a feeling for Peggotty which I cannot very well define. but she came into a vacancy in my heart. and trickled into my Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and yet if she had died. which closed upon her. as if it had been her honest face .com  . very pale and with red eyes: into whose arms I ran.I patted it with my hand. pray to be better! I forgive you. Peggotty?’ The kind soul promised. or how I should have acted out the tragedy it would have been to me. which was not altogether such news to me as she supposed. I felt it sorely. I recollect. and I felt towards her something I have never felt for any other human being. and begged her pardon from my suffering soul. but my tears dropped upon my bread. There. She also informed me that when I was dressed.and that I sent ‘em all my love . but I am so grieved. ‘Oh. I cannot think what I should have done. and have my breakfast. Davy. that you should have such bad passions in your heart. I found my mother. I tried to eat my parting breakfast. and told me I was going to school. It was a sort of comical affection. She did not replace my mother.especially to little Em’ly? Will you. ‘That you could hurt anyone I love! Try to be better.’ They had persuaded her that I was a wicked fellow. I was to come downstairs into the parlour.and parted. Davy!’ she said.and-butter. no one could do that. and she was more sorry for that than for my going away. too. and we both of us kissed the keyhole with the greatest affection . In the morning Miss Murdstone appeared as usual.

in her warning note. neither she nor Mr. who was holding me. and then glance at the watchful Miss Murdstone. Good-bye. ‘Master Copperfield’s box there!’ said Miss Murdstone. You will come home in the holidays. I looked for Peggotty. and be a better boy.tea. but it was not she. my child. before I came to a bad end. My former acquaintance. the carrier. ‘Good-bye. God bless you!’ ‘Clara!’ Miss Murdstone repeated.’ ‘Clara!’ Miss Murdstone repeated.’ replied my mother. You are going for your own good. Miss Murdstone was good enough to take me out to the cart.’ returned my mother. I saw my mother look at me sometimes. ‘Ready. and then I got into the cart. my dear Jane. and the lazy horse walked off with it. my dear Jane. my dear boy. ‘Clara!’ said Miss Murdstone. and to say on the way that she hoped I would repent. and lifted in. ‘Certainly.  David Copperfield . Davy. or look away. Murdstone appeared. was at the door. when wheels were heard at the gate. and than look down. the box was taken out to his cart. ‘I forgive you.

but not one word did she say. and squeezed me to her stays until the pressure on my nose was extremely painful. my belief is. she put it down in her pocket to the elbow. After another and a final squeeze with both arms. though I never thought of that till afterwards when I found it very tender. I saw. without a solitary button on her gown. and has always been. Looking out to ascertain for what. and my pockethandkerchief was quite wet through. of several that were rolling about.CHAPTER 5 I AM SENT AWAY FROM HOME W e might have gone about half a mile. she got down from the cart and ran away. and brought out some paper bags of cakes which she crammed into my pockets. Peggotty burst from a hedge and climb into the cart. as if to inquire if she were comFree eBooks at Planet eBook. The carrier looked at me. Not a single word did Peggotty speak. I picked up one. when the carrier stopped short. to MY amazement. and a purse which she put into my hand.com  . and. and treasured it as a keepsake for a long time. Releasing one of her arms. She took me in both her arms.

‘All the way where?’ inquired the carrier. who came up accordingly. ‘There. in trying situations. with a snap.  David Copperfield . I was still occasionally seized with a stormy sob. seeing me in this resolution. and said I thought not. that I could remember. ‘For Davy. After we had jogged on for some little time. I shook my head. I had now leisure to examine the purse. I began to think it was of no use crying any more.handkerchief should be spread upon the horse’s back to dry. But its most precious contents were two half-crowns folded together in a bit of paper.’ I said. nor that Captain in the Royal British Navy. For good. I thanked him.’ I was so overcome by this.’ said the carrier to the lazy horse. in consequence of my previous emotions. The carrier. on which was written. which Peggotty had evidently polished up with whitening. and particularly small it looked. Having by this time cried as much as I possibly could. ‘Then come up. especially as neither Roderick Random. in my mother’s hand. that I asked the carrier to be so good as to reach me my pocket-handkerchief again. for my greater delight. so I wiped my eyes on my sleeve and stopped myself. I asked the carrier if he was going all the way. had ever cried.ing back. proposed that my pocket. and assented. and I thought I really had. too. though. under those circumstances. It was a stiff leather purse. and had three bright shillings in it. but he said he thought I had better do without it. With my love.

but he didn’t whistle. for a considerable time. as I observed in a former chapter. Barkis. ‘That’s about it. do you mean. He sat looking at the horse’s ears. He made up his mouth as if to whistle. ‘And there I shall take you to the stage-cutch. ‘Peggotty. ‘Her.’ said the carrier. ‘Did SHE make ‘em.’ ‘Are you only going to Yarmouth then?’ I asked. Barkis?’ For I thought he wanted something else to eat. of a phlegmatic temperament.’ ‘Yes. jerking the rein to point him out. Barkis.wherever it is. Mr. he said: ‘No sweethearts. ‘Near London. which he ate at one gulp. and does all our cooking. now?’ said Mr. always leaning forward.’ As this was a great deal for the carrier (whose name was Mr. Barkis) to say .’ I said. and sat so.’ said the carrier. on the footboard of the cart with an arm on each knee. She makes all our pastry.‘Where’s there?’ inquired the carrier. Barkis. and not at all conversational . as if he saw something new there.com  . ‘Why that horse. and the stage-cutch that’ll take you to .’ ‘Do she though?’ said Mr. and which made no more impression on his big face than it would have done on an elephant’s. exactly like an elephant.I offered him a cake as a mark of attention. I b’lieve?’ ‘Sweetmeats did you say. in his slouching way. and had pointedly alluded to Free eBooks at Planet eBook.he being. ‘would be deader than pork afore he got over half the ground. By and by. sir?’ ‘Ah!’ said Mr.

’ said Mr. ‘Well! If you was writin’ to her. after a long interval of reflection. Mr. She never had a sweetheart. ‘Ye-es.’ ‘Didn’t she.’ I rejoined. ‘Ah!’ he said. however. and doos all the cooking.’ said Mr. no person walks with her!’ ‘With Peggotty?’ ‘Ah!’ he said. p’raps you’d recollect to say that Barkis was willin’. and again he didn’t whistle. Again he made up his mouth to whistle.’ I said. with profound gravity.’ As he repudiated this suggestion. Barkis. would you?’ ‘That Barkis is willing. Barkis is willin’. Barkis. Barkis. ‘P’raps you might be writin’ to her?’ ‘I shall certainly write to her. ‘Barkis is willin’. faltering a little at the idea of my being far away from it then.that description of refreshment. ‘Sweet hearts. ‘Well. do she?’ I replied that such was the fact. slowly turning his eyes towards me. innocently. That’s the 100 David Copperfield . ‘Hearts. ‘all the apple parsties. Barkis. ‘Her. and could give your own message so much better. considering. ‘So she makes. and once more confirmed his previous request by saying.’ ‘But you will be at Blunderstone again tomorrow.’ I repeated.’ ‘Oh. but sat looking at the horse’s ears.’ said Mr. Barkis. though!’ said Mr. ‘Is that all the message?’ ‘Ye-es. with a jerk of his head.’ he said. I’ll tell you what. no.

feeling quite worn out by all that had happened lately. perhaps even with little Em’ly herself.’ I said. Barkis is willing. Yours affectionately. ‘Nobody’s dinner is Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and said: ‘Is that the little gentleman from Blunderstone?’ ‘Yes. P. and I. when a lady looked out of a bow-window where some fowls and joints of meat were hanging up. I was thinking this. He says he particularly wants you to know .’ I readily undertook its transmission. Peggotty’s family there. and it looked in that state as if nothing was more unlikely than its ever going to London. ‘That won’t do. which ran thus: ‘My dear Peggotty.S.’ returned the lady.com 101 . Barkis had put down on the yard-pavement by the pole (he having driven up the yard to turn his cart). My love to mama. but without any horses to it as yet. I procured a sheet of paper and an inkstand. ‘What name?’ inquired the lady. ma’am.’ When I had taken this commission on myself prospectively. and wrote a note to Peggotty. Mr. I have come here safe. ma’am.message. ‘Copperfield.BARKIS IS WILLING. lay down on a sack in the cart and fell asleep. that I at once abandoned a latent hope I had had of meeting with some of Mr. which Mr. shining very much all over. I slept soundly until we got to Yarmouth. and wondering what would ultimately become of my box. and also what would ultimately become of me. While I was waiting for the coach in the hotel at Yarmouth that very afternoon. which was so entirely new and strange to me in the inn-yard to which we drove.’ I said. The coach was in the yard. Barkis relapsed into perfect silence.

I doubt if I could have felt much stranger if the maps had been real foreign countries. first?’ I explained to the lady how it was. and when the waiter laid a cloth on purpose for me. while he was standing opposite. and took my seat at the board. and called out.’ ‘Is it Murdstone. and took the covers off in such a bouncing manner that I was afraid I must have given him some offence. After watching me into the second chop. ‘If you’re Master Murdstone. in that name. and seemed a good deal surprised when he was only to show it to me. and put a set of castors on it. ma’am?’ I said. who than rang a bell. ‘Now. I felt it was taking a liberty to sit down. and making me blush in the most dreadful manner every time I caught his eye. and saying.’ said the lady. six-foot! come on!’ I thanked him. or to avoid splashing myself with the gravy. and vegetables. he said: 10 David Copperfield . ‘William! show the coffee-room!’ upon which a waiter came running out of a kitchen on the opposite side of the yard to show it. It was a large long room with some large maps in it. on the corner of the chair nearest the door. But he greatly relieved my mind by putting a chair for me at the table. ‘why do you go and give another name. staring so hard. I think I must have turned red all over with modesty. He brought me some chops. and I cast away in the middle of them.paid for here. very affably. with my cap in my hand. but found it extremely difficult to handle my knife and fork with anything like dexterity.

‘There was a gentleman here.drank it. yesterday. if you like.com 10 . still looking at the light through the tumbler. But I’ll drink it. It oughtn’t to be drawn. ‘Why you see.WOULD order it .’ I answered with a smile. don’t it?’ ‘It does seem a good deal. holding up the glass to the light with the other hand. to find him so pleasant. grey coat.’ I was very much shocked to hear of this melancholy accident. He was a twinkling-eyed.‘There’s half a pint of ale for you.’ I said. ‘ordered a glass of this ale . and fell dead. he looked quite friendly.’ I said bashfully. and as he stood with one arm akimbo. with his hair standing upright all over his head.’ said the waiter. and made it look beautiful. It was too old for him. looking at the light through the tumbler.’ said the waiter. ‘My eye!’ he said. if I throw my head back.’ said the waiter. ‘I haven’t the pleasure -’ ‘He came in here.‘a stout gentleman. speckled choker. Will you have it now?’ I thanked him and said. broad-brimmed hat. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. For it was quite delightful to me.perhaps you know him?’ ‘No. ‘No. that’s the fact. and held it up against the light. I don’t think it’ll hurt me. ‘I don’t think -’ ‘In breeches and gaiters. by the name of Topsawyer .’ he said . and use is everything. ‘our people don’t like things being ordered and left.’ Upon which he poured it out of a jug into a large tumbler.I told him not . pimple-faced man. and said I thought I had better have some water. I’m used to it. ‘It seems a good deal. with one of his eyes shut up. It offends ‘em. ‘Yes.

‘Why. it is indeed. and having set it before me. I confess. to my extreme satisfaction. Why. and a potato in the other. ‘You don’t mean to say it’s a batter-pudding!’ ‘Yes. but by no means otherwise. if he thought he could do it safely. and take it off quick. When he did throw his head back. putting a fork into my dish. so it is! What!’ looking at it nearer. seemed to ruminate.’ I said. little 10 David Copperfield . But it didn’t hurt him. ‘I didn’t know they were chops. On the contrary. bless me. and ate away with a very good appetite. of seeing him meet the fate of the lamented Mr. ‘Lord bless my soul!’ he exclaimed. ‘It’s a pudding. Shall I?’ I replied that he would much oblige me by drinking it. ‘Pudding!’ he exclaimed. ‘What have we got here?’ he said. I had a horrible fear. I thought he seemed the fresher for it. When we had done. he brought me a pudding.’ he said. rousing himself. ‘is my favourite pudding! Ain’t that lucky? Come on. and after that. a batter-pudding.’ I made answer. ‘How’s the pie?’ he said.and take it off quick. and fall lifeless on the carpet. and to become absent in his mind for some moments. a chop’s the very thing to take off the bad effects of that beer! Ain’t it lucky?’ So he took a chop by the bone in one hand.’ ‘Why. Topsawyer. He afterwards took another chop. and another potato. another chop and another potato. taking up a table-spoon. ‘Not chops?’ ‘Chops.

how old are you. and did for him. about?’ I told him between eight and nine. looking very low-spirited. for it consisted of two dismal words. or from the waiter. When I had finished it. ‘With whopping. shaking his head. and he laughed. He entreated me more than once to come in and win. ‘That’s just his age. his dispatch to my dispatch. and inquired how it was done. His answer was not cheering to my spirits.’ ‘Why?’ I asked him. I was left far behind at the first mouthful. to write to Peggotty. I should say he was . and had no chance with him. eight years and eight months old when they broke his second. Finding him so very friendly and companionable. and let’s see who’ll get most.’ The waiter certainly got most. ‘that’s the school where they broke the boy’s ribs . He not only brought it immediately. ‘I am sorry for that.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.let me see .com 10 .‘un. I never saw anyone enjoy a pudding so much. as if his enjoyment of it lasted still. I said. ‘Oh! my eye!’ he said. ‘Near London. ‘Oh. but what with his table-spoon to my tea-spoon. he asked me where I was going to school. ‘He was eight years and six months old when they broke his first rib.a little boy he was. I think. Lord!’ he said. it was then that I asked for the pen and ink and paper. that this was an uncomfortable coincidence.’ he said. and his appetite to my appetite. when it was all gone. but was good enough to look over me while I wrote the letter.’ which was all I knew.’ I could not disguise from myself.two ribs .

’ . Never mind the ink. to find. It was a little disconcerting to me. if you please?’ I stammered. and spun up with his thumb.’ he returned. ‘on account of the duty. that I was supposed to 10 David Copperfield . ‘I wouldn’t take a sixpence. directly afterwards. I should beg acceptance of a trifle.’ he said.The blowing of the coach-horn in the yard was a seasonable diversion. ‘If I hadn’t a family. except the waiter. to try the goodness of. blushing.’ ‘What should you . and was treated well here. But I live on broken wittles and I sleep on the coals’ . which he received with much humility and veneration.what would it be right to pay the waiter.how much ought I to .’ said the waiter. If I didn’t support a aged pairint. when I was being helped up behind the coach. ‘There’s a sheet of letter-paper. Therefore I gave him one of my three bright shillings. which made me get up and hesitatingly inquire. That’s the way we’re taxed in this country. and felt that any recognition short of ninepence would be mere brutality and hardness of heart. If I had a good place. in the mingled pride and diffidence of having a purse (which I took out of my pocket).‘I wouldn’t take a farthing. ‘It’s dear. and that family hadn’t the cowpock. and a lovely sister.here the waiter burst into tears. Threepence. I was very much concerned for his misfortunes. instead of taking of it. ‘Did you ever buy a sheet of letter-paper?’ I could not remember that I ever had.here the waiter was greatly agitated . if there were anything to pay.what should I . I lose by that. There’s nothing else.

But the worst of it was. at the hotel. did not appear to be disturbed by this. they were merry upon it likewise. without deserving it. to be made. in my hurry. and that. or went upon the regular terms. with other pleasant questions. George. but joined in the general admiration without being at all confused. at school. the subject of jokes between the coachman and guard as to the coach drawing heavy behind.com 10 . My apprehensions were realized. I suppose this half awakened it. My unfortunate friend the waiter. I had no serious mistrust of him on the whole. I discovered this. and asked me whether I was going to be paid for.have eaten all the dinner without any assistance. When we stopped for supper I couldn’t muster courage to take Free eBooks at Planet eBook. on account of my sitting there. The story of my supposed appetite getting wind among the outside passengers. as two brothers or three. and as to the greater expediency of my travelling by waggon. but I am inclined to believe that with the simple confidence of a child. and whether I was contracted for. who had quite recovered his spirits.for I had left my cakes behind. after a rather light dinner. If I had any doubt of him. or he’ll burst!’ and from observing that the women-servants who were about the place came out to look and giggle at me as a young phenomenon. from overhearing the lady in the bow-window say to the guard. and the natural reliance of a child upon superior years (qualities I am very sorry any children should prematurely change for worldly wisdom). I must own. ‘Take care of that child. that I knew I should be ashamed to eat anything. when an opportunity offered. I felt it rather hard. I should remain hungry all night . even then.

though I should have liked it very much. in a confused blind way. for a husky-voiced gentleman with a rough face. and the evening was very pleasant. and whether they Were happy at home. I resigned myself to thoughts of home and Peggotty. I wondered whether their fathers were alive. and we were due in London about eight next morning. before I bit Mr. said I was like a boa-constrictor who took enough at one meal to last him a long time. Sometimes. I seemed to have bitten him in such a remote antiquity. and what sort of boy I used to be. and 10 David Copperfield . I had plenty to think of. and when boys came running after us. Murdstone: which I couldn’t satisfy myself about by any means. and to endeavouring. This did not save me from more jokes. and got up behind and swung there for a little way.which was an awful speculation. It was Mid-summer weather. I pictured to myself what the insides of the houses were like. The night was not so pleasant as the evening. therefore. for it got chilly. I remember. he actually brought a rash out upon himself with boiled beef. after which. When we passed through a village. except when he had been drinking out of a bottle. and being put between two gentlemen (the roughfaced one and another) to prevent my tumbling off the coach. but sat by the fire and said I didn’t want anything. who had been eating out of a sandwich-box nearly all the way. besides my mind running continually on the kind of place I was going to . either. to recall how I had felt. We had started from Yarmouth at three o’clock in the afternoon.any. I was nearly smothered by their falling asleep. and what the inhabitants were about.

and by the uncommon indignation with which everyone repelled the charge. and she hadn’t known what to do with it. I’m sure!’ At last the sun rose. What an amazing place London was to me when I saw it in the distance. she gave me the cruellest poke with her foot.com 10 . and so they gradually one by one awoke. because it woke them. I recollect being very much surprised by the feint everybody made. I labour under the same kind of astonishment to this day. that it made me perfectly miserable. of not having been to sleep at all. It cramped and hurt me so. Opposite me was an elderly lady in a great fur cloak. for a long time. their sleep became lighter. and made a glass that was in the basket rattle against something else (as it was sure to do). The difficulties under which they had laboured all night. she was wrapped up to such a degree. but if I moved in the least. They squeezed me so hard sometimes.which they didn’t like at all. ‘Come. ‘Oh! If you please!’ . and then my companions seemed to sleep easier. it could go underneath me. and which had found utterance in the most terrific gasps and snorts. having invariably observed that of all human weaknesses. As the sun got higher. then. YOUR bones are young enough. and how I believed all the adventures of all Free eBooks at Planet eBook.completely blocking me up. don’t YOU fidget. This lady had a basket with her. who looked in the dark more like a haystack than a lady. are not to be conceived. that I could not help crying out. the one to which our common nature is the least disposed to confess (I cannot imagine why) is the weakness of having gone to sleep in a coach. until she found that on account of my legs being short. and said.

until her basket was removed. from Bloonderstone. sir.’ said I. and that its likeness was painted up on the back of the coach. booked in the name of Murdstone. We approached it by degrees. to be left till called for?’ said the guard. and I got down after the lady. ‘Try Copperfield. and how I vaguely made it out in my own mind to be fuller of wonders and wickedness than all the cities of the earth. to be left till called for?’ Nobody answered. for which we were bound. but the inquiry made no impression on any of the bystanders. who was like a haystack: not daring to stir. from Bloonderstone. or the Blue Boar. and he said at the booking-office door: ‘Is there anybody here for a yoongster booked in the name of Murdstone. Sooffolk. I need not stop here to relate. if I except a man in gaiters. but owning to the name of Copperfield. with one eye. looking helplessly down. I forget whether it was the Blue Bull. who suggested that they had better put a brass collar round my neck. The guard’s eye lighted on me as he was getting down. 110 David Copperfield . ‘Is there anybody here for a yoongster. to the inn in the Whitechapel district. in due time. There was nobody. The coach was clear of passengers by that time. Sooffolk. but I know it was the Blue Something. A ladder was brought. and tie me up in the stable. and got. ‘Come! IS there anybody?’ No. I looked anxiously around.my favourite heroes to be constantly enacting and re-enacting there. if you please.

and expected to come again to be left till called for. Supposing nobody should ever fetch me. Suffolk. and now the coach itself was wheeled and backed off by some hostlers. Here. how could I ever Free eBooks at Planet eBook. who had nobody to look at him and see that he was solitary. to claim the dusty youngster from Blunderstone. when the office opened next day? Supposing there was no mistake in the case. nobody appeared. what should I do? If they allowed me to remain there until my seven shillings were spent.the luggage was very soon cleared out. That would obviously be inconvenient and unpleasant to the customers. packages. by invitation of the clerk on duty. More solitary than Robinson Crusoe. and. with the other luggage. besides entailing on the Blue Whatever-it-was. the horses had been taken out before the luggage. the risk of funeral expenses. and Mr. If I started off at once. passed behind the counter. how could I ever find my way. and books. a procession of most tremendous considerations began to march through my mind. as I sat looking at the parcels. how long would they consent to keep me there? Would they keep me long enough to spend seven shillings? Should I sleep at night in one of those wooden bins.com 111 . Still. out of the way. and sat down on the scale at which they weighed the luggage. or should I be turned out every night. and tried to walk back home. Murdstone had devised this plan to get rid of me. and wash myself at the pump in the yard in the morning. I couldn’t hope to remain there when I began to starve. I went into the booking-office. and inhaling the smell of stables (ever since associated with that morning).

’ I said. I stole a look at him. as if I were weighed. hand in hand with this new acquaintance. and pushed me over to him. sallow young man. I did not. suppose that this neck-kerchief was all the linen he wore. bought. with hollow cheeks. delivered. and do not. instead of being glossy. that we had gone some little distance from the yard before I had the hardihood to mention it. for his whiskers were shaved off. and made me giddy with apprehension and dismay.’ he said. and rather short in the sleeves and legs. that was not over-clean. I didn’t know. who presently slanted me off the scale. These thoughts. As I went out of the office. and a chin almost as black as Mr. how could I make sure of anyone but Peggotty. We turned back. He was dressed in a suit of black clothes which were rather rusty and dry too. to a scholar and a master at Salem House. ‘I’m one of the masters at Salem House. and paid for. ‘Yes. I was so ashamed to allude to a commonplace thing like my box. but there the likeness ended. on my humbly insinuating that 11 David Copperfield . or a sailor. Murdstone’s. I made him a bow and felt very much overawed. sir. I was in the height of my fever when a man entered and whispered to the clerk. He was a gaunt. I was such a little fellow that it was most likely they wouldn’t take me in. turned me burning hot. and offered myself to go for a soldier. and a hundred other such thoughts. and his hair. and he had a white neckkerchief on. even if I got back? If I found out the nearest proper authorities.hope to walk so far. but it was all he showed or gave any hint of. was rusty and dry. ‘You’re the new boy?’ he said. I supposed I was.

was Free eBooks at Planet eBook.and after considering for a few moments. ‘is it far?’ ‘It’s down by Blackheath. It’s about six miles. He appeared surprised at this . at a grocer’s shop. which still left what I thought a good deal of change. ‘It’s a good step.’ he said. ‘We shall go by the stage-coach. and that the best way would be for me to buy some bread. ‘If you please. and made me consider London a very cheap place. I took heart to tell him that I had had nothing all night. sir. Then. These provisions laid in. said he wanted to call on an old person who lived not far off.it might be useful to me hereafter. or whatever I liked best that was wholesome. and after I had made a series of proposals to buy everything that was bilious in the shop. we went on through a great noise and uproar that confused my weary head beyond description. out of the second of the bright shillings. ‘Is that far. and make my breakfast at her house.’ I was so faint and tired. was too much for me. which cost me threepence. and over a bridge which. where we could get some milk.I see him stop and look at me now . that the idea of holding out for six miles more. I should be very much obliged to him. when we had accomplished about the same distance as before. and that if he would allow me to buy something to eat. and he told the clerk that the carrier had instructions to call for it at noon. Accordingly we looked in at a baker’s window.com 11 . we bought an egg and a slice of streaky bacon. we decided in favour of a nice little loaf of brown bread. no doubt. sir?’ I diffidently asked. and he had rejected them one by one.’ I said.’ he said.

which was a part of some alms-houses. if you please?’ said the Master at Salem House. until we came to the poor person’s house. looking at another old woman in a large chair by the fire. she seemed to think of nothing but the fire. who was blowing a fire to make a little saucepan boil. and rubbing her hands made a confused sort of half curtsey. but I was half asleep). The Master at Salem House lifted the latch of one of a number of little black doors that were all alike. ‘Yes can I. and we went into the little house of one of these poor old women. she got up. she’s poorly. and had each a little diamond-paned window on one side. On seeing the master enter.’ said the first old woman. ‘It’s one of her bad days. Fibbitson today?’ said the Master. ‘Can you cook this young gentleman’s breakfast for him. and never come to life again.London Bridge (indeed I think he told me so.’ As they looked at her. and by an inscription on a stone over the gate which said they were established for twenty-five poor women. I verily believe she’d go out too. Although it was a warm day. 11 David Copperfield .paned window above. If the fire was to go out. and said something that I thought sounded like ‘My Charley!’ but on seeing me come in too. ‘Ah. I looked at her also. ‘Can I?’ said the old woman. sure!’ ‘How’s Mrs. as I knew by their look. who was such a bundle of clothes that I feel grateful to this hour for not having sat upon her by mistake. the old woman stopped with the bellows on her knee. and another little diamond. through any accident.

by relieving the fire.I fancied she was jealous even of the saucepan on it. and no one else was looking. my egg. the old woman of the house said to the Master: ‘Have you got your flute with you?’ ‘Yes. with a basin of milk besides. that there never can have been anybody in the world who played worse.but the influence Free eBooks at Planet eBook. for I saw her. My impression is. instead of it keeping her warm. I don’t know what the tunes were . and made a most delicious meal. and my rasher of bacon. I must say. with my own discomfited eyes. which he screwed together.’ he returned.com 11 . when those culinary operations were going on. and brought out his flute in three pieces. While I was yet in the full enjoyment of it. He made the most dismal sounds I have ever heard produced by any means. and I have reason to know that she took its impressment into the service of boiling my egg and broiling my bacon.and a very unmelodious laugh she had. put his hand underneath the skirts of his coat. shake her fist at me once. but she sat with her own back and the back of the large chair towards it. ‘Have a blow at it. which I doubt . gave her such extreme joy that she laughed aloud . and watching it in a most distrustful manner. natural or artificial. after many years of consideration. The sun streamed in at the little window. ‘Do!’ The Master. screening the fire as if she were sedulously keeping IT warm.’ said the old woman. in dudgeon. I sat down to my brown loaf.if there were such things in the performance at all. and began immediately to play. The completion of the preparations for my breakfast. coaxingly. upon this.

as the recollection rises fresh upon me. I dreamed. no anything but heavy sleep. and all fades. the old woman of the house. I wake with a start. and the flute has come back again. She fades in her turn. Fibbitson if it 11 David Copperfield . I thought. and its angular little staircase leading to the room above. and the Master at Salem House is sitting with his legs crossed.fades from before me. first. which stopped his playing for a moment. who had gone nearer and nearer to him in her ecstatic admiration. playing it dolefully.it was a real fact that he had stopped playing . with its open corner cupboard. no Salem House. then to take away my appetite. and its three peacock’s feathers displayed over the mantelpiece . for. and lastly. while the old woman of the house looks on delighted. and there is no flute. They begin to close again. and I nod.I saw and heard the same old woman ask Mrs. and sleep. and he fades. to make me think of all my sorrows until I could hardly keep my tears back. and I am on my journey. and its square-backed chairs. to make me so sleepy that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. leaned over the back of his chair and gave him an affectionate squeeze round the neck. I was in the middle state between sleeping and waking. and I begin to nod. what that peacock would have thought if he had known what his finery was doomed to come to .of the strain upon me was. no David Copperfield. The coach jolts. as he resumed . The flute becomes inaudible. Once more the little room. the wheels of the coach are heard instead. that once while he was blowing into this dismal flute. either then or immediately afterwards. no Master.I remember wondering when I first went in.

to Salem House. until I found the coach going at a footpace up a steep hill among green leaves. which I found.it didn’t take long. ay! yes!’ and nodded at the fire: to which. that when we stopped on the road to take up somebody else. it stopped. overhanging temples. and took out the key. for there was not much of me . and through a grating in this door we were surveyed when we rang the bell by a surly face. the Master at Salem House unscrewed his flute into the three pieces. and where I slept profoundly.wasn’t delicious (meaning the flute). with a pair of boots in his hand. and took me away. among some dark heavy trees. and he was standing at the door of a little lodge. ‘Hallo!’ We looked back. she gave the credit of the whole performance. a wooden leg. and got upon the roof. Fibbitson replied. when he called after my conductor. on the door being opened. ‘The new boy.I mean the Master and me . Presently. When I seemed to have been dozing a long while. they put me inside where there were no passengers. where he lived.com 11 .’ said the Master. which was enclosed with a high brick wall. ‘Ay. We were going up to the house. I am persuaded. and had come to its destination. put them up as before. A short walk brought us .and locked the gate behind us. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to which Mrs. Over a door in this wall was a board with SALEM HousE upon it. We found the coach very near at hand. but I was so dead sleepy. The man with the wooden leg eyed me all over . and looked very dull. belonged to a stout man with a bull-neck. and his hair cut close all round his head.

are scattered over the desks. and six of forms. was down by the sea-side with Mrs. who went back a few paces to pick them up. A bird. I gazed upon the schoolroom into which he took me. That all the boys were at their several homes. of a bare and unfurnished appearance. made of the same materials. as the most forlorn and desolate place I had ever seen. all of which he explained to me as we went along. Mell. and bristling all round with pegs for hats and slates. ‘since you’ve been out. That Mr. but he seemed surprised at my not knowing that it was holiday-time. Salem House was a square brick building with wings. Some silkworms’ houses. Mr. the proprietor. as we went on together.’ With these words he threw the boots towards Mr.’ he said. are running up and down in a fusty castle made of pasteboard and wire. He says there ain’t a bit of the original boot left. All about it was so very quiet. that I said to Mr. Mell. that the boots he had on were a good deal the worse for wear. and he says he can’t mend ‘em any more. like a bud. Mell I supposed the boys were out. Creakle. Scraps of old copy-books and exercises litter the dirty floor. looking in all the corners with their red eyes for anything to eat. and that I was sent in holiday-time as a punishment for my misdoing. Two miserable little white mice. I see it now.‘Here! The cobbler’s been. and that his stocking was just breaking out in one place. left behind by their owner. for the first time. and he wonders you expect it. and Miss Creakle. A long room with three long rows of desks. I was afraid). in a 11 David Copperfield . I observed then. and looked at them (very disconsolately.

Suddenly I came upon a pasteboard placard. and rotten books. ‘that’s not a dog. I’m looking for the dog. gravely. ‘if you please. sir. and asked me what I did up there? ‘I beg your pardon. Copperfield.’ I got upon the desk immediately. observing all this as I crept along. There could not well be more ink splashed about it.’ ‘Dog?’ he says.’ says he. apprehensive of at least a great dog underneath. HE BITES. There is a strange unwholesome smell upon the room. hailed.’ ‘No. but neither sings nor chirps. I went softly to the upper end of the room. when Mr. makes a mournful rattle now and then in hopping on his perch. snowed. My instructions are. which was lying on the desk. like mildewed corduroys. and the skies had rained. and bore these words: ‘TAKE CARE OF HIM. But.com 11 . ‘What dog?’ ‘Isn’t it a dog. Mell having left me while he took his irreparable boots upstairs. I am sorry to make such a beginning with Free eBooks at Planet eBook.cage very little bigger than himself. or dropping from it. two inches high. sweet apples wanting air. and blown ink through the varying seasons of the year.’ says I. though I looked all round with anxious eyes. Mr. That’s a boy. I was still engaged in peering about. Mell came back. sir. that bites. beautifully written. Copperfield. sir?’ ‘Isn’t what a dog?’ ‘That’s to be taken care of. I could see nothing of him. to put this placard on your back. if it had been roofless from its first construction.

afterwards. but I must do it. He bites. on which the boys had a custom of carving their names. He was in authority. I always fancied that somebody was reading it. read that I was to be taken care of.you. for wherever my back was. ‘Take care of him. and the baker read it.’ With that he took me down. for I bit. who came backwards and forwards to the house. In my dread of the end of the vacation and their coming back. as a kind of wild boy who did bite. you sir! You Copperfield! Show that badge conspicuous. and tied the placard. in a word. or I’ll report you!’ The playground was a bare gravelled yard. That cruel man with the wooden leg aggravated my sufferings. and if he ever saw me leaning against a tree. It was no relief to turn round and find nobody. there I imagined somebody always to be. or a wall. I recollect that I positively began to have a dread of myself. I had the consolation of carrying it. Steerforth . that everybody. What I suffered from that placard. and the butcher read it. and I knew that the servants read it.who cut his name very 10 David Copperfield .a certain J. on my shoulders like a knapsack. without inquiring in what tone and with what emphasis HE would read. I could not read a boy’s name. Whether it was possible for people to see me or not. and wherever I went. There was an old door in this playground.’ There was one boy . of a morning when I was ordered to walk there. nobody can imagine. ‘Hallo. It was completely covered with such inscriptions. which was neatly constructed for the purpose. he roared out from his lodge door in a stupendous voice. or the house. open to all the back of the house and the offices.

I remember dreaming night after night. or of travelling outside the stage-coach.com 11 . and afterwards pull my hair. my own bed. one Tommy Traddles. but I did them. would read it in a rather strong voice. Before. by the man with the wooden leg. who I dreaded would make game of it. George Demple. I have looked. who. and in my constant apprehension of the re-opening of the school. by the unhappy disclosure that I had nothing on but my little night-shirt. and in all these circumstances making people scream and stare. and after them. it was such an insupportable affliction! I had long tasks every day to do with Mr. I walked about . or of going to a party at Mr. Mell. and that placard. and got through them without disgrace. and when I was in. There was a third. as I have mentioned. Peggotty’s. at that door. Mr. a little shrinking creature.there were five-and-forty of them in the school then. on my way to. In the monotony of my life.deep and very often. of being with my mother as she used to be. He bites!’ It was the same with the places at the desks and forms. Mell said . an old leaky water-butt. until the owners of all the names . or of dining again with my unfortunate friend the waiter. ‘Take care of him. who I fancied would sing it. I conceived. and to cry out. and pretend to be dreadfully frightened of me. there being no Mr. the green cracked flagstones in the court. and Miss Murdstone here.supervised. There was another boy. It was the same with the groves of deserted bedsteads I peeped at.seemed to send me to Coventry by general acclamation. each in his own way. How vividly I call to mind the damp about the house. and the disFree eBooks at Planet eBook.

we had more tasks until tea. and I out of a tin pot. Then. and feeling very sad and solitary. and blew at it. and smelling of fat. and to the blowing of the wind on Yarmouth flats. listening to the doleful performance of Mr. full of deal tables. and to have blown less in the sun! At one we dined. Mr. still listening to the doleful performance of Mr. sitting with my head upon my hand. and writing. books. and listening through it to what used to be at home. at his own detached desk in the schoolroom. at the upper end of a long bare dining-room. which seemed to have dripped more in the rain than other trees. among the unused rooms. and ooze away at the keys. I picture myself going up to bed. Mr. Mell. Mell. until I almost thought he would gradually blow his whole being into the large hole at the top. and conning tomorrow’s lessons. Mell and I. which Mr. When he had put up his things for the night he took out his flute. and looking through a long ghastly gash of a staircase window at the school-bell hanging on the top of an outhouse with a weathercock above it. and until seven or eight in the evening. to the time 1 David Copperfield . I picture myself coming downstairs in the morning. Mell drank out of a blue teacup.coloured trunks of some of the grim trees. and sitting on my bed-side crying for a comfortable word from Peggotty. making out the bills (as I found) for last half-year. ruler. All day long. I picture myself with my books shut up. ink. I picture my small self in the dimly-lighted rooms. Mell. and dreading the time when it shall ring J.paper. worked hard with pen. in my foreboding apprehensions. Steerforth and the rest to work: which is only second.

Mr. though I soon got used to them. but in all of them I carried the same warning on my back. But he had these peculiarities: and at first they frightened me. and grind his teeth. Creakle. Mell never said much to me. and clench his fist. and pull his hair in an unaccountable manner. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1 . I forgot to mention that he would talk to himself sometimes. I cannot think I was a very dangerous character in any of these aspects. without talking.when the man with the wooden leg shall unlock the rusty gate to give admission to the awful Mr. but he was never harsh to me. and grin. I suppose we were company to each other.

and got on how we could. during which we were always in the way of two or three young women. for some days. and he had a snug bit of garden that looked pleasant after the dusty playground. Creakle would be home that evening. which was such David Copperfield 1 . Before bedtime. from which I inferred that preparations were making to receive Mr. after tea. Creakle’s part of the house was a good deal more comfortable than ours. In the evening. and turned out Mr. Mr. Mell and me. I was fetched by the man with the wooden leg to appear before him.CHAPTER 6 I ENLARGE MY CIRCLE OF ACQUAINTANCE I HAD led this life about a month. I was not mistaken. and were so continually in the midst of dust that I sneezed almost as much as if Salem House had been a great snuff-box. I heard that he was come. who had rarely shown themselves before. for the mop came into the schoolroom before long. One day I was informed by Mr. Mell that Mr. Creakle and the boys. when the man with the wooden leg began to stump about with a mop and a bucket of water. who lived where we could.

that I thought no one but a camel. ‘What’s the report of this boy?’ ‘There’s nothing against him yet. He was bald on the top of his head. Creakle. or the consciousness of talking in that feeble way. It seemed to me a bold thing even to take notice that the passage looked comfortable. and deep in his head. with my face to Mr. Creakle. ‘So!’ said Mr. so that the two sides interlaced on his forehead. Creakle or Miss Creakle (who were both there. in the parlour). was. Creakle.’ said Mr. and a large chin. he had thick veins in his forehead. and posted himself at Mr. made his angry face so much more angry. brushed across each temple. but spoke in a whisper. when he spoke. a little nose. in an arm-chair.a desert in miniature. and his eyes were small. Creakle’s face was fiery. or a dromedary. trembling. Creakle’s side. Mr. or anything but Mr. that I am not surprised. turned me about again. and having afforded time for a full survey of it. could have felt at home in it. that I hardly saw Mrs. and had some thin wet-looking hair that was just turning grey. that he had no voice. as I went on my way. ‘This is the young gentleman whose teeth are to be filed! Turn him round. to Mr. and his thick veins so much thicker. But the circumstance about him which impressed me most.’ returned the man with Free eBooks at Planet eBook. when I was ushered into it.’ The wooden-legged man turned me about so as to exhibit the placard. ‘Now.com 1 . at this peculiarity striking me as his chief one. on looking back. Creakle. a stout gentleman with a bunch of watch-chain and seals. The exertion this cost him. with a tumbler and bottle beside him. Creakle’s presence: which so abashed me.

all this while. ‘Come here.’ said the man with the wooden leg. Creakle was disappointed. ‘But you will soon. he pinched it so hard. as if my ear were blazing. flinching with the pain. with a screw at parting that brought the water into my eyes. I thought Mrs. and who were. with his strong voice.’ whispered Mr. 1 David Copperfield . ‘Not yet. sir!’ said Mr.the wooden leg. I felt. He knows me. ‘Not yet? Hey?’ repeated Mr. Creakle. Creakle. sir.’ ‘. beckoning to me. ‘and a worthy man he is. Hey?’ repeated the man with the wooden leg. I hoped so. ‘I’ll tell you what I am. ‘and when I say I will have a thing done.Will have a thing done. and a man of a strong character.’ repeated the man with the wooden leg. repeating the gesture. Creakle’s interpreter to the boys.’ said Mr. and Miss Creakle (at whom I now glanced for the first time. thin and quiet) were not disappointed. Hey?’ ‘You will soon.’ whispered Mr. and said. I will have it done. as Mr. pinching my ear with ferocious playfulness. Creakle. ‘Come here!’ said the man with the wooden leg. Creakle. ‘When I say I’ll do a thing. letting it go at last. if he pleased.’ I said. ‘There has been no opportunity. I will have it done. taking me by the ear. ‘I’m a Tartar.’ I thought Mr. Creakle. Creakle. and I know him.’ ‘A Tartar. Do YOU know me? Hey?’ said Mr. both. I was very much frightened. I afterwards found that he generally acted. I do it. ‘I have the happiness of knowing your father-in-law.

‘Hah! What’s this?’ and bent his eyes upon me. I say let him keep away. and never once stopped until I reached my own bedroom.’ I was very glad to be ordered away. Let him keep away. though I wondered at my own courage: ‘If you please. Creakle. that I couldn’t help saying. Has that fellow’ . My flesh and blood’ .’ I faltered. ‘No.‘I am a determined character. where. is not my flesh and blood. Creakle as he said this . Take him away.’ said Mr. ‘if I might be allowed (I am very sorry indeed. but he made a burst out of his chair. and Miss Creakle were both wiping their eyes. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and looking at Mrs. He knows me.to the man with the wooden leg -’been here again?’ ‘No. sir. Creakle whispered. I went to bed. ‘for he knows me. for Mrs. without waiting for the escort Of the man with the wooden leg. and I felt as uncomfortable for them as I did for myself. But I had a petition on my mind which concerned me so nearly. ‘If you please. finding I was not pursued. as if he would have burnt me up with them. I discard it.’ said Mr. I do my duty. before the boys come back -’ Whether Mr. and you may go. That’s what I do. I don’t know.‘when it rises against me.com 1 . for what I did) to take this writing off. Creakle.’ said Mr. sir -’ Mr. striking his hand upon the table. Creakle. Now you have begun to know me too. Creakle. or whether he only did it to frighten me. ‘He knows better. sir. Creakle was in earnest. ‘That’s what I am. before which I precipitately retreated. my young friend.’ was the answer.he looked at Mrs. as it was time.

immediately on his arrival. Some of them certainly did dance about me like wild Indians. the greater part of the boys came back low-spirited. He enjoyed my placard so much. by presenting me to every other boy who came back. but I was informed by the very first boy who came back that it was a wig (a second-hand one HE said). too. for a couple of hours. great or small. upon that I said. and were not so boisterous at my expense as I had expected. It was no other than Tommy Traddles who gave me this piece of intelligence. and patting and soothing me. Sharp went out every Saturday afternoon to get it curled. I thought. lest I 1 David Copperfield . He was a limp. He was the first boy who returned. Mell took his meals with the boys. over the topbolt. ‘The same. and a way of carrying his head on one side.lay quaking. His hair was very smooth and wavy. as if it were a little too heavy for him. Mr. and superior to Mr. in this form of introduction. that he saved me from the embarrassment of either disclosure or concealment. delicate-looking gentleman. Sharp came back. Creakle’s table. and that Mr. Mell.hand corner of the gate. He introduced himself by informing me that I should find his name on the right. Sharp was the first master.’ and then he asked me for a full account of myself and family. ‘Traddles?’ to which he replied. with a good deal of nose. Sharp dined and supped at Mr. Next morning Mr. Mr. and the greater part could not resist the temptation of pretending that I was a dog. It was a happy circumstance for me that Traddles came back first. ‘Look here! Here’s a game!’ Happily. but Mr.

‘You belong to my bedroom. ‘At least. however.com 1 . Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and was very goodlooking. for which I became bound to him ever afterwards. Copperfield?’ he said. Steerforth arrived. thank you. under a shed in the playground.’ I replied. you know. if you like. ‘Lie down. This was naturally confusing.’ It certainly had not occurred to me before. and at least half-a-dozen years my senior. sir. Yes. and saying.’ I hastened to comply with his friendly suggestion. into the particulars of my punishment. ‘Perhaps you’d like to spend a couple of shillings or so.’ said Steerforth. and opening Peggotty’s purse. you can if you like. I was not considered as being formally received into the school.should bite.’ ‘No. who was reputed to be a great scholar. among so many strangers. until J. but on the whole it was much better than I had anticipated. up in the bedroom?’ said Steerforth. You needn’t if you don’t like.’ he said. I find. He inquired. ‘What money have you got. Before this boy. and cost me some tears. I told him seven shillings. in a bottle of currant wine by and by. ‘You can. I was carried as before a magistrate. and was pleased to express his opinion that it was ‘a jolly shame’. ‘Say the word. ‘You had better give it to me to take care of.’ I repeated. but I said. ‘No thank you. ‘Do you want to spend anything now?’ he asked me. sir!’ and calling me Towzer. turned it upside down into his hand. walking aside with me when he had disposed of my affair in these terms.

but I was a little troubled in my mind. he would take care it should be all right.for I feared it was a waste of my mother’s two half-crowns though I had preserved the piece of paper they were wrapped in: which was a precious saving. too. I begged him to do me the favour of presiding. he acceded to it. my hand shook at the very thought of it. he produced the whole seven shillings’worth. and sat upon my pillow. too. you’re going it!’ I smiled because he smiled.’ I couldn’t think of doing the honours of the feast.’ With these words he put the money in his pocket. ‘We must make it stretch as far as we can. ‘You’ll be glad to spend another shilling or so. When we went upstairs to bed. eh?’ said Steerforth. I should like that. I must say 10 David Copperfield . I dare say?’ I said. and my request being seconded by the other boys who were in that room. I’ll do the best in my power for you. at my time of life. ‘Very good.’ said Steerforth. ‘I say. ‘Well!’ said Steerforth. in almond cakes. and kindly told me not to make myself uneasy. and another in fruit. young Copperfield. I can go out when I like. ‘And another shilling or so in biscuits. handing round the viands .I should like that.with perfect fairness. He was as good as his word. saying: ‘There you are. while he was by. and I’ll smuggle the prog in. and laid it out on my bed in the moonlight. that’s all. Yes. if that were all right which I had a secret misgiving was nearly all wrong . young Copperfield. and a royal spread you’ve got.

through the window. the moonlight falling a little way into the room. and the greater part of us in shadow. that he had been. How well I recollect our sitting there. steals over me again. every day of his life. a small hop-dealer in the Borough. and my respectfully listening. that he laid about him. and had taken to the schooling business after being bankrupt in hops. that he was the sternest and most severe of masters.and dispensing the currant wine in a little glass without a foot. I heard all kinds of things about the school and all belonging to it. I ought rather to say. the secrecy of the revel. and I listen to all they tell me with a vague feeling of solemnity and awe. Creakle had not preferred his claim to being a Tartar without reason. being more ignorant (J. painting a pale window on the floor. which makes me glad that they are all so near. but the art of slashing. charging in among the boys like a trooper. That he knew nothing himself. which was his own property. consequent on the darkness. Steerforth said) than the lowest boy in the school. when he wanted to look for anything on the board. except when Steerforth dipped a match into a phosphorus-box. right and left.. on the nearest beds and on the floor. and the rest were grouped about us. and making away Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I heard that Mr. unmercifully. and the whisper in which everything was said. and slashing away. or their talking. and shed a blue glare over us that was gone directly! A certain mysterious feeling. As to me. I sat on his left hand. and frightens me (though I feign to laugh) when Traddles pretends to see a ghost in the corner. talking in whispers.com 11 . a good many years ago.

But the greatest wonder that I heard of Mr. in consequence. Steerforth himself confirmed this when it was stated. and that boy being J. Creakle. Creakle was. of his having broken his leg in Mr. which I wondered how they knew. as his natural enemies. Creakle’s money. and was supposed. to have protested against his father’s usage of his mother. Creakle. On being asked by a mild boy (not me) how he would proceed if he did begin to see him do it. as was supposed among the boys. and knowing his secrets. besides. Creakle had turned him out of doors. was an obstinate barbarian who had formerly assisted in the hop business. assisting in the school. had once held some remonstrance with his father on an occasion when its discipline was very cruelly exercised. I heard that Mr. I heard that the man with the wooden leg. ever since. and said he would commence by knocking him down with 1 David Copperfield . and that Mrs. but had come into the scholastic line with Mr. Creakle had a son. in consequence. Creakle’s service. who had not been Tungay’s friend. Steerforth. and that the only delight of his life was to be sour and malicious. he dipped a match into his phosphorus-box on purpose to shed a glare over his reply. and having done a deal of dishonest work for him. and Miss Creakle had been in a sad way. whose name was Tungay. masters and boys. there being one boy in the school on whom he never ventured to lay a hand. With a good deal more of that sort. I heard that Mr. and who.with Mrs. Tungay considered the whole establishment. and said that he should like to begin to see him do it. I heard that with the single exception of Mr.

Mr. and his curling hair. The greater part of the guests had gone to bed as soon as the eating and drinking were over. but hadn’t a sixpence to bless himself with. I heard that one boy. and what had sounded like ‘My Charley!’ but I was. outlasted the banquet some time. the only parlour-boarder. and that when there was hot and cold meat for dinner at Mr. Mell was not a bad sort of fellow. breathless. because his own red hair was very plainly to be seen behind. Steerforth. on that account.somebody else said ‘bumptious’ . Mell were both supposed to be wretchedly paid. and that there was no doubt that old Mrs. and a good deal more. and his easy manner. Mell. thinking of his nice voice. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I heard that Miss Creakle was regarded by the school in general as being in love with Steerforth.com 1 . which was again corroborated by J.about it. Sharp was always expected to say he preferred cold. came as a set-off against the coal-bill. as I sat in the dark. I am glad to remember. who was a coal-merchant’s son. was as poor as job. We sat in the dark for some time. I thought of my breakfast then. Creakle’s table.a name selected from the arithmetic book as expressing this arrangement. I thought it very likely. his mother. Sharp’s wig didn’t fit him. I heard that Mr. and was called. as mute as a mouse about it. I heard that the table beer was a robbery of parents. I heard that Mr. and the pudding an imposition. The hearing of all this. and that he needn’t be so ‘bounceable’ . I heard that Mr. and I am sure. Sharp and Mr. ‘Exchange or Barter’ . and his fine face.a blow on the forehead from the seven-and-sixpenny inkbottle that was always on the mantelpiece.

young Copperfield. 1 David Copperfield . ‘That’s a pity. ‘No. too. at last betook ourselves to bed. and raised myself.’ said Steerforth.’ said Steerforth. I should have liked to know her. to look at him where he lay in the moonlight.’ ‘Good night.’ I answered. ‘Good night. ‘I am very much obliged to you. that was. He was a person of great power in my eyes. I thought of him very much after I went to bed. I should think she would have been a pretty. ‘If you had had one. sir.’ ‘You haven’t got a sister. the reason of my mind running on him. Good night. with his handsome face turned up. of course. young Copperfield. bright-eyed sort of girl. and his head reclining easily on his arm.’ ‘You’re very kind. who had remained whispering and listening halfundressed. timid.and we. in the garden that I dreamed of walking in all night. I recollect.’ I gratefully returned. ‘I’ll take care of you. There was no shadowy picture of his footsteps. have you?’ said Steerforth. little. No veiled future dimly glanced upon him in the moonbeams. yawning.’ I replied.

for the boys were all struck speechless and motionless. I won’t flinch. and stood in the doorway looking round upon us like a giant in a story-book surveying his captives. Creakle was seen to speak. ‘Now. by the roar of voices in the schoolroom suddenly becoming hushed as death when Mr. A profound impression was made upon me. to this effect. It will be of no use your rubbing yourselves. in this new half. Now get to work. and Tungay had Free eBooks at Planet eBook. you won’t rub the marks out that I shall give you. and Tungay was heard. I thought.com 1 S . Mr. Tungay stood at Mr. Creakle’s elbow. this is a new half. Come fresh up to the lessons. Creakle entered after breakfast. I remember. I advise you.CHAPTER 7 MY ‘FIRST HALF’ AT SALEM HOUSE chool began in earnest next day. every boy!’ When this dreadful exordium was over. for I come fresh up to the punishment. boys. He had no occasion. to cry out ‘Silence!’ so ferociously. Take care what you’re about.

before the day’s work began. Not that I mean to say these were special marks of distinction. Creakle did. lest I should seem to exaggerate. and was very soon in tears also. but it rises hotly. I am sure when I think of the fellow now. On the contrary. he was famous for biting. hey? Did it bite? At every question he gave me a fleshy cut with it that made me writhe. that there was a fascination in such a subject. as Mr. Half the establishment was writhing and crying. which only I received. He then showed me the cane. I am really afraid to recollect. 1 David Copperfield . hey? Did it bite. a large majority of the boys (especially the smaller ones) were visited with similar instances of notice. which was like the satisfaction of a craving appetite. and told me that if I were famous for biting. hey? Was it a double tooth. and how much of it had writhed and cried before the day’s work was over. I am confident that he couldn’t resist a chubby boy.stumped out again. so I was very soon made free of Salem House (as Steerforth said). until he had scored and marked him for the day. I should think there never can have been a man who enjoyed his profession more than Mr. for a tooth? Was it a sharp tooth. He had a delight in cutting at the boys. which made him restless in his mind. too. especially. my blood rises against him with the disinterested indignation I should feel if I could have known all about him without having ever been in his power. I was chubby myself. hey? Had it a deep prong. Creakle came to where I sat. and asked me what I thought of THAT. Creakle made the round of the schoolroom. Mr. and ought to know.

how abject we were to him! What a launch in life I think it now. I don’t watch his eye in idleness. The culprit falters excuses. or Commander-in-Chief in either of which capacities it is probable that he would have done infinitely less mischief. An unhappy culprit. in a dread desire to know what he will do next. He makes dreadful mouths as he rules the ciphering-book. Creakle cuts a joke before he beats him. as he rules a ciphering-book for another victim whose hands have just been flattened by that identical ruler. and now he throws his eye sideways down our lane. and our hearts sinking into our boots. but because I am morbidly attracted to it. with our visages as white as ashes. than to be Lord High Admiral. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Miserable little propitiators of a remorseless Idol.miserable little dogs. or somebody else’s. watching his eye . Mr.com 1 . and whether it will be my turn to suffer. to be so mean and servile to a man of such parts and pretensions! Here I sit at the desk again. and professes a determination to do better tomorrow. I think he knows it.because I know him to have been an incapable brute. who had no more right to be possessed of the great trust he held. I have plenty to do. approaches at his command. and we all droop over our books and tremble. and we laugh at it. found guilty of imperfect exercise. we laugh. watch it too.humbly watching his eye. though he pretends he don’t. A moment afterwards we are again eyeing him. on looking back. and who is trying to wipe the sting out with a pocket-handkerchief. . A lane of small boys beyond me. with the same interest in his eye.

A cloggy sensation of the lukewarm fat of meat is upon me (we dined an hour or two ago). with a ball. and becomes contemplative. ruling those ciphering-books. He was always being caned . Here I am in the playground. and feeling that the ball has bounded on to Mr. as if the boys were so many bluebottles. stands for him. I would give the world to go to sleep. and my head is as heavy as so much lead. Creakle. with my eye still fascinated by him. he still looms through my slumber. Traddles (the most unfortunate boy in the world) breaks that window accidentally. blinking at him like a young owl. I shudder at this moment with the tremendous sensation of seeing it done. except one holiday Monday when he was only ruler’d on both hands . A buzz and hum go up around me. the boldest boy (Steerforth excepted) stops in the middle of a shout or yell. The window at a little distance from which I know he is having his dinner.and was always going to write to his 1 David Copperfield . though I can’t see him. on a drowsy summer afternoon. Poor Traddles! In a tight sky-blue suit that made his arms and legs like German sausages. mine assumes an imploring and submissive expression. or roly-poly puddings.Here I sit at the desk again.I think he was caned every day that half-year. If he looks out through the glass. One day. he was the merriest and most miserable of all the boys. until he softly comes behind me and wakes me to plainer perception of him. Creakle’s sacred head. I sit with my eye on Mr. when sleep overpowers me for a minute. If he shows his face near it. and I eye that instead. with a red ridge across my back.

I see him now. I used at first to wonder what comfort Traddles found in drawing skeletons. and didn’t want any features. and in point Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I could have gone through a good deal (though I was much less brave than Traddles. He suffered for this on several occasions. who reminded himself by those symbols of mortality that caning couldn’t last for ever. and was imprisoned so many hours that he came forth with a whole churchyard-full of skeletons swarming all over his Latin Dictionary. he would cheer up. After laying his head on the desk for a little while. despised by the congregation. Steerforth said there was nothing of the sneak in Traddles. and for some time looked upon him as a sort of hermit. and draw skeletons all over his slate. He was very honourable. I didn’t think Miss Creakle equal to little Em’ly in point of beauty. and never did. when Steerforth laughed in church. and particularly once. before his eyes were dry. but I thought her a young lady of extraordinary attractions. and nothing like so old) to have won such a recompense. He never said who was the real offender. and I didn’t love her (I didn’t dare). was one of the great sights of my life. But I believe he only did it because they were easy.uncle about it. For my part. arm-in-arm with Miss Creakle. Traddles was. and the Beadle thought it was Traddles. and took him out. But he had his reward. going away in custody.com 1 . To see Steerforth walk to church before us. and held it as a solemn duty in the boys to stand by one another. and we all felt that to be the highest praise. begin to laugh again. though he smarted for it next day. somehow.

I forget what now . but when I was going to bed at night. though it sometimes led to inconvenience. Mr. He couldn’t . since nobody dared to annoy one whom he honoured with his countenance. and wanted to make a cut at me in passing. in a manner that inspired me with great pride and satisfaction. and considered to be very kind of him. asked me if I had got that book? I told him no. and that he wouldn’t have stood it himself. and only one that I know of. It happened on one occasion. that I hazarded the observation that something or somebody .defend me from Mr. He said nothing at the time. in white trousers. When Steerforth. but Steerforth was to them what the sun was to two stars. and believed that she could not choose but adore him with all her heart.was like something or somebody in Peregrine Pickle. and I saw it no more. An accidental circumstance cemented the intimacy between Steerforth and me. but whenever I had been treated worse than usual. 10 David Copperfield . who was very severe with me.or at all events he didn’t . Mell were both notable personages in my eyes. Sharp and Mr. carried her parasol for her. Creakle’s severity. I felt proud to know him. he always told me that I wanted a little of his pluck. Steerforth continued his protection of me. Creakle. There was one advantage.of gentility not to be surpassed. for this reason it was soon taken off. which I felt he intended for encouragement. in Mr. and proved a very useful friend. and explained how it was that I had read it. He found my placard in his way when he came up or down behind the form on which I sat. when he was doing me the honour of talking to me in the playground.

earnest manner of narrating what I did narrate. ‘you shall tell ‘em to me. to the best of my belief. We’ll make some regular Arabian Nights of it. and I had. young Copperfield. In the morning. ‘Oh yes. and then it was rather hard work. and it must be done. for to disappoint or to displease Steerforth was of course out of the question. when I felt weary. in return. The drawback was. I was moved by no interested Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I was no loser by the transaction. I can’t get to sleep very early at night. and should be very unwilling to know. it was a tiresome thing to be roused. but Steerforth was resolute.’ said Steerforth. but I had a profound faith in them. We’ll go over ‘em one after another. like the Sultana Scheherazade. however. a simple. What ravages I committed on my favourite authors in the course of my interpretation of them. ‘And do you recollect them?’ Steerforth said. and should have enjoyed another hour’s repose very much. I am not in a condition to say. or out of spirits and indisposed to resume the story. I had a good memory.’ I replied. and I believed I recollected them very well. my sums and exercises. and we commenced carrying it into execution that very evening. ‘Then I tell you what.’ I felt extremely flattered by this arrangement. and anything in my tasks that was too hard for me.and all those other books of which I have made mention.com 11 . and I generally wake rather early in the morning. too. that I was often sleepy at night. and these qualities went a long way. Let me do myself justice. and forced into a long story before the getting-up bell rang. and as he explained to me.

and it should be. and begged him to dispense. or dissolve a peppermint drop in it. I’ll tell you what. young Copperfield. to poor Traddles and the rest. now. I suspect.what a comfortable letter it was! . and administered to me through a piece of quill in the cork. in an unflinching manner that was a little tantalizing. and although I cannot assert that the flavour was improved by these experiments. or that it was exactly the compound one would have chosen for a stomachic. in one particular instance. ‘Now. he was so kind as to squeeze orange juice into it.or selfish motive. too. It was so precious to me that I look back on these trifles.a little roopy was his exact expression . I admired and loved him. This treasure. when I was supposed to be in want of a restorative. I drank it 1 David Copperfield . and showed his consideration. and begged him. not to think of it. or to stir it up with ginger. and drawn off by himself in a phial. Peggotty’s promised letter . to make it a more sovereign specific.’ said he: ‘the wine shall be kept to wet your whistle when you are storytelling.’ I blushed at the idea. the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning. and his approval was return enough. and two bottles of cowslip wine. and with it a cake in a perfect nest of oranges. as in duty bound. I laid at the feet of Steerforth. in my modesty. nor was I moved by fear of him.arrived before ‘the half’ was many weeks old. devoted to the purpose he had mentioned. Accordingly. Sometimes. with an aching heart. But he said he had observed I was sometimes hoarse . every drop. Steerforth was considerate. it was locked up in his box.

in general.gratefully and was very sensible of his attention. and months more over the other stories. and to be overcome with fear when there was any passage of an alarming character in the narrative. generally. and attracted a good deal of notice to me though I was the youngest there. In a school carried on by sheer cruelty. and with tears in my eyes . We seem. The institution never flagged for want of a story. whether it is presided over by a dunce or not. and in that respect the pursuit may not have been very profitable to me. I believe our boys were.was a sort of chorus. to have been months over Peregrine. there is not likely to be much learnt. was encouraged by so much story-telling in the dark. and the wine lasted out almost as well as the matter.com 1 . I am certain. But the being cherished as a kind of plaything in my room. stimulated me to exertion. I recollect.I never think of that boy but with a strange disposition to laugh. whenever mention was made of an Alguazill in connexion with the adventures of Gil Blas. and handsomely flogged for disorderly conduct in the bedroom. Creakle. It was a great jest of his. and the consciousness that this accomplishment of mine was bruited about among the boys. who was prowling about the passage. Whatever I had within me that was romantic and dreamy. and I remember that when Gil Blas met the captain of the robbers in Madrid. to me. this unlucky joker counterfeited such an ague of terror. to pretend that he couldn’t keep his teeth from chattering. that he was overheard by Mr. Poor Traddles . as ignorant a set as any Free eBooks at Planet eBook. very often. and affected to be convulsed with mirth at the comic parts. This rather put me out.

insomuch that I did steadily pick up some crumbs of knowledge. from whom I could no more keep such a secret. for the time I was there. and Steerforth’s help. an exception to the general body. But my little vanity. in their way. and of a serious sort. urged me on somehow. Mell had taken me to see. made me. In this I was much assisted by Mr. when I ate my breakfast that first morning. or inducing others to do so. there was a good deal of noise in the course of the 1 David Copperfield . and without saving me from much. which naturally diffused a lively joy through the school. One day when Mr. We little thought. than any one can do anything to advantage in a life of constant misfortune. what consequences would come of the introduction into those alms-houses of my insignificant person. than I could keep a cake or any other tangible possession. about the two old women Mr. because I had soon told Steerforth. But the visit had its unforeseen consequences. This troubled me the more for a long time. and worry. any one of us.schoolboys in existence. It always gave me pain to observe that Steerforth treated him with systematic disparagement. if anything. who had a liking for me that I am grateful to remember. Creakle kept the house from indisposition. torment. and went to sleep under the shadow of the peacock’s feathers to the sound of the flute. and seldom lost an occasion of wounding his feelings. they could no more do that to advantage. in the way of punishment. Mell. too. I dare say. and I was always afraid that Steerforth would let it out. and twit him with it. they were too much troubled and knocked about to learn.

to enjoy themselves today. we were ordered into school in the afternoon. The great relief and satisfaction experienced by the boys made them difficult to manage.com 1 . over the book on his desk. mimicking his poverty. and wretchedly endeavouring to get on with his tiresome work. do what they would. which were made for the occasion. whatever it was. Sharp went out to get his wig curled. no great impression was made by it. no doubt. grinning. If I could associate the idea of a bull or a bear with anyone so mild as Mr. boys shuffled with their feet. who always did the drudgery. howling boys. boys whirled about him. as they were pretty sure of getting into trouble tomorrow. making faces. a half-holiday. Mell. singing boys. and thought it wise. I recall him bending his aching head. his boots. there were laughing boys. being Saturday. It was. in connexion with that afternoon when the uproar was at its height. and though the dreaded Tungay brought his wooden leg in twice or thrice. and took notes of the principal offenders’ names. baited by a thousand dogs. Mell. amidst an uproar that might have made the Speaker of the House of Commons giddy. everything beFree eBooks at Planet eBook. It was the day of the week on which Mr. But as the noise in the playground would have disturbed Mr. his mother. Creakle. playing at puss in the corner with other boys. so Mr. and the weather was not favourable for going out walking. properly. and set some lighter tasks than usual. mimicking him behind his back and before his eyes. talking boys. as of one of those animals. Boys started in and out of their places. dancing boys.morning’s work. his coat. supported on his bony hand. I should think of him. kept school by himself.

changed his mind. ‘Sit down yourself. I saw the boys all stop. Steerforth!’ said Mr. Mell looked at him. upon my head . at the opposite end of the long room. suddenly rising up. and as I stood beside him. Mr. and some applause.‘or that I have not observed you. and pretended to want a pen mended. Mell. who had darted out behind him to imitate his mother again. but Mr. Steerforth. and one boy.he laid his hand. boys?’ It was my book that he struck his desk with.’ said Mr. some suddenly surprised. ‘that I am not acquainted with the power you can establish over any mind here’ .’ said Mr. ‘Silence. Mell with his mouth shut up as if he were whistling. urging your juniors on to every 1 David Copperfield . turning red. and his hands in his pockets. following his eye as it glanced round the room. ‘What does this mean! It’s impossible to bear it. that silence immediately succeeded. Mell was so white. ‘Silence yourself. ‘Silence!’ cried Mr. How can you do it to me. Mell. Mell. within a few minutes. some half afraid. Steerforth’s place was at the bottom of the school. and some sorry perhaps. He was lounging with his back against the wall. ‘and mind your business. ‘Whom are you talking to?’ ‘Sit down. when Mr. ‘If you think. Mell.’ said Steerforth. without considering what he did (as I supposed). and looked at Mr. It’s maddening.longing to him that they should have had consideration for.’ said Steerforth. and striking his desk with the book.’ There was a titter.

sort of outrage against me. you are an impudent beggar. I tell you what. You can sit down or stand up as you please. ‘stop a bit. Creakle in the midst of us. and the many reasons for not insulting whom you are old enough and wise enough to understand. go on. Mell. Mell.’ pursued Mr. you are an impudent beggar.com 1 . coming forward up the room. you know.where is he?’ said Steerforth. Mr. Mell was going to strike him. with his lip trembling very much. ‘you commit a mean and base action.’ said Steerforth.’ ‘And when you make use of your position of favouritism here. . and Mrs. and found Mr. Here somebody cried out. once for all. ‘Shame. You are always a beggar. Mell instantly discomfited by bidding him hold his tongue.’ ‘I don’t give myself the trouble of thinking at all about you.’ said Mr. I saw a rigidity come upon the whole school as if they had been turned into stone. Mell. coolly.’ said Steerforth. and Miss Creakle looking in at the door as if they were Free eBooks at Planet eBook. you are mistaken. ‘to insult a gentleman -’ ‘A what? . with his lips trembling more and more. but when you do that. whom Mr. and who never gave you the least offence. or Mr. sir.‘To insult one who is not fortunate in life. or there was any such intention on either side. or anything of that sort.’ I am not clear whether he was going to strike Mr. sir. ‘so I’m not mistaken. Copperfield. When you take the liberty of calling me mean or base. sir. with Tungay at his side. as it happens.’ ‘Young Copperfield. J. Steerforth! Too bad!’ It was Traddles. Mell.

then?’ said Steerforth at length. shaking him by the arm.’ returned the Master. I have remembered myself. Mr. looking hard at Mr.I . I . I remember. Mr. Mell. Mell looked opposed to him. as he don’t condescend to tell me. Mell. Mr. After still looking hard at Mr. Creakle turned to Steerforth.’ Mr. no. more just. Mell. I have not forgotten myself. and said: ‘Now. what is this?’ Steerforth evaded the question for a little while. looking in scorn and anger on his opponent.could wish you had remembered me a little sooner. Creakle. and rubbed his hands.it . quite still. ‘What did he mean by talking about favourites. sir. I . No. Creakle. Creakle. I hope?’ ‘No. sir. and rubbing his hands in great agitation. sir. that Tungay felt it unnecessary to repeat his words. I . and his whisper was so audible now. and remained in the same state of agitation. Mell from his throne. sir. ‘Who talked about favourites?’ 1 David Copperfield . Creakle.frightened. for some moments. ‘Mr. ‘you have not forgotten yourself. It would have saved me something. It . sat. and remaining silent. and got his feet upon the form close by. and shaking his head. and how homely and plain Mr. as he shook his head. with the veins in his forehead swelling quickly. sir. ‘No. what a noble fellow he was in appearance.would have been more kind. with his elbows on his desk and his face in his hands. showing his face.’ said Mr. and sat upon the desk.no. sir. Creakle. sir. Mr.I have remembered myself. I could not help thinking even in that interval. ‘Favourites?’ repeated Mr. put his hand on Tungay’s shoulder.

‘as I said. darting his head at him suddenly. Creakle folded his arms. Steerforth.’ said Mr. perhaps. ‘I meant.’ said Steerforth. If I had been cool. perhaps I shouldn’t have called him a beggar. I must say. Mr.’ Here Steerforth struck in.’ said Mr. What’s-your-name’.’ ‘It was not judicious. sir. cane and all. ‘whether. for there was a low stir among them. and your employer. It made an impression on the boys too. ‘I should not have done so. and drawing it back again. you showed proper respect to me? To me. if I had been cool. and then I called him a beggar. ‘I am surprised. upon his chest. ‘does you honour.’ ‘To degrade YOU?’ said Mr. Creakle. ‘And pray. Creakle. when you talk about favourites.’ he returned in a low voice. whether there were any consequences to be taken. sir?’ demanded Mr.I am surprised. turning angrily on his assistant. what did you mean by that. But I did. Steerforth .‘He did.’ said Mr. Creakle.com 1 . ‘the principal of this establishment. Mell. and I am ready to take the consequences of it. I felt quite in a glow at this gallant speech.although your candour does you honour. certainly . I am willing to admit.’ Without considering. and here Mr. Creakle. that no pupil had a right to avail himself of his position of favouritism to degrade me. and then he said I was base. Mr. Creakle. that you should atFree eBooks at Planet eBook. sir. ‘Then he said I was mean. and made such a knot of his brows that his little eyes were hardly visible below them. ‘My stars! But give me leave to ask you. though no one spoke a word.

Mell.’ Mr. and said to himself. that his mother lives on charity in an alms-house. Mell.’ said Steerforth.what I have to say is. to set him right before the assembled school. if I heard right: ‘Yes. ‘Why. without correction. where does he go a-begging?’ ‘If he is not a beggar himself. but Mr. Have the goodness. ‘It’s all the same. Creakle. I thought so. ‘Since you expect me. ‘Deny that he is a beggar. sir. Mell’s eyes were fixed on Steerforth. if you please. I looked up with a flush upon my face and remorse in my heart. Creakle looked. ‘to my remark.’ said Mr. ‘That’s not an answer. in a whisper. Mell still looked at him. Steerforth?’ cried Mr.tach such an epithet to any person employed and paid in Salem House.’ returned Mr. Mr.’ Steerforth gave a short laugh. Mell looked homely. 10 David Copperfield .’ Mr. you hear what this gentleman says. Creakle. ‘Let him deny it. and Mr.’ ‘He is right.’ If Mr. He continued to pat me kindly on the shoulder. before the handsome boy. in my eyes. but he looked at him. his near relation’s one. . sir.’ said Steerforth. I expect more than that from you. with a severe frown and laboured politeness: ‘Now. to justify myself. it would be quite impossible to say how homely Mr.’ said Steerforth. ‘and to say what I mean. Creakle. and still patted me kindly on the shoulder. Mr. Mell’s hand gently patted me upon the shoulder.’ He glanced at me. Steerforth. Creakle turned to his assistant. sir.

’ Once more he laid his hand upon my shoulder.’ ‘I apprehend.com 11 .’ said Mr. ‘I take my leave of you. Creakle. Creakle. and always has been. and again patting me gently on the shoulders. At present I would prefer to see you anything rather than a friend. he went out of the school. with his veins swelling again bigger than ever. and leaving the key in it for his successor. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. will you. and all of you. here. ‘James Steerforth. Mell.’ replied the assistant. and mistook this for a charity school.’ ‘Be so good then as declare publicly. Mell. ‘whether it ever came to my knowledge until this moment?’ ‘I believe not directly. and rolling his eyes round the school. to me. ‘like the present. ‘that you’ve been in a wrong position altogether. Creakle. man?’ ‘I apprehend you never supposed my worldly circumstances to be very good.in the midst of a dead silence.’ ‘Sir. and then taking his flute and a few books from his desk. ‘what he has said is true. you know not. Mr. we’ll part. if you come to that. ‘You know what my position is. the best wish I can leave you is that you may come to be ashamed of what you have done today.’ said Mr. glancing round the room. ‘Why. if you please.’ answered Mr. putting his head on one side.’ he returned. to you!’ said Mr. Mell. Creakle. or to anyone in whom I feel an interest. rising.’ ‘There is no time.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. The sooner the better. Creakle. ‘Don’t you. Mr.

Mr. We were left to ourselves now. ‘Who has ill-used him. He was very angry with Traddles. Mr. or wherever he had come from. ‘Why. on account of Mr.or. in which he thanked Steerforth for asserting (though perhaps too warmly) the independence and respectability of Salem House. while we gave three cheers . Creakle then made a speech. and which he wound up by shaking hands with Steerforth. through Tungay. instead of cheers. or his bed. and so joined in them ardently. ‘What have I done?’ said Steerforth. considering our relative ages. but I supposed for Steerforth. and went back to his sofa. who often looked at me. said he didn’t care. For myself.I did not quite know what for. and looked very blank. I recollect. Creakle then caned Tommy Traddles for being discovered in tears. I saw. Mell’s departure. ‘What have you done?’ retorted Traddles. you girl?’ said Steerforth.with his property under his arm. ‘Hurt his feel1 David Copperfield . I should rather say. and the feeling with which I regarded him. who had passed the stage of lying with his head upon the desk. I felt so much self-reproach and contrition for my part in what had happened. that nothing would have enabled me to keep back my tears but the fear that Steerforth. on one another. undutiful . Mr.’ returned Traddles. might think it unfriendly .if I showed the emotion which distressed me. Mell was ill-used. and said he was glad he had caught it. and was relieving himself as usual with a burst of skeletons. you have. Poor Traddles. though I felt miserable.

that I was quite wretched. We were all extremely glad to see Traddles so put down. Mr. who. I fancied it playing so sorrowfully somewhere. and for our cause. and that he had conferred a great boon upon us by unselfishly doing it. and lost him his situation. I’ll be bound. that what he had done had been done expressly for us. As to his situation . and take care that he gets some money? Polly?’ We thought this intention very noble in Steerforth. and exalted Steerforth to the skies: especially when he told us. and I lay down in my bed. and before he entered on his duties. ‘His feelings will soon get the better of it. and rich. to be introduced to Steerforth.which was a precious one.do you suppose I am not going to write home. it was said. and that when at last Steerforth was tired. His feelings are not like yours. and without any book (he seemed to me to know everything by heart). Without exactly understanding what learned distinction was meant by this. and had no Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The new master came from a grammar school. in an easy amateur way. whose mother was a widow. took some of his classes until a new master was found. But I must say that when I was going on with a story in the dark that night. Steerforth approved of him highly. dined in the parlour one day. that he asked her.com 1 . I soon forgot him in the contemplation of Steerforth. I respected him greatly for it.ings. and would do almost anything. and told us he was a Brick. as he condescended to do. wasn’t it? . Miss Traddles. Mell’s old flute seemed more than once to sound mournfully in my ears.’ ‘His feelings?’ repeated Steerforth disdainfully.

These orders I obeyed. as. than at the appearance they made.doubt whatever of his superior knowledge: though he never took the pains with me . and when I got to the parlour door. to my amazement. but it was much more in the pleasure of seeing them. I could not help laughing. before I repaired to the diningroom. It survives for many reasons. when we were all harassed into a state of dire confusion. and Mr. or Miss Murdstone until then . Mell had taken.that Mr. that made an impression upon me which still survives. and the thought came into my head that it might be my mother . and called out in his usual strong way: ‘Visitors for Copperfield!’ A few words were interchanged between him and Mr. and what room they were to be shown into.I drew back my hand from the lock. was told to go by the back stairs and get a clean frill on. We shook hands in a very cordial way. There was only one other event in this half-year. and then I. Peggotty and Ham. At first I saw nobody. ducking at me with their hats.not that I was anybody . Creakle was laying about him dreadfully. but feeling a pressure against the door. Creakle.I had only thought of Mr. according to custom. who had. were Mr. One afternoon. until I 1 David Copperfield . who the visitors were. Tungay came in. stood up on the announcement being made. and I laughed and laughed. and squeezing one another against the wall. and felt quite faint with astonishment. and stopped to have a sob before I went in. I looked round it. out of the daily school-life. and there. in such a flutter and hurry of my young spirits as I had never known before.

Peggotty.’ said Mr. dear. ‘And little Em’ly.’ said Mr.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. Mr.common. Peggotty. and a large canvas bag of shrimps. Mas’r Davy bor’!’ said Ham. Mr. took two prodigious lobsters. ‘knowing as you was partial to a little relish with your wittles when you was along with us. she did. slowly. and piled them up in Ham’s arms. Mrs. ‘Do you know how mama is. Peggotty. I remember. Peggotty. and then we all three laughed until I was in danger of crying again. Peggotty. to see old friends. and nudged Ham to say something. Peggotty (who never shut his mouth once. Yes. drying my eyes. but somehow it made me cry. They made me laugh again by laughing at each other. ‘Ain’t he growed!’ said Mr. we took the liberty. Gummidge. ‘Cheer up. I do assure Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The old Mawther biled ‘em. ‘Mrs. how you have growed!’ ‘Am I grown?’ I said. and Mrs. old Peggotty is?’ ‘Oncommon. Peggotty?’ I said. There was a silence. ‘Why. Mas’r Davy bor’? Ain’t he growed!’ said Ham. ‘And how my dear. in his simpering way. during the visit) showed great concern when he saw me do this. Peggotty. and an enormous crab. who I thought appeared to stick to the subject on account of having no other subject ready. out of his pockets.com 1 . I was not crying at anything in particular that I know of. Mr.pulled out my pocket-handkerchief and wiped my eyes. to relieve it. ‘You see. ‘Growed. Gummidge?’ ‘On . Gummidge biled ‘em.

with a consciousness of reddening. ‘Her writing!’ said Mr. ‘Her learning!’ said Ham. who stood smiling sheepishly over the shellfish.’ I was obliged to consider a little before I understood what Mr.you. as I see you and as you was similarly oncommon. since we used to pick up shells and pebbles on the beach? ‘She’s getting to be a woman. she biled ‘em.’ said Mr. expressive of a complete circle of intelligence. and wrote to me as if ever I chanced to come to Gravesen’. after looking at Ham. ‘Her pretty face!’ said Mr. and so we make it quite a merry. with his own shining like a light. and said. you might see it anywheres. ‘Ask HIM. Peggotty. My sister she wrote to me the name of this here place. Peggotty.gorounder. Little Em’ly.’ It was perfectly delightful to behold with what enthusi1 David Copperfield . in one of our Yarmouth lugs to Gravesen’. that I supposed little Em’ly was altered too. who beamed with delight and assent over the bag of shrimps. ‘Why it’s as black as jet! And so large it is. you see.’ He meant Ham. I was to come over and inquire for Mas’r Davy and give her dooty. Peggotty. and Mr. Peggotty meant by this figure. that’s wot she’s getting to be. I then thanked him heartily. humbly wishing him well and reporting of the fam’ly as they was oncommon toe-be-sure. Peggotty. you see. said: ‘We come.’ I expressed my thanks. the wind and tide making in our favour. without making any attempt to help him. she’ll write to my sister when I go back.

if you please. good people . like a sledge-hammer. aye?’ said Steerforth. Steerforth. his bluff hairy face irradiating with a joyful love and pride.a gay and light manner it was.asm Mr.which I still believe to have Free eBooks at Planet eBook. who. young Copperfield!’ (for it was not the usual visiting room) and crossed by us on his way out. and said: ‘I didn’t know you were here. Peggotty became inspired when he thought of his little favourite. and he emphasizes what he says with a right arm that shows. His strong loose hands clench themselves. or in the desire to explain to him how I came to have such a friend as Mr. modestly Good Heaven. Ham was quite as earnest as he. and have come from Gravesend to see me. stopped in a song he was singing.very kind. I dare say they would have said much more about her.who are relations of my nurse. how it all comes back to me this long time afterwards! ‘Don’t go. ‘I am glad to see them. for which I can find no description. His honest eyes fire up. if they had not been abashed by the unexpected coming in of Steerforth. but not swaggering .com 1 .’ ‘Aye. in his earnestness. He stands before me again. But I said. as if their depths were stirred by something bright. that I called to him as he was going away. I am not sure whether it was in the pride of having such a friend as Steerforth. and sparkle. How are you both?’ There was an ease in his manner . returning. in my pigmy view. These are two Yarmouth boatmen . seeing me in a corner speaking with two strangers. Peggotty. His broad chest heaves with pleasure.

if you please. bowing and chuckling.built boatman! Hor.’ ‘So ‘tis. grinning.’ ‘And if Mr. hor! That’s what he is. young gen’l’m’n! Mas’r Davy bor’. too!’ Mr. laughing. in virtue of this carriage. sir. of some inborn power of attraction besides (which I think a few people possess). You never saw such a good house. his delightful voice. ‘when that letter is sent. It’s made out of a boat!’ ‘Made out of a boat. Steerforth ever comes into Norfolk or Suffolk. ‘You’re right. A thorough. to see your house. sir. and which not many persons could withstand. though his modesty forbade him to claim a personal compliment so vociferously.’ ‘Nonsense!’ said Steerforth. you may depend upon it I shall bring him to Yarmouth. I could not but see how pleased they were with him. that Mr. his handsome face and figure. so ‘tis. is it?’ said Steerforth.’ I said. Peggotty. and.borne a kind of enchantment with it. and tucking 1 David Copperfield . ‘while I am there. I still believe him.’ said Ham. his animal spirits. ‘You mustn’t tell them anything of the sort. Peggotty. and how they seemed to open their hearts to him in a moment. ‘It’s the right sort of a house for such a thorough-built boatman. Mr. ‘You must let them know at home. to have carried a spell with him to which it was a natural weakness to yield. gen’l’m’n’s right. if he will let me. for aught I know. Peggotty was no less pleased than his nephew.’ I said. sir. Steerforth.’ he said. ‘Well. and that I don’t know what I should ever do here without him. Steerforth is very kind to me. Mr.

Peggotty having said that she was getting on to be a woman. but it’s hearty at your service if ever you should come along with Mas’r Davy to see it. and this was in allusion to his being slow to go. I thankee! I do my endeavours in my line of life. and too much afraid of his laughing at me. He was taken ill in the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. sir. Mr. I’m a reg’lar Dodman. I’m rough.’ said Steerforth. ‘and wot you do well . We transported the shellfish. and we parted with them in the heartiest manner. sir. Peggotty had modestly called it. by which he meant snail.com 1 . I hope I’m ready. shaking his head. Peggotty. I am. sir.’ said Mr. but I decided that was nonsense. Peggotty. He was too unfortunate even to come through a supper like anybody else. I was almost tempted that evening to tell Steerforth about pretty little Em’ly. it’s wot you do yourself. ‘I’ll pound it. sir. I’m obleeged to you. and in an uneasy sort of way. He had got his name already. or the ‘relish’ as Mr. sir. But Traddles couldn’t get happily out of it.in the ends of his neckerchief at his breast: ‘I thankee.right well! I thankee. and had somehow or other come back again. for your welcoming manner of me. and made a great supper that evening. sir. I remember that I thought a good deal. about Mr. for he had attempted to go after every sentence.least ways. sir. Peggotty.’ said Mr. and I wish you happy!’ Ham echoed this sentiment. but I was too timid of mentioning her name.’ ‘The best of men can do no more. but I’m ready . ‘but I wish you both well. My house ain’t much for to see. you unnerstand. up into our room unobserved.

and the morning schoolroom which was nothing but a great shivering-machine. and the cold. of the alternation of boiled beef with roast beef. 10 David Copperfield .night . this week. and how I then began to be afraid that I should not be sent for and when I learnt from Steerforth that I had been sent for. of the frosty mornings when we were rung out of bed. hair-cuttings. had dim forebodings that I might break my leg first. The rest of the half-year is a jumble in my recollection of the daily strife and struggle of our lives. and boiled mutton with roast mutton. suet-puddings. the day after tomorrow. tear-blotted copy-books. and then to days. tomorrow. and to grow and grow. and was certainly to go home. at last. of the evening schoolroom dimly lighted and indifferently warmed. dog’s-eared lesson-books. of the waning summer and the changing season. to an extent which Demple (whose father was a doctor) said was enough to undermine a horse’s constitution. and a dirty atmosphere of ink. after seeming for an immense time to be a stationary speck. I well remember though. surrounding all.in consequence of Crab. began to come towards us. canings.quite prostrate he was . cold smell of the dark nights when we were rung into bed again. cracked slates. How from counting months. of clods of bread-and-butter. we came to weeks. and after being drugged with black draughts and blue pills. rulerings. How the breaking-up day changed its place fast. received a caning and six chapters of Greek Testament for refusing to confess. rainy Sundays. from the week after next to next week. how the distant idea of the holidays.

but the sound of the coachman touching up the horses.com 11 . I had many a broken sleep inside the Yarmouth mail. Creakle giving it to Traddles.today. the ground outside the window was not the playground of Salem House. tonight . Free eBooks at Planet eBook.when I was inside the Yarmouth mail. and going home. But when I awoke at intervals. and many an incoherent dream of all these things. and the sound in my ears was not the sound of Mr.

David Copperfield 1 . the lazy horse walked away with us all at his accustomed pace. I know. ESPECIALLY ONE HAPPY AFTERNOON W hen we arrived before day at the inn where the mail stopped. pull the Dolphin’s blankets round my head. Mr. and was ready for him before the appointed time. with DOLPHIN painted on the door. notwithstanding the hot tea they had given me before a large fire downstairs. which was not the inn where my friend the waiter lived. and very glad I was to turn into the Dolphin’s bed. a little giddy from the shortness of my night’s rest. and I had only been into the hotel to get change for sixpence. or something of that sort. Very cold I was.CHAPTER 8 MY HOLIDAYS. Barkis the carrier was to call for me in the morning at nine o’clock. As soon as I and my box were in the cart. He received me exactly as if not five minutes had elapsed since we were last together. and the carrier seated. I got up at eight. and go to sleep. I was shown up to a nice little bedroom.

thinking he would like to know it. that man’s a-waitin’ for a answer.’ said Mr.’ said Mr.‘You look very well. Mr. Barkis?’ ‘Well.’ said Mr. Mr. Barkis. looking at me sideways. Barkis. ‘Not the message?’ ‘The message was right enough. Mr. ‘that man’s been a-waitin’ for a answer ever since. but made no other acknowledgement of the compliment. Barkis. ‘When a man says he’s willin’. ‘Wasn’t it right. and answered drily. and then looked at his cuff as if he expected to find some of the bloom upon it. perhaps.’ he explained.com 1 . Barkis. turning his glance slowly on me again. Barkis?’ said I. carrying his eyes back to his horse’s ears.’ Not understanding what he meant. For this was a new light to me.’ ‘Well. Mr. I repeated inquisitively: ‘Came to an end. Barkis?’ ‘Nothing come of it. Mr. no. opening my eyes.’ ‘There was an answer expected.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ I said. ‘but it come to an end there. ‘it’s as much as to say. Mr. was there. ‘Why. Barkis. Barkis. Barkis rubbed his cheek with his cuff. Mr. Barkis. ‘I gave your message. Barkis?’ I asked.’ ‘Ah!’ said Mr. after a little hesitation.’ I said: ‘I wrote to Peggotty. ‘No answer. Mr.’ said Mr. Barkis seemed gruff.

I ain’t a-goin’ to tell her so. ‘Well!’ he resumed at length. ‘You might tell her. half an hour afterwards.’ says you. and writing up. ‘To what I told you.’ ‘What is that?’ says she. he slouched over his horse in his usual manner.’ ‘Is it though?’ said Mr. ‘Clara Peggotty’ .’ ‘Chrisen name? Or nat’ral name?’ said Mr. with a nod of his head. inside the tilt of the cart. Barkis. ‘that Barkis was a-waitin’ for a answer. Says you .‘Have you told her so. He seemed to find an immense fund of reflection in this circumstance. Barkis. ‘Peggotty. ‘Oh. Barkis accompanied with a nudge of his elbow that gave me quite a stitch in my side.’ ‘Would you like me to do it.what name is it?’ ‘Her name?’ ‘Ah!’ said Mr. Barkis. Mr. taking a piece of chalk from his pocket.apparently as a private memorandum. doubtfully. ‘Barkis is willin’. Mr.’ This extremely artful suggestion Mr. ‘Peggotty! Barkis is waitin’ for a answer. After that. Barkis. and sat pondering and inwardly whistling for some time. Barkis?’ said I. it’s not her Christian name.’ growled Mr.’ said Mr. perhaps.’ Says she.no. ‘I ain’t got no call to go and tell her so. Barkis. with another slow look at me. Her Christian name is Clara. Barkis?’ ‘No . and made no other reference to the subject except. ‘Says you. 1 David Copperfield . I never said six words to her myself. ‘Answer to what?’ Says you. if you would. reflecting about it.

The carrier put my box down at the garden-gate. I went in with a quiet. and there was no one to come between us. I walked along the path towards the house. and heard her singing so to me when I was but a baby. that I am not sure I was glad to be there . I think I must have lain in her arms. Murdstone or Miss Murdstone lowering out of one of them. from the solitary and thoughtful way in which my mother murmured her song. I believed. like a friend come back from a long absence. God knows how infantine the memory may have been. timid step. and shreds of the old rooks’-nests drifted away upon the wind. and knowing how to open the door. which was like a dream I could never dream again! The days when my mother and I and Peggotty were all in all to one another. where the bare old elm-trees wrung their many hands in the bleak wintry air. that was awakened within me by the sound of my mother’s voice in the old parlour. and being come to the house. that she was alone. before dark. and fearing at every step to see Mr. and forgotten it in Steerforth’s company. glancing at the windows. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The strain was new to me. She was singing in a low tone. and left me. No face appeared. without knocking. But there I was.Ah. however. rose up before me so sorrowfully on the road. what a strange feeling it was to be going home when it was not home. and to find that every object I looked at. reminded me of the happy old home.not sure but that I would rather have remained away. and yet it was so old that it filled my heart brim-full. and soon I was at our house. when I set foot in the hall.com 1 .

I had never hoped for this. the carrier being much before his usual time. and would not return before night. whose tiny hand she held against her neck. that she had no other companion. and Miss Murdstone had gone out upon a visit in the neighbourhood. and clasped me round the neck. my pretty boy! My poor child!’ Then she kissed me more and more. fondling me. I wish I had died. suckling an infant.’ said my mother. I was so far right. Peggotty was in attendance to wait upon us. and bounced down on the ground beside us. Her eyes were looking down upon its face. ‘He is your brother. and went mad about us both for a quarter of an hour.And I went softly into the room. It seemed. with that feeling in my heart! I should have been more fit for Heaven than I ever have been since. as if the old days were come back. I had never thought it possible that we three could be together undisturbed. her own boy! and coming half across the room to meet me. But seeing me. and she started. I spoke to her. and she sat singing to it. she called me her dear Davy. for the time. ‘Davy. and put its hand to my lips. and I felt. kneeled down upon the ground and kissed me. and cried out. that Mr. once more. but my mother wouldn’t let her do 1 David Copperfield . I wish I had died then. It seemed that I had not been expected so soon. We dined together by the fireside. and laid my head down on her bosom near the little creature that was nestling there. This she was doing when Peggotty came running in. too. She was sitting by the fire.

‘Oh! I don’t know.’ said my mother. and sat as if her head were in a bag. I should slap his face. and throw her apron over her face. who. you stupid creature?’ said my mother. she said. for a hundred pounds.’ retorted Peggotty. drat the man!’ cried Peggotty. why don’t you tell him so. If he was to make so bold as say a word to me.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. with a brown view of a man-of-war in full sail upon it. I thought it a favourable occasion to tell Peggotty about Mr. ‘Oh. ‘Peggotty. laughing. Nor I wouldn’t have anybody. I wouldn’t have him if he was made of gold. and made her dine with us.’ ‘It would be a very good match for you. I had my own old mug with David on it. wouldn’t it?’ said my mother. looking out of her apron. before I had finished what I had to tell her. ‘Don’t ask me. you ridiculous thing?’ said my mother.’ said Peggotty. and held her apron tight over her face when my mother tried to pull it away. While we were at table.’ ‘Then. ‘What’s the matter?’ Peggotty only laughed the more. began to laugh. I had my own old plate. and would not have had broken. He knows better. ‘Tell him so. Barkis. ‘He has never said a word to me about it. which Peggotty had hoarded somewhere all the time I had been away. and my own old little knife and fork that wouldn’t cut.it. ‘He wants to marry me. ‘What are you doing.com 1 .

but she only covered it again. Stay with me. ‘Peggotty. ‘Not for all the world and his wife. and Peggotty went running on in her own fashion. my precious!’ cried Peggotty. no!’ ‘Not just yet?’ said my mother. though she smiled when Peggotty looked at her. which became anxious and fluttered. My mother took her hand. tenderly. I remarked that my mother. I had seen at first that she was changed. putting out her hand. At last she said. ‘Me leave you? I think I see myself. Peggotty go away 1 David Copperfield . and said: ‘Don’t leave me. Peggotty. perhaps. Why. But the change to which I now refer was superadded to this: it was in her manner. what’s put that in your silly little head?’ . Her face was very pretty still. and after two or three of those attacks. But my mother made no answer. for a few moments at a time. and too delicate. and laying it affectionately on the hand of her old servant. It will not be for long. and her hand was so thin and white that it seemed to me to be almost transparent. except to thank her. What should I ever do without you!’ ‘Me leave you.Her own was as red as ever I saw it. ‘Never!’ cried Peggotty. I think. or any other face. staring. dear.For Peggotty had been used of old to talk to my mother sometimes like a child. but it looked careworn. ‘Lord bless you. when she was taken with a violent fit of laughter. became more serious and thoughtful. went on with her dinner. you are not going to be married?’ ‘Me. ma’am?’ returned Peggotty.

and the yard-measure. After that. and what a patron of mine. and too lame. and talked delightfully. I’ll stay with you till I am a cross cranky old woman. no. Peggotty. shaking her head. and nursed it. ‘I know you will!’ And she kissed me beforehand. no. came in with another cap on. she took the baby out of its little cradle. After that. and ask him to take me in. she covered her head up with her apron again and had another laugh about Mr. broken now a long time. ‘not she.’ said Peggotty. I told them what a hard master Mr. my dear. After that. They shall be aggravated. I told them what a fine fellow Steerforth was. When it was asleep again.’ ‘Bless your dear heart!’ cried Peggotty. Creakle was. but they sha’n’t be pleased.from you? I should like to catch her at it! No. even to be found fault with.com 1 . And when I’m too deaf. she cleared the dinner table. after that.’ says I. Barkis. I took the little baby in my arms when it was awake. and sat with my arms embracing her waist. and too blind. and my little red cheek on her Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and nursed it lovingly. to be of any use at all. We sat round the fire. and I’ll make you as welcome as a queen. and too mumbly for want of teeth. and folding her arms. and they pitied me very much. It isn’t that there ain’t some Cats that would be well enough pleased if she did. in grateful acknowledgement of my hospitality. and her work-box.’ ‘And. I crept close to my mother’s side according to my old custom. and the bit of wax-candle. ‘I shall be glad to see you. and Peggotty said she would walk a score of miles to see him. than I shall go to my Davy. all just the same as ever.

‘What can have put such a person in your head?’ inquired my mother. I almost believed that I had never been away. and never by any chance in any other. ma’am. but my head never can pick and 10 David Copperfield . who was sometimes seized with a fit of wondering on some most unexpected topic. ‘I wonder. and then sat with it drawn on her left hand like a glove. and seeing pictures in the red-hot coals. Peggotty darned away at a stocking as long as she could see. and I. While I sat thus. and that there was nothing real in all that I remembered. and her needle in her right. and would vanish when the fire got low.and was very happy indeed. or where such an unfailing supply of stockings in want of darning can have come from. I cannot conceive whose stockings they can have been that Peggotty was always darning.shoulder. I recollect .’ said Peggotty. save my mother. and once more felt her beautiful hair drooping over me . ‘what’s become of Davy’s great-aunt?’ ‘Lor. Peggotty!’ observed my mother. From my earliest infancy she seems to have been always employed in that class of needlework. ‘what nonsense you talk!’ ‘Well. ready to take another stitch whenever there was a blaze.like an angel’s wing as I used to think. but I really do wonder.’ said Peggotty.’ said Peggotty. ‘unless it’s on account of being stupid. ‘Is there nobody else in the world to come there?’ ‘I don’t know how it is. rousing herself from a reverie. that Mr. Peggotty. and Miss Murdstone were such pictures. looking at the fire.

she is not likely ever to trouble us again. that ain’t likely at all.’ ‘No!’ mused Peggotty. ‘Miss Betsey is shut up in her cottage by the sea. They come and they go. you jealous thing!’ said she.’ said Peggotty. if I was to. ‘You had much better go and marry Mr. Peggotty!’ returned my mother. rather sharply. Why don’t you?’ ‘I should make Miss Murdstone happy. ‘What a bad disposition you have. ‘what a nonsensical woman you are! when you know that she took offence at the poor dear boy’s ever being born at all.’ ‘Lord forbid!’ cried Peggotty. ‘As if this poor little innocent in its cradle had ever done any harm to you or anybody else.I wonder. there’s a good soul. ‘Well then. and will remain there. Peggotty!’ returned Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Barkis. and they don’t come and they don’t go. I wonder what’s become of her?’ ‘How absurd you are.’ returned my mother. and wondered how Peggotty dared to say such a thing. I mean.’ said my mother. ‘Why should she be inclined to forgive him now?’ said my mother. ‘No. At all events.’ hinted Peggotty. ‘Now that he’s got a brother.choose its people. no doubt. .’ ‘I suppose she wouldn’t be inclined to forgive him now.com 11 . whether she’d leave Davy anything?’ ‘Good gracious me.’ said Peggotty. don’t talk about such uncomfortable things. MY mother immediately began to cry. the carrier. ‘One would suppose you wanted a second visit from her. just as they like. Peggotty. if she was to die.

Peggotty. Peggotty.’ Peggotty muttered something to the effect of ‘Bother the best intentions!’ and something else to the effect that there was a little too much of the best intentions going on. Miss Murdstone is the point now. perfectly. over and over again. and I wonder you don’t colour up like fire.a -’ ‘Pretty.’ suggested Peggotty. ‘No. ‘and if she is so silly as to say so. ‘You are as jealous of Miss Murdstone as it is possible for a ridiculous creature to be.and do you mean to insinuate that there is not a sort of devotion in that?’ 1 David Copperfield . I should hope not. ‘Haven’t you heard her say. ‘Well. Peggotty .a . and grope into all sorts of places.my mother. When you know that she only does it out of kindness and the best intentions! You know she does. that on this account she wished to spare me a great deal of trouble. you cross thing. ‘I understand you. which she thinks I am not suited for. over and over again. and give out all the things. can I be blamed for it?’ ‘No one says you can. and isn’t she up early and late.and doesn’t she do all sorts of things. indeed!’ returned my mother. half laughing. and which I really don’t know myself that I AM suited for. You know I do. and going to and fro continually . coal-holes and pantries and I don’t know where. I suppose? I shouldn’t be surprised if you did. and you sha’n’t escape from it. But one point at a time. that she thinks I am too thoughtless and too . Haven’t you heard her say. ‘I know what you mean.’ said my mother.you know it well.’ said Peggotty. that can’t be very agreeable . You want to keep the keys yourself.’ returned my mother.

’ Peggotty sat with her chin on the foot of the stocking. Peggotty. and that he is a firm. ‘he takes great pains with me. That’s the worst of you. in your heart. He is better able to judge of it than I am. Murdstone’s good intentions -’ ‘I never talked of ‘em. and you see I did. ‘but you insinuated.com 1 . ‘You do. that I understood you. and very submissive to him even in my thoughts. Peggotty . serious man. I said. and how they actuate him in everything. with the tears which were engendered in her affectionate nature. And he takes. If he seems to have been at all stern with a certain person. Murdstone’s good intentions. ‘No. You are always insinuating. When you talk of Mr. Peggotty. and I ought to be very thankful to him. That’s what I told you just now. on my account.’ said my mother. for I very well know that I am a weak. girlish creature. and don’t know what to do. and feel doubtful of my own heart. grave. and pretend to slight them (for I don’t believe you really do. You revel in it. except your work. and acts solely for a certain person’s good. that I am not alluding to anybody present . and so I am sure does Davy. He naturally loves a certain person. ‘You never do anything else.’ said Peggotty.you understand. stealing down her face. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Peggotty). light.’ returned my mother. You WILL insinuate. And when you talk of Mr. I worry and condemn myself. at the moment. you must be as well convinced as I am how good they are.‘I don’t insinuate at all.it is solely because he is satisfied that it is for a certain person’s benefit. Peggotty.’ said Peggotty. and when I am not.’ returned my mother.

I read Peggotty a chapter out of the Crocodile Book. I only mean that you are my true friend. for I couldn’t bear it. Peggotty. and the candles snuffed. I know.’ Peggotty was not slow to respond. When we had had our tea.she took it out of her pocket: I don’t know whether she had kept it there ever since . and my mother said hurriedly 1 David Copperfield . ‘don’t let us fall out with one another. and that evening. as the last of its race. You are my true friend. that the good creature originated it. for I remember that my mother seemed more at ease during the rest of the evening. and the ashes were thrown up. but I am sure.looking silently at the fire. in remembrance of old times . Peggotty.and then we talked about Salem House. When I call you a ridiculous creature. We all got up then. Copperfield first brought me home here. will never pass out of my memory. ever since the night when Mr. and took her part in it. and ratify the treaty of friendship by giving me one of her best hugs. I think I had some glimpses of the real character of this conversation at the time. or a vexatious thing. ‘There. and that Peggotty observed her less. and you came out to the gate to meet me. now. We were very happy. It was almost ten o’clock before we heard the sound of wheels. or anything of that sort. changing her tone. if I have any in the world. The design was efficacious. and destined evermore to close that volume of my life.’ said my mother. who was my great subject. and always have been. merely that my mother might comfort herself with the little contradictory summary in which she had indulged. which brought me round again to Steerforth.

I kissed her. when I met that sinister expression in his face. sir. that they brought a cold blast of air into the house which blew away the old familiar feeling like a feather. and went upstairs with my candle directly. He was standing before the fire with his back to it. ‘Ah. ma’am?’ I said to Miss Murdstone. and Mr. as I had never set eyes on Mr. giving me the tea-caddy scoop instead of her fingers. I went up to him. and presented myself in the parlour. before they came in.that. However. dear me!’ sighed Miss Murdstone. ma’am. The hand he gave me was the hand I had bitten. but made no sign of recognition whatever. as I ascended to the bedroom where I had been imprisoned. ‘How do you do. and as many runs back on tiptoe to my own room. I went down. David.com 1 . after two or three false starts half-way.’ he replied.’ ‘I am glad to hear you are sorry. and said: ‘I beg your pardon. I could not restrain my eye from resting for an instant on a red spot upon it. while Miss Murdstone made the tea. but it was not so red as I turned. and Miss Murdstone approved of early hours for young people. perhaps I had better go to bed. I am very sorry for what I did. after a moment of confusion. ‘How long are the holidays?’ ‘A month.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as it must be done. as it was so late. Murdstone since the day when I committed my memorable offence. It appeared to my childish fancy. and I hope you will forgive me. I felt uncomfortable about going down to breakfast in the morning. He looked at me steadily as I entered.

’ ‘Oh!’ said Miss Murdstone. ‘My dear Jane!’ cried my mother. into a state of violent consternation. who. my dear Jane. ‘See what. do you see?’ exclaimed Miss Murdstone. and. wished otherwise. by saying: ‘No doubt you are right. I came into the room where she and my mother were sitting. but stiffened herself to make a dart at me. meekly confirmed the interdict. ‘The boy has got the baby!’ She was limp with horror. and was so very ill that they were obliged to give her cherry brandy.‘Counting from when?’ ‘From today. Clara. and take it out of my arms. ‘Then here’s one day off. ‘Good heavens. ma’am. It was on this very first day that I had the misfortune to throw her. I took it very carefully in my arms. on her recovery.’ She kept a calendar of the holidays in this way. my dear Jane?’ said my mother. even jocular. though she was not subject to such weakness in general.’ 1 David Copperfield . she turned faint. and every morning checked a day off in exactly the same manner. from touching my brother any more on any pretence whatever. ‘where?’ ‘He’s got it!’ cried Miss Murdstone. and the baby (who was only a few weeks old) being on my mother’s lap. and my poor mother. Then. I could see. but when she got into two figures she became more hopeful. as the time advanced. She did it gloomily until she came to ten. Suddenly Miss Murdstone gave such a scream that I all but dropped it. I was solemnly interdicted by her.

’ ‘My dear Jane.was the innocent occasion of Miss Murdstone’s going into a passion. But they are wonderfully alike. and made the door bang after her. who had been looking at its eyes as it lay upon her lap. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ faltered my mother. I saw Miss Murdstone lay her beads down. gently. I was not a favourite there with anybody. ‘I declare. ‘Who else could compare my brother’s baby with your boy? They are not at all alike. In short. ‘you are a positive fool sometimes. rising angrily. when we three were together. and hear such comparisons made. for our mother’s sake . My mother. ‘My dear Jane. They are utterly dissimilar in all respects. this same dear baby . ‘they are exactly alike. Clara?’ said Miss Murdstone.’ said my mother. In short.it was truly dear to me. showed it so plainly that I had a sensitive consciousness of always appearing constrained. and those who did not. I was not a favourite with Miss Murdstone.’ ‘Clara!’ said Miss Murdstone.com 1 . a little abashed by the harsh tone of this inquiry. for those who did like me could not show it. I hope they will ever remain so. They are exactly unlike. I think they are the colour of mine.’ With that she stalked out. I will not sit here. ‘A positive fool. ‘I find that the baby’s eyes and Davy’s are exactly alike. I suppose they are mine.’ said Miss Murdstone. not even with myself.On another occasion.’ remonstrated my mother. said: ‘Davy! come here!’ and looked at mine.’ ‘What are you talking about.

Murdstone were in his best humour. poring over a book. but of my offending. an anxious cloud would steal over her face from the moment of my entrance. The tormenting humour which was dominant there stopped them both. lest she should give them some offence by her manner of doing so. In the evening. Murdstone. But neither of these resources was approved of in the parlour. I went and sat with Peggotty in the kitchen. and. and dull. I was still held to be necessary to my poor mother’s training. I checked him. If Mr. Therefore I resolved to keep myself as much out of their way as I could. sometimes. and not afraid of being myself. ‘I am sorry to observe that you are of a sullen disposition. wrapped in my little great-coat. could not be suffered to absent myself. 1 David Copperfield . If I came into the room where they were. that she was not only ceaselessly afraid of her own offending. and receive a lecture afterwards.’ said Mr. There I was comfortable. I intensified it. as one of her trials. If Miss Murdstone were in her worst. and many a wintry hour did I hear the church clock strike. one day after dinner when I was going to leave the room as usual. when I was sitting in my cheerless bedroom. I felt that I made them as uncomfortable as they made me. ‘David. that she was afraid to speak to me or to be kind to me. and uneasily watched their looks if I only moved.’ ‘As sulky as a bear!’ said Miss Murdstone. I had perception enough to know that my mother was the victim always. and they were talking together and my mother seemed cheerful.boorish.

not very decently .’ remarked his sister. I don’t profess to be profound. ‘Now.’ ‘We’ll say I don’t understand the boy. no! Pray don’t say that. of all such dispositions that ever I have seen. ‘if I could not understand the boy. arranging the little fetters on her wrists. He is much too deep for me. But perhaps my brother’s penetration may enable him to have some insight into his character.that you understand Davy?’ ‘I should be somewhat ashamed of myself. ‘and everybody knows it is. my dear Jane. Clara. ‘but are you quite sure .’ said Mr. ‘We’ll agree. if you please. David.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. even you must observe it?’ ‘I beg your pardon. Murdstone. ‘But I am sure it is. of all tempers.’ returned Miss Murdstone. I think.’ resumed my mother. angrily. my dear Clara. Clara.’ returned my mother. Clara. ‘a sullen obdurate disposition is. my dear Jane . my dear Jane.’ returned Miss Murdstone. that I don’t understand him at all. And I believe my brother was speaking on the subject when we . and therefore I speak with great diffidence.’ interposed Miss Murdstone.that no one can be more convinced of it than myself.interrupted him.I am certain you’ll excuse me. I profit so much by it myself. ‘your understanding is very vigorous -’ ‘Oh dear. but I do lay claim to common sense. I assure you. in many ways .’ said my mother.com 1 . my dear Jane.at least I ought to .’ ‘No doubt. the worst. ‘the most confirmed and stubborn. and hung my head. or any boy.’ ‘And the boy’s is.I stood still.

and not there. I will have it done. ‘Try not to do it again. Murdstone. You have kept your own room when you ought to have been here. Murdstone. sir. and keep a watch upon yourself. We must endeavour to change it for you.’ but she said nothing aloud. that I require you to bring obedience here. ‘You have withdrawn yourself in your sullenness to your own room. You know now.‘I think. sir!’ he returned so fiercely. ‘I will have a respectful. prompt.’ MY mother’s lips moved. timidly. ‘you are a far better judge of all questions than I pretend to be. once for all.’ said Mr. Further.’ ‘I beg your pardon. ‘that there may be better and more dispassionate judges of such a question than you.’ I faltered. to change it.’ said Mr. ‘I have never meant to be sullen since I came back.’ Miss Murdstone gave a hoarse chuckle. turning his head and his eyes stiffly towards me.’ ‘Edward. my dear Edward. that I saw my mother involuntarily put out her trembling hand as if to interpose between us. You must endeavour. my dear Clara. and ready bearing to10 David Copperfield . Clara.’ replied my mother. I remarked. that I require you to be here. This is not a character that I can suffer to develop itself beneath my eyes without an effort at improvement. in a low grave voice. sir.’ he replied. You know me. David. as if she answered ‘Yes. Both you and Jane are.’ ‘Don’t take refuge in a lie. ‘to observe that you are of a sullen disposition. I only said -’ ‘You only said something weak and inconsiderate. David. ‘I was sorry.

‘I only say. You are not to associate with servants. and bedtime.better perhaps than he thought. Clara. afraid to move an arm or a leg lest Miss Murdstone should complain (as she did on the least pretence) of my restlessness. I will not have this room shunned as if it were infected.wards myself. at the pleasure of a child. as far as my poor mother was concerned . ‘One thing more.com 11 . What irksome constraint I underwent. Of the woman who abets you. and that it is to be abandoned.’ He ordered me like a dog.’ ‘A most unaccountable delusion it is!’ cried Miss Murdstone. The kitchen will not improve you.’ addressing my mother in a lower voice. in the many respects in which you need improvement. and you know what will be the consequence if you fail to obey me to the letter. sitting in the same attitude hours upon hours.’ he resumed. David. and afraid to move an eye lest she should light on some look of dislike or scrutiny Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I obeyed like a dog. have a weakness respecting her which is not yet overcome.’ he said.and I obeyed him to the letter. Now. ‘and towards Jane Murdstone. Sit down. and towards your mother. you understand me. I took refuge with Peggotty no more. ‘that I disapprove of your preferring such company as Mistress Peggotty. I say nothing . but sat wearily in the parlour day after day. I retreated to my own room no more. ‘from old associations and long-established fancies. ‘I observe that you have an attachment to low and common company. looking forward to night.’ he continued.since you. addressing me.’ I knew well .

a weight that brooded on my wits. and counting the divisions in the moulding of the chimney-piece. and watching Miss Murdstone’s little shiny steel beads as she strung them. harder-hearted treatise on arithmetic. and those mine. but would go threading my grandmother’s needle through my unfortunate head. pored over some hard-headed. and that mine. down muddy lanes. and Mr. when the candles came. a daymare that there was no possibility of breaking in. in spite of all my care. what starts I came out of concealed sleeps with. and wandering away. and Miss Murdstone in it. in at one ear and out at the other! What yawns and dozes I lapsed into. but. in the bad winter weather. carrying that parlour. and if so. a somebody too many. as ‘Rule Britannia’. what answers I 1 David Copperfield . to what sort of unhappy man. when the tables of weights and measures set themselves to tunes. a plate and chair too many. among the curls and corkscrews in the paper on the wall! What walks I took alone. and wondering whether she would ever be married. always feeling that there were a knife and fork too many. when they wouldn’t stand still to be learnt. and blunted them! What meals I had in silence and embarrassment. everywhere: a monstrous load that I was obliged to bear. an appetite too many. and I was expected to employ myself. and that I! What evenings. and that mine. not daring to read an entertaining book. with my eyes.that would find new cause for complaint in mine! What intolerable dulness to sit listening to the ticking of the clock. or ‘Away with Melancholy’. to the ceiling.

and not a hair of her head. and she stood at the garden-gate alone. but not sorry to go away. and was very sorry then. and order me to bed! Thus the holidays lagged away. and my baby brother. for the gulf between us was there. though it was as fervent as could be. I had lapsed into a stupid state. said: ‘Clara!’ when my mother bent over me. I looked out. and again Miss Murdstone in her warning voice. holding her baby up in her arms for me to see. in my sleep at school . albeit Mr. what a heavy relief it was to hear Miss Murdstone hail the first stroke of nine at night.a silent presence near my bed . to bid me farewell. I was not sorry to go. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that lives in my mind.com 1 . every day.holding up her baby in her arms. until the morning came when Miss Murdstone said: ‘Here’s the last day off!’ and gave me the closing cup of tea of the vacation. So I saw her afterwards. So I lost her. as what followed the embrace. was stirred. Again Mr. which everybody overlooked. and yet was in everybody’s way. I kissed her. but I was recovering a little and looking forward to Steerforth.looking at me with the same intent face . Creakle loomed behind him. And it is not so much the embrace she gave me.never got. It was cold still weather. as she looked intently at me. Barkis appeared at the gate. what a blank space I seemed. holding up her child. nor a fold of her dress. to little observations that I rarely made. I was in the carrier’s cart when I heard her calling to me. and the parting was there.

and was more spirited and independent than before in my eyes. Except that Steerforth was more to be admired than ever. seems to have swallowed up all lesser recollections. until the anniversary of my birthday came round in March. through it. He was going away at the end of the half-year. How well I recollect the kind of day it was! I smell the fog that hung about the place. I can only understand that the fact was so. but beyond this I remember nothing. ghostly. and to exist alone.CHAPTER 9 I HAVE A MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY I PASS over all that happened at school. It is even difficult for me to believe that there was a gap of full two months between my return to Salem House and the arrival of that birthday. David Copperfield 1 . because I know it must have been so. otherwise I should feel convinced that there was no interval. I see the hoar frost. The great remembrance by which that time is marked in my mind. and therefore more engaging than before. if not sooner. I feel my rimy hair fall clammy on my cheek. I remember nothing. and that the one occasion trod upon the other’s heels.

as I got out of my seat with great alacrity. and the breath of the boys wreathing and smoking in the raw cold as they blow upon their fingers.I look along the dim perspective of the schoolroom.’ Mr. Sharp entered and said: ‘David Copperfield is to go into the parlour. when Mr. Creakle with an opened letter in her hand. But we all have to learn it. and we had been summoned in from the playground.com 1 . my boy. Creakle. I have something to tell you. But no hamper. Creakle. ‘David Copperfield. David. I hurried away to the parlour. and there I found Mr. ‘You are too young to know how the world changes every day. and brightened at the order.’ I might have been surprised by the feeling tone in which he spoke. ‘I want to speak to you very particularly.’ I expected a hamper from Peggotty. It was after breakfast. Sharp. but I gave it none until afterwards. ‘Don’t hurry. and Mrs. Creakle. and tap their feet upon the floor.’ said Mrs. with a sputtering candle here and there to light up the foggy morning. ‘There’s time enough. don’t hurry. Creakle. and sitting down beside me.’ said Mr. sitting at his breakfast with the cane and a newspaper before him. and stopped up a sigh with a very large piece of buttered toast. shook his head without looking at me. leading me to a sofa. ‘and how the people in it pass away. David.’ said Mrs. my child. some of us when we are Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Some of the boys about me put in their claim not to be forgotten in the distribution of the good things. if I had given it a thought. at whom of course I looked.

and awoke and cried again.’ I looked at her earnestly.’ said Mrs. they believed. And yet my thoughts were idle. not intent on the calamity that weighed upon my heart.’ said she.’ she added. and it was steady again. I thought of our house shut up and hushed. I thought of the little baby. Creakle said. Creakle and me. ‘were they all well?’ After another pause. ‘She is dead. When I could cry no more. ‘I grieve to tell you that I hear this morning your mama is very ill. some of us at all times of our lives.young. Then I felt the burning tears run down my face. and then the oppression on my breast was heaviest. Mrs. and I cried. and who. but idly loitering near it. and felt an orphan in the wide world. and her figure seemed to move in it for an instant.’ There was no need to tell me so. I began to think. would die too. and left me alone sometimes. and my grief a dull pain that there was no ease for. some of us when we are old. I knew all now. who.’ A mist rose between Mrs. She kept me there all day. had been pining away for some time. I had already broken out into a desolate cry. ‘Because. after a pause. ‘When you came away from home at the end of the vacation. ‘She is very dangerously ill. She was very kind to me. and still looked at her earnestly. I thought 1 David Copperfield . making no attempt to answer. and wore myself to sleep. ‘Was your mama well?’ I trembled without distinctly knowing why. Creakle.

and to take exactly the same notice of them all. which was called the Farmer. as they seemed to be. in connexion with my loss. and Traddles insisted on lending me his pillow. and was principally used by country-people travelling short intermediate distances upon the road. for I had one of my own: but it was all he had to lend. If ever child were stricken with sincere grief.of my father’s grave in the churchyard. what. When school was over. not by the mail. as before.for I was going home to the funeral. I was. and looked into the glass to see how red my eyes were. I was to go home next night. except a sheet of letter-paper full of skeletons. and that he Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and walked slower. it would affect me most to think of when I drew near home . and they came out and spoke to me. But I remember that this importance was a kind of satisfaction to me. I am sensible of having felt that a dignity attached to me among the rest of the boys. and of my mother lying there beneath the tree I knew so well. and how sorrowful my face. poor fellow. We had no story-telling that evening. I stood upon a chair when I was left alone. and that I was important in my affliction. when I walked in the playground that afternoon while the boys were in school. if my tears were really hard to flow now. but by the heavy night-coach. When I saw them glancing at me out of the windows. by our house. I felt it rather good in myself not to be proud to any of them. after some hours were gone. I felt distinguished. and looked more melancholy. as they went up to their classes. I don’t know what good he thought it would do me. I considered.com 1 .

made and unmade. wondering who he was. merry-looking. came puffing up to the coach window. TAILOR. but I know now. little old man in black. and a broad-brimmed hat. We went into a little back-parlour behind the shop. but he was not there. HABERDASHER. which were heaped upon the table. and instead of him a fat. It was a close and stifling little shop. Barkis. including one window full of beaver-hats and bonnets. and did not get into Yarmouth before nine or ten o’clock in the morning. and we walked away to a shop in a narrow street. and a breathless smell of warm black crape . if you please. as a soother of my sorrows and a contribution to my peace of mind. There was a good fire in the room. I little thought then that I left it. never to return. We travelled very slowly all night. and said: ‘Master Copperfield?’ ‘Yes. full of all sorts of clothing. with rusty little bunches of ribbons at the knees of his breeches. black stockings. and little bits and cuttings of which were littered all over the floor. young sir. on which was written OMER.gave me at parting.’ I put my hand in his. FUNERAL FURNISHER.’ ‘Will you come with me. DRAPER. short-winded. I looked out for Mr. sir. 1 David Copperfield . opening the door. &c.’ he said.I did not know what the smell was then. I left Salem House upon the morrow afternoon. where we found three young women at work on a quantity of black materials. ‘and I shall have the pleasure of taking you home.

RAT . in compliance with his request. thank Heaven! Ain’t we. ‘I am rather so.’ said my conductor to one of the three young women. father?’ ‘I hope so. ‘How do you get on. ‘As I have got my breath now. RAT . and sat down and panted. raised their heads to look at me. stitch.’ ‘No use taking ‘em otherwise. you see. indeed.com 1 .’ ‘You are such a comfortable man. father. without any variation. and then went on with their work. ‘Well. ‘We are all pretty gay here.’ returned his daughter. Would you walk into the shop. Omer. ‘You take things so easy.’ said Mr. Omer took off his broad-brimmed hat.’ he replied. my dear. without looking up.’ ‘Father!’ said Minnie. Minnie?’ ‘We shall be ready by the trying-on time.’ Mr. Omer.tat-tat.tat-tat.The three young women. and after showing me a roll of cloth which he said was extra Free eBooks at Planet eBook. who appeared to be very industrious and comfortable. I think I’ll measure this young scholar. ‘What a porpoise you do grow!’ ‘Well. my dear. stitch. considering about it. He was so fat that he was obliged to pant some time before he could say: ‘That’s right. I don’t know how it is.’ said Mr. ‘No.’ said Minnie. a regular sound of hammering that kept a kind of tune: RAT . playfully. my dear. Master Copperfield?’ I preceded Mr.tat-tat. ‘Don’t you be afraid. Omer. At the same time there came from a workshop across a little yard outside the window. Stitch.’ she replied gaily.

’ ‘Have you. which would possibly have been beyond me under any circumstances. Omer.’ said Mr. why. and turned out to be for me. nobody knows when. or how. why. Omer. They come in. sir?’ ‘All your life.’ said Mr.’ I was too sorrowful to discuss the question.super. and Mr. in my opinion.’ said Mr. appeared on a tray. and to certain other fashions which he said had ‘just gone out’. ‘And by that sort of thing we very often lose a little mint of money. and to certain fashions which he said had ‘just come up’. for the black things destroyed my appetite. breathing with some difficulty on the way. ‘But fashions are like human beings. or how. during which I sat looking about me and thinking. ‘I may say before it. Everything is like life. Omer took me back into the parlour. While he was recording them he called my attention to his stock in trade. if you look at it in that point of view. during which I had not made much impression on the breakfast. and they go out. my young friend. Omer. after watching me for some minutes. and put them down in a book. I knew 10 David Copperfield . ‘I have been acquainted with you a long time. ‘I have been acquainted with you. and too good mourning for anything short of parents. he took my various dimensions. He then called down a little break-neck range of steps behind a door: ‘Bring up that tea and bread-and-butter!’ which. after some time. nobody knows when. and listening to the stitching in the room and the tune that was being hammered across the yard.

tat-tat. good-natured girl.’ said Mr. ‘How do you get on?’ ‘All right. if he lays in a fraction.com 11 . and went and rested my head on another table.tat-tat. Omer. but she was very cheerful at having nearly finished her work and being in good time. Omer.’ Minnie coloured a little. RAT .’ ‘He is in his mother’s arms. sir?’ I inquired. and was so different from me! Presently the tune left off. kind touch. ‘Oh.’ ‘Do you know how my little brother is. ‘Well. poor little fellow! Is he dead?’ ‘Don’t mind it more than you can help. and a good-looking young fellow came across the yard into the room. He had a hammer in his hand.’ said Joram. pleasantly.’ said Mr.tat-tat. The baby’s dead. Mr.’ across the yard.tat-tat. I forget which.tat-tat. She was a pretty.your father before you. and he lays in five-and-twen-ty foot of ground. Omer shook his head. RAT . and put my hair away from my eyes with a soft. ‘RAT . I left the scarcely-tasted breakfast. and the other two girls smiled Free eBooks at Planet eBook. which he was obliged to take out before he could speak. RAT . lest I should spot the mourning that was lying there with my tears. ‘It was either his request or her direction. RAT . Joram!’ said Mr.’ said he. which Minnie hastily cleared.’ ‘RAT . sir. ‘He lays in five and twen-ty foot of ground. and his mouth was full of little nails. in a corner of the little room. ‘Done.tat-tat. He was five foot nine and a half. ‘Yes.’ My wounds broke out afresh at this intelligence. Omer.

laughing till he coughed. ‘As you said we could make a little trip of it. dear mother’s coffin that they went to look at. brushed the shreds and threads from their dresses. when I was at the club. humming a lively little tune the while. ‘My dear’. ‘Yes. while it was going on.’ ‘Oh! I thought you were going to leave me out altogether. and pack it in two baskets.’ said Mr.at one another. you see.but it came into my mind what the noise was. whose names I had not heard. Omer. rising. my dear.’ said Joram. Minnie and me . if it was done. ‘. I had never seen one that I know of. Minnie stayed behind to fold up what they had made. and went into the shop to put that to rights. ‘why I turned to with a will.’ I can’t say how I knew it was my dear. Omer. and wait for customers. ‘What! you were at it by candle-light last night. and go over together.As you was so good as to say that. I had never heard one making. and when the young man entered. This she did upon her knees.’ said Mr. then? Were you?’ said Mr.and you.. father.’ Minnie interposed. ‘I thought it might be agreeable. and he stopped and turned to me: ‘would you like to see your -’ ‘No. The work being now finished. shutting up one eye. the two girls. Omer. Omer. ‘But perhaps you’re right. Will you give me your opinion of it?’ ‘I will. I am sure I knew what he had been doing.’ said Mr.’ resumed the young man. Jo1 David Copperfield .

who I had no doubt was her lover. All this I observed. half pianoforte-van. and said her father was gone for the chaise. but I held back. They would have talked to me too. the one on one side of his chubby face and the other on the other. The chaise soon came round to the front of the shop. and seeing them enjoy the ride. and those three followed. The old man sat in front to drive. and he must make haste and get himself ready.ram. and then she put her thimble and scissors in her pocket. and made a great deal of him. and drawn by a black horse with a long tail. and moped in my corner. at a little glass behind the door. painted of a sombre colour. They were very cheerful. I do not think I have ever experienced so strange a feeling in my life (I am wiser now. remembering how they had been employed. sitting at the table in the corner with my head leaning on my hand. I was not angry with them.com 1 . I remember it as a kind of half chaise-cart. scared by their love-making and hilarity. perhaps) as that of being with them. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and whenever he spoke to them leaned forward. and put on her outer clothing smartly. I was put in next. and my thoughts running on very different things. as if I were cast away among creatures with whom I had no community of nature. There was plenty of room for us all. and the baskets being put in first. at all). in which I saw the reflection of her pleased face. came in and stole a kiss from her while she was busy (he didn’t appear to mind me. and stuck a needle threaded with black thread neatly in the bosom of her gown. and the two young people sat behind him. Then he went out again. I was more afraid of them.

and almost wondering that no judgement came upon them for their hardness of heart. And oh. gave me her cold finger-nails. in an iron whisper. As long as her poor dear pretty was above the ground. I said: ‘Yes.though it was far from boisterous.seeing the window of my mother’s room. she would never desert her. and watched. She sat up at night still. was mine! I was in Peggotty’s arms before I got to the door. and she took me into the house. Her grief burst out when she first saw me. and ate and drank and enjoyed themselves. when they stopped to bait the horse. which was covered with letters and papers. I found. and asked me. I dropped out of the chaise behind. Miss Murdstone.’ ‘And your shirts. but kept my fast unbroken. and pondering in his elbow-chair. So. I could touch nothing that they touched. Murdstone took no heed of me when I went into the parlour where he was. but she controlled it soon. and spoke in whispers. Mr. looking blindly on me like closed eyes once bright. So. weeping silently. but sat by the fireside.’ said Miss Murdstone. for a long time. as quickly as possible. as if the dead could be disturbed. and walked softly. she said. how little need I had had to think what would move me to tears when I came back . in the better time. and next it that which. when we reached home. that I might not be in their company before those solemn windows. ‘have you brought 1 David Copperfield . who was busy at her writing-desk. if I had been measured for my mourning. She had not been in bed.

In these days before the funeral.‘em home?’ ‘Yes.I think it was a day or two before. except the clocks. and her strength of mind. in passing up or down stairs. Her brother took a book sometimes. All the rest of that day. I always found her close to the room where my mother and her baby lay. or softening a tone of her voice. but I am conFree eBooks at Planet eBook. except that. He seemed to be the only restless thing. She was particularly proud of her turn for business. and she showed it now in reducing everything to pen and ink. and except that she came to me every night. never relaxing a muscle of her face. and from morning to night afterwards. but would remain for a whole hour without turning the leaf. scratching composedly with a hard pen. I used to sit with folded hands watching him. I have brought home all my clothes. and being moved by nothing. on such an occasion. and her firmness. but never read it that I saw. He would open it and look at it as if he were reading. and counting his footsteps. and the whole diabolical catalogue of her unamiable qualities. and then put it down and walk to and fro in the room. He very seldom spoke to her. I do not doubt that she had a choice pleasure in exhibiting what she called her self-command. ma’am. and never to me. in the whole motionless house. she sat at that desk. or appearing with an atom of her dress astray.com 1 .’ This was all the consolation that her firmness administered to me. speaking in the same imperturbable whisper to everybody. and sat by my bed’s head while I went to sleep. I saw but little of Peggotty. and her common sense. hour after hour. A day or two before the burial .

the shining of the wine in the decanters. I only recollect that underneath some white covering on the bed. ma’am?’ says Mr. I give him my hand. and our black clothes. and opens his mouth no more. keeping me with him. I remark this. Chillip. I cannot tell him very well. the faint sweet smell of cake. Miss Murdstone merely answers with a frown and a formal bend: Mr. because I remark everything that happens. They grow out of our knowledge. there seemed to me to lie embodied the solemn stillness that was in the house. the patterns of the glasses and plates. I cried: ‘Oh no! oh no!’ and held her hand.she took me into the room. when I went in at the door. with something shining in his eye. ‘There is a great improvement here. and that when she would have turned the cover gently back. ‘Our little friends grow up around us.scious of confusion in my mind about that heavy time. not because I care about myself. The very air of the best parlour. ‘Dear me!’ says Mr. with nothing to mark its progress . Chillip. who makes no reply. ‘And how is Master David?’ he says. meekly smiling. or have done since I came 1 David Copperfield . Chillip is in the room. and comes to speak to me. Mr. Chillip. the bright condition of the fire. kindly. which he holds in his. ma’am?’ This is to Miss Murdstone. If the funeral had been yesterday. the odour of Miss Murdstone’s dress. goes into a corner. discomfited. with a beautiful cleanliness and freshness all around it. I could not recollect it better.

the followers of my father to the same grave were made ready in the same room. I do not mind them . Grayper. I hear the voice of the clergyman. As Peggotty was wont to tell me. I see that good and faithful servant. far away. and past the elms.of a sadder colour. where I have so often heard the birds sing on a summer morning. Murdstone. and Mr. Omer and another come to make us ready. and into the churchyard. and unto whom my childish heart is certain that the Lord will one day say: ‘Well done. sounding remote in the open air. Chillip. which we have brought from home with what is resting in the mould. and they move before us down the path. The day seems different to me from every other day. There are Mr. When we go out to the door.I mind nothing but my grief . our neighbour Mr. and her eye glancing on her sweetheart. and through the gate. when mine was always wondering there. who is near Free eBooks at Planet eBook. among the little crowd. And now the bell begins to sound. faces that I knew in church. Mr. long ago. standing apart among the lookers-on. saith the Lord!’ Then I hear sobs. We stand around the grave. faces that first saw my mother.com 1 . and while we stand bareheaded. the Bearers and their load are in the garden. when she came to the village in her youthful bloom. see Minnie looking on. and yet distinct and plain.’ There are many faces that I know. and even in the background. whom of all the people upon earth I love the best. saying: ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. Now there is a solemn hush. and the light not of the same colour . and. and I.and yet I see and know them all.home.

‘for a long time. Events of later date have floated from me to the shore where all forgotten things will reappear. But they take me on. and sunk a little every day. all that she had to tell concerning what had happened. as she might have comforted my little brother. She sat down by my side upon my little bed. ‘She was never well. and the earth is filled in. but afterwards she used to sing to it . and then she cried. when I heard her. and more frightened1 David Copperfield . ‘I think she got to be more timid.’ said Peggotty. and holding my hand. in her way. The Sabbath stillness of the time (the day was so like Sunday! I have forgotten that) was suited to us both. it was like a voice up in the air. that was rising away. told me. so pretty and unchanged. and sometimes putting it to her lips. Chillip talks to me. that I once thought. dismisses me with the gentleness of a woman. but she was more delicate. and Mr. I say. puts some water to my lips.so soft. She was uncertain in her mind. but this stands like a high rock in the ocean. so linked in my mind with the young idea of what is gone. It is over.me. is yesterday’s event. I thought at first she would get better. that all my sorrow has been nothing to the sorrow it calls forth. Before us stands our house. When her baby was born. and we turn to come away. and not happy. She used to like to sit alone before her baby came. All this. and sometimes smoothing it with hers. and when I ask his leave to go up to my room. I knew that Peggotty would come to me in my room. and when we get home.

when she said to him: ‘My dear. when I laid her in her bed that night. ‘I never shall see my pretty darling again. as if there was rest where Peggotty was. she always turned to me. made believe to be so.’ ‘’It’s off my mind now. Peggotty.she was afraid of saying it to anybody else .for she loved them. ‘On the last night. sit by me while I sleep: don’t leave me. But she was always the same to me.’ Here Peggotty stopped. and many a time. The day you went away.’ ‘She tried to hold up after that.till one night. poor fellow.like. every day for a few days to come. and never fell asleep in any other way. If this is sleep. she couldn’t bear not to love anyone who was about her . she said to me.’ she told me. ‘He will believe it more and more. when they told her she was thoughtless and light-hearted. she kissed me. my dear.’ said Peggotty. of late. ‘The last time that I saw her like her own old self. was the night when you came home. but it was all a bygone then. I think I am dying. God bless both my children! God protect and keep my fatherless boy!’ ‘I never left her afterwards. and softly beat upon my hand a little while. ‘She often talked to them two downstairs . and then it will be past.but when they went away from her bed-side.com 1 . didn’t my sweet girl. a little more than a week before it happened. in the evening. I am very tired. that tells the truth. She never changed to her foolish Peggotty. and that a hard word was like a blow to her. She never told her husband what she had told me . Something tells me so. I know. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

’ she said then.) ‘Let my dearest boy go with us to our resting-place. that a loving heart was better and stronger than wisdom.’ (It was done. how kind and considerate Mr. and how he had borne with her.’ said Peggotty. and told her. ‘when she asked me for some drink. I remembered her. for your face is going far off. From the moment of my knowing of the death of my mother. and the sun was rising. the dear! .’ she said. when she said to me. who had been used to wind her bright curls 00 David Copperfield . ‘It was pretty far in the night.’ I put it as she asked. but a thousand times. and oh Davy! the time had come when my first parting words to you were true . ‘put me nearer to you.and she died like a child that had gone to sleep!’ Thus ended Peggotty’s narration. the idea of her as she had been of late had vanished from me. blessed him not once.’ she said. please let them lay him in my arms. ‘Lay your good arm underneath my neck. for the poor lamb lived but a day beyond her. Peggotty. and bury us together. ‘Peggotty. and I want it to be near.said: ‘If my baby should die too. when she lay here. Copperfield had always been to her. gave me such a patient smile.’ for she was very weak.‘‘ Another silence followed this.when she was glad to lay her poor head on her stupid cross old Peggotty’s arm . and another gentle beating on my hand. my dear. ‘and tell him that his mother. from that instant. only as the young mother of my earliest impressions.so beautiful! ‘Daybreak had come. when she doubted herself. and when she had taken it. and that he was a happy man in hers. ‘and turn me to you.

and cancelled all the rest. It may be curious.com 01 . Free eBooks at Planet eBook. that it rooted the earlier image in my mind. was the mother of my infancy. the little creature in her arms.round and round her finger. but it is true. was so far from bringing me back to the later period. hushed for ever on her bosom. The mother who lay in the grave. and to dance with me at twilight in the parlour. In her death she winged her way back to her calm untroubled youth. What Peggotty had told me now. was myself. as I had once been.

if they could have dismissed me at a month’s warning too. while it reDavid Copperfield 0 . for my sake. and she answered dryly. Happy they would have been. and we condoled with one another. I was very anxious to know what was going to be done with me. Much as Peggotty would have disliked such a service. not a word was said.CHAPTER 10 I BECOME NEGLECTED. to ask Miss Murdstone when I was going back to school. and so was Peggotty. I was told nothing more. and light was freely admitted into the house. There was one change in my condition. or a step taken. was to give Peggotty a month’s warning. in preference to the best upon earth. and told me why. She told me we must part. I believe she would have retained it. she believed I was not going back at all. in all sincerity. I mustered courage once. but neither she nor I could pick up any information on the subject. As to me or my future. AND AM PROVIDED FOR T he first act of business Miss Murdstone performed when the day of the solemnity was over. which. I dare say.

Miss Murdstone frowned to me to go away. that on several occasions. as they melted away. on the possibility of my not being taught any more. lounging an idle life away. I was still giddy with the shock of my mother’s death. to have speculated. I do not conceive that this discovery gave me much pain then. like the hero in a story. I can recollect. ‘Mr. moody man. Murdstone’s. and that all I had to anticipate was neglect. ‘Peggotty. and which.lieved me of a great deal of present uneasiness. At first I was in daily dread of his taking my education in hand again. one evening. daydreams I sat looking at sometimes.com 0 . He never liked me Free eBooks at Planet eBook. when I was warming my hands at the kitchen fire. I was so far from being warned off from Peggotty’s society. at odd times. provided I was not in Mr.’ I said in a thoughtful whisper. and growing up to be a shabby. I was so far from being required to keep my dull post in the parlour. as if they were faintly painted or written on the wall of my room. if I had been capable of considering it closely. about the village. to seek my fortune: but these were transient visions. might have made me. yet more uncomfortable about the future. left the wall blank again. indeed. was quite abandoned. when I took my seat there. I was never sought out or inquired for. or of Miss Murdstone’s devoting herself to it. It was this. The constraint that had been put upon me. and in a kind of stunned state as to all tributary things. but I soon began to think that such fears were groundless. as well as on the feasibility of my getting rid of this picture by going away somewhere. Murdstone likes me less than he used to. or cared for any more. that.

he would be something besides. after a silence. ‘I am sure.’ ‘And what do you mean to do.’ I answered. my dear. He is sorry at this moment. Peggotty. I am sorry too. but if I was to go in. ‘Do you mean to go and seek your fortune?’ ‘I expect I shall be forced to go to Yarmouth. I am only sorry. no. But it’s not that.’ ‘How do you know it’s not that?’ said Peggotty. in Blunderstone. stroking my hair. he wouldn’t look at me as he does. ‘Davy. ‘and been as bad as lost. If I believed it was his sorrow. Peggotty?’ ‘I have tried.all the ways there are. my love.’ replied Peggotty. ‘Yes. I should not think of it at all. sitting by the fireside with Miss Murdstone. it’s not that. but there’s no such a thing. ‘If he was only sorry.’ ‘What would he be?’ said Peggotty.much. brightening a little. in short . and all the ways there ain’t. as silent as she. and I warmed my hands. oh.’ ‘You might have gone farther off. with an involuntary imitation of his dark frown.’ ‘Perhaps it’s his sorrow.’ I said. Peggotty.’ said Peggotty. wistfully. Peggotty. I shall see you sometimes. Peggotty.’ she said at length. his sorrow is another and quite a different thing. ‘and live there. and it makes me feel kinder.to get a suitable service here. ‘Angry.’ says I. if he can help it. but he would rather not even see me now. all ways I could think of .’ Peggotty said nothing for a little while. my 0 David Copperfield . ‘Oh.

my pet. and finding charms against them in the shells and pebbles on the beach. there. please God!’ cried Peggotty. could have given me a sense of pleasure at that time. You won’t be quite at the other end of the world. with great animation. when the bells were ringing. broached the topic on the spot.just till I have had time to look about me. to my brother’s. you see. I shall come over every week of my life to see you. by a doubt of Miss Murdstone’s giving her consent. first. with a boldness that amazed me. telling her my troubles. the stones dropping in the water. and the shadowy ships breaking through the mist. ‘As long as you are here. I have been thinking that perhaps. and Peggotty. Now. will you?’ ‘Contrary ways. short of being in a different relation to every one about me. made a calm in my heart. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. shining welcome on me. but even that was set at rest soon. One day. it would have been this project of all others. for she came out to take an evening grope in the store-closet while we were yet in conversation. The idea of being again surrounded by those honest faces. It was ruffled next moment. as they don’t want you here at present.com 0 .’ If anything. of renewing the peacefulness of the sweet Sunday morning. Davy. for Peggotty went on to say: ‘I’m a-going. and get to be something like myself again. Peggotty excepted. to be sure.dear old Peggotty. for another fortnight’s visit . you might be let to go along with me. every week of my life!’ I felt a great weight taken off my mind by this promise: but even this was not all. of roaming up and down with little Em’ly.

‘it is of more importance than anything else .had been formed. too. I could see. But. I had never known him to pass the garden-gate before. Barkis came into the house for Peggotty’s boxes. and was never retracted. Peggotty was naturally in low spirits at leaving what had been her home so many years. very early. and where the two strong attachments of her life . which I thought had meaning in it.’ said Miss Murdstone. with as great an access of sourness as if her black eyes had absorbed its contents. However. since she looked at me out of the pickle-jar. Barkis’s visage. Peggotty and I were ready to depart.for my mother and myself . for when the month was out. looking into a pickle-jar. but on this occasion he came into the house.it is of paramount importance . in my opinion. ‘and idleness is the root of all evil. and remained silent.that my brother should not be disturbed or made uncomfortable. but she swallowed it for my sake. he would be idle here .or anywhere. still keeping her eye on the pickles. Mr. the permission was given. ‘Humph!’ said Miss Murdstone. And he gave me a look as he shouldered the largest box and went out. Nor could I help thinking this a prudent course.’ Peggotty had an angry answer ready. and she got into the cart. She had been walking in the churchyard.‘The boy will be idle there. I suppose I had better say yes. to be sure. and sat in it with her hand0 David Copperfield .’ I thanked her. lest it should induce her to withdraw her assent. if meaning could ever be said to find its way into Mr. without making any demonstration of joy.

He sat in his usual place and attitude like a great stuffed figure. and rarely committed himself. and gave her another nudge. ‘Peggotty is quite comfortable now.com 0 . and answered in the affirmative. and got away by degrees. Barkis gave me a little more room at once. ‘Are you? Really and truly pretty comfortable? Are you? Eh?’ At each of these inquiries Mr. though?’ said Mr. who generally qualified his speech. and nudging her with his elbow. Barkis shuffled nearer to her. I have not the least notion at whom. ‘It ain’t bad. with a sagacious air. Mr.’ I remarked.kerchief at her eyes. Barkis. or what he meant by it. you know. Barkis!’ I said.’ said Mr. and said: ‘ARE you pretty comfortable?’ Peggotty laughed. But I could not help observing that he seemed to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mr. Barkis. Mr. Barkis gave no sign of life whatever. Mr. for his satisfaction. so that at last we were all crowded together in the left-hand corner of the cart. Are you?’ growled Mr. sliding nearer to her on the seat. Barkis. Mr. Barkis. So long as she remained in this condition. ‘It’s a beautiful day. and I was so squeezed that I could hardly bear it. and to speak to me. ‘But really and truly. as an act of politeness. he nodded his head and grinned several times. Peggotty calling his attention to my sufferings. But when she began to look about her. ‘Is she. Barkis eyed her. After reflecting about it.

and pointed manner.’ 0 David Copperfield . who. Barkis. I got up whenever I saw him coming. and we were going away. he was seized with one of those approaches. agreeable. until the breath was nearly edged out of my body. They received me and Peggotty in an affectionate manner. Barkis solemnly made a sign to me with his forefinger to come under an archway. At length. By and by he made another descent upon us with the same inquiry. and standing on the foot-board. to have any leisure for anything else. He manifestly chuckled over it for some time. I apprehend. ‘it was all right. He was so polite as to stop at a public-house. By and by he turned to Peggotty again. Barkis. with his hat on the very back of his head. ‘I say.’ growled Mr. we were all too much shaken and jolted. Peggotty and Ham waited for us at the old place. I thought. without the inconvenience of inventing conversation.think he had hit upon a wonderful expedient for expressing himself in a neat. and almost choked her. expressly on our account. and shook hands with Mr. when Mr. pretended to look at the prospect. presented but a vacant appearance. he had more to do and less time for gallantry. They each took one of Peggotty’s trunks. and the same result. and pervading his very legs. and repeating. and entertain us with broiled mutton and beer. Even when Peggotty was in the act of drinking. and a shame-faced leer upon his countenance. ‘Are you pretty comfortable though?’ bore down upon us as before. after which I did very well. and when we got on Yarmouth pavement. But as we drew nearer to the end of our journey. Mr.

Free eBooks at Planet eBook.I suppose you would like me as much then. ‘I’m a friend of your’n.’ said Mr. as well as of her relations going on before. It’s all right. but for Peggotty’s calling me away. shaking hands. Barkis. when this was over. ‘It was all right. Barkis was so extremely mysterious. after a little consideration. As we were going along.to Mr. You made it all right.’ said Peggotty. ‘Oh!’ ‘You know who was willin’. and I told her he had said it was all right. nodding confidentially. Barkis. with many protestations of her unalterable love. that I might have stood looking in his face for an hour.’ Again I answered. Barkis.’ I nodded assent.’ said my friend. ‘Like his impudence. and we were walking on. ‘Tell me what should you say. ‘It was Barkis. as you do now?’ I returned. and Barkis only. and answered.’ In his attempts to be particularly lucid.com 0 .I looked up into his face. darling?’ she asked again. Greatly to the astonishment of the passengers in the street. ‘If you were thinking of being married . ‘It’s all right. first.’ said Mr. ‘but I don’t mind that! Davy dear. with an attempt to be very profound: ‘Oh!’ ‘It didn’t come to a end there. Mr. she asked me what he had said. the good soul was obliged to stop and embrace me on the spot. Peggotty. what should you think if I was to think of being married?’ ‘Why . and most assuredly should have got as much information out of it as out of the face of a clock that had stopped.

’ said Peggotty. now. ‘But I wouldn’t so much as give it another thought. and was wearing out the ring in my pocket. Davy. And I shall be always near my pretty’s resting-place. you would always have the horse and cart to bring you over to see me. I don’t know what I might be fit for. and be sure of coming.’ ‘Look at me. ‘and be able to see it when I like. giving me a squeeze. and I think I should be more independent altogether. I may be laid not far off from my darling girl!’ We neither of us said anything for a little while. my life. ‘Well. and in the meantime we’ll keep it to ourselves. cheerily ‘if my Davy was anyways against it . with all my heart. and don’t truly wish it!’ As indeed I did. you see. and speak to my brother about it. Barkis is a good plain creature. ‘and see if I am not really glad.’ said Peggotty. For then you know.’ ‘The sense of the dear!’ cried Peggotty. ‘I have thought of it night and day. and could come for nothing.not if I had been asked in church thirty times three times over.Peggotty?’ ‘Yes. musing. every way I can. let alone my working with a better heart in my own house. this month back! Yes. and when I lie down to rest.’ said Peggotty.’ said Peggotty. ‘and if I tried to do my duty by him. my precious. than I could in anybody else’s now. ‘What I have been thinking of. Peggotty. as a servant to a stranger.’ said Peggotty.’ I replied. you and me. and I hope the right way. but I’ll think of it again. ‘I should think it would be a very good thing. I think it would 10 David Copperfield . Peggotty.

com 11 . Peggotty. down to the seaweed in the blue mug in my bedroom.’ said Peggotty. But there was no little Em’ly to be seen. laughing heartily. It looked just the same. applied herself to blowing the fire. and were quite in a pleasant humour when we came within view of Mr. Barkis was so appropriate. wiping the heat consequent on the porterage of Peggotty’s box from his forehead. and Mrs.’ looking at the Dutch clock. All within was the same. and tickled us both so much. said in a low voice. ‘I feel it more than anybody else. Peggotty. Peggotty’s cottage. Gummidge. Gummidge.be my fault if I wasn’t . looking round upon us while she was so engaged. ‘She’s at school. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I went into the out-house to look about me. Mr. that we laughed again and again. except that it may.’ said Mrs. perhaps. appeared to be in the same state of conglomeration in the same old corner. ‘in from twenty minutes to half-an-hour’s time. crabs. ‘Cheer up. so I asked Mr. Mawther!’ cried Mr. Gummidge moaned.’ Mrs. bless ye!’ Mrs. ‘I’m a lone lorn creetur’. ‘she’ll be home.if I wasn’t pretty comfortable. and she used to be a’most the only thing that didn’t go contrary with me. sir. Peggotty where she was. This quotation from Mr. Peggotty.’ said Mr. and the very same lobsters. We all on us feel the loss of her. have shrunk a little in my eyes. Gummidge was waiting at the door as if she had stood there ever since. whimpering and shaking her head. and crawfish possessed by the same desire to pinch the world in general.

Now.which he shaded with his hand: ‘The old ‘un!’ From this I rightly conjectured that no improvement had taken place since my last visit in the state of Mrs. though she was grown. ran away laughing. and I saw her blue eyes looking bluer. and ran away. I knew the way by which she would come. ‘And didn’t YOU know who it was?’ said Em’ly. and she ran so fast that we were very near the cottage before I caught her. and her whole self prettier and gayer. into the house. She saw me well enough. Gummidge’s spirits. Em’ly. but she covered her cherry lips with her hands. She seemed to delight in teasing me. and pass by as if I were looking at something a long way off. I have done such a thing since in later life. and I soon knew it to be Em’ly. and presently found myself strolling along the path to meet her. This obliged me to run after her. which was a change 1 David Copperfield . it’s you. quite as delightful a place as ever. is it?’ said little Em’ly. A figure appeared in the distance before long. who was a little creature still in stature. and yet it did not impress me in the same way. Little Em’ly didn’t care a bit. or I am mistaken. I felt rather disappointed with it. or it should have been. Perhaps it was because little Em’ly was not at home. ‘Why.’ said I. I was going to kiss her. and her dimpled face looking brighter. but instead of turning round and calling after me. and said she wasn’t a baby now. the whole place was. a curious feeling came over me that made me pretend not to know her. ‘Oh. But when she drew nearer. you knew who it was. laughing more than ever.

taking up her curls. patting her with his great hand. though he Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in a state of mingled admiration and delight. she went and bestowed her company upon that grumbling Mrs. ‘is another of ‘em. That was my opinion. an allusion was made by Mr. too.com 1 . and our little locker was put out in its old place. and she looked at me so kindly across the table.’ said Mr. you see. Peggotty. and running them over his hand like water. so sh’ is!’ and he sat and chuckled at her for some time. ‘So sh’ is! so sh’ is!’ cried Ham. ‘Mas’r Davy bor’. that I felt quite thankful to her. when I saw her do it. that made his face a burning red. the tears stood in her eyes. and had such a pleasant manner of being both sly and shy at once. Gummidge: and on Mr. giving Ham a backhanded knock in the chest. at least. Peggotty to be thoroughly in the right. Peggotty over his pipe to the loss I had sustained. And here. sir. that she captivated me more than ever. The tea table was ready. but instead of coming to sit by me.in her I wondered at very much. Peggotty’s inquiring why. and I held Mr. Peggotty. But she was so affectionate and sweet-natured. for when. ‘A little puss. and by no one more than Mr. by only going and laying her cheek against his rough whisker. She was tender-hearted. it is!’ said Mr. in fact. as we sat round the fire after tea. whom she could have coaxed into anything. rumpled her hair all over her face to hide it. ‘Ah!’ said Mr. ‘here’s another orphan. Peggotty. and could do nothing but laugh. Peggotty himself. Little Em’ly was spoiled by them all.

How is he. stretching out his pipe. is he not?’ said I. Mas’r Davy bor’!’ cried Ham. ‘He stands up to you like . in an ecstasy. Peggotty. if it ain’t a treat to look at him!’ ‘He is very handsome. ‘I knowed it was something in our way. don’t ye? It ain’t fur off. and little Em’ly got up and kissed Mr. Peggotty.’ 1 David Copperfield . ‘I don’t think I should FEEL much like it. ‘That’s the name!’ cried Mr.’ ‘You said it was Rudderford. Peggotty. sir?’ said Mr. and you can’t think how frank he is. Peggotty’s back-hander. sir?’ ‘He was very well indeed when I came away.don’t look much like it. Peggotty. ‘Handsome!’ cried Mr. Peggotty. ‘He’s as brave as a lion. Peggotty. Lord love my heart alive. ‘Hoorah! Well said! Nor more you wouldn’t! Hor! Hor!’ Here he returned Mr. He’s so bold!’ ‘Yes! That’s just his character. Mr. ‘And how’s your friend. my heart warming with this praise. Peggotty to me. ‘And ye steer with a rudder. turning to Ham.’ said I.’ observed Ham. laughing. Mr.’ said Mr.’ said I.’ ‘And I do suppose.’ ‘Well said. Peggotty. ‘There’s a friend.’ ‘If I had you for my guardian. Mr. if you talk of friends! Why.why I don’t know what he don’t stand up to you like. ‘Steerforth?’ said I. Peggotty. ‘that in the way of booklarning he’d take the wind out of a’most anything.like a . ‘Well!’ retorted Mr. Peggotty. now. looking at me through the smoke of his pipe.’ ‘There’s a friend!’ said Mr. shaking my head.

and beat you easily. She looked so extraordinarily earnest and pretty. as much as to say: ‘Of course he will.’ ‘He is such a speaker. noble fellow.’ ‘There’s a friend!’ murmured Mr.’ Mr. that I stopped in a sort of wonder. I am sure I can never feel thankful enough for the generosity with which he has protected me. with a grave toss of his head.com 1 .‘Yes. delighted. He will give you almost as many men as you like at draughts. so much younger and lower in the school than himself. for as I stopped.’ said I. fine. her blue eyes sparkling like jewels. listening with the deepest attention. Peggotty. quite carried away by my favourite theme. Mr.’ said I.’ I pursued. as much as to say: ‘I have no doubt of it.’ I was running on. when my eyes rested on little Em’ly’s face. ‘Nothing seems to cost him any trouble. and they all observed her at the same time. he’s such a generous. ‘that it’s hardly possible to give him as much praise as he deserves. Peggotty. ‘that he can win anybody over. Peggotty gave his head another toss. which was bent forward over the table. they laughed and looked at her. ‘He knows a task if he only looks at it. very fast indeed.’ Mr. He is astonishingly clever. and the colour mantling in her cheeks. and I don’t know what you’d say if you were to hear him sing. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. He is the best cricketer you ever saw. Peggotty gave his head another toss.’ said I. ‘he knows everything. her breath held.’ ‘Then.

since I last heard those sounds. She liked me. and was absent during a great part of each day.‘Em’ly is like me. petitioning that I might grow up to marry little Em’ly. She had tasks to learn. except . and kept away till it was nearly bedtime. and so dropping lovingly asleep. and the wind came moaning on across the flat as it had done before. I thought of the sea that had risen. and tormented me. putting a short clause into my prayers.’ said Peggotty. and was laughing 1 David Copperfield . ‘and would like to see him.’ Em’ly was confused by our all observing her. now. I recollect. stole home another way. and when I went to meet her. and seeing that we were all looking at her still (I am sure I. as the wind and water began to sound fainter in my ears.it was a great exception. She seemed to have got a great distance away from me. and her face was covered with blushes. that it moaned of those who were gone. But I felt that we should not have had those old wanderings. for one.that little Em’ly and I seldom wandered on the beach now. even if it had been otherwise. and hung down her head. and instead of thinking that the sea might rise in the night and float the boat away. she was more of a little woman than I had supposed. But I could not help fancying. I lay down in the old little bed in the stern of the boat. in little more than a year. she ran away. but she laughed at me. and needle-work to do. and drowned my happy home. could have looked at her for hours). The days passed pretty much as they had passed before. Glancing up presently through her stray curls. Wild and full of childish whims as Em’ly was.

was altogether of a peculiar kind. Among them I remember a double set of pigs’ trotters. such glorified ships sailing away into golden air. disappointed. and always with a little bundle. After that occasion he appeared every evening at exactly the same hour. he made a dart at the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Barkis appeared in an exceedingly vacant and awkward condition. and with a bundle of oranges tied up in a handkerchief. as I remember it. and stare heavily at Peggotty. Barkis’s wooing. Mr. These offerings of affection were of a most various and eccentric description. a huge pin-cushion. such water. a box of dominoes. a canary bird and cage.com 1 . On the very first evening after our arrival. that I have never seen such sunlight as on those bright April afternoons. running after him to restore it. and I sat on the wooden step at her feet. that I have never seen such a sunny little figure as I used to see. It seems to me. some Spanish onions. reading to her. Mr. to which he never alluded. half a bushel or so of apples. that I have never beheld such sky. until Ham. he was supposed to have left it behind him by accident when he went away. He very seldom said anything. at this hour. being. as I suppose. As he made no allusion of any kind to this property. sitting in the doorway of the old boat. but would sit by the fire in much the same attitude as he sat in his cart. One night.at the door when I came back. inspired by love. who was opposite. The best times were when she sat quietly at work in the doorway. and which he regularly put behind the door and left there. came back with the information that it was intended for Peggotty. a pair of jet earrings. and a leg of pickled pork.

of which the tailor had given him such good measure. and while we were yet at breakfast. and that little Em’ly and I were to accompany them. Peggotty would throw her apron over her face. Barkis bloomed in a new blue coat. I believe. she was so continually reminded by these transactions of the old one. in anticipation of the pleasure of a whole day with Em’ly. while the collar was so high that it pushed his 1 David Copperfield . and put it in his waistcoat-pocket and carried it off. I had but a broken sleep the night before. contenting himself with now and then asking her if she was pretty comfortable. but Mr. and I remember that sometimes. in a partially melted state. after he was gone. and not to feel at all called upon to talk. except that miserable Mrs. and pocket it again when it was done with. his great delight was to produce it when it was wanted. At length. and laugh for half-anhour. Indeed. We were all astir betimes in the morning. Barkis appeared in the distance. that the cuffs would have rendered gloves unnecessary in the coldest weather.bit of wax-candle she kept for her thread. driving a chaise-cart towards the object of his affections. Even when he took Peggotty out for a walk on the flats. He seemed to enjoy himself very much. it was given out that Peggotty and Mr. Mr. when the term of my visit was nearly expired. sticking to the lining of his pocket. whose courtship would appear to have been of an exactly parallel nature. we were all more or less amused. After that. he had no uneasiness on that head. Peggotty was dressed as usual. Gummidge. Barkis were going to make a day’s holiday together. in her neat and quiet mourning.

Which I really thought was a sensible idea. kissing everybody. You don’t feel like me. who had been going about from one to another in a hurried way. Gummidge. Gummidge must do it. and had better be carried to the House at once. I thought Mr. ‘Take and heave it. Barkis a phenomenon of respectability. Peggotty.com 1 . cast a damp upon the festive character of our departure. that Mrs. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. old gal!’ cried Mr. Rendered complete by drab pantaloons and a buff waistcoat.’ returned Mrs. too. His bright buttons. in which we all were by this time (Em’ly and I on two little chairs. and sinking subdued into the arms of Ham. Dan’l. and. Gummidge. were of the largest size. Gummidge for that purpose. by immediately bursting into tears. Dan’l.’ But here Peggotty. ‘No. and which he offered to Mrs. on our holiday excursion. It had better be done by somebody else. thinks don’t go contrary with you. however. called out from the cart. whimpering and shaking her head. I found that Mr. I am sorry to relate. side by side).hair up on end on the top of his head. with the declaration that she knowed she was a burden. and everythink that reminds me of creetur’s that ain’t lone and lorn. I could do more. that Ham might have acted on.’ said Mrs. Away we went. When we were all in a bustle outside the door. goes contrary with me. Dan’l. nor you with them. which was to be thrown after us for luck. Gummidge did it. So Mrs. ‘I’m a lone lorn creetur’ myself.’ ‘Come. ‘If I felt less. you had better do it yourself. Peggotty was prepared with an old shoe.’ ‘No.

Little Em’ly consenting. in the pleasure of looking at her. but came out at last. that he could wink: ‘What name was it as I wrote up in the cart?’ ‘Clara Peggotty. I took that occasion to put my arm round Em’ly’s waist. with a wink. and then we drove away into the country. I became desperate. before. I should hardly have thought. and very happy. In a word. Barkis turned to me. and propose that as I was going away so very soon now. and had gone into the 0 David Copperfield .’ I answered. again?’ I suggested. all day. leaving little Em’ly and me alone in the chaise. they were married. we should determine to be very affectionate to one another. How merry little Em’ly made herself about it! With what a demure assumption of being immensely older and wiser than I. that I never could love another. . and said. ‘Clara Peggotty BARKIS!’ he returned.by the by. I recollect. and then laughed so charmingly that I forgot the pain of being called by that disparaging name. and allowing me to kiss her. As we were going along.the first thing we did was to stop at a church. informing her. and burst into a roar of laughter that shook the chaise. the fairy little woman said I was ‘a silly boy’. Mr. Barkis and Peggotty were a good while in the church. if there was a tilt here?’ ‘Clara Peggotty. where Mr. Barkis tied the horse to some rails. and went in with Peggotty. Mr. and that I was prepared to shed the blood of anybody who should aspire to her affections. ‘What name would it be as I should write up now.

and drove cosily back. Barkis made this abrupt announcement of their union. and the clerk had given her away. and went out for a stroll with little Em’ly and me before tea. but he would have believed anything I might have taken it into my head to impart to him. it made no sort of difference in her: she was just the same as ever. If Peggotty had been married every day for the last ten years. I suppose. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and had finished off with a fowl or two. and enjoyed himself. outof-the-way kind of wedding it must have been! We got into the chaise again soon after dark. but she soon became herself again.com 1 . with the contemplation of his happiness. while Mr. and opened Mr. and could not hug me enough in token of her unimpaired affection. and passed the day with great satisfaction. innocent. and disposed of a large quantity without any emotion.church for no other purpose. Barkis philosophically smoked his pipe. Peggotty was resolved that it should be quietly done. We drove to a little inn in a by-road. for I distinctly call to mind that. it sharpened his appetite. I have often thought. although he had eaten a good deal of pork and greens at dinner. and there had been no witnesses of the ceremony. If so. what an odd. she could hardly have been more at her ease about it. She was a little confused when Mr. I told him all I knew. looking up at the stars. where we were expected. for he had a profound veneration for my abilities. since. and talking about them. and said she was very glad it was over. he was obliged to have cold boiled bacon for tea. Barkis’s mind to an amazing extent. I was their chief exponent. and where we had a very comfortable dinner.

rambling hand in hand through sunshine and among flowery meadows. and were ready with some supper and their hospitable faces to drive it away. Peggotty and Ham knew what was in my thoughts as well as I did. I am glad to think the Loves and Graces took such airy forms in its homely procession. or rather when I had exhausted the mental faculties of Mr. how I loved her! What happiness (I thought) if we were married. little Em’ly and I made a cloak of an old wrapper. that I was ‘a young Roeshus’ . I felt then. I am glad to think there were two such guileless hearts at Peggotty’s marriage as little Em’ly’s and mine. that I had lost Peggotty. in a sweet sleep of purity and peace. with no real world in it. Barkis.informed his wife in my hearing. and buried by the birds when we were dead! Some such picture. and sat under it for the rest of the journey. Mr. When we had exhausted the subject of the stars. and vague as the stars afar off. children ever. and there Mr. for the first time. we came to the old boat again in good time at night. and were going away anywhere to live among the trees and in the fields. and Mrs. and drove away snugly to their own home. on that very occasion.by which I think he meant prodigy. was in my mind all the way. bright with the light of our innocence. never growing wiser. I should have gone to bed with a sore heart indeed under any other roof but that which sheltered little Em’ly’s head. Little Em’ly came and sat  David Copperfield . laying down our heads on moss at night. never growing older. Barkis bade us good-bye. Ah. Well.

but I kneeled on a chair. and became a desk. with a retreating top which opened. within which was a large quarto edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. or any ill-disposed monster. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I am afraid. as usual.com  . Of all the moveables in it. But as nothing of the sort happened to be walking about on Yarmouth flats that night. This precious volume. Peggotty and Ham went out to fish. the protector of Em’ly and Mrs. and a beautiful little home it was. would make an attack upon us. I immediately discovered and immediately applied myself to. After breakfast she took me to her own home. and I never visited the house afterwards. and represented all kinds of dismal horrors. I must have been impressed by a certain old bureau of some dark wood in the parlour (the tile-floored kitchen was the general sitting-room). and fell to devouring the book afresh. and are now. It was a night tide. spread my arms over the desk. who called to me.beside me on the locker for the only time in all that visit. opened the casket where this gem was enshrined. but the Martyrs and Peggotty’s house have been inseparable in my mind ever since. and only wished that a lion or a serpent. that I might destroy him. of which I do not recollect one word. by the pictures. Barkis the carrier had been from first to last a dream too. I felt very brave at being left alone in the solitary house. I provided the best substitute I could by dreaming of dragons until morning. which were numerous. I was chiefly edified. under my window as if Mr. and it was altogether a wonderful close to a wonderful day. and soon after we went to bed. With morning came Peggotty. and cover myself with glory. let down. Gummidge. Mr.

‘you shall find it as if I expected you here directly minute. and Mrs. and I went home in the morning. with all my heart. you might think of it as being kept just the same. as long as I am alive and have this house over my head.I took leave of Mr. taking Peggotty away. that day. which I cannot look back upon without compassion. ‘Young or old. my darling. Peggotty said. apart from the society of all other boys of my own age. . Davy dear. apart from all companionship but my own spiritless thoughts. in which there was no face to look on mine with love or liking any more. and if you was to go to China. for she spoke to me thus. in the morning.’ I felt the truth and constancy of my dear old nurse.’ said Peggotty. and Ham. and should always be kept for me in exactly the same state. and passed the night at Peggotty’s. They left me at the gate. as I used to keep your old little room. and leaving me under the old elm-trees looking at the house. What would I have given. and little Em’ly.apart from all friendly notice. Peggotty. . and thanked her as well as I could. not easily or lightly. with her arms round my neck. and I was going home in the morning. That was not very well. with herself and Mr. I fell at once into a solitary condition. all the time you were away. and it was a strange sight to me to see the cart go on. in a little room in the roof (with the Crocodile Book on a shelf by the bed’s head) which was to be always mine.which seems to cast its gloom upon this paper as I write. I shall keep it every day. Barkis in the cart. Gummidge. And now I fell into a state of neglect. to have been sent to the hardest  David Copperfield .

what they would have done if I had been taken with an illness. or whether anybody would have helped me out. and in putting me from him he tried. At all times I lounged about the house and neighbourhood quite disregarded. They disliked me. I think Mr. Murdstone’s means were straitened at about this time. it was but seldom that I enjoyed the happiness of passing an afternoon in his closet of a surgery. Day after day. month after month. and they sullenly. or starved. sternly.school that ever was kept! . when I think of it. reading some book that was new Free eBooks at Planet eBook. He could not bear me.com  . week after week. though Mr. except that they were jealous of my making any friends: thinking. anywhere! No such hope dawned upon me. I was not actively ill-used. Chillip often asked me to go and see him (he was a widower. to put away the notion that I had any claim upon him . I was coldly neglected. steadily. I took my meals with them. and was done in a systematic. in their absence. perhaps. passionless manner. For this reason. I ate and drank by myself. and languished through it in my usual solitary way. but the wrong that was done to me had no intervals of relenting. having. whether I should have lain down in my lonely room. and Miss Murdstone were at home. but it is little to the purpose.to have been taught something. that if I did. anyhow.and succeeded. as I believe. overlooked me. I wonder sometimes. lost a little small light-haired wife. I might complain to someone. whom I can just remember connecting in my own thoughts with a pale tortoise-shell cat). some years before that. When Mr. I was not beaten.

while I remember anything: and the recollection of which has often. for every Saturday’s expenses. a very Gunpowder Plot. or pounding something in a mortar under his mild directions. that the smallest instalments could only be tempted out by artifice. without my invocation. For the same reason. and read them over and over I don’t know how many times more. Some few times. however. once every week. which he pretended was only full of coats and trousers. but many and bitter were the disappointments I had. which I can never lose the remembrance of. I was allowed to go there. in being refused permission to pay a visit to her at her house. They were my only comfort. All this time I was so conscious of the waste of any promise I had given. but for the old books. that I should have been perfectly miserable. come before me like a ghost. and of my being utterly neglected. his riches hid themselves with such a tenacious modesty. with the smell of the whole Pharmacopoeia coming up my nose. she either came to see me. and I was as true to them as they were to me. and kept a heap of money in a box under his bed. Faithful to her promise. I now approach a period of my life. and then I found out that Mr. I was seldom allowed to visit Peggotty. Barkis was something of a miser. I have no doubt. and haunted happier times.to me. at long intervals. or as Peggotty dutifully expressed it. added no doubt to the old dislike of her. or met me somewhere near. so that Peggotty had to prepare a long and elaborate scheme.  David Copperfield . In this coffer. and never empty-handed. was ‘a little near’.

before . one day. Murdstone to see. Murdstone walking with a gentleman. I did not know what to reply. His laugh coming to my remembrance too. ‘He is not being educated anywhere. meditative manner that my way of life engendered.’ That old. He had put his hand upon my shoulder. ‘He is at home at present. I don’t know what to do with him.I had been out. ‘Fine weather!’ Silence ensued. and glanced dubiously at Mr. when. double look was on me for a moment.’ I said. as it turned. looking at us both. elsewhere. Brooks?’ said Mr.’ At these words. whom I had gone over to Lowestoft with Mr. David Copperfield.I need not recall when. I was confused. Quinion. I thought. ‘And how do you get on. Quinion. I knew him to be Mr. when Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in the listless. and I was considering how I could best disengage my shoulder from his hand. I observed the gentleman more attentively. ‘Humph!’ said Mr. Murdstone. That’s your name. sir.it is no matter . turning the corner of a lane near our house. ‘You are Brooks of Sheffield. Quinion. He is a difficult subject. loitering somewhere. and where are you being educated. and turned me about. and go away. when the gentleman cried: ‘What! Brooks!’ ‘No. and was going by them.’ said the gentleman. I came upon Mr. You are Brooks. in its aversion. ‘Don’t tell me. to walk with them.’ said the latter. and then his eyes darkened with a frown.com  .

’  David Copperfield . and to which no greater service can be done than to force it to conform to the ways of the working world. He then gravely repaired to another table. and I stood looking at them all. Mr. and to bend it and break it. ‘to the young this is a world for action. He will not thank you for troubling him. stood looking out of window. to the young this is a world for action. Quinion talking to him. and Mr. and was going out of the room. and I felt that they were speaking of me. Brooks?’ ‘Aye! He is sharp enough. and I made the best of my way home.he said: ‘I suppose you are a pretty sharp fellow still? Eh.’ said Mr.’ . with his hands in his pockets. Quinion lay at our house that night.’ On this hint.’ added his sister. It is especially so for a young boy of your disposition. Murdstone. leave it to me. Murdstone called me back. not for moping and droning in. Looking back as I turned into the front garden. I had put my chair away. Murdstone leaning against the wicket of the churchyard. Quinion released me. ‘David. which requires a great deal of correcting. They were both looking after me. if you please. where his sister sat herself at her desk. Murdstone. Mr. when Mr. After breakfast. David. Quinion.’ said Mr. Mr. I saw Mr. ‘Jane Murdstone. ‘You had better let him go. impatiently. the next morning. and not for moping and droning in. I say.‘As you do.

’ said Mr. ‘But I don’t know when. Shall be. You have received some considerable education already.‘For stubbornness won’t do here.’ ‘I think I have heard the business mentioned. Education is costly. What is before you. for he went on hastily: ‘You have heard the ‘counting-house’ mentioned. and I could afford it. and went on: ‘I suppose you know. is a fight with the world. And crushed it must be. whether or no. ‘You have heard the ‘counting-house’ mentioned sometimes.com  . too!’ He gave her a look. in my poor way: but it occurs to me now. I am of opinion that it would not be at all advantageous to you to be kept at school. sir. ‘Mr. to be crushed. David. remembering what I vaguely knew of his and his sister’s resources. or the cellars. ‘The counting-house. sir?’ I repeated. ‘Of Murdstone and Grinby. or something about it.’ said his sister ‘What it wants is. in the wine trade. half in remonstrance. half in approval. Quinion manages that business. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. the better. that I am not rich.’ he returned. you know it now.’ I said. or the business. or the wharf.’ I think it occurred to me that I had already begun it. and the sooner you begin it. I suppose I looked uncertain. At any rate.’ ‘It does not matter when.’ he replied.’ I glanced at the latter deferentially as he stood looking out of window. Murdstone. and even if it were not.

a black jacket. in a much-worn little white hat. to get them for yourself. Quinion suggests that it gives employment to some other boys.’ Though I quite understood that the purpose of this announcement was to get rid of me. and a pair of hard. that you will earn enough for yourself to provide for your eating and drinking. Quinion was to go upon the morrow. Murdstone.which Miss 0 David Copperfield . that I was in a state of confusion about it.’ Mr. Quinion observed in a low voice. as Mr.’ Mr. stiff corduroy trousers . Murdstone. and pocket-money. to begin the world on your own account. you are provided for. resumed. with a black crape round it for my mother. and half turning round. Murdstone. on the same terms. Quinion. touched neither. ‘Your clothes will be looked after for you. I have no distinct remembrance whether it pleased or frightened me. David.’ ‘He having. with Mr. on the morrow.’ observed his sister. give employment to you. with an impatient. Nor had I much time for the clearing of my thoughts.’ said his sister.’ ‘In short. yet awhile.’ said Mr. even an angry gesture. and. ‘as you will not be able.Which will be kept down to my estimate. So you are now going to London. ‘and will please to do your duty.‘Mr. Your lodging (which I have arranged for) will be paid by me. without noticing what he had said: ‘Those terms are. Behold me. oscillating between the two points. too. My impression is. So will your washing -’ ‘. and that he sees no reason why it shouldn’t. ‘no other prospect.

how our house and church are lessening in the distance.Murdstone considered the best armour for the legs in that fight with the world which was now to come off. a lone lorn child (as Mrs. and the sky is empty! Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Quinion to the London coach at Yarmouth! See.com 1 . how the grave beneath the tree is blotted out by intervening objects. Gummidge might have said). behold me so attired. sitting. in the post-chaise that was carrying Mr. how the spire points upwards from my old playground no more. and with my little worldly all before me in a small trunk.

and I became. abutting on the water when David Copperfield  .CHAPTER 11 I BEGIN LIFE ON MY OWN ACCOUNT. delicate. Modern improvements have altered the place. Murdstone and Grinby’s warehouse was at the waterside. even now. and soon hurt bodily or mentally. AND DON’T LIKE IT I know enough of the world now. It was down in Blackfriars. and with strong powers of observation. but it is matter of some surprise to me. with some stairs at the end. quick. at ten years old. that I can have been so easily thrown away at such an age. A child of excellent abilities. to have almost lost the capacity of being much surprised by anything. where people took boat. But none was made. but it was the last house at the bottom of a narrow street. it seems wonderful to me that nobody should have made any sign in my behalf. a little labouring hind in the service of Murdstone and Grinby. It was a crazy old house with a wharf of its own. eager. curving down hill to the river.

I forget now where they chiefly went. there were labels to be pasted on full ones. the squeaking and scuffling of the old grey rats down in the cellars. or corks to be fitted to them.the tide was in. and on the mud when the tide was out.com  . Quinion’s. where Mr. and the dirt and rottenness of the place. There were three or four of us. but I think there were some among them that made voyages both to the East and West Indies. Hither. discoloured with the dirt and smoke of a hundred years. or finished bottles to be packed in casks. Its panelled rooms. with my trembling hand in Mr. when he chose to stand up on the bottom rail of his stool in the counting-house. and that certain men and boys were employed to examine them against the light. and to rinse and wash them. When the empty bottles ran short. and of the boys employed upon it I was one. but an important branch of it was the supply of wines and spirits to certain packet ships. My working place was established in a corner of the warehouse. Quinion could see me. I dare say. are things. Murdstone and Grinby’s trade was among a good many kinds of people. not of many years ago. and literally overrun with rats. and look at me through a window above the desk. All this work was my work. They are all before me. but of the present instant. on the first morning of my so auspiciously beginning life on my own Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I know that a great many empty bottles were one of the consequences of this traffic. its decaying floors and staircase. or seals to be put upon the corks. and reject those that were flawed. in my mind. counting me. just as they were in the evil hour when I went among them for the first time.

and raised my fancy and my emulation up by. but that it had been bestowed upon him in the warehouse.did Imps in the Pantomimes. of the shame I felt in my position. I mingled my tears with the water in which I was  David Copperfield .I think his little sister . where some young relation of Mealy’s . He informed me that his father was a bargeman. never to be brought back any more. and felt my hopes of growing up to be a learned and distinguished man. in a black velvet head-dress. I discovered. little by little. that this youth had not been christened by that name. which was pale or mealy.to me . who had the additional distinction of being a fireman. and he wore a ragged apron and a paper cap. crushed in my bosom. The deep remembrance of the sense I had. and walked. on account of his complexion. and thought. and delighted in. Traddles.extraordinary name of Mealy Potatoes. compared these henceforth everyday associates with those of my happier childhood not to say with Steerforth. and the rest of those boys. of being utterly without hope now. cannot be written. As often as Mick Walker went away in the course of that forenoon. No words can express the secret agony of my soul as I sunk into this companionship. however. the oldest of the regular boys was summoned to show me my business. Mealy’s father was a waterman. of the misery it was to my young heart to believe that day by day what I had learned.account. and was engaged as such at one of the large theatres. His name was Mick Walker. in the Lord Mayor’s Show. would pass away from me. He also informed me that our principal associate would be another boy whom he introduced by the .

and very shining) than there is upon an egg. ‘I am. and beckoned to me to go in. His clothes were shabby. and a quizzing-glass hung outside his coat. Murdstone. with no more hair upon his head (which was a large one. I was sufficiently ill at ease. I went in.’ said the stranger. and sobbed as if there were a flaw in my own breast.and is.for ornament. and there was general preparation for going to dinner.washing the bottles. He carried a jaunty sort of a stick.’ said the stranger. with a large pair of rusty tassels to it. ‘This. I hope I see you well. which impressed me very much.com  . so I said I was very well. and with a very extensive face. to be let as a . which is at present unoccupied .’ ‘This.’ said the stranger.in short. and hoped he was. in a brown surtout and black tights and shoes. with a smile Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but it was not in my nature to complain much at that time of my life. and hoped he was. Quinion. and couldn’t see anything when he did. as he very seldom looked through it. which he turned full upon me. . The counting-house clock was at half past twelve. I have received a letter from Mr. ‘thank Heaven. with a certain condescending roll in his voice.’ said Mr. middle-aged person. I afterwards found. and a certain indescribable air of doing something genteel. and it were in danger of bursting. ‘is Master Copperfield. in which he mentions that he would desire me to receive into an apartment in the rear of my house. quite well. in allusion to myself. when Mr. Heaven knows. Quinion tapped at the counting-house window. sir?’ I said I was very well. and found there a stoutish. but he had an imposing shirt-collar on. in short. ‘is he.

’ said Mr. Micawber.’ said Mr.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. for it was friendly in him to offer to take that trouble. Quinion. Micawber. ‘that your peregrinations in this metropolis have not as yet been extensive. on the subject of your lodgings.’  David Copperfield .’ I made him a bow. and install you in the knowledge of the nearest way.in short. ‘shall I -’ ‘At about eight. ‘At about eight.’ said Mr. He takes orders for us on commission. Murdstone. and in another burst of confidence . and he will receive you as a lodger. ‘is known to Mr. with the same genteel air. and that you might have some difficulty in penetrating the arcana of the Modern Babylon in the direction of the City Road. ‘Under the impression.the young beginner whom I have now the pleasure to -’ and the stranger waved his hand.’ said Mr. ‘Ahem!’ said the stranger.and in a burst of confidence. Quinion.‘I live there. Micawber. City Road. . ‘that you might lose yourself . He has been written to by Mr. I will intrude no longer. Micawber.I shall be happy to call this evening. I . Micawber. Micawber. Mr.’ ‘My address.’ ‘Mr. when he can get any. ‘as a bedroom .in short. Micawber. ‘is Windsor Terrace. Quinion to me. ‘This is Mr.’ said Mr.’ said Mr.’ I thanked him with all my heart. Quinion. ‘At what hour. in another burst of confidence. and settled his chin in his shirt-collar. Murdstone. ‘I beg to wish you good day. ‘that is my name.’ said Mr. Micawber.

I washed my hands and face. and passed the hour which was allowed for that meal. Micawber impressing the name of streets. like himself. not at all young. to do the greater honour to his gentility. small as it was. I paid sixpence more for my dinner. who was sitting in the parlour (the first floor was altogether unfurnished. and the blinds were kept down to delude the neighbours). This baby was one of twins. easily. I am inclined to believe. Micawber. At the appointed time in the evening. I am not clear whether it was six or seven. that I might find my way back.So he put on his hat. Mr. that it was six at first and seven afterwards. but also. and I gave Mealy sixpence out of it to get my trunk carried to Windsor Terrace that night: it being too heavy for my strength. and went out with his cane under his arm: very upright. at a salary. a thin and faded lady. He paid me a week down (from his own pocket. in walking about the streets. I think.com  . Micawber reappeared. as we went along. of six shillings a week. with a baby at her breast. Mr. Mr. and the shapes of corner houses upon me. as I suppose I must now call it. and humming a tune when he was clear of the counting-house. and I may Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and we walked to our house. he presented me to Mrs. from my uncertainty on this head. I believe). Quinion then formally engaged me to be as useful as I could in the warehouse of Murdstone and Grinby. together. made all the show it could). which was a meat pie and a turn at a neighbouring pump. Arrived at this house in Windsor Terrace (which I noticed was shabby like himself. in the morning.

and informed me. Micawber had been an officer in the Marines. at the back: a close chamber. One of them was always taking refreshment. that I should ever find it necessary to take a lodger. Micawber. or whether I  David Copperfield . aged about three. to show me the apartment. When I lived at home with papa and mama. My room was at the top of the house. These. I really should have hardly understood what the word meant. Luke’s workhouse. twin and all.as papa used to say. saw both the twins detached from Mrs.’ said Mrs. and sat down to take breath. and Miss Micawber. Micawber. Micawber at the same time. in all my experience of the family. There were two other children. who was servant to the family. Micawber being in difficulties. and came from St. Micawber’s difficulties are almost overwhelming just at present. I don’t know. with a habit of snorting. .remark here that I hardly ever. ‘before I was married. stencilled all over with an ornament which my young imagination represented as a blue muffin. But Mr. before half an hour had expired. that she was ‘a Orfling’. Master Micawber. aged about four. when she came up. and a dark-complexioned young woman. all considerations of private feeling must give way. when I lived with papa and mama. in the neighbourhood.’ ‘Mr. ‘and whether it is possible to bring him through them. completed the establishment. but experientia does it.’ I said: ‘Yes.’ said Mrs. ma’am.’ I cannot satisfy myself whether she told me that Mr. in the sense in which I now employ it. ‘I never thought. and very scantily furnished.

were creditors. Micawber. or heard of. and so. or that the least preparation was ever made to receive any young lady. she had. or proposed to come. and she went on accordingly all the time I knew her. The only visitors I ever saw. One dirty-faced man. ‘they must take the consequences. Micawber in reference to my age. and some of them were quite ferocious. but made little or nothing of it.com  . Micawber’s Boarding Establishment for Young Ladies’: but I never found that any young lady had ever been to school there. now. Micawber! She said she had tried to exert herself. Blood cannot be obtained from a stone. THEY used to come at all hours. used Free eBooks at Planet eBook. neither can anything on account be obtained at present (not to mention law expenses) from Mr. without knowing why. but this was the strain in which she began. I have no doubt. I only know that I believe to this hour that he WAS in the Marines once upon a time. and the sooner they bring it to an issue the better. Poor Mrs. Micawber. or that any young lady ever came. He was a sort of town traveller for a number of miscellaneous houses.’ said Mrs. ‘If Mr.have imagined it.’ I never can quite understand whether my precocious self-dependence confused Mrs. on which was engraved ‘Mrs. I think he was a boot-maker. I am afraid. Micawber’s creditors will not give him time. The centre of the street door was perfectly covered with a great brass-plate. or whether she was so full of the subject that she would have talked about it to the very twins if there had been nobody else to communicate with.

Mrs. and call up the stairs to Mr. you know. but within half-an-hour afterwards. will you? Don’t hide. would sometimes go to the extremity of crossing the street. and roaring up at the windows of the second floor. he would mount in his wrath to the words ‘swindlers’ and ‘robbers’. and go out. where he knew Mr. Micawber would be transported with grief and mortification. and with this family. and drink warm ale (paid for with two tea-spoons that had gone to the pawnbroker’s) at four. coming home through some chance as early as six o’clock. but I never knew her more cheerful than she was. Pay us. will you? You just pay us. and the company they used to keep. breaded. Micawber was quite as elastic. humming a tune with a greater air of gentility than ever. At these times. when an execution had just been put in. In this house. On one occasion. he would polish up his shoes with extraordinary pains. that’s mean. d’ye hear? Come!’ Receiving no answer to these taunts. over a veal cutlet before the kitchen fire. you know. Pay us. Mr. with her hair all torn about her face. I wouldn’t be mean if I was you. even to the length (as I was once made aware by a scream from his wife) of making motions at himself with a razor. I have known her to be thrown into fainting fits by the king’s taxes at three o’clock.to edge himself into the passage as early as seven o’clock in the morning. I saw her lying (of course with a twin) under the grate in a swoon. telling me stories about her papa and mama. Micawber was. that very same night. I passed my leisure 0 David Copperfield . Micawber ‘Come! You ain’t out yet. and to eat lamb chops. and these being ineffectual too.

between which I was divided. One was in a court close to St. I could not resist the stale pastry put out for sale at half-price at the pastrycooks’ doors. on a particular shelf of a particular cupboard. I remember two pudding shops. A good shop for the latter was in the Strand . no assistance. This made a hole in the six or seven shillings. I had no advice. and was rather a special pudding. to make my supper on when I came back at night. It came up hot at about my time every day. and so little qualified . in going to Murdstone and Grinby’s. according to my finances. I provided myself. but was dear.com 1 . that I can call to mind. and I was out at the warehouse all day. and a modicum of cheese. From Monday morning until Saturday night.how could I be otherwise? . no counsel. as I hope to go to heaven! I was so young and childish. twopennyworth not being larger than a pennyworth of more ordinary pudding.somewhere in that part which has been rebuilt since. It was a stout pale pudding. no support. heavy and flabby. My own exclusive breakfast of a penny loaf and a pennyworth of milk.at the back of the church. Then. no encouragement. and had to support myself on that money all the week. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Martin’s Church . that often.to undertake the whole charge of my own existence. no consolation. of a morning.time. I went without my dinner. and with great flat raisins in it. I kept another small loaf. from anyone.which is now removed altogether. and spent in that the money I should have kept for my dinner. I know well. stuck in whole at wide distances apart. of any kind. . or bought a roll or a slice of pudding. The pudding at that shop was made of currants.

and stared at the pineapples. and going to a famous alamode beef-house near Drury Lane. or the Lion and something else that I have forgotten. I don’t know. and ordering a ‘small plate’ of that delicacy to eat with it. I used to look at a venison shop in Fleet Street. called the Lion. because it was a mysterious place. When I had none. or I have strolled. and I wish he hadn’t taken it. that frequently when I went into the bar of a strange public-house for a glass of ale  David Copperfield . with those dark arches. When I dined regularly and handsomely. and bringing up the other waiter to look. or a fourpenny plate of red beef from a cook’s shop. at such a time. or a plate of bread and cheese and a glass of beer. I remember carrying my own bread (which I had brought from home in the morning) under my arm. and so little. I wonder what they thought of me! I was such a child. where some coal-heavers were dancing. wrapped in a piece of paper. I used to get half-a-pint of ready-made coffee and a slice of bread and butter.and many a day did I dine off it. I think. to look at whom I sat down upon a bench. like a book. I was fond of wandering about the Adelphi. but I can see him now. Once. from a miserable old public-house opposite our place of business. staring at me as I ate my dinner. I had a saveloy and a penny loaf. for tea. We had half-an-hour. I gave him a halfpenny for himself. on a little public-house close to the river. I see myself emerging one evening from some of these arches. as far as Covent Garden Market. with an open space before it. When I had money enough. What the waiter thought of such a strange little apparition coming in all alone.

all three. in some confusion. I remember one hot evening I went into the bar of a public-house. opening the little half-door of the bar. how old I was. She came out from behind it. to moisten what I had had for dinner. and gave me a kiss that was half admiring and half compassionate. and said to the landlord: ‘What is your best . ‘Twopence-halfpenny. It may have been my birthday. leaning against the bar window-frame.’ ‘Then. I invented. ‘just draw me a glass of the Genuine Stunning. and the landlord’s wife. and how I came there. with a good head to it.com  .’ says the landlord. and bending down. unconsciously and unintenFree eBooks at Planet eBook. looked round the screen and said something to his wife. I am sure. and instead of drawing the beer. and joined him in surveying me. with a strange smile on his face. from head to foot. how I was employed.or porter. as.your very best . with her work in her hand. ‘is the price of the Genuine Stunning ale. To all of which. his wife looking over the little half-door. gave me my money back. I am afraid.’ says I. I know I do not exaggerate. and I. They served me with the ale. appropriate answers. what my name was. if you please. before me now. but all womanly and good. that I might commit nobody. looking up at them from outside the partition. though I suspect it was not the Genuine Stunning. producing the money.’ The landlord looked at me in return over the bar. The landlord in his shirtsleeves. they were afraid to give it me. Here we stand. where I lived. They asked me a good many questions.ale a glass?’ For it was a special occasion. I don’t know what.

who was foreman of the packers. no one ever knew but I.tionally. a little robber or a little vagabond. as I have said already. utterly beyond my power to tell. They and the men generally spoke of me as ‘the little gent’. I know that. who was the carman. I know that I worked. I spent it in a dinner or a tea. and when I  David Copperfield . if I could not do my work as well as any of the rest. I know that I lounged about the streets. my conduct and manner were different enough from theirs to place a space between us. Quinion at any time. but for the mercy of God. to treat me as one upon a different footing from the rest. insufficiently and unsatisfactorily fed. that. and wore a red jacket. or gave the least indication of being sorry that I was there. could. and that I suffered exquisitely. from morning until night. how it was that I came to be there. it is. I might easily have been. with common men and boys. or ‘the young Suffolker. Besides that Mr. I know that if a shilling were given me by Mr. and another named Tipp. That I suffered in secret. How much I suffered. I could not hold myself above slight and contempt. used to address me sometimes as ‘David’: but I think it was mostly when we were very confidential. I soon became at least as expeditious and as skilful as either of the other boys. Yet I held some station at Murdstone and Grinby’s too.’ A certain man named Gregory. I never said. to man or boy. and dealing with a thing so anomalous. Though perfectly familiar with them. Quinion did what a careless man so occupied. the scantiness of my resources or the difficulties of my life. But I kept my own counsel. for any care that was taken of me. and I did my work. I knew from the first. a shabby child.

in a little shaving-pot. and heavy with the weight of Mr. Micawber’s difficulties were an addition to the distressed state of my mind. On a Saturday night.had made some efforts to entertain them. with some results of the old readings.Mrs. . and used to walk about. towards the end of it. or was otherwise than miserably unhappy. and abandoned. Micawber’s debts. Micawber to sob violently at the beginning of one of these Saturday night conversations. Micawber’s calculations of ways and means. also on a Sunday morning. but Mick Walker settled him in no time. and rebelled against my being so distinguished. when I mixed the portion of tea or coffee I had bought over-night.partly because it was a great thing to walk home with six or seven shillings in my pocket. and sat late at my breakfast. but I bore it. My rescue from this kind of existence I considered quite hopeless. altogether. never in any letter (though many passed between us) revealed the truth. over our work. and even to Peggotty. Mealy Potatoes uprose once. and partly because I went home early. It was nothing at all unusual for Mr. busy with Mrs. looking into the shops and thinking what such a sum would buy. and sing about jack’s delight being his lovely Nan. which were fast perishing out of my remembrance. which was my grand treat. I have known him come home to supper with a flood of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I am solemnly convinced that I never for one hour was reconciled to it.com  . as such. Mr. In my forlorn state I became quite attached to the family. partly for the love of her and partly for shame. . Micawber would make the most heart-rending confidences to me.

I had two or three shillings of my week’s money in my pocket .’ said Mrs. which was his favourite expression. and I looked at Mrs. And Mrs. I was accustomed to speak of the larder when I lived with papa and mama. until Mrs. and a declaration that nothing was now left but a jail. and go to bed making a calculation of the expense of putting bow-windows to the house. Micawber’s red eyes with the utmost sympathy.tears.’ ‘Dear me!’ I said. that there is nothing to eat in the house. Micawber.said Mrs. and therefore do not hesitate to say that Mr. But I never allowed myself to be prevailed upon to accept any invitation to eat and drink with them out of their stock (knowing that they got on badly with the butcher and baker. ‘in case anything turned up’. What I mean to express is. notwithstanding the ludicrous disparity in our years. Micawber took me into her entire confidence.which is not adapted to the wants of a young family’ . and I use the word almost unconsciously. This she did one evening as follows: ‘Master Copperfield. in our respective circumstances. ‘I make no stranger of you.’ It made me very miserable to hear it. Micawber’s difficulties are coming to a crisis. and had often not too much for themselves). Micawber was just the same. originating. ‘With the exception of the heel of a Dutch cheese . ‘there is really not a scrap of anything in the larder. in great concern. sprung up between me and these people. I suppose. Micawber. A curious equality of friendship.from which I presume that it must have been on  David Copperfield .

Master Copperfield. and with heartfelt emotion begged Mrs.’ said Mrs. Micawber to name it. my dear Master Copperfield. in secret. two salt. ‘No. Mr. and went out on a similar expedition almost every morning. with my recollections.this was the girl from the workhouse .’ I begged Mrs. if you will.com  . But the twins are a great tie. these transactions are very painful. would take painful liberties if so much confidence was reposed in her. Micawber to accept of them as a loan. which he called the library. and to me. ‘I have parted with the plate myself. Micawber had a few books on a little chiffonier. ‘far be it from my thoughts! But you have a discretion beyond your years. ‘Six tea. one after another.‘being of a vulgar mind. Micawber. Mr. and a service I will thankfully accept of. There are still a few trifles that we could part with. But that lady. and making me put them back in my pocket. of papa and mama. and Clickett’ . I carried them. and a pair of sugars. if I might ask you -’ I understood Mrs.and I hastily produced them. replied that she couldn’t think of it. I began to dispose of the more portable articles of property that very evening. Micawber’s feelings would never allow him to dispose of them. and those went first. with my own hands. and can render me another kind of service. to a bookstall in the City Road Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I have at different times borrowed money on. before I went to Murdstone and Grinby’s. and begged her to make use of me to any extent.a Wednesday night when we held this conversation . Micawber now.’ said she. kissing me.

that the God of day had now gone down  David Copperfield .and sold them for whatever they would bring. and carried over to the King’s Bench Prison in the Borough. and to be violently scolded by his wife every morning. endeavouring to find the needful shillings in one or other of the pockets of his clothes. while he was drunk . and then he would ask me to call again. with a cut in his forehead or a black eye. while his wife. Micawber made a little treat.had taken his. took a good deal of notice of me. was almost all bookstalls and bird shops then . and often got me. At the pawnbroker’s shop. The keeper of this bookstall.one part of which.and secretly completed the bargain on the stairs. who lived in a little house behind it. I began to be very well known. and there was a peculiar relish in these meals which I well remember. or to conjugate a Latin verb. At last Mr. as we went down together. with a shaking hand. and he. while he transacted my business. After all these occasions Mrs. in his ear. bearing witness to his excesses over-night (I am afraid he was quarrelsome in his drink). but his wife had always got some . near our house.. used to get tipsy every night. which was generally a supper. The principal gentleman who officiated behind the counter. and he was arrested early one morning. when I went there early. I recollect. He told me. to decline a Latin noun or adjective. Micawber’s difficulties came to a crisis. I had audience of him in a turn-up bedstead. More than once. Sometimes he had lost his money. which lay upon the floor. I dare say. with a baby in her arms and her shoes down at heel. as he went out of the house. never left off rating him. too.

and keep straight on until I saw a turnkey. to take warning by his fate. one on each side. there was a man there with nothing on him but an old rug. On the first Sunday after he was taken there. but that if he spent twenty pounds one he would be miserable. After which he borrowed a shilling of me for porter. Micawber for the amount. and spent nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence. who shared the room with Mr. with Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and thought how. I was to ask my way to such a place. I was to go and see him. the turnkey swam before my dimmed eyes and my beating heart. and have dinner with him. Micawber. Then I was sent up to ‘Captain Hopkins’ in the room overhead. and to observe that if a man had twenty pounds a-year for his income.and I really thought his heart was broken and mine too.com  . and just short of that place I should see such another place. All this I did.upon him . and cried very much. until another debtor. when Roderick Random was in a debtors’ prison. and just short of that I should see a yard. before noon. with two bricks put within the rusted grate. I remember. gave me a written order on Mrs. and when at last I did see a turnkey (poor little fellow that I was!). which I was to cross. Mr. afterwards. But I heard. that he was seen to play a lively game at skittles. and we went up to his room (top story but one). to prevent its burning too many coals. We sat before a little fire. came in from the bakehouse with the loin of mutton which was our joint-stock repast. and put away his pocket-handkerchief. he would be happy. He solemnly conjured me. and cheered up. Micawber was waiting for me within the gate.

old brown great-coat with no other coat below it. however. I took back Captain Hopkins’s knife and fork early in the afternoon. except the bed. There was something gipsy-like and agreeable in the dinner. as it were. Micawber with an account of my visit. after all. and two wan girls. and I was his young friend. My timid station on his threshold was not occupied more than a couple of minutes at most. Captain Hopkins lent me the knife and fork. and would Captain Hopkins lend me a knife and fork. The Captain himself was in the last extremity of shabbiness. Micawber. She fainted when she saw me return. on a shelf. his daughters. I saw his bed rolled up in a corner. Sold it was. in the two parlours 0 David Copperfield . and made a little jug of egg-hot afterwards to console us while we talked it over. I don’t know how the household furniture came to be sold for the family benefit. and the kitchen table. the dirty lady was not married to Captain Hopkins. but I came down again with all this in my knowledge. There was a very dirty lady in his little room. and what plates and dishes and pots he had. with shock heads of hair. except that I did not. a few chairs. With these possessions we encamped. with large whiskers. and an old. than Captain Hopkins’s comb.Mr. with his compliments to Mr. and I divined (God knows how) that though the two girls with the shock heads of hair were Captain Hopkins’s children. and carried away in a van. I thought it was better to borrow Captain Hopkins’s knife and fork. and went home to comfort Mrs. as surely as the knife and fork were in my hand. or who sold it. Micawber’s compliments.

The Orfling was likewise accommodated with an inexpensive lodging in the same neighbourhood. The only changes I am conscious of are. and the beds were sent over to the King’s Bench. Micawber’s troubles had come to a crisis at last. All this time I was working at Murdstone and Grinby’s in the same common way. Micawber. the Orfling.of the emptied house in Windsor Terrace. except mine. who was very glad to get it. and Mrs. Mrs. happily for me no doubt. for which a little room was hired outside the walls in the neighbourhood of that Institution. and when I took possession of it. though it seems to me for a long time. since the Micawbers and I had become too used to one another. firstly. but I led it in the same lonely. where Mr. I led the same secretly unhappy life. and secondly. Micawber’s Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in our troubles. in coming from it. to part. that I was now relieved of much of the weight of Mr. Mine was a quiet back-garret with a sloping roof. and myself. and with the same sense of unmerited degradation as at first. Micawber resolved to move into the prison. the children. and lived in those rooms night and day. very much to my satisfaction. self-reliant manner. made a single acquaintance. and in prowling about the streets at meal-times. I have no idea for how long. Micawber had now secured a room to himself. But I never.com 1 . with the reflection that Mr. and with the same common companions. that I had grown more shabby. or spoke to any of the many boys whom I saw daily in going to the warehouse. I thought it quite a paradise. commanding a pleasant prospect of a timberyard. So I took the key of the house to the landlord. At last Mrs.

or play casino with Mrs. once upon a time. although past their crisis. At last this document  David Copperfield .cares. at what hour the gates were opened in the morning. and which I suppose. and hear reminiscences of her papa and mama. though I was so far from being clear about it then. watching the people going by. admitting of my going in. Micawber. In the evening I used to go back to the prison. of which I used to hear a great deal. to be told some astonishing fictions respecting the wharves and the Tower. Murdstone knew where I was. I never told them at Murdstone and Grinby’s. of which I can say no more than that I hope I believed them myself. to have been some former composition with his creditors. for some relatives or friends had engaged to help them at their present pass. now. too. and that my favourite lounging-place in the interval was old London Bridge. Micawber’s affairs. I am unable to say. I used to breakfast with them now. Micawber. obtained to a great extent in Germany. and walk up and down the parade with Mr. of which I have forgotten the details. I forget. Whether Mr. The Orfling met me here sometimes. or to look over the balustrades at the sun shining in the water. and lighting up the golden flame on the top of the Monument. but I know that I was often up at six o’clock. in virtue of some arrangement. and they lived more comfortably in the prison than they had lived for a long while out of it. were very much involved by reason of a certain ‘Deed’. that I am conscious of having confounded it with those demoniacal parchments which are held to have. where I was wont to sit in one of the stone recesses. Mr.

in writing my life. and how some main points in the character I shall unconsciously develop. I set down this remembrance here. and out of men and women. Micawber. Micawber informed me that ‘her family’ had decided that Mr. and Mrs.appeared to be got out of the way.com  . and made stories for myself. Wherefore Mr. begin to be beforehand with the world. were gradually forming all this while. I suppose.’ said Mr. and the club had strongly approved of the same. she expected. Micawber should apply for his release under the Insolvent Debtors Act. as a gentleman. I call to mind that Mr.’ By way of going in for anything that might be on the cards. ‘And then.in short. who was present. if . in which Mr. in about six weeks. at all events it ceased to be the rock-ahead it had been. out of the streets. Micawber (who was a thoroughly good-natured man. if anything turns up. which would set him free. because it is an instance to myself of the manner in which I fitted my old books to my altered life. Micawber. engrossed it on an immense sheet of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. There was a club in the prison. composed a petition to the House of Commons. about this time. Mr. please Heaven. ‘I have no doubt I shall. Micawber had stated his idea of this petition to the club. was a great authority. praying for an alteration in the law of imprisonment for debt. and as active a creature about everything but his own affairs as ever existed. Micawber. somehow. invented it. and to live in a perfectly new manner. and never so happy as when he was busy about something that could never be of any profit to him) set to work at the petition.

Mr. in a long file: several waiting outside. and the general population began to come in. and appointed a time for all the club. The door was then thrown open. if twenty thousand people would have heard him. I was so anxious to see them all come in.‘No. listening with a little of an au David Copperfield . and established myself in a corner for that purpose. supported Mr.’ ‘Your petitioners therefore humbly approach your honourable house. to come up to his room and sign it. to do honour to so solemn an occasion) stationed himself close to it. Captain Hopkins said: ‘Have you read it?’ .‘Would you like to hear it read?’ If he weakly showed the least disposition to hear it. To everybody in succession. The Captain would have read it twenty thousand times. and they me. and all within the walls if they chose. and delicious to taste. to read it to all who were unacquainted with its contents. though I knew the greater part of them already.’ as if the words were something real in his mouth. that I got an hour’s leave of absence from Murdstone and Grinby’s.paper. affixed his signature. Micawber in front of the petition.’ . I remember a certain luscious roll he gave to such phrases as ‘The people’s representatives in Parliament assembled. gave him every word of it. one by one. one after another. Captain Hopkins. while one entered. When I heard of this approaching ceremony. while my old friend Captain Hopkins (who had washed himself. spread it out on a table. Micawber. and went out. in a loud sonorous voice. meanwhile. As many of the principal members of the club as could be got into the small room without filling it.’ ‘His gracious Majesty’s unfortunate subjects.

making his imaginative world out of such strange experiences and sordid things! Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to that slow agony of my youth. be worn at this moment by my childish feet. I do not wonder that I seem to see and pity.thor’s vanity.com  . and lounged about at meal-times in obscure streets. As I walked to and fro daily between Southwark and Blackfriars. an innocent romantic boy. for anything I know. I wonder how much of the histories I invented for such people hangs like a mist of fancy over well-remembered facts! When I tread the old ground. I wonder how many of these people were wanting in the crowd that used to come filing before me in review again. now. and contemplating (not severely) the spikes on the opposite wall. going on before me. the stones of which may. to the echo of Captain Hopkins’s voice! When my thoughts go back.

and some formalities observed. Mr. Micawber and I had a lamb’s fry in private. while Mrs.CHAPTER 12 LIKING LIFE ON MY OWN ACCOUNT NO BETTER. to my great joy. and Mrs. Micawber informed me that even the revengeful boot-maker had declared in open court that he bore him no malice. I FORM A GREAT RESOLUTION I n due time. The club received him with transport. He said he thought it was human nature. but that when money was owing to him he liked to be paid. and that gentleman was ordered to be discharged under the Act. His creditors were not implacable.  David Copperfield . as some fees were to be settled. M r Micawber returned to the King’s Bench when his case was over. surrounded by the sleeping family. and held an harmonic meeting that evening in his honour. Micawber’s petition was ripe for hearing. before he could be actually released.

My papa lived to bail Mr. or at least before they became pressing. ma’am?’ I inquired. with a little interest. As I could hardly hope for a more favourable opportunity of putting a question in which I had a near interest. something might be done for a man of his ability in the Custom House. Micawber’s difficulties commenced. that. after drinking the toast in a wine-glass. it is their wish that Mr. ‘my family are of opinion that Mr. Micawber several times. ‘My mama departed this life. now that Mr.’ Mrs. Micawber is a man of great talent. what you and Mr. Micawber.’ said Mrs. Micawber is out of his difficulties. ‘before Mr. Micawber. Micawber. ‘in a little more flip. ‘the memory of my papa and mama. Mr. regretted by a numerous circle. Master Copperfield. The influence of my family being local. ‘Of great talent. and then expired.’ ‘Are they dead.’ said Mrs. ma’am. ‘My family are of opinion.’ said Mrs.com  . Master Copperfield.’ I said I was sure of that. and at liberty? Have you settled yet?’ ‘My family. though I never could discover who came under the denomination. Micawber: ‘May I ask. who always said those two words with an air. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Micawber should quit London.’ for we had been having some already.‘On such an occasion I will give you.’ repeated Mrs. I said to Mrs. and dropped a pious tear upon the twin who happened to be in hand. Micawber intend to do. and exert his talents in the country. Micawber. Micawber shook her head.

had made Mrs. ‘Exactly. But I never will desert Mr. in combination with the twins. I do not deny that he is improvident. Micawber. Micawber. ‘Mr. Micawber in the act of presiding at a  David Copperfield . ‘That he may be ready . Micawber. but his sanguine temper may have led him to expect that he would overcome them. Micawber supposed I had asked her to do anything of the sort! . I was so frightened that I ran off to the club-room. No!’ cried Mrs. looking at the wall.and sat looking at her in alarm. ‘but I never will desert Mr. ma’am?’ The events of the day. They think it indispensable that he should be upon the spot. Micawber!’ Mrs. Micawber has his faults. Micawber may have concealed his difficulties from me in the first instance. which was the wedding gift of my papa. Mr.’ returned Mrs. Micawber having now raised her voice into a perfect scream.as if Mrs. I do not deny that he has kept me in the dark as to his resources and his liabilities both.Micawber should go down to Plymouth. Micawber hysterical. more affected than before. if not with the flip. The pearl necklace and bracelets which I inherited from mama.’ ‘That he may be ready?’ I suggested.in case of anything turning up. and she shed tears as she replied: ‘I never will desert Mr. has been actually thrown away for nothing. Micawber.’ ‘And do you go too. ‘I never will do it! It’s of no use asking me!’ I felt quite uncomfortable .’ she went on. and disturbed Mr. and the set of coral. have been disposed of for less than half their value.

Micawber was so deeply affected by this proof of her devotion (as to me. ‘My life!’ said Mr. the more she fixed her eyes on nothing. ‘Emma. Micawber. But the more he asked Mrs. running into the room. Micawber was soon so overcome. and came away with me with his waistcoat full of the heads and tails of shrimps.com  . and to be calm. and leading the chorus of Gee up. ‘and I ne . that he mingled his tears with hers and mine. struggling. Micawber was in an alarming state. and the more he asked her to compose herself. Gee ho. Dobbin. ‘I am perfectly aware of it. my angel!’ cried Mr. imploring her to look up. Micawber!’ she exclaimed. upon which he immediately burst into tears. Micawber. of which he had been partaking.desert Mr.ver . Gee up.long table. Micawber!’ Mr.will . Micawber to look up. that he hung over her in a passionate manner.’ cried Mrs. ‘what is the matter?’ ‘I never will desert you. the more she wouldn’t.’ ‘He is the parent of my children! He is the father of my twins! He is the husband of my affections. Micawber. Gee up. taking her in his arms.o! with the tidings that Mrs. Consequently Mr. Dobbin. I was dissolved in tears). and gee ho .o . Dobbin. until he begged me to do him the favour of taking a chair on the Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

Micawber were so used to their old difficulties. Micawber now. and groaned. and disappointed too. ‘reaction. until he came out with another chair and joined me. Micawber walked with me to the lodge. insomuch that when the bell rang. he was so profoundly miserable. Micawber pressed my hand. this has been a dreadful day! We stand alone now .’ said Mr. I plainly discerned that Mr. I would have taken my leave for the night. shaking his head.everything is gone from us!’ Mr. But Mr. so unexpectedly to me. while he got her into bed. involved. It was in my walk home that night. All their elasticity was departed. and Mrs. I was greatly touched. sir?’ I said. and afterwards shed tears.though I don’t know how it came into my head . ‘How is Mrs.which afterwards shaped 0 David Copperfield . So I sat at the staircase window. and Mr. and parted from me there with a blessing.staircase. I think. and in the sleepless hours which followed when I lay in bed. that the thought first occurred to me . ‘Very low. that they felt quite shipwrecked when they came to consider that they were released from them. and I never saw them half so wretched as on this night. but he would not hear of my doing that until the strangers’ bell should ring. and Mrs. and that a parting between us was near at hand. Ah. I felt quite afraid to leave him by himself. But through all the confusion and lowness of spirits in which we had been. Micawber. for I had expected that we should be quite gay on this happy and long-looked-for occasion. Micawber and their family were going away from London.

was applying himself to business. I had grown to be so accustomed to the Micawbers. Micawber had not spoken of their going away without warrant. Murdstone: but two or three parcels of made or mended clothes had come up for me.itself into a settled resolution. The very next day showed me. All the sensitive feelings it wounded so cruelly. that the prospect of being thrown upon some new shift for a lodging. M. That there was no hope of escape from it. unless the escape was my own act. with such a knowledge of it ready made as experience had given me. They took a lodging in the house where I lived. trusted D. Quinion. and had been so intimate with them in their distresses. and devoting himself wholly to his duties . Micawber himself came down to the counting-house. while my mind was in the first agitation of what it had conceived. and in each there was a scrap of paper to the effect that J. I rarely heard from Miss Murdstone.not the least hint of my ever being anything else than the common drudge into which I was fast settling down. and never from Mr. was like being that moment turned adrift into my present life. Quinion that he must relinFree eBooks at Planet eBook. and going once more among unknown people.com 1 . consigned to Mr. for a week. all the shame and misery it kept alive within my breast. became more poignant as I thought of this. that Mrs. to tell Mr. and was so utterly friendless without them. at the expiration of which time they were to start for Plymouth. I knew quite well. in the afternoon. C. and I determined that the life was unendurable. Mr.

who was about to be disbanded. and I think we became fonder of one another as the time went on. and a hand to . though my resolution was now taken. ‘I shall never. Micawber. Micawber was in difficulties.’ I expressed my sense of this commendation.that was the boy . You have never been a lodger. ‘revert to the period when Mr. calling in Tipp the carman.’ ‘My dear.’ said Mr. And Mr.and a doll for little Emma.in short. Master Copperfield. and a pudding. quartered me prospectively on him . during the remaining term of our residence under the same roof.by our mutual consent. Micawber. Your conduct has always been of the most delicate and obliging description. and said I  David Copperfield . and to give me a high character.’ for so he had been accustomed to call me. and we had a loin of pork and apple sauce. Quinion. I had bought a spotted wooden horse over-night as a parting gift to little Wilkins Micawber . I had also bestowed a shilling on the Orfling. ‘Copperfield. they invited me to dinner. of late. On the last Sunday. who was a married man. which I am sure I deserved.’ said Mrs. and Mrs. as he had every reason to think. I passed my evenings with Mr. Micawber. a general ability to dispose of such available property as could be made away with. without thinking of you. for I said nothing.quish me on the day of his departure. and a head to plan. ‘has a heart to feel for the distresses of his fellow-creatures when they are behind a cloud. and had a room to let. though we were all in a tender state about our approaching separation. We had a very pleasant day. You have been a friend.

here Mr. At present. and smiling again.’ returned Mr. Quite the contrary. Collar him!’ ‘My poor papa’s maxim. Micawber.‘the miserable wretch you behold.was very sorry we were going to lose one another. and able to read the same description of print.’ Mrs. ‘My dear young friend.com  . without spectacles. Micawber. all over his head and face. in consequence. ‘the miserable wretch you behold. generally speaking. I have nothing to bestow but advice.’ Mr. Micawber observed. hourly expecting). ‘I say. my love. of anybody else possessing. Procrastination is the thief of time. Micawber looked aside at Mrs. Micawber.and of some experience. Take him for all in all. a man of some experience in life. I may say. never do tomorrow what you can do today. my dear.’ said Mr. he was grave for a minute or so. that . ‘I am older than you. who had been beaming and smiling. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.in short.’ said Mr. My advice is. But he applied that maxim to our marriage. the same legs for gaiters. quite forgetting himself. checked himself and frowned . in difficulties. and that was so far prematurely entered into. and added: ‘Not that I am sorry for it.in short. and Heaven forbid that I should disparage him. that I have never taken it myself. and am the’ . in short. and . at his time of life. ‘your papa was very well in his way. ‘My dear. make the acquaintance. up to the present moment. and until something turns up (which I am. Micawber. probably.’ ‘My dear Micawber!’ urged his wife. that I never recovered the expense. Micawber.’ After which. we ne’er shall . Still my advice is so far worth taking.

‘you know. In case of anything turning up (of which I am rather confident). result misery. and I stood in the road looking wistfully  David Copperfield . Micawber. and I never would if I could. I should feel that I had not occupied another man’s place in existence altogether in vain. ‘farewell! Every happiness and prosperity! If. As I am!’ To make his example the more impressive. take their places outside. with the children.’ said Mr. at the time. annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six. and whistled the College Hornpipe. ‘God bless you! I never can forget all that. as Mrs.’ I think. though indeed I had no need to do so. the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene.’ said Mrs. Micawber drank a glass of punch with an air of great enjoyment and satisfaction. ‘Master Copperfield. you know. in the progress of revolving years. Annual income twenty pounds. Mr. at the back. Micawber. I did not fail to assure him that I would store these precepts in my mind. they affected me visibly. I could persuade myself that my blighted destiny had been a warning to you. result happiness. Copperfield. Annual income twenty pounds. I shall be extremely happy if it should be in my power to improve your prospects. with a desolate heart. The blossom is blighted. Next morning I met the whole family at the coach office. and saw them. Micawber sat at the back of the coach.‘My other piece of advice. for. Micawber. annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six.’ ‘Copperfield.’ said Mr.and in short you are for ever floored. the leaf is withered. and .

which it had been one of my great delights in the old time to hear her tell. and walked out of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. with quite a new and motherly expression in her face. to St. The Orfling and I stood looking vacantly at each other in the middle of the road. and tell my story to my aunt. as I went to begin my weary day at Murdstone and Grinby’s. I suppose. I had barely time to get down again before the coach started. Again. and I could hardly see the family for the handkerchiefs they waved. But. It was gone in a minute. because she beckoned to me to climb up. and put her arm round my neck. it remained there. and gave me just such a kiss as she might have given to her own boy. she going back. and again. No. Luke’s workhouse. I had gone over that old story of my poor mother’s about my birth. since the night when the thought had first occurred to me and banished sleep. I have already observed that I don’t know how this desperate idea came into my brain. and then shook hands and said good-bye. and hardened into a purpose than which I have never entertained a more determined purpose in my life. and which I knew by heart. . But with no intention of passing many more weary days there.at them.To go. once there. to the only relation I had in the world. by some means or other. a mist cleared from her eyes. and she saw what a little creature I really was. I think so. Miss Betsey. but my mind was thoroughly made up that it must be carried into execution. I had resolved to run away. and a hundred times again. down into the country.com  . My aunt walked into that story. I am far from sure that I believed there was anything hopeful in it.

and told me that Miss Betsey lived near Dover.  David Copperfield . which softened the whole narrative. Barkis’s box). and which gave me some faint shadow of encouragement. and that if she could lend me that sum until I could repay it. Sandgate. As I did not even know where Miss Betsey lived. as usual. out of it. a dread and awful personage. and had gradually engendered my determination. but whether at Dover itself. informing me on my asking him about these places. if she remembered.it. It is very possible that it had been in my mind a long time. Peggotty’s answer soon arrived. I deemed this enough for my object. and though it might have been altogether my mother’s fancy. I wrote a long letter to Peggotty. I should be very much obliged to her. I could not forget how my mother had thought that she felt her touch her pretty hair with no ungentle hand. and might have had no foundation whatever in fact. and had a curiosity to know if it were the same. incidentally. that they were all close together. but there was one little trait in her behaviour which I liked to dwell on. One of our men. She enclosed the half guinea (I was afraid she must have had a world of trouble to get it out of Mr. In the course of that letter. and would tell her afterwards what I had wanted it for. pretending that I had heard of such a lady living at a certain place I named at random. I made a little picture. and was. she could not say. and asked her. however. or Folkestone. of my terrible aunt relenting towards the girlish beauty that I recollected so well and loved so much. at Hythe. full of affectionate devotion. I told Peggotty that I had a particular occasion for half a guinea.

addressing me as ‘Sixpenn’orth of bad ha’pence. as I had been paid a week’s wages in advance when I first came there. after I should have got it out of the house. asked him. standing near the Obelisk. when the Saturday night came. to say to Mr. whose eye I caught as I was going by. to receive my stipend. I looked about me for someone who would help me to carry it to the booking-office.and resolved to set out at the end of that week. in the Blackfriars Road. and as I went towards my lodging. and. My box was at my old lodging. For this express reason.’ This I had in my pocket ready to put on the box.in allusion. and who. that I might not be without a fund for my travelling-expenses. and I had written a direction for it on the back of one of our address cards that we nailed on the casks: ‘Master David. and unwilling to disgrace the memory I was going to leave behind me at Murdstone and Grinby’s. I shook Mick Walker by the hand. ran away. to be left till called for. Quinion that I had gone to move my box to Tipp’s. at the Coach Office. when it came to his turn to be paid. Dover. I have no Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ hoped ‘I should know him agin to swear to’ . went in first to draw his money.com  . I had borrowed the half-guinea. Being a very honest little creature. and Tipp the carman. who always took precedence. bidding a last good night to Mealy Potatoes. and. over the water. There was a long-legged young man with a very little empty donkey-cart. and we were all waiting in the warehouse to be paid. Accordingly. not to present myself in the counting-house at the usual hour. I considered myself bound to remain until Saturday night.

and directly got upon his cart. the cart. and the donkey. and I was quite out of breath with running and calling after him. were all equally mad. and detain me. as the bargain was made. that I did not much like. and particularly about the way in which he chewed straw as he spoke to me.doubt. and we brought the box down. I stopped to assure him that I had not done so in bad manners. I took him upstairs to the room I was leaving. that it was as much as I could do to keep pace with the donkey. but uncertain whether he might or might not like a job. and put it on his cart. The words were no sooner out of my mouth.’ I answered. There was a defiant manner about this young man. ‘Wot box?’ said the long-legged young man. I told him mine. which was nothing but a large wooden tray on wheels. ‘Wot job?’ said the long-legged young man. than he rattled away as if he. lest any of my landlord’s family should fathom what I was doing. and which I wanted him to take to the Dover coach office for sixpence. and rattled away at such a rate. ‘To move a box. when I caught him at the place appointed. my box. Being much flushed and excited. when he came to the dead-wall of the King’s Bench prison. ‘Done with you for a tanner!’ said the long-legged young man. which was down that street there. so I said to the young man that I would be glad if he would stop for a minute. to my staring at him. Now. however. I tumbled my half David Copperfield . I was unwilling to put the direction-card on there.

bursting into tears. twenty times at least. will you.’ said I. and saw my half-guinea fly out of my mouth into his hand. and though my hands trembled a good deal. rattled away harder than ever. now shouted at. exclaiming that he would drive to the pollis straight.guinea out of my pocket in pulling the card out. sat upon my box. with a frightful grin.’ I cried. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. now I was cut at with a whip. I ran after him as fast as I could. you young warmin.com  . if you please. now running into somebody’s arms. now. At length. now up again. had just tied the card on very much to my satisfaction. is it? You’re a-going to bolt. when I felt myself violently chucked under the chin by the long-legged young man.’ ‘Give me my box and money. and. now I lost him. as if there were any affinity between that animal and a magistrate. are you? Come to the pollis. Now I lost him. very much frightened. if I had. in half a mile. and should not have dared to call out. ‘This is a pollis case.’ ‘Come to the pollis!’ said the young man. when he changed his mind. ‘You shall prove it yourn to the pollis. come to the pollis!’ ‘You give me my money back. but I had no breath to call out with. ‘Wot!’ said the young man. The young man still replied: ‘Come to the pollis!’ and was dragging me against the donkey in a violent manner. jumped into the cart. now I saw him. seizing me by my jacket collar. ‘and leave me alone. I narrowly escaped being run over. now down in the mud. now running headlong at a post. I put it in my mouth for safety.

but never stopping. 0 David Copperfield . and doubting whether half London might not by this time be turning out for my apprehension. towards the retreat of my aunt.confused by fright and heat. panting and crying. which I had understood was on the Dover Road: taking very little more out of the world. than I had brought into it. and. faced about for Greenwich. Miss Betsey. on the night when my arrival gave her so much umbrage. I left the young man to go where he would with my box and money.

when I gave up the pursuit of the young man with the donkey-cart. and with hardly breath enough to cry for the loss of my box and half-guinea. and a great foolish image in the middle. I may have had some wild idea of running all the way to Dover. I doubt if I should have had any. if I had. But my standing possessed of only three-halfpence in Free eBooks at Planet eBook. though there had been a Swiss snow-drift in the Kent Road. My scattered senses were soon collected as to that point. It was by this time dark. Here I sat down on a doorstep. fortunately. at a terrace with a piece of water before it. quite spent and exhausted with the efforts I had already made. and had got rid of a stifling sensation in my throat.CHAPTER 13 THE SEQUEL OF MY RESOLUTION F or anything I know. In the midst of my distress. and fine weather. But it was a summer night. for I came to a stop in the Kent Road. When I had recovered my breath.com 1 . blowing a dry shell. and started for Greenwich. as I sat resting. I rose up and went on. I heard the clocks strike ten. I had no notion of going back.

My late experiences with Mr. went into the shop. The master of this shop was sitting at the door in his shirt-sleeves. as a scrap of newspaper intelligence.the world (and I am sure I wonder how they came to be left in my pocket on a Saturday night!) troubled me none the less because I went on.took the waistcoat. and came back to the shop door. at least . for this here little weskit?’  David Copperfield .’ Mr. against the door-post.Dolloby was the name over the shop door. I fancied that he looked like a man of a revengeful disposition. and looked at it there. Dolloby . though as fast as I could. under some hedge. snuffed the two candles with his fingers. my being found dead in a day or two. and only two feeble candles burning inside to show what they were. and Mrs. Micawber suggested to me that here might be a means of keeping off the wolf for a little while. and kitchen-stuff. until I happened to pass a little shop. I began to picture to myself. stood his pipe on its head. and ultimately said: ‘What do you call a price. held it up against the light. smoking. now. and looked at it there. rolled it neatly under my arm. and as there were a great many coats and pairs of trousers dangling from the low ceiling. and I trudged on miserably. took off my waistcoat. where it was written up that ladies’ and gentlemen’s wardrobes were bought. and was enjoying himself. followed by me. who had hung all his enemies.’ I said. ‘If you please. spread the waistcoat on the counter. and that the best price was given for rags. I went up the next by-street. sir. bones. ‘I am to sell this for a fair price.

‘I can’t be buyer and seller too. if he pleased. and of the young man with the donkey-cart having used me cruelly.’ he said. the unpleasantness of asking Mr.’ ‘Would eighteenpence be?’. that was not much. to lie behind the wall at the back of my old school.I hinted. and the poorer by a waistcoat. and might deem myself lucky if I got there even in that trim. Indeed. Dolloby to rob his family on my account. not without some grumbling.’ said Mr. however. and gave it me back. Mr.’ This was a disagreeable way of putting the business. in a corner where Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mr. My circumstances being so very pressing. I think I had no very urgent sense of my difficulties when I once again set off with my ninepence in my pocket. But my mind did not run so much on this as might be supposed. which I was going to carry into execution. gave ninepence. and that I should have to make the best of my way to Dover in a shirt and a pair of trousers. Beyond a general impression of the distance before me. Dolloby.‘Oh! you know best. This was. sir.com  . ‘if I was to offer ninepence for it. ‘I should rob my family. because it imposed upon me. But when I buttoned my jacket. a perfect stranger. and walked out of the shop the richer by that sum. Dolloby. after some hesitation.’ I returned modestly. I said I would take ninepence for it. I foresaw pretty clearly that my jacket would go next. A plan had occurred to me for passing the night. I wished him good night. Dolloby rolled it up again. ‘Put a price on this here little weskit.

afraid of I don’t know what. and the ringing of the getting-up bell at Salem House. so near me: although the boys would know nothing of my being there. without a roof above my head! Sleep came upon me as it came on many other outcasts. When I remembered where I was at that untimely hour. I imagined it would be a kind of company to have the boys. talking to the boys in my room.though with a knowledge in my sleep that it was cold . a feeling stole upon me that made me get up. and looked up at the windows. at last. and was pretty well jaded when I came climbing out. and the pale light in the sky where the day was coming.  David Copperfield . looking wildly at the stars that were glistening and glimmering above me. and the bedroom would yield me no shelter. and I found a haystack in the corner. I would have lurked about until he came out alone. having first walked round the wall. with Steerforth’s name upon my lips. against whom house-doors were locked. and seen that all was dark and silent within. upon the level of Blackheath. and found myself sitting upright. awoke me. Never shall I forget the lonely sensation of first lying down.until the warm beams of the sun. But the fainter glimmering of the stars. It cost me some trouble to find out Salem House. and I lay down by it. reassured me: and my eyes being very heavy.and I dreamed of lying on my old school-bed. and the bedroom where I used to tell the stories. If I could have hoped that Steerforth was there.there used to be a haystack. I lay down again and slept . I had had a hard day’s work. and walk about. but I found it. that night . and house-dogs barked.

and my aunt relenting to her. perhaps. but it was very doubtful. however strong my reliance was on his good nature. through three-and-twenty miles on the straight road. Creakle’s boys were getting up. That was the difference. except me. and I had not sufficient confidence in his discretion or good luck. and the sound of singing came out into the sunshine. Traddles still remained. I felt quite wicked in my dirt and dust. and I followed. as evening closes in. with my tangled hair. as I plodded on. that Sunday. to wish to trust him with my situation. for I was new to that kind of toil. and I passed a church or two where the congregation were inside. One or two little houses. What a different Sunday morning from the old Sunday morning at Yarmouth! In due time I heard the church-bells ringing. So I crept away from the wall as Mr. and eating bread that I had bought for supper. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. footsore and tired. weeping by the fire. But for the quiet picture I had conjured up. I hardly think I should have had the courage to go on until next day. and when I little expected that any eyes would ever see me the wayfarer I was now. with his hand to his forehead. though not very easily.com  . glowering at me going by.but I knew he must have left long since. But the peace and rest of the old Sunday morning were on everything. coming over the bridge at Rochester. upon it. and struck into the long dusty track which I had first known to be the Dover Road when I was one of them. But it always went before me. I see myself. and I met people who were going to church. or stood beneath the yew-tree. I got. of my mother in her youth and beauty. while the beadle sat and cooled himself in the shade of the porch.

Here I lay down. therefore. that I might learn to do without it. generally speaking. and mastless ships in a muddy river. I was rendered timid by the costly nature of their dealings. where a sentry was walking to and fro. upon a sort of grass-grown battery overhanging a lane. I resolved to make the sale of my jacket its principal business. and carrying it under my arm. but I was afraid of spending the few pence I had. and were. began a tour of inspection of the various slop-shops. roofed like Noah’s arks. which seemed to hem me in on every side when I went down towards the long narrow street. in that night’s aspect. slept soundly until morning. and was even more afraid of the vicious looks of the trampers I had met or overtaken. hanging out. near a cannon. an officer’s coat or two. hanging up among their stock. and toiling into Chatham.with the notice. is a mere dream of chalk. I sought no shelter. I took the jacket off.which.crept. Very stiff and sore of foot I was in the morning. though he knew no more of my being above him than the boys at Salem House had known of my lying by the wall. had tempted me. Feeling that I could go but a very little way that day. happy in the society of the sentry’s footsteps. ‘Lodgings for Travellers’. and walked about for  David Copperfield . at last. and drawbridges. but the sky. . if I were to reserve any strength for getting to my journey’s end. and quite dazed by the beating of drums and marching of troops. Accordingly. It was a likely place to sell a jacket in. . But as most of them had. on the look-out for customers at their shop doors. for the dealers in second-hand clothes were numerous. epaulettes and all. and.

‘Oh. overhung with clothes. rushed out of a dirty den behind it.com  . which was a kind Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and was descended into by some steps. which was low and small. goroo. what do you want? Oh. and particularly by the repetition of the last unknown one. where another little window showed a prospect of more stinging-nettles. that seemed to have overflowed the shop. in a fierce. Dolloby’s. with the lower part of his face all covered with a stubbly grey beard. and certain trays full of so many old rusty keys of so many sizes that they seemed various enough to open all the doors in the world. ‘Oh. in preference to the regular dealers. I went with a palpitating heart. were fluttering among some cots. monotonous whine. what do you want?’ grinned this old man. He was a dreadful old man to look at. At last I found one that I thought looked promising. ending in an enclosure full of stinging-nettles. and rusty guns. covered with a tumbled and ragged piece of patchwork. Into this shop. what do you want? Oh. and smelling terribly of rum. was in the den he had come from. my lungs and liver. and oilskin hats. His bedstead. against the palings of which some second-hand sailors’ clothes. in a filthy flannel waistcoat. and a lame donkey. which was not relieved when an ugly old man. and such shops as Mr. my eyes and limbs. This modesty of mine directed my attention to the marinestore shops. and which was darkened rather than lighted by a little window. at the corner of a dirty lane. goroo!’ I was so much dismayed by these words.a long time without offering my merchandise to anyone. and seized me by the hair of my head.

goroo!’ . and put on a pair of spectacles. and falls again. my eyes and limbs.  David Copperfield . no! Eighteenpence.goroo! . ‘Oh. my lungs. that I could make no answer. my lungs and liver.’ ‘Oh. recovering myself. what do you want? Oh.of rattle in his throat. what do you want? Oh. my eyes and limbs. ‘Oh . my liver!’ cried the old man. ‘I’ll take eighteenpence. let’s see the jacket!’ cried the old man. how much for the jacket?’ cried the old man.which he screwed out of himself. his eyes seemed to be in danger of starting out. get out of the shop! Oh. out of my hair. not at all ornamental to his inflamed eyes. show the jacket to us! Oh.’ I answered. always exactly the same. my limbs. my lungs and liver.how much for the jacket?’ ‘Half-a-crown. trembling. with an energy that made his eyes start in his head.’ said I.goroo! . throwing the jacket on a shelf. ‘Well. Goroo!’ Every time he uttered this ejaculation. ‘no! Oh. my eyes and limbs . and every sentence he spoke. which were like the claws of a great bird.’ cried the old man. my heart on fire. and more like a gust of wind. ‘Oh. glad to have closed the bargain. still holding me by the hair. mounts up high. hereupon the old man. what do you want? Oh. ‘I wanted to know. which begins low. ‘Oh. he delivered in a sort of tune. ‘Get out of the shop! Oh. bring the jacket out!’ With that he took his trembling hands. no! Oh. repeated: ‘Oh.’ ‘Oh. my eyes.don’t ask for money. ‘if you would buy a jacket. after examining it.’ I said. than any other comparison I can find for it.

just in time. exasperated him to such a degree. you know. remembering me. As if this were not bad enough for me.com  . and flights on the part of the boys. the boys. yelling in a frantic way. Rip it open and let’s have some!’ This. that the whole day was a succession of rushes on his part. Sometimes in his rage he would take me for one of them.make it an exchange. shouting that legend. Bring out your gold. outside. I hope. mouthing as if he were going to tear me in pieces. That he was well known in the neighbourhood. So I went outside. and many offers to lend him a knife for the purpose. Bring out some of the gold you sold yourself to the devil for. And I sat there so many hours.’ I never was so frightened in my life. and calling to him to bring out his gold. Charley. and innumerable Goroos interspersed. with an Oh! before every line. before or since. Come! It’s in the lining of the mattress. as he desired. then. There never was such another drunken madman in that line of business. who continually came skirmishing about the shop. but I told him humbly that I wanted money. ‘You ain’t poor. Charley. the ‘Death of Nelson’. but that I would wait for it. and had no wish to hurry him. and that nothing else was of any use to me. and enjoyed the reputation of having sold himself to the devil. to his own windy tune. as I thought from the sound of his voice. and sat down in the shade in a corner. that the shade became sunlight. as you pretend. and still I sat there waiting for the money. and come at me. I soon understood from the visits he received from the boys. would dive into the shop. and the sunlight became shade again. and lie upon his bed. connecting me with the Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

my lungs and liver.’ ‘Oh. go-roo!’ (it is really impossible to express how he twisted this ejaculation out of himself. my eyes and limbs!’ he then cried. limped seven miles upon my road. and taking the money out of his claw. He made many attempts to induce me to consent to an exchange. being in better spirits then. ‘but I want the money badly. as he peeped round the door-post at me. ‘Oh. went away more hungry and thirsty than I had ever been. and.’ I said. where I 0 David Copperfield . ‘will you go for twopence more?’ ‘I can’t. at one time coming out with a fishing-rod. ‘I shall be starved. with tears in my eyes. at another with a cocked hat. if I could. each time asking him. at another with a fiddle. a little before sunset. But at an expense of threepence I soon refreshed myself completely. showing nothing but his crafty old head). after a long pause. ‘will you go for fourpence?’ I was so faint and weary that I closed with this offer. not without trembling. At last he began to pay me in halfpence at a time. for my money or my jacket. half-dressed. But I resisted all these overtures. at another with a flute. and used me very ill all day. and was full two hours getting by easy stages to a shilling. will you go for threepence?’ ‘I would go for nothing. and sat there in desperation.’ ‘Oh. My bed at night was under another haystack.establishment. on account of the patience and perseverance with which I sat outside. pelted me.’ I said. peeping hideously out of the shop.

stoned me. and made up my mind to sleep among the hops that night: imagining some cheerful companionship in the long perspectives of poles. and dressed them as well as I was able.who had a woman with him. ‘Where are you going?’ said the tinker. When I took the road again next morning. Some of them were most ferocious-looking ruffians. I thought it all extremely beautiful.rested comfortably. ‘I am going to Dover.’ said the tinker. ‘Come here. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. who stared at me as I went by. that I halted and looked round.’ I thought it best to go back. from his wallet and brazier . ‘or I’ll rip your young body open. The trampers were worse than ever that day.’ I said. and in a few places the hop-pickers were already at work. It was sufficiently late in the year for the orchards to be ruddy with ripe apples. and then roared to me in such a tremendous voice to come back. when you’re called. and when I took to my heels.a tinker. and who faced about and stared at me thus. with some cool leaves. and stopped. I recollect one young fellow . and called after me to come back and speak to them. perhaps. trying to propitiate the tinker by my looks. gripping the bosom of my shirt with his blackened hand. and inspired me with a dread that is yet quite fresh in my mind. As I drew nearer to them.com 1 . with the graceful leaves twining round them. I suppose. I found that it lay through a succession of hop-grounds and orchards. after having washed my blistered feet in a stream. I observed that the woman had a black eye.

‘and have got no money. and tossed it back to me.’ said the tinker.’ I said. and saw her very slightly shake her head.’ I said. but that I met the woman’s look. out with it. ‘by wearing my brother’s silk handkerchief! Give it over here!’ And he had mine off my neck in a moment. ‘Sir!’ I stammered. and made the word ‘Go!’ with her lips. giving his hand another turn in my shirt. as slightly as before. ‘I come from London.‘Where do you come from?’ asked the tinker. however. what do you mean?’ said the tinker. afore I take it away!’ I should certainly have produced it. ‘Have you got the price of a pint of beer about you?’ said the tinker. ‘What do you mean. ‘If you have. and then looked at me from head to foot.’ ‘Why. ‘Ain’t you. by G—? If you make a brag of your honesty to me.’ I said.’ said the tinker. that I almost feared he saw the money in my pocket. nodded once. ‘I’ll knock your brains out. ‘Are you a prig?’ ‘N-no. to hold me more securely. and tossed it to the woman. as if she thought this a joke. ‘I am very poor. The woman burst into a fit of laughter. and form ‘No!’ with her lips. Before I could obey. looking so sternly at me. ‘What lay are you upon?’ asked the tinker. the tinker seized the handkerchief out of my hand with a roughness that threw me away like a  David Copperfield . attempting to smile.’ With his disengaged hand he made a menace of striking me.

among the hops. and her hair all whitened in the dust. It was there. that. seeing her sitting on the pathway. it seemed to vanish like a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. at last. on the sixth day of my flight. But under this difficulty. and putting it loosely round his own neck. I seemed to be sustained and led on by my fanciful picture of my mother in her youth. upon the bare. and lie there with her bonnet tumbled off. and with the sight of its old houses and gateways. wide downs near Dover. in the place so long desired. as under all the other difficulties of my journey. turned upon the woman with an oath. afterwards. It always kept me company. dozing as it were in the hot light. and the stately. it was with me on my waking in the morning. and actually set foot in the town itself. sunburnt. which was a bank by the roadside. grey Cathedral. strange to say. I have associated it. before I came into the world. I turned back until I could find a hiding-place. that I was very seriously delayed. and not until I reached that first great aim of my journey. when I saw any of these people coming. When I came.com  . when I stood with my ragged shoes. nor. half-clothed figure. with the sunny street of Canterbury. which happened so often.feather. This adventure frightened me so. when I lay down to sleep. But then. and my dusty. when I looked back from a distance. and knocked her down. where I remained until they had gone out of sight. it relieved the solitary aspect of the scene with hope. I never shall forget seeing her fall backward on the hard road. with the rooks sailing round the towers. it went before me all day. ever since. wiping the blood from her face with a corner of her shawl. while he went on ahead. did it desert me.

though I had asked the question so often. deliberating upon wandering towards those other places which had been mentioned. and received various answers. that she was locked up in Maidstone jail for child-stealing. I know the name. coming by with his carriage. ‘Trotwood. thirsty. and the shopkeepers. as I handed it up. The fly-drivers. not liking my appearance. I inquired about my aunt among the boatmen first. among whom I inquired next. The morning had worn away in these inquiries. I felt more miserable and destitute than I had done at any period of my running away.dream. when a flydriver. Old lady?’ ‘Yes. and could only be visited at half-tide. a fourth. My money was all gone. ‘rather. that it almost died upon my lips. that she was seen to mount a broom in the last high wind.’ said he. dropped a horsecloth. that she was made fast to the great buoy outside the harbour. encouraged me to ask him if he could tell me where Miss Trotwood lived. ‘Let me see. that they had got nothing for me. without hearing what I had to say. generally replied. and to leave me helpless and dispirited. a third. and make direct for Calais. another. and I was sitting on the step of an empty shop at a street corner. and seemed as distant from my end as if I had remained in London.’  David Copperfield .’ I said. I had nothing left to dispose of. were equally jocose and equally disrespectful. One said she lived in the South Foreland Light. I was hungry. and had singed her whiskers by doing so. near the market-place. and worn out. Something good-natured in the man’s face. too.

I tell you what. My opinion is she won’t stand anything. I held my peace in conFree eBooks at Planet eBook. if you please. went into a little shop (it was what we used to call a general shop. ‘indeed.‘bag with a good deal of room in it . so here’s a penny for you. and walked on a good distance without coming to the houses he had mentioned. ‘I should think it very likely. ‘and keep right on till you come to some houses facing the sea.’ said he. I went in the direction my friend had indicated.’ ‘Carries a bag?’ said he . at home).’ I said. ‘What do you want with her.’ ‘To beg of her. ‘My mistress?’ she said.‘Pretty stiff in the back?’ said he. At length I saw some before me. boy?’ ‘I want. sharp?’ My heart sank within me as I acknowledged the undoubted accuracy of this description. and approaching them. and comes down upon you. ‘to speak to her. and inquired if they could have the goodness to tell me where Miss Trotwood lived. taking the inquiry to herself.is gruffish.’ I said. ‘Why then. who was weighing some rice for a young woman.com  . ‘If you go up there. I think you’ll hear of her. you mean. I addressed myself to a man behind the counter. ‘No.’ retorted the damsel.’ I replied.’ I accepted the gift thankfully. making himself upright. but the latter. and bought a loaf with it.’ But suddenly remembering that in truth I came for no other purpose. turned round quickly. ‘Yes. Dispatching this refreshment by the way.’ pointing with his whip towards the heights.

if I wanted to know where Miss Trotwood lived. and the Kentish soil on which I had  David Copperfield . and we soon came to a very neat little cottage with cheerful bow-windows: in front of it. a small table. My hat (which had served me for a night-cap. a small square gravelled court or garden full of flowers.’ With which words she hurried into the house. where a muslin curtain partly undrawn in the middle. and the upper leathers had broken and burst until the very shape and form of shoes had departed from them. as I supposed she was from what she had said.fusion. as if to shake off the responsibility of my appearance. too) was so crushed and bent. looking disconsolately over the top of it towards the parlour window.’ said the young woman. grass. My shirt and trousers. dew. I needed no second permission. and felt my face burn. stained with heat. and that’s all I have got to say. suggested to me that my aunt might be at that moment seated in awful state. and a great chair. and smelling deliciously. and left me standing at the garden-gate. that my legs shook under me. put her rice in a little basket and walked out of the shop. MY aunt’s handmaid. ‘This is Miss Trotwood’s. ‘Now you know. telling me that I could follow her. carefully tended. My shoes were by this time in a woeful condition. a large round green screen or fan fastened on to the windowsill. though I was by this time in such a state of consternation and agitation. The soles had shed themselves bit by bit. I followed the young woman. that no old battered handleless saucepan on a dunghill need have been ashamed to vie with it.

as she marched Free eBooks at Planet eBook. pleasant-looking gentleman. my formidable aunt. that I was on the point of slinking off.might have frightened the birds from my aunt’s garden. after a while. ‘Go away!’ said Miss Betsey. as if I had come out of a lime-kiln. with my heart at my lips. shook it at me as often.com  .and torn besides . I had been discomposed enough before. that she was not there. and went away. to think how I had best proceed. nodded his head at me several times. neck. where I saw a florid. From head to foot I was powdered almost as white with chalk and dust. from unaccustomed exposure to the air and sun. and hands. and carrying a great knife. but I was so much the more discomposed by this unexpected behaviour. and make my first impression on. when there came out of the house a lady with her handkerchief tied over her cap. for she came stalking out of the house exactly as my poor mother had so often described her stalking up our garden at Blunderstone Rookery. were burnt to a berry-brown. as I stood at the gate. My hair had known no comb or brush since I left London. I waited to introduce myself to. shaking her head. laughed. In this plight.slept . and with a strong consciousness of it. The unbroken stillness of the parlour window leading me to infer. My face. and a pair of gardening gloves on her hands. who shut up one eye in a grotesque manner. wearing a gardening pocket like a toll-man’s apron. ‘Go along! No boys here!’ I watched her. and making a distant chop in the air with her knife. I knew her immediately to be Miss Betsey. with a grey head. I lifted up my eyes to the window above it.

sat on the gravel. without a scrap of courage. I have been very unhappy since she died. and saw my dear mama. Lord!’ said my aunt. She started and looked up. until I began to cry.’ ‘Oh. and put to work not fit for me. My aunt. Her first proceeding there was to unlock a tall press. collared me.’ Here my self-support gave way all at once.’ ‘EH?’ exclaimed Miss Betsey. but with a great deal of desperation. ‘If you please. and thrown upon myself. I have been slighted. and have never slept in a bed since I began the journey.to a corner of her garden. ‘I am David Copperfield. on the night when I was born. when she got up in a great hurry. aunt. I broke into a passion of crying. touching her with my finger. I went softly in and stood beside her. in Suffolk where you came. which I suppose had been pent up within me all the week. aunt. It made me run away to you. and stooped to dig up some little root there. and with a movement of my hands.’ I began. ma’am. And sat flat down in the garden-path. in a tone of amazement I have never heard approached. and call it to witness that I had suffered something. with every sort of expression but wonder discharged from her countenance. and taught nothing. Then. ‘If you please. bring out sev David Copperfield . of Blunderstone. ‘If you please. and took me into the parlour. I am your nephew. I was robbed at first setting out. intended to show her my ragged state. staring at me. and have walked all the way.

and the handkerchief from her own head under my feet. Dick. walked up and down the room.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I think they must have been taken out at random.’ said my aunt. and pour some of the contents of each into my mouth. ‘Go upstairs. anchovy sauce. and unable to control my sobs. ‘Mr. as I was still quite hysterical. give my compliments to Mr.’ said my aunt. for I am sure I tasted aniseed water. So don’t be a fool. with her hands behind her. Dick. whatever you are. When she had administered these restoratives. I thought. as if he would entreat me to say nothing about the window. ‘don’t be a fool.eral bottles. and looked at me. ‘you have heard me mention David Copperfield? Now don’t pretend not to have a memory. Dick. and salad dressing. with a shawl under my head. because nobody can be more discreet than you can. ‘Janet. ‘Mr. ‘Mercy on us!’ letting those exclamations off like minute guns. My aunt.’ said my aunt.com  . We all know that.’ Janet looked a little surprised to see me lying stiffly on the sofa (I was afraid to move lest it should be displeasing to my aunt).’ The gentleman was serious immediately. After a time she rang the bell. she put me on the sofa. and say I wish to speak to him. sitting herself down behind the green fan or screen I have already mentioned. because you and I know better. lest I should sully the cover. until the gentleman who had squinted at me from the upper window came in laughing. when her servant came in. but went on her errand. ejaculated at intervals. and then. when you choose. so that I could not see her face.

Betsey Trotwood.‘David Copperfield?’ said Mr. Dick. to be sure. ‘Oh! you think she wouldn’t have run away?’ said Mr. Ah! His sister. confident in the character and behaviour of the girl who never was born.’ said my aunt. ‘Oh! do with him?’ ‘Yes. in the name of wonder.’ exclaimed my aunt. Dick. and we should have been devoted to one another. Dick. with a grave look. ‘and he has done a pretty piece of business. feebly. or to?’ ‘Nowhere. who did not appear to me to remember much about it. have run from. too. ‘this is his boy .’ pursued my aunt. and her forefinger held up. ‘how can you pretend to be wool-gathering. when you are as sharp as a surgeon’s lancet? Now. ‘David Copperfield? Oh yes. ‘Bless and save the man. ‘Well then. David. should his sister. ‘David’s son? Indeed!’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well. and the question I put to you is. here you see young David Copperfield. Dick. sharply. softened by the reply. ‘how he talks! Don’t I know she wouldn’t? She would have lived with her god-mother. ‘Come! I want some very sound advice. Where. Betsey Trotwood.’ said my aunt.’ ‘His son?’ said Mr. what shall I do with him?’ ‘What shall you do with him?’ said Mr. He has run away. scratching his head.’ 0 David Copperfield .’ returned my aunt. if he was not so like his mother. never would have run away. certainly.’ My aunt shook her head firmly. He would be as like his father as it’s possible to be.his son. Dick.’ said Mr. Dick.

and completing a survey I had already been engaged in making of the room. Dick. with side-pieces fastening under the chin. than anything else. but by no means ill-looking. I mean a cap. in her gait and carriage. which was grey. ‘I should wash him!’ ‘Janet.’ said Mr. in her voice. Dick. briskly. Dick sets us all right. She wore at her side a gentleman’s gold watch. much more common then than now. There was an inflexibility in her face. more like a riding-habit with the superfluous skirt cut off. I remember that I thought it. turning round with a quiet triumph. I could not help observing my aunt. and he added. she had some linen at her throat not unlike a shirt-collar. MY aunt was a tall. was arranged in two plain divisions. and Janet. if I might judge from its size and make. bright eye. hard-featured lady.’ said my aunt. though unbending and austere. I particularly noticed that she had a very quick. but scantily made. ‘Mr.com 1 . and perfectly neat. under what I believe would be called a mob-cap. and things at her wrists like little Free eBooks at Planet eBook. if I was you. which I did not then understand.‘Why. as if she desired to be as little encumbered as possible. ‘I should -’ The contemplation of me seemed to inspire him with a sudden idea. with an appropriate chain and seals. but her features were rather handsome than otherwise. Heat the bath!’ Although I was deeply interested in this dialogue. amply sufficient to account for the effect she had made upon a gentle creature like my mother. Her hair. and looking vacantly at me. in form. Mr. while it was in progress. considering. Her dress was of a lavender colour.

and white trousers. that she was one of a series of protegees whom my aunt had taken into her service expressly to educate in a renouncement of mankind. suspect him of being a little mad. if he were mad. He was dressed like any other ordinary gentleman.and his grey eyes prominent and large. it reminded me of one of Mr.shirt-wristbands. in saying so. As I laid down my pen. and who had generally completed their abjuration by marrying the baker. with a strange kind of watery brightness in them that made me. Dick. and I saw the old-fashioned furniture brightly rubbed and polished. as I have already said. Creakle’s boys’ heads after a beating . the air from the sea came blowing in again. to think of it. the drugget-covered  David Copperfield . in combination with his vacant manner. had not his head been curiously bowed . in a loose grey morning coat and waistcoat. Janet was a pretty blooming girl. his submission to my aunt. of about nineteen or twenty. was grey-headed. mixed with the perfume of the flowers. namely. my aunt’s inviolable chair and table by the round green fan in the bow-window. a moment since. though. and florid: I should have said all about him. The room was as neat as Janet or my aunt. I may mention here what I did not discover until afterwards. and had his watch in his fob. and a perfect picture of neatness. and his childish delight when she praised him. and his money in his pockets: which he rattled as if he were very proud of it.not by age. Mr. Though I made no further observation of her at the moment. how he came to be there puzzled me extremely.

the tall press guarding all sorts of bottles and pots. the two canaries. darted out on a little piece of green in front. were kept in secret places ready to be discharged on the offending boys. and boxed the ears of the unlucky urchin in attendance who had dared to profane that hallowed ground. and she was upon him straight. The one great outrage of her life. and it was all the same to her. and. Janet came running up the stairs as if the house were in flames. Janet had gone away to get the bath ready. to my great alarm. the kettle-holder. my dusty self upon the sofa. that had presumed to set hoof upon it.carpet. wonderfully out of keeping with the rest. turned him. the punchbowl full of dried rose-leaves. and had hardly voice to cry out. sticks were laid in ambush behind the door. however interesting to her the conversation in which she was taking part. lady-ridden. In whatever occupation she was engaged. sallies were made at all hours. seized the bridle of a third animal laden with a bestriding child. was the passage of a donkey over that immaculate spot. taking note of everything. the cat. demanding to be constantly avenged. but she had settled it in her own mind that she had. Jugs of water. ‘Janet! Donkeys!’ Upon which. a donkey turned the current of her ideas in a moment. To this hour I don’t know whether my aunt had any lawful right of way over that patch of green. while my aunt.com  . became in one moment rigid with indignation. and watering-pots. led him forth from those sacred precincts. and warned off two saddle-donkeys. rushing out of the house. the old china. when my aunt. and incessant war Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

It might have been a dream. they (I mean my aunt and Janet) enrobed me in a shirt and a pair of trousers belonging to Mr. and was now so tired and low that I could hardly keep myself awake for five minutes together. understanding how the case stood. I only know that there were three alarms before the bath was ready. but I awoke with the impression that my aunt had come and bent over me. before he seemed to comprehend what was the matter. These interruptions were of the more ridiculous to me. single-handed. she would put it back into the basin. and tied me up in two or three great shawls. and laid my head more  David Copperfield . I soon lay down on the sofa again and fell asleep. because she was giving me broth out of a table-spoon at the time (having firmly persuaded herself that I was actually starving. with a sandy-headed lad of fifteen. What sort of bundle I looked like. Dick. or perhaps the more sagacious of the donkeys. I saw my aunt engage. but I felt a very hot one. Feeling also very faint and drowsy. and must receive nourishment at first in very small quantities). and had put my hair away from my face. and bump his sandy head against her own gate.prevailed. When I had bathed. delighted with constitutional obstinacy in coming that way. originating in the fancy which had occupied my mind so long. while my mouth was yet open to receive the spoon. The bath was a great comfort. For I began to be sensible of acute pains in my limbs from lying out in the fields. Perhaps this was an agreeable excitement to the donkey-boys. I don’t know. and. and that on the occasion of the last and most desperate of all. cry ‘Janet! Donkeys!’ and go out to the assault.

During my recital. The words. by a course of questions. too. ‘Mercy upon us!’ which did not by any means relieve my anxiety. but certainly there was nothing else. and moving my arms with considerable difficulty.’ Mr. Dick again. but she took her dinner in profound silence. We dined soon after I awoke. whensoever he lapsed into a smile. I sitting at table. and said. All this time I was deeply anxious to know what she was going to do with me. who joined us.comfortably. except when she occasionally fixed her eyes on me sitting opposite. was checked by a frown from my aunt. and turned any way. But as my aunt had swathed me up. and had then stood looking at me. not unlike a trussed bird myself. to lead me to believe that they had been uttered by my aunt. my aunt sent up for Mr. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and who. and some sherry put upon the table (of which I had a glass). and looked as wise as he could when she requested him to attend to my story. ‘I can’t conceive. ‘Pretty fellow. The cloth being drawn. Dick.com  . I made no complaint of being inconvenienced. who I thought would have gone to sleep but for that. when I had finished. gradually.’ seemed to be in my ears. when I awoke. Dick suggested.’ said my aunt. ‘Whatever possessed that poor unfortunate Baby.’ ‘Perhaps she fell in love with her second husband. off a roast fowl and a pudding.’ or ‘Poor fellow. which was mounted on a kind of swivel. that she must go and be married again. which she elicited from me. she kept her eyes on Mr. who sat in the bow-window gazing at the sea from behind the green fan.

and me.’ said my aunt. ‘That little man of a doctor. if I am to tell the truth. after thinking a little. Dick secretly shook his head at me. with his head on one side.goes  David Copperfield . what was he about? All he could do. ‘Jellips. ‘And then. Dick seemed quite frightened. indeed!’ replied my aunt.oh. and she had not stood sufficiently in the light of this child’s sister.as he is . that Friday night! . Betsey Trotwood? Not forthcoming.’ said my aunt. or whatever his name was. as if he thought there was no getting over this. Don’t tell me!’ Mr. ‘What do you mean? What business had she to do it?’ ‘Perhaps. ‘Where was this child’s sister. She had got a baby .’ A boy! Yah.’ ‘Pleasure. who was always running after wax dolls from his cradle. ‘A mighty pleasure for the poor Baby to fix her simple faith upon any dog of a fellow. I should like to know! She had had one husband.and what more did she want?’ Mr. as if this was not enough.’ said my aunt. Dick exceedingly.’ Mr.‘It’s a boy. the imbecility of the whole set of ‘em!’ The heartiness of the ejaculation startled Mr. certain to ill-use her in some way or other.‘Fell in love!’ repeated my aunt. Dick simpered. She had seen David Copperfield out of the world. ‘she did it for pleasure. ‘She couldn’t even have a baby like anybody else. What did she propose to herself. like a robin redbreast . too. ‘she marries a second time . Betsey Trotwood. there were a pair of babies when she gave birth to this child sitting here. was to say to me.

choking me. well!’ said my aunt. I say. as the child relates. I only hope. And my remembrance of them both. that he prowls and wanders. ‘Well. which made me fear that I might bring some trouble on her . as anybody but a baby might have foreseen. but for her humble station. as if to identify me in this character. as I was trying to say so. and laid my face in my hands upon the table. I broke down as I was trying to say that her home was my home.I broke down. on whose face my mother had imprinted her last grateful kiss. who had ever loved my mother dearly.and stands in THIS child’s light! And the natural consequence is. Because she has not seen enough of the evil attending such things. shaking her head.and marries a Murderer . ‘And then there’s that woman with the Pagan name. the truest.’ Mr. That Peggotty was the best. ‘that Peggotty. and that I would have gone to her for shelter. as he can be. Dick looked hard at me.or a man with a name like it . most devoted.com  .’ said my aunt. and that all she had was mine.’ I could not bear to hear my old nurse so decried. I told my aunt that indeed she was mistaken. and most self-denying friend and servant in the world.’ said my aunt. ‘the child is right to stand by Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and will beat her well with one. who had ever loved me dearly. the most faithful. ‘that her husband is one of those Poker husbands who abound in the newspapers. who had held my mother’s dying head upon her arm. He’s as like Cain before he was grown up. and made the subject of such a wish. she goes and gets married next. she goes and gets married next.

‘Yes. ‘I am going to ask you another question. Dick. until tea-time. Dick.those who have stood by him .’ returned my aunt. Dick sets us all right. After tea. ‘with David’s son.until dusk. and to bring actions for trespass against the whole donkey proprietorship of Dover. puzzled face.’ ‘David’s son?’ said Mr. put an end to all softer ideas for the present. we sat at the window . and the disorder she was thrown into by the struggle outside. with her grave look. when Janet set candles. with the same complacent triumph that I had remarked before. and the impulse was upon me. and pulled down the blinds. Dick about her determination to appeal for redress to the laws of her country. ‘Ay.’ ‘Oh!’ said Mr. and a backgammon-board. Dick. with an attentive.I should put him to bed.’ replied my aunt. But the interruption. for more invaders . on the table. to embrace her and beseech her protection. thus emboldened. ‘Now. for my aunt had laid her hand on my shoulder. If the  David Copperfield .Janet! Donkeys!’ I thoroughly believe that but for those unfortunate donkeys. ‘What would you do with him.’ said my aunt. and her forefinger up as before. from my aunt’s sharp expression of face. Mr. as I imagined. Look at this child.on the look-out. and kept my aunt indignantly declaiming to Mr. now?’ ‘Do with David’s son?’ said Mr. Dick. ‘Exactly so. Do with . we should have come to a good understanding.’ ‘Janet!’ cried my aunt. ‘Mr.

on which the moon was shining brilliantly. might suspect I had a habit of running away. overlooking the sea. I remember how I thought of all the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I was taken up to it. along that shining path. but in some sort like a prisoner. I remember how I still sat looking at the moonlight on the water. my aunt going in front and Janet bringing up the rear. After I had said my prayers. yielded to the sensation of gratitude and rest which the sight of the white-curtained bed . and took precautions. or to see my mother with her child. and janet’s replying that she had been making tinder down in the kitchen.’ Janet reporting it to be quite ready. The only circumstance which gave me any new hope. we’ll take him up to it. who could know nothing of me. I remember how the solemn feeling with which at length I turned my eyes away. But there were no other clothes in my room than the odd heap of things I wore. of my old shirt. The room was a pleasant one. to have me in safe keeping. with a little taper which my aunt forewarned me would burn exactly five minutes.com  . as in a bright book. on that account.and how much more the lying softly down upon it. nestling in the snowwhite sheets! . and the candle had burnt out.inspired.bed is ready. as if I could hope to read my fortune in it. I heard them lock my door on the outside. to look upon me as she had looked when I last saw her sweet face. kindly. was my aunt’s stopping on the stairs to inquire about a smell of fire that was prevalent there. and when I was left there. at the top of the house. Turning these things over in my mind I deemed it possible that my aunt. coming from Heaven.

then.solitary places under the night sky where I had slept. and never might forget the houseless. 00 David Copperfield . and how I prayed that I never might be houseless any more. down the melancholy glory of that track upon the sea. away into the world of dreams. I remember how I seemed to float.

I felt sure that I had been the subject of her reflections. lest it should give her offence. I found my aunt musing so profoundly over the breakfast table. were attracted towards my aunt very often during breakfast. When she had finished her breakfast. with such a fixedness of atFree eBooks at Planet eBook. knitted her brows. My eyes. I never could look at her for a few moments together but I found her looking at me .in an odd thoughtful manner. however.com 01 O . my aunt very deliberately leaned back in her chair. that the contents of the urn had overflowed the teapot and were laying the whole table-cloth under water. instead of being on the other side of the small round table.CHAPTER 14 MY AUNT MAKES UP HER MIND ABOUT ME n going down in the morning. folded her arms. and was more than ever anxious to know her intentions towards me. not being so much under control as my tongue. as if I were an immense way off. when my entrance put her meditations to flight. and contemplated me at her leisure. with her elbow on the tray. Yet I dared not express my anxiety.

We shall see. put on a coarse apron with a bib.’ I exclaimed. ‘We shall see. ‘I don’t know.’ said my aunt.given up to him?’ I faltered. alarmed. Murdstone!’ ‘I don’t know anything about it. Not having as yet finished my own breakfast.’ said my aunt. I chipped bits of bacon a surprising height into the air instead of cutting them for my own eating. and met her sharp bright glance respectfully. ‘I have told him. I attempted to hide my confusion by proceeding with it. which she took out of the press. and I became very downcast and heavy of heart. ‘Shall I . My aunt. I can tell him!’ ‘Does he know where I am. until I gave in altogether.’ ‘Oh! I can’t think what I shall do. but my knife tumbled over my fork. and choked myself with my tea. and sat blushing under my aunt’s close scrutiny.’ My spirits sank under these words. washed up the teacups with 0 David Copperfield . I am sure. or he and I will fall out. without appearing to take much heed of me. ‘Hallo!’ said my aunt. ‘To -?’ ‘To your father-in-law. ‘if I have to go back to Mr.tention that I was quite overpowered by embarrassment. which persisted in going the wrong way instead of the right one.be . shaking her head.’ said my aunt. I looked up. ‘I have written to him. ‘I can’t say. my fork tripped up my knife.’ said my aunt. ‘I have sent him a letter that I’ll trouble him to attend to. with a nod.’ said my aunt. after a long time. aunt?’ I inquired.

which was dusted and arranged to a hair’sbreadth already.’ said my aunt. Dick. that I had better give him the full benefit of that name. yesterday. Richard Babley .’ I rose with all alacrity. to work. when my aunt Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘You are not to suppose that he hasn’t got a longer name. with the green fan between her and the light. with a modest sense of my youth and the familiarity I had been already guilty of.’ I was going to suggest.Mr. folded them up. until there did not appear to be one microscopic speck left on the carpet.’ said my aunt. ‘and give my compliments to Mr. ‘I wish you’d go upstairs. and.her own hands. ‘you think Mr. brought out her work-box to her own table in the open window. eyeing me as narrowly as she had eyed the needle in threading it.’ said my aunt. and sat down. with a loftier air. put them in the particular corner of the press from which they had been taken. if he chose to use it.com 0 .’ I confessed. She next swept up the crumbs with a little broom (putting on a pair of gloves first). to acquit myself of this commission.that’s the gentleman’s true name. eh?’ ‘I thought it was rather a short name. she took off the gloves and apron. Dick a short name. when everything was washed and set in the tray again. and I’ll be glad to know how he gets on with his Memorial. rang for Janet to remove it. and the cloth folded and put on the top of the whole. ‘Babley . next dusted and arranged the room. as she threaded her needle. ‘I suppose. When all these tasks were performed to her satisfaction.

Dick is his name here. by some that bear it. either. for he has been ill-used enough. as I went. taking snuff from a round box on the table. ‘How does the world go? I’ll tell you what. and. So take care. and put his lips close to my ear . that if Mr. child. in answer. I delivered my message. the quantity of ink (which he seemed to have in. whatever you do. Heaven knows. when I came down. I found him still driving at it with a long pen. He can’t bear his name. He was so intent upon it. Mr. he was probably getting on very well indeed.went on to say: ‘But don’t you call him by it. now . thinking. Dick. Dick. through the open door.’ I promised to obey. ‘I shouldn’t wish it to be mentioned. that I had ample leisure to observe the large paper kite in a corner. ‘Well. at the same rate as I had seen him working at it.if he ever went anywhere else.’ said Mr. Without presuming to give my opinion on this question. before he observed my being present. and went upstairs with my message. Dick had been working at his Memorial long. you don’t call him anything BUT Mr. Though I don’t know that it’s much of a peculiarity. Dick.‘it’s a mad world. Dick. and his head almost laid upon the paper. 0 David Copperfield . boy!’ said Mr. the number of pens. Mad as Bedlam. and laughing heartily. but it’s a -’ here he beckoned to me.’ he added. ‘my compliments to her. which he don’t. in a lower tone. the confusion of bundles of manuscript. laying down his pen. and everywhere else. That’s a peculiarity of his. to have a mortal antipathy for it. above all. in half-gallon jars by the dozen). ‘Ha! Phoebus!’ said Mr.

’ returned Mr. and looking dubiously at me. scratching his ear with his pen. sir.and I .’ I was going away. into mine?’ I was very much surprised by the inquiry. passing his hand among his grey hair. I am getting on very well indeed. and with his hand among his hair again. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Well. ‘It’s very strange. after it was taken off. and casting anything but a confident look at his manuscript. ‘for a short time. Because. but I don’t see how that can be.’ I answered.’ ‘Do you recollect the date. I answered that it was a beautiful one.’ said Mr. But no matter. ‘there’s time enough! My compliments to Miss Trotwood. I think I have made a start. Dick. ‘So the books say. ‘What do you think of that for a kite?’ he said. I should think it must have been as much as seven feet high. when he directed my attention to the kite. Dick. ‘that I never can get that quite right. ‘You have been to school?’ ‘Yes.’ said Mr. Dick. with a despondent look upon his papers. ‘I made it.I believe I have made a start.’ said Mr. you and I. how could the people about him have made that mistake of putting some of the trouble out of his head.com 0 . if it was so long ago. ‘when King Charles the First had his head cut off?’ I said I believed it happened in the year sixteen hundred and forty-nine. and rousing himself. and taking up his pen to note it down. We’ll go and fly it.’ said Mr. Dick. Dick. but could give no information on this point. I never can make that perfectly clear. looking earnestly at me. no matter!’ he said cheerfully.

Be as like your sister as you can. for she laid her work down in her lap. I thought I saw some allusion to King Charles the First’s head again. but my aunt was not to be so put off.’ His face was so very mild and pleasant. and so forth. That’s my manner of diffusing ‘em. this morning?’ I informed her that he sent his compliments.‘Do you see this?’ He showed me that it was covered with manuscript.’ said Mr. that as I looked along the lines. and he laughed. ‘What do you think of him?’ said my aunt. in one or two places. and was getting on very well indeed. directly. it takes the facts a long way. then?’ I stammered. for I felt I was 0 David Copperfield . but so plainly. child.is he at all out of his mind. and speak out!’ ‘Is he . I had some shadowy idea of endeavouring to evade the question. Dick. I don’t know where they may come down. and we parted the best friends possible. very closely and laboriously written. and said. It’s according to circumstances. folding her hands upon it: ‘Come! Your sister Betsey Trotwood would have told me what she thought of anyone. by replying that I thought him a very nice gentleman. So I laughed.is Mr. Dick . when I went downstairs.’ said my aunt. that I was not sure but that he was having a good-humoured jest with me. though it was hale and hearty.I ask because I don’t know. ‘And what of Mr. ‘There’s plenty of string. but I take my chance of that. ‘Well. ‘and when it flies high. Dick. and the wind. aunt . and had something so reverend in it.

or I should not have had the benefit of his society and advice for these last ten years and upwards . indeed!’ ‘He has been CALLED mad. ‘Oh. no Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ever since your sister. ‘I have a selfish pleasure in saying he has been called mad. ‘that Mr. Betsey Trotwood. ‘Oh.’ said my aunt. ‘And nice people they were. Dick is not.’ I had nothing better to offer.’ I am afraid it was hypocritical in me. with great decision and force of manner.on dangerous ground.com 0 . his own brother would have shut him up for life.’ said my aunt. indeed!’ I observed faintly. disappointed me.’ said my aunt. and sent him away to some private asylum-place: though he had been left to his particular care by their deceased father. ‘Mr. And a wise man he must have been to think so! Mad himself.he didn’t like to have him visible about his house. ‘A proud fool!’ said my aunt. ‘If there is anything in the world. Dick is a sort of distant connexion of mine .in fact.’ pursued my aunt. ‘Not a morsel. who had the audacity to call him mad.it doesn’t matter how. than another timid. but seeing that my aunt felt strongly on the subject. ‘Because his brother was a little eccentric . If it hadn’t been for me.though he is not half so eccentric as a good many people .’ ‘So long as that?’ I said. That’s all. who thought him almost a natural. I needn’t enter into that. I tried to look as if I felt strongly too. it’s that.

it threw him into a fever. ‘Your brother’s sane .took a husband. and come and live with me. I endeavoured to look quite convinced also.’ Again. but the recollection of it is oppressive to him even now. I said.’ said my aunt. rubbing her nose as if she were a little vexed.’ ‘Ah!’ said my aunt. and as for advice! .’ said my aunt. He is the most friendly and amenable creature in existence. I am ready to take care of him. ‘That’s his allegorical way of expressing it. combined with his fear of his brother. I am not afraid of him. ‘I got him.doubt. Let him have his little income. as my aunt looked quite convinced. ‘He had a favourite sister.made her wretched. Dick (that’s not madness. I hope!) that. ‘a good creature. He 0 David Copperfield .’ said my aunt. But she did what they all do .But nobody knows what that man’s mind is. except myself. as if she smoothed defiance of the whole world out of the one.’ After a good deal of squabbling. and shook it out of the other. and he has been here ever since. And HE did what they all do . aunt. it is to be hoped. I am not proud. and his sense of his unkindness.a great deal more sane than you are. It had such an effect upon the mind of Mr. Did he say anything to you about King Charles the First.’ My aunt smoothed her dress and shook her head. and very kind to him. ‘and made him an offer. ‘So I stepped in. or ever will be. child?’ ‘Yes. and shall not ill-treat him as some people (besides the asylum-folks) have done. That was before he came to me.

about his affairs.’ ‘Is it a Memorial about his own history that he is writing. and that’s the figure. it keeps him employed. ‘nor a worldly way. and that’s the reason why I insist upon it. child. naturally. I am aware of that. that there shan’t be a word about it in his Memorial.’ In fact. or whatever it’s called.’ said my aunt. but he had been constantly getting into it. or something of that sort. if he thinks proper!’ I said: ‘Certainly. who are paid to be memorialized . Dick had been for upwards of ten years endeavouring to keep King Charles the First out of the Memorial. and he’s the most amenable and friendly creature in existence. at all events. And why shouldn’t he.com 0 . one of these days. and was there now. And a Quaker flying a kite is a much more ridiculous object than anybody else. ‘I say again. or the simile. I found out afterwards that Mr. without introducing that mode of expressing himself.’ said my aunt. but it don’t signify. ‘He is memorializing the Lord Chancellor. aunt. If he likes to fly a kite sometimes. rubbing her nose again. which he chooses to use. aunt?’ ‘Yes. He was a Quaker. He hasn’t been able to draw it up yet. I suppose it will go in.’ said my aunt. what of that! Franklin used to fly a kite.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘It’s not a business-like way of speaking. if I am not mistaken.one of those people. ‘nobody knows what that man’s mind is except myself. or the Lord Somebody or other .connects his illness with great disturbance and agitation.

The anxiety I underwent. going by. Though she was just as sharp that day as on the day before. and was thrown into a tremendous state of indignation.If I could have supposed that my aunt had recounted these particulars for my especial behoof. not only inspired my young breast with some selfish hope for myself. ogled Janet at a window (which was one of the gravest misdemeanours that could be committed against my aunt’s dignity). At the same time. in the interval which necessarily elapsed before a reply could be received to her letter to Mr. but that I had still no other 10 David Copperfield . notwithstanding her many eccentricities and odd humours. But I could hardly help observing that she had launched into them. and to be as agreeable as I could in a quiet way. if not less of my fear. and was in and out about the donkeys just as often. Dick. chiefly because the question was raised in her own mind. was extreme. to be honoured and trusted in. but I made an endeavour to suppress it. I must say that the generosity of her championship of poor harmless Mr. The latter and I would have gone out to fly the great kite. and as a piece of confidence in me. I should have felt very much distinguished. but warmed it unselfishly towards her. I believe that I began to know that there was something about my aunt. and should have augured favourably from such a mark of her good opinion. both to my aunt and Mr. though she had addressed herself to me in the absence of anybody else. Murdstone. and with very little reference to me. when a young man. Dick. she seemed to me to command more of my respect.

ride deliberately over the sacred piece of green. ‘You have no business there. and waiting to be startled by the sight of the gloomy face. and I sat by. At length the reply from Mr. Murdstone’s visit. I sat counting the time. Our dinner had been indefinitely postponed. paraded me up and down on the cliff outside. until pretty late in the afternoon. MY aunt was a little more imperious and stern than usual. flushed and heated by the conflict of sinking hopes and rising fears within me. when she gave a sudden alarm of donkeys.com 11 . On the next day. and stop in front of the house. when my aunt. but I observed no other token of her preparing herself to receive the visitor so much dreaded by me. for my health’s sake. shaking her head and her fist at the window. How dare you trespass? Go along! Oh! you bold-faced thing!’ MY aunt was so exasperated by the coolness with which Miss Murdstone looked about her. I beheld Miss Murdstone. that he was coming to speak to her herself on the next day. except for an hour after dark. Murdstone came. looking about her. and to my consternation and amazement. that I really believe she Free eBooks at Planet eBook. on a side-saddle. before going to bed. and which confined me to the house.clothes than the anything but ornamental garments with which I had been decorated on the first day. with my thoughts running astray on all possible and impossible results of Mr. but it was growing so late. to my infinite terror. still bundled up in my curious habiliments. ‘Go along with you!’ cried my aunt. and my aunt informed me. whose non-arrival startled me every minute. She sat at work in the window. that my aunt had ordered it to be got ready.

Go away! Janet. pounced upon him. But my aunt. being expert at a variety of feints and dodges. that he might be taken. a sort of hurried battle-piece. and who was one of the most inveterate offenders against her. and executed on the spot. and his heels grinding the ground. calling upon Janet to fetch the constables and justices. leaving some deep impressions of his nailed boots in the flower-beds. turn him round. was Mr. held him at bay there. though hardly in his teens. in which the donkey stood resisting everybody. tried. who had come to see the engagement. with his jacket over his head. 1 David Copperfield . Murdstone tried to lead him on. for the young rascal. Mr. ‘I don’t care who it is!’ cried my aunt. with all his four legs planted different ways. and unable for the moment to dart out according to custom. Lead him off!’ and I saw. while Janet tried to pull him round by the bridle. and taking his donkey in triumph with him. ‘I won’t be trespassed upon. and. suddenly descrying among them the young malefactor who was the donkey’s guardian. and that the gentleman now coming near the offender (for the way up was very steep. Miss Murdstone struck at Janet with a parasol. however. into the garden. did not last long. rushed out to the scene of action. soon went whooping away. dragged him. and he had dropped behind). This part of the business. I seized the opportunity to inform her who it was. Murdstone himself. from behind my aunt. shouted vigorously. and several boys. of which my aunt had no conception.was motionless. I won’t allow it. still shaking her head and gesticulating anything but welcome from the bowwindow. captured him.

Murdstone who married the widow of my late nephew. during the latter portion of the contest. I don’t allow anybody to do it. ‘You’ll excuse my saying. until they were announced by Janet. and fenced Me in with a chair. with great dignity. ‘Shall I go away. This position I continued to occupy during the whole interview.’ ‘Your regulation is rather awkward to strangers. ‘Is it!’ said my aunt. and was now waiting with her brother at the bottom of the steps. trembling. marched past them into the house. ‘Oh!’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt. and took no notice of their presence. Murdstone seemed afraid of a renewal of hostilities. Mr. and interposing began: ‘Miss Trotwood!’ ‘I beg your pardon.’ said Mr.com 1 . I make no exceptions. I don’t know!’ ‘I am.’ said Miss Murdstone. as if it were a prison or a bar of justice. But I don’t allow anybody to ride over that turf. ‘No. sir. aunt?’ I asked. until my aunt should be at leisure to receive them. Murdstone. and Miss Murdstone enter the room.’ returned my aunt.’ observed my aunt with a keen look. David Copperfield. My aunt. of Blunderstone Rookery! . a little ruffled by the combat. ‘that I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. had dismounted. sir. ‘You are the Mr.Though why Rookery. ‘Certainly not!’ With which she pushed me into a corner near her. ‘I was not aware at first to whom I had the pleasure of objecting. and from it I now saw Mr.Miss Murdstone.

bridling. ‘that I consider our lamented Clara to have been. My aunt inclined her head to Mr. and beg him to come down. ‘Mr. frowning at the wall. Dick.’ Until he came. who went 1 David Copperfield . a mere child.’ observed Miss Murdstone. Murdstone. ‘I rely. Dick took his finger out of his mouth. I thought.’ ‘I have no doubt you have. a better and happier thing for my brother if he had never entered into such a marriage. my aunt sat perfectly upright and stiff. ‘Janet. ‘who are getting on in life. as you say. with a grave and attentive expression of face.’ said my aunt. not with a very ready or gracious assent.think it would have been a much better and happier thing if you had left that poor child alone. Dick. with emphasis.’ ringing the bell. I have always been of that opinion. in all essential respects. Dick.’ ‘It is a comfort to you and me. An old and intimate friend.’ said my aunt. ‘my compliments to Mr. ‘And it certainly might have been. and are not likely to be made unhappy by our personal attractions.’ Mr. on this hint.’ said my aunt.’ ‘No doubt!’ returned Miss Murdstone.’ ‘I so far agree with what Miss Trotwood has remarked. who was biting his forefinger and looking rather foolish. and stood among the group. that nobody can say the same of us. When he came. my aunt performed the ceremony of introduction. as an admonition to Mr. On whose judgement. though. ma’am.

Miss Trotwood. ‘rather than by letter. of all the boys in the world.’ ‘Strong!’ said my aunt. I believe this is the worst boy.’ said my aunt. intractable disposition.we both have felt. I may say. ‘but I beg to observe. and perhaps of more respect to you-’ ‘Thank you. both during the lifetime of my late dear wife. that. and an untoward.on: ‘Miss Trotwood: on the receipt of your letter. ‘But not at all too strong for the facts.’ ‘To answer it in person. directing general attention to me in my indefinable costume.’ said Miss Murdstone.’ said her brother. ‘You needn’t mind me. Murdstone. and since.’ pursued Mr. but ineffectually. ‘is perfectly scandalous and disgraceful. This unhappy boy who has run away from his friends and his occupation -’ ‘And whose appearance.’ ‘It can hardly be necessary for me to confirm anything stated by my brother. shortly. And I have felt .’ returned Miss Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Jane Murdstone. rebellious spirit.com 1 . my sister being fully in my confidence . I considered it an act of greater justice to myself. He has a sullen.’ interposed his sister. however inconvenient the journey. has been the occasion of much domestic trouble and uneasiness. still eyeing him keenly. ‘have the goodness not to interrupt me. a violent temper. This unhappy boy.that it is right you should receive this grave and dispassionate assurance from our lips. Both my sister and myself have endeavoured to correct his vices.

and I say no more about them. honourably. on my knowledge of him. would he?’ said my aunt. and in part on my knowledge of my own means and resources. his mother. ‘Ha!’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt. in part. with an inclination of his head.so far as they are within my knowledge . I act upon them. had been alive. Murdstone. Miss Trotwood. ‘If he had been your own boy. I wish to set before you. that he runs away from it.’ returned Miss Murdstone. makes himself a common vagabond about the country. just the same. ‘I believe. whose face darkened more and more.Murdstone. Murdstone. he would still have gone into the respectable business.’ resumed Mr. in rags. striking in. to appeal to you.’ ‘Or if the poor child. I trust. in a respectable business.’ said Mr. and comes here. that it does not please him. the more he and my aunt observed each other. the exact consequences . which they did very narrowly. It is enough that I place this boy under the eye of a friend of my own. I suppose?’ ‘If he had been my brother’s own boy. ‘as to the best mode of bringing him up.of your abetting him in this appeal. I am responsible for them to myself. ‘Well. would have been altogether different. you would have put him to it. ‘that Clara would have disputed nothing which myself and my sister Jane Murdstone were agreed was for the best.’ 1 David Copperfield . ‘his character. sir?’ ‘I have my own opinions. they are founded.’ ‘But about the respectable business first.

who had been rattling his money all this time. before saying: ‘The poor child’s annuity died with her?’ ‘Died with her. ‘I am here to Free eBooks at Planet eBook.the what’s-its-name Rookery without any rooks in it . ‘and trusted implicitly in him. though it stared him point-blank in the face! Of course it was left to her unconditionally. by her first husband. what have you got to say next?’ ‘Merely this.did no one put in a word for the boy at that time?’ ‘My late wife loved her second husband. Murdstone. And now. most unfortunate baby. there’s no occasion to say that. most unhappy. unconditionally.’ he returned. ‘And there was no settlement of the little property . ‘Unfortunate baby!’ Mr.the house and garden .’ said Mr. in short. ‘Humph!’ said my aunt.Miss Murdstone confirmed this with an audible murmur.com 1 . Left to her unconditionally! I think I see David Copperfield looking forward to any condition of any sort or kind.’ ‘Your late wife. was rattling it so loudly now. ‘to be plain . Murdstone. man. ma’am.upon her boy?’ ‘It had been left to her.’ returned my aunt.’ said my aunt. sir. But when she married again . shaking her head at him. when my aunt caught him up with the greatest irascibility and impatience.when she took that most disastrous step of marrying you. Miss Trotwood. that my aunt felt it necessary to check him with a look.’ replied Mr.’ Mr. Dick. ‘That’s what she was. was a most unworldly. ‘Good Lord. Murdstone began.

you must step in. on any pretence. or give any pledge to anybody. for the first and last time. induces me to think it possible. with an irony which no more affected my aunt. it is indifferent to me what my doors are shut against him henceforth. Is he ready to go? If he is not .’ To this address. you abet him for good and all. For your very great politeness. if you step in between him and me. for ever. which I must say does not seem intended to propitiate.to take him back unconditionally. I cannot trifle. ‘all that I could say has been so well said by my brother. and looking grimly on the speaker. Your manner. are open to him. without otherwise disturbing her attitude.’ said Miss Murdstone. ‘And what does the boy say?’ said my aunt. I am not here to make any promise. I am here. I am sure. my aunt had listened with the closest attention. have YOU got anything to remark?’ ‘Indeed. now. with her hands folded on one knee. to take him away. and in his complaints to you. You may possibly have some idea. ma’am. Miss Trotwood. and said: ‘Well. of abetting him in his running away. Now I must caution you that if you abet him once. ‘Are you ready 1 David Copperfield . and all that I know to be the fact has been so plainly stated by him. Miss Trotwood.’ said Miss Murdstone. that I have nothing to add except my thanks for your politeness. I take it for granted. and to deal with him as I think right. she turned her eyes so as to command Miss Murdstone. and yours.take David back . When he had finished.and you tell me he is not. sitting perfectly upright. to dispose of him as I think proper. or be trifled with. Miss Trotwood. than it discomposed the cannon I had slept by at Chatham.

to befriend and protect me. and rejoined. If he’s all you say he is.’ Having shaken it with great cordiality.’ ‘Mr. Dick considered. at least I can do as much for him then. rising. And I begged and prayed my aunt . she pulled me towards her and said to Mr. as you have done. Murdstone. David?’ I answered no. ‘give me your hand. ‘Don’t talk to me!’ ‘How exquisitely polite!’ exclaimed Miss Murdstone.’ rejoined Mr. ‘if you were a gentleman -’ ‘Bah! Stuff and nonsense!’ said my aunt. hesitated.I forget in what terms now. and that I knew it well. But I don’t believe a word of it. brightened. ‘Mr.’ ‘Miss Trotwood.’ said my aunt triumphantly. ‘what shall I do with this child?’ Mr. ‘Have him measured for a suit of clothes directly. as he rose. nor Miss Murdstone had ever liked me. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said my aunt. I’ll take my chance with the boy. turning a deaf ear to the sister. really!’ ‘Do you think I don’t know. I said that neither Mr. but I remember that they affected me very much then . who always loved me dearly. ‘Overpowering. unhappy about me. That they had made my mama. and entreated her not to let me go. Murdstone: ‘You can go when you like. and continuing to address the brother.to go.’ said my aunt. for your common sense is invaluable. who only knew how young I was.com 1 . Dick. or had ever been kind to me. Dick. for my father’s sake. I said that I had been more miserable than I thought anybody could believe. shrugging his shoulders. and that Peggotty knew it.

I tell you candidly.smirking and making great eyes at her. like a poor caged bird. as if you couldn’t say boh! to a goose!’ ‘I never heard anything so elegant!’ said Miss Murdstone. must you? begin to break her. He doted on her boy . in teaching her to sing YOUR notes?’ ‘This is either insanity or intoxication. ‘what kind of life you must have led that poor.which. do!’ said my aunt. you must begin to train her. ‘And when you had made sure of the poor little fool. and she gone where YOU won’t go in a hurry . in a perfect agony at not being able to turn the current 0 David Copperfield . weren’t they? Ugh! Get along with you.’ said my aunt . ‘now that I DO see and hear you . He was made of sweetness. ‘I never heard anything like this person in my life!’ exclaimed Miss Murdstone. and wear her deluded life away. is anything but a pleasure to me? Oh yes.’ said Miss Murdstone. I’ll be bound. bless us! who so smooth and silky as Mr.because you had not done wrong enough to her and hers. Murdstone at first! The poor.’ pursued my aunt. and they were all to live together in a garden of roses.‘God forgive me that I should call her so. benighted innocent had never seen such a man. unhappy.tenderly doted on him! He was to be another father to him. ‘Do you think I can’t understand you as well as if I had seen you. misdirected baby? Do you think I don’t know what a woeful day it was for the soft little creature when you first came in her way .to shake her head at him with infinite expression. He worshipped her.

‘Mr. as I have told you. Murdstone as if there had been no such thing.and through the best part of her weakness you gave her the wounds she died of. in a choice of words in which I am not experienced.’ ‘Allow me to inquire.’ she said. shaking her finger at him. ‘and my suspicion is that it’s intoxication. in the mysterious dispensations of Providence. you ever did see her. Murdstone. when she gave birth to her boy here. years before YOU ever saw her .and why. observant of her Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Aye. ‘I know it’s true without that. years before you ever saw her . continued to address herself to Mr. ‘whom you are pleased to call. She was a loving baby . Murdstone.I know that.of my aunt’s address towards herself. my brother’s instruments?’ ‘It was clear enough. There is the truth for your comfort. but I did hope it wouldn’t have been as bad as it has turned out. ‘you were a tyrant to the simple baby. is more than humanity can comprehend .com 1 . That was the time. ‘to the poor child you sometimes tormented her through afterwards. and you broke her heart.it was clear enough that the poor soft little thing would marry somebody. however you like it. And you and your instruments may make the most of it. which is a disagreeable remembrance and makes the sight of him odious now. without taking the least notice of the interruption. Miss Trotwood. Mr. at some time or other.’ Miss Betsey. all this while.’ interposed Miss Murdstone.’ He had stood by the door. aye! you needn’t wince!’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt. I knew it.

to carry her threat into instant execution.’ said Mr.’ said my aunt. without a word in answer. ‘to be the guardian  David Copperfield . Mr. to depict my aunt’s face as she delivered herself of this very unexpected sentiment. Dick. No attempt at defiance being made. and Miss Murdstone’s face as she heard it. was so fiery. in case of the donkey’s reappearance. and hailed this happy close of the proceedings with repeated bursts of laughter. and he seemed to breathe as if he had been running. which I did with great heartiness. jointly with me. Dick. of this child. that I was emboldened to kiss and thank her. ‘Let me see you ride a donkey over my green again. prepared. Dick. sir. too. though the smile was on his face still. and walked haughtily out of the cottage. But the manner of the speech. ‘I shall be delighted. and became so pleasant. ma’am. and no common painter too. however.with a smile upon his face. I then shook hands with Mr. and with both my arms clasped round her neck.’ said my aunt. her face gradually relaxed. who shook hands with me a great many times. discreetly put her arm through her brother’s. I remarked now. turning suddenly upon his sister.’ said my aunt. and tread upon it!’ It would require a painter. though his black eyebrows were heavily contracted. and as sure as you have a head upon your shoulders. no less than the matter. ‘You’ll consider yourself guardian. I have no doubt. ‘and good-bye! Good day to you. that Miss Murdstone. I’ll knock your bonnet off. my aunt remaining in the window looking after them. that. ‘Good day. his colour had gone in a moment.

like one in a dream. were marked ‘Trotwood Copperfield’. distinctly. and dropped it gladly. that some readymade clothes.’ said Mr. Dick. do you know. even in this narrative. My aunt took so kindly to the notion.’ said Mr. certainly. and it was settled that all the other clothes which were ordered to be made for me (a complete outfit was bespoke that afternoon) should be marked in the same way.com  . and in indelible marking-ink.which seemed to lie in the haze of an immeasurable distance. Thus I began my new life.’ ‘Trotwood Copperfield. in a new name. ‘that’s settled. Mr. Trotwood Copperfield. in her own handwriting. that a remoteness had come upon the old Blunderstone life .’ ‘Very good. I have been thinking.of David’s son. which were purchased for me that afternoon. ‘David’s son’s Trotwood. certainly. Call him Trotwood. for many days. Dick. 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. and with everything new about me. I never thought of anything about myself. a little abashed. in my aunt and Mr. Dick. with so much menFree eBooks at Planet eBook. The remembrance of that life is fraught with so much pain to me. before I put them on. Yes. that I might call him Trotwood?’ ‘Certainly. Dick. ‘Yes. to be sure. Now that the state of doubt was over.’ returned my aunt. The two things clearest in my mind were. you mean.’ returned my aunt. I felt. with a reluctant hand. I never thought that I had a curious couple of guardians.

and there I leave it. or less. that I have never had the courage even to examine how long I was doomed to lead it. and ceased to be.tal suffering and want of hope. Whether it lasted for a year.  David Copperfield . I do not know. or more. I only know that it was. and that I have written.

the feeble efforts he made to keep him out. Dick supposed would come of the Memorial. where he thought it was to go. when his day’s work was done.com  . The patience and hope with which he bore these perpetual disappointments. and tumbled the Memorial out of all shape. for if anything were certain under the sun. and very often. Dick and I soon became the best of friends. Every day of his life he had a long sitting at the Memorial. which never made the least progress. for King Charles the First always strayed into it. and the certainty with which he came in. however hard he laboured. the mild perception he had that there was something wrong about King Charles the First. if it were completed. or what he thought it was to do. and another one begun. made a deep impression on me. it was certain that the Free eBooks at Planet eBook.CHAPTER 15 I MAKE ANOTHER BEGINNING M r. and then it was thrown aside. I believe. sooner or later. What Mr. he knew no more than anybody else. Nor was it at all necessary that he should trouble himself with such questions. went out together to fly the great kite.

about his belief in its disseminating the statements pasted on it. might have been a fancy with him sometimes. and I remember to have seen him take it up. that if I went on as I had begun. which were nothing but old leaves of abortive Memorials. until it fluttered to the ground. I did not go backward in the favour of his staunch friend. What he had told me. She took so kindly to me. that it lifted his mind out of its confusion. and look about him in a lost way. Dick. she shortened my adopted name of Trotwood into Trot. that. in the course of a few weeks. As he wound the string in and it came lower and lower down out of the beautiful light. I might take equal rank in her affections with my sister Betsey Trotwood. to see him with the kite when it was up a great height in the air. so that I pitied him with all my heart. and feeling it pull and tug at his hand. ‘Trot. he seemed to wake gradually out of a dream. ‘we must not forget your education.’ This was my only subject of anxiety. but not when he was out. on a green slope. I used to fancy. and lay there like a dead thing. and bore it (such was my boyish thought) into the skies. as I sat by him of an evening. He never looked so serene as he did then.Memorial never would be finished. my aunt.’ said my aunt one evening. and saw him watch the kite high in the quiet air. I used to think. in his room. and even encouraged me to hope. and I felt quite de David Copperfield . While I advanced in friendship and intimacy with Mr. when the backgammon-board was placed as usual for herself and Mr. looking up at the kite in the sky. It was quite an affecting sight. as if they had both come down together. Dick.

if my aunt had not interposed.’ said my aunt. Dick did not Free eBooks at Planet eBook. after giving him several admonitory raps on the knuckles with her dice-box. I was not surprised by the suddenness of the proposal. at his earnest petition. gold and silver too.’ I was greatly elated by these orders.com  . In the morning he was downhearted again. I replied that I should like it very much. and pack up Master Trotwood’s clothes tonight. but my heart smote me for my selfishness. and Mr. and that he could sometimes come and see me on a Wednesday.’ said my aunt again. of proportions greatly surpassing the present one. and played so ill in consequence. and limited the gift to five shillings. as it was so near her. ‘Good. shut up the board. who was so low-spirited at the prospect of our separation. and would have sustained himself by giving me all the money he had in his possession. when I witnessed their effect on Mr. We parted at the gardengate in a most affectionate manner. ‘Should you like to go tomorrow?’ Being already no stranger to the general rapidity of my aunt’s evolutions. and declined to play with him any more. hire the grey pony and chaise tomorrow morning at ten o’clock. which. on hearing from my aunt that I should sometimes come over on a Saturday.’ ‘Good.lighted by her referring to it. ‘Should you like to go to school at Canterbury?’ said my aunt. and vowed to make another kite for those occasions. But. were afterwards increased to ten. and said: ‘Yes. he revived. Dick. that my aunt. ‘Janet.

I don’t know. patted me on the head with her whip.’ I said. aunt. asked me whether I was happy? ‘Very happy indeed.go into the house until my aunt had driven me out of sight of it. ‘Is it a large school.’ ‘Does he keep a school?’ I asked. thank you. which were not always complimentary. and huckster’s goods.’ said my aunt. ‘He keeps an office. she permitted him to relax a little. The hair-breadth turns and twists we made. where. my aunt had a great opportunity of insinuating the grey pony among carts. as she offered none. Wickfield’s first. keeping a steady eye upon him wherever he went. baskets. Wickfield. drove the grey pony through Dover in a masterly manner. ‘Why.’ I asked for no more information about Mr. My aunt. and looking at me down in a valley of cushion by her side. aunt?’ I asked. however. vegetables. and I dare say would have taken her own way with as much coolness through an enemy’s country. who was perfectly indifferent to public opinion.’ said my aunt. and both her hands being occupied. and making a point of not letting him have his own way in any respect. When we came into the country road. but my aunt drove on with perfect indifference.  David Copperfield . She was much gratified. sitting high and stiff like a state coachman. Trot. drew down upon us a variety of speeches from the people standing about. as it was market-day. ‘We are going to Mr. and we conversed on other subjects until we came to Canterbury. ‘No.

and no eyelashes. The low arched door then opened. dressed in decent black.a youth of fifteen. and carvings and mouldings. and eyes of a red-brown. and the face came out. It belonged to a red-haired person . and all the angles and corners. buttoned Free eBooks at Planet eBook. who had hardly any eyebrows. It was quite spotless in its cleanliness. I saw a cadaverous face appear at a small window on the ground floor (in a little round tower that formed one side of the house). The old-fashioned brass knocker on the low arched door. the two stone steps descending to the door were as white as if they had been covered with fair linen. It was quite as cadaverous as it had looked in the window. as I take it now. were as pure as any snow that ever fell upon the hills. twinkled like a star. trying to see who was passing on the narrow pavement below. and beams with carved heads on the ends bulging out too.At length we stopped before a very old house bulging out over the road. He was high-shouldered and bony.whose hair was cropped as close as the closest stubble. ornamented with carved garlands of fruit and flowers. When the pony-chaise stopped at the door. with a white wisp of a neckcloth. so unsheltered and unshaded. but looking much older . and quaint little panes of glass. and my eyes were intent upon the house. and quickly disappear.com  . a house with long low lattice-windows bulging out still farther. that I remember wondering how he went to sleep. though as old as the hills. and quainter little windows. so that I fancied the whole house was leaning forward. though in the grain of it there was that tinge of red which is sometimes to be observed in the skins of red-haired people.

as he stood at the pony’s head. who was looking over some papers tied together with red tape. of Uriah Heep breathing into the pony’s nostrils. skeleton hand. who was looking at me. but you’ll excuse my being busy. ‘pray walk in. and had a long. lank. at sight of whom I turned to the firstmentioned portrait again.’ 0 David Copperfield . of a lady.pointing with his long hand to the room he meant. Wickfield at home. a door at the farther end of the room opening. which particularly attracted my attention. ‘if you’ll please to walk in there’ . a gentleman entered. ma’am. Wickfield’s at home.’ said Uriah Heep. ‘Mr. from the window of which I caught a glimpse. and immediately covering them with his hand. I was engaged for a moment. Uriah Heep?’ said my aunt. with a very placid and sweet expression of face. I saw that he was some years older than when he had had his picture painted. But it was stationary.’ said the gentleman. went into a long low parlour looking towards the street. Opposite to the tall old chimney-piece were two portraits: one of a gentleman with grey hair (though not by any means an old man) and black eyebrows. when. ‘Miss Betsey Trotwood. ‘Is Mr. as I went in. and leaving him to hold the pony. I believe I was turning about in search of Uriah’s picture. rubbing his chin with it. the other. to make quite sure that it had not come out of its frame. You know my motive. and looking up at us in the chaise. I have but one in life. We got out. and as the gentleman advanced into the light.up to the throat. as if he were putting some spell upon him.

for I soon found that it was he. Wickfield.’ said my aunt. with books. and. ‘I have not come for any law. It looked into a garden. I hope?’ ‘No. which was furnished as an office. ‘Wasn’t aware you had a grand-nephew.’ said Mr. that I wondered. and steward of the estates of a rich gentleman of the county. under Peggotty’s tuition. that is to say. Wickfield. was handsome.’ said Mr. Wickfield. ‘Wasn’t aware you had one. I thought.’ ‘That’s right. and that he was a lawyer. and his fine frilled shirt and cambric neckcloth looked unusually soft and white. and I fancied it was in his voice too. Wickfield. ‘You had better come for anything else. and referred his growing corpulency to the same cause. which I had been long accustomed.’ observed my aunt. papers. and so forth. reminding my strolling fancy (I call to mind) of the plumage on the breast of a swan.’ said Mr. Miss Trotwood. as I sat down. though his eyebrows were still black. Miss Trotwood. and nankeen trousers. I give you my word. to connect with port wine. ‘This is my nephew. ma’am.Miss Betsey thanked him. He was very cleanly dressed. striped waistcoat. ‘My grand-nephew. ‘Well. ‘what wind blows you here? Not an ill wind. so immediately over the mantelshelf. in a blue coat. There was a certain richness in his complexion. and we went into his room. He had a very agreeable face. tin boxes. how the sweeps got round it when they swept the chimney. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1 . and had an iron safe let into the wall.’ said Mr.’ His hair was quite white now.’ replied my aunt.

that you are the only plain dealer in the world?’ ‘Ay. scores. ‘and I have brought him here. Wickfield ‘the old question.’ he rejoined. you know. and well treated. I hope. to put to a school where he may be thoroughly well taught.’ ‘Before I can advise you properly. shaking his head and smiling incredulously. considering. you want the best?’ My aunt nodded assent. I think. but I have only one motive in life. hundreds.‘I have adopted him. when they’re on the surface! Why. and what it is. I suppose?’ suggested my aunt.’ returned my aunt.’ said Mr. with a wave of her hand. I have only one. ‘Always fishing for motives.’ said my aunt.’ said Mr. to make the child happy and useful. he proposed to take my aunt to the school. that’s beside the question. You don’t suppose. Now tell me where that school is. Wickfield. ‘A mixed fiddlestick. that she might  David Copperfield . smiling. There’s the difference. Wickfield. importing that his knowledge and his ignorance were all one to her. After a little discussion.’ ‘But he could board somewhere else. Mr. and all about it. ‘You claim to have one plain motive in all you do yourself. Wickfield thought I could.’ ‘It must be a mixed motive. Miss Trotwood. What’s your motive in this?’ ‘Deuce take the man!’ exclaimed my aunt.’ said Mr. However. ‘your nephew couldn’t board just now. ‘Other people have dozens. ‘At the best we have. The best school? Whatever the motive.

the writing being between us. for objecting to the arrangements. or pretended to go. Wickfield’s office. but looking that way more attentively. I thought. and stealthily stare at me for I dare say a whole minute at a time. every now and then. I think we had better leave him behind?’ My aunt seemed disposed to contest the point. perhaps.such as standing on a chair to look at a map on the other side of the room. to take her. Though his face was towards me. with the same object.but they always Free eBooks at Planet eBook. My aunt embracing the proposal. was at work at a desk in this room. where I sat down again. also. and on which the writing he was making a copy of was then hanging. and returned into Mr. as cleverly as ever.see it and judge for herself. it made me uncomfortable to observe that. having taken the pony to a neighbouring stable. that he could not see me. but to facilitate matters I said I would gladly remain behind. I made several attempts to get out of their way . to await their return. to two or three houses where he thought I could be boarded. Uriah. if they pleased. It so happened that this chair was opposite a narrow passage.com  . in the chair I had first occupied. for some time. which ended in the little circular room where I had seen Uriah Heep’s pale face looking out of the window. which had a brass frame on the top to hang paper upon. when he stopped and said: ‘Our little friend here might have some motive. his sleepless eyes would come below the writing. we were all three going out together. like two red suns. during which his pen went. and poring over the columns of a Kentish newspaper .

he can easily go to the right-about. Wickfield. He won’t disturb me at all. It’s a capital house for study. my aunt had not approved of any of the boarding-houses proposed for me. Miss Trotwood. ‘Come. ‘and so is he. though she was delicate of accepting it.’ said Mr. after a pretty long absence. and whenever I looked towards those two red suns. Leave him here. I was sure to find them. ‘I don’t know what to do. much to my relief. They were not so successful as I could have wished. Wickfield came back.’ ‘What’s that?’ inquired my aunt.’ ‘It does happen unfortunately. I see. ‘This is the way out of the difficulty.attracted me back again. for the present. There will be time to find some better place for him in the meanwhile.’ said my aunt. my aunt and Mr. or don’t quite accord with our mutual convenience. So did I. you know. Wickfield. and almost as roomy. You had better determine to leave him here for the present!’ ‘I am very much obliged to you.’ My aunt evidently liked the offer. ‘Leave your nephew here.’ said my aunt. ‘It’s very unfortunate. but -’ ‘Come! I know what you mean.’ said Mr. He’s a quiet fellow. either just rising or just setting. Trot. If it don’t act well. ‘You shall not be oppressed by the receipt of favours. Miss Trot David Copperfield . Miss Trotwood. It’s only a temporary arrangement. At length. for though the advantages of the school were undeniable.’ cried Mr. As quiet as a monastery. ‘But I’ll tell you what you can do. Wickfield.

almost as easily. Wickfield tapped at a door in a corner of the panelled wall. that seemed to have come of the same trees as the shining oak floor. Mr. with a balustrade so broad that we might have gone up that. You may pay for him. We won’t be hard about terms. and the original remained a child. but you shall pay if you will. or cupboard. if you like. Although her face was quite bright and happy. It was a prettily furnished room. or seat. Wickfield.’ said my aunt. that made me think there was not such another good corner in the room. lighted by some three or four of the quaint windows I had looked up at from the street: which had old oak seats in them. ‘though it doesn’t lessen the real obligation. and some flowers. there Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Then come and see my little housekeeper. I shall be very glad to leave him. It seemed to my imagination as if the portrait had grown womanly.’ ‘On that understanding. with a piano and some lively furniture in red and green. and into a shady old drawing-room. and found it equal to it. We accordingly went up a wonderful old staircase.com  . On her face. or bookcase. or something or other. On everything there was the same air of retirement and cleanliness that marked the house outside. and in every nook and corner there was some queer little table. It seemed to be all old nooks and corners. I saw immediately the placid and sweet expression of the lady whose picture had looked at me downstairs.wood. and a girl of about my own age came quickly out and kissed him. and the great beams in the ceiling. until I looked at the next one.’ said Mr. if not better.

with more oak beams. and Agnes went back to her governess. proposed to my aunt that we should go upstairs and see my room. Mr. I had seen a stained glass window in a church. and when he had concluded. and Mr. calm spirit . his daughter Agnes. My aunt was as happy as I was. Nor do I recollect its subject. and as I apprehend Mr. some lunch was provided for her there. Wickfield knew her too well to argue any point with her. and the broad balustrade going all the way up to it. I thought of that window. she before us: and a glorious old room it was. with keys in it. We all went together. in the arrangement made for me. and about her . and diamond panes. Wickfield to his office. that I shall never forget. I guessed what the one motive of his life was. and I associated something of its tranquil brightness with Agnes Wickfield ever afterwards. So we  David Copperfield . above. As she would not hear of staying to dinner. But I know that when I saw her turn round. I cannot call to mind where or when. When I heard how he said it. and saw how he held her hand. well pleased and gratified.a quiet. lest she should by any chance fail to arrive at home with the grey pony before dark. good.that I never have forgotten. She had a little basket-trifle hanging at her side. in my childhood. She listened to her father as he told her about me. This was his little housekeeper. with a pleasant face. in the grave light of the old staircase. and wait for us. and we went down to the drawing-room again.was a tranquillity about it. and she looked as staid and as discreet a housekeeper as the old house could have. Wickfield said.

and send my love to Mr. She told me that everything would be arranged for me by Mr. At first I was startled by so abrupt a departure.com  . again and again. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. The cloth was only laid for us two. and could only thank her.’ I promised. ‘be a credit to yourself. which was Mr. ‘and I am off! Stay here. never be cruel.’ With these words she embraced me hastily. I understood her better and did not do her that injustice. ‘The pony’s at the door. and Heaven be with you!’ I was greatly overcome.’ said my aunt in conclusion. as well as I could. Avoid those three vices. Dick. Wickfield’s dinner-hour. to me. We did not stay there.were left to take leave of one another without any restraint. but came upstairs into the drawing-room again: in one snug corner of which. and Mr. but Agnes was waiting in the drawing-room before dinner. ‘be mean in anything. and gave me the kindest words and the best advice. shutting the door after her. and drove away without looking up. Dick. ‘Trot. but when I looked into the street. after dinner. never be false. and saw how dejectedly she got into the chaise. that I would not abuse her kindness or forget her admonition. and was ready for my knife and fork. I had mustered up my spirits again. and sat opposite to him at table. and almost feared I had displeased her. and that I should want for nothing. and I can always be hopeful of you. Trot. I doubted whether he could have dined without her.’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt. went down with her father. and went out of the room. ‘Never. By five o’clock. Wickfield.

He was. and presided over it. and at parting. and a little way along the street. went in and spoke to him. taking his wine. that I might have another peep at the old houses. I thought. while Agnes played on the piano. and always roused him with a question or caress. Agnes made the tea. and might think of my coming through that old city on my journey. AND TO RUB HIS OFF. and of my passing the very house I lived in. and taking a good deal of it. for the most part. and was silent. There he sat. ordered candles in his office. and drank more wine. that. but sometimes his eyes rested on her. it was still cold and wet upon my memory. gay and cheerful with us. Then he came out of his meditation. she being gone. Then I went to bed too. I saw Uriah Heep shutting up the office. worked. what a clammy hand his was! as ghostly to the touch as to the sight! I rubbed mine afterwards. and. I thought he would have missed its usual flavour. when I went to my room. until she went to bed.Agnes set glasses for her father. to warm it. when her father took her in his arms and kissed her. gave him my hand. It was such an uncomfortable hand. and the grey Cathedral. She always observed this quickly. and a decanter of port wine. and talked to him and me. As I came back. and he fell into a brooding state. Lean David Copperfield . as after dinner. But in the course of the evening I had rambled down to the door. and the time passed away after it. and feeling friendly towards everybody. for two hours. But oh. without knowing it. if it had been put there for him by any other hands.

Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I fancied it was Uriah Heep got up there somehow. and seeing one of the faces on the beam-ends looking at me sideways.com  . and shut him out in a hurry.ing out of the window.

as the tall iron rails and gates outside the house. Turning upon me a lustreless eye.CHAPTER 16 I AM A NEW BOY IN MORE SENSES THAN ONE ext morning. I entered on school life again.and was introduced to my new master. that reminded me of a long-forgotten 0 David Copperfield N . and his shoes yawning like two caverns on the hearth-rug. Doctor Strong looked almost as rusty. accompanied by Mr.a grave building in a courtyard. after breakfast. to my thinking. He was in his library (I mean Doctor Strong was). and his hair not particularly well combed. his knee-smalls unbraced. and were set up. at regular distances all round the court. for Time to play at. Wickfield. his long black gaiters unbuttoned. to the scene of my future studies . with a learned air about it that seemed very well suited to the stray rooks and jackdaws who came down from the Cathedral towers to walk with a clerkly bearing on the grass-plot . on the top of the red-brick wall. Doctor Strong. like sublimated skittles. and almost as stiff and heavy as the great stone urns that flanked them. I went. with his clothes not particularly well brushed.

’ returned Mr. for idle hands to do. ‘for Jack Maldon is needy. looking at me. sitting at work. stopping in a passage with his hand on my shoulder. ‘you have not found any suitable provision for my wife’s cousin yet?’ ‘No. But.’ The Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and we were going out to the schoolroom.’ he said. and I was wondering could she be Doctor Strong’s son’s wife. Doctor. I supposed . and moving his head to the time of his quotation. Wickfield.’ ‘I could wish it done as soon as it can be done. for busy hands to do. and button his gaiters. Strong’. Wickfield. address her as ‘Mrs. and of those two bad things.’ he added. Wickfield. as it did nothing for itself. worse things sometimes come. I was much surprised to hear Mr. What does Doctor Watts say. ‘By the by.‘‘ ‘Egad. he said he was glad to see me: and then he gave me his hand. he might have written. and idle. When she had finished. was a very pretty young lady . Doctor Strong. ‘Satan finds some mischief still.com 1 . in Blunderstone churchyard. Wickfield. in bidding her good morning. when Doctor Strong himself unconsciously enlightened me.’ said Mr. or could she be Mrs. which I didn’t know what to do with. and who was his daughter.whom he called Annie. ‘if Doctor Watts knew mankind. ‘No. Wickfield.’ said Doctor Strong. which she did with great cheerfulness and quickness. with as much truth.who got me out of my difficulty by kneeling down to put Doctor Strong’s shoes on. and tumble over the graves. ‘“Satan finds some mischief still. Not yet.blind old horse who once used to crop the grass. not far from Doctor Strong.

‘is to make some suitable provision for a cousin. Wickfield.’ returned the Doctor. ‘Perhaps not. ‘No. I have not been able to dispose of Mr. and in getting power. ‘No?’ with astonishment. ‘and you bring me back to the question.’ said Mr. Jack Maldon yet. ‘Or abroad. I expect.’ ‘Aye!’ replied the Doctor. with an apology for digressing.’ ‘No motive. ‘Surely. ‘Not the least. ‘I penetrate your motive. Wickfield.’ returned Doctor Strong.’ ‘One or other? Have you no choice?’ asked Mr.’ said Mr. I know. ‘At home or abroad. No. and of course I do believe  David Copperfield . you may rely upon it. apparently wondering why he emphasized those words so much.’ ‘My motive.’ said Mr. who have been the busiest in getting money. Wickfield. I believe. and it makes the thing more difficult. ‘for meaning abroad. One or other.’ ‘Your own expression.’ said Doctor Strong. of Annie’s.’ he said this with some hesitation.’ returned the Doctor. and not at home?’ ‘No.’ the Doctor answered.’ ‘Surely. Wickfield.busy people achieve their full share of mischief in the world.’ said Mr. rubbing his chin thoughtfully. and an old playfellow. Wickfield. What have the people been about. ‘I am bound to believe you. ‘at home or abroad. this century or two? No mischief?’ ‘Jack Maldon will never be very busy in getting either. you know.’ ‘Yes.

‘TrotFree eBooks at Planet eBook.’ Doctor Strong regarded him with a puzzled and doubting look. Wickfield and me. confronted by the stately stare of some half-dozen of the great urns. where the peaches were ripening on the sunny south wall. Repeating ‘no’. for it was full of amiability and sweetness. and other short assurances to the same purport. pondering frost upon it was got through. been symbolical to me of silence and retirement. looking grave. About five-andtwenty boys were studiously engaged at their books when we went in. young gentlemen. and indeed in his whole manner. by association. Wickfield. which almost immediately subsided into a smile that gave me great encouragement. I observed. on the quietest side of the house. and ‘not the least’.’ said the Doctor. and shaking his head to himself. and remained standing when they saw Mr. Doctor Strong jogged on before us. if I had known it before. when the studious. in tubs. uneven pace. and we followed: Mr. at a queer. ‘It might have simplified my office very much. very attractive and hopeful to a young scholar like me. the broad hard leaves of which plant (looking as if they were made of painted tin) have ever since. but they rose to give the Doctor good morning.you. Wickfield.’ said Mr. ‘A new boy. But I confess I entertained another impression. on the turf outside the windows. and commanding a peep of an old secluded garden belonging to the Doctor. The schoolroom was a pretty large hall. and there was a simplicity in it. There were two great aloes. without knowing that I saw him.com  .

or among any companions of my own age. Whatever I had learnt. that I knew I was awkward and inexperienced in the commonest things belonging to them. that now. in a gentlemanly way that would have put me at my ease. and condition as one of them.’ One Adams. but he was very affable and good-humoured. I was made infinitely more uncomfortable by the consideration. appearance. and presented me to the masters. I was so conscious of having passed through scenes of which they could have no knowledge. troubled as I was. and he showed me my place. however. that I half believed it was an imposture to come there as an ordinary little schoolboy. if anything could. that I felt as strange as ever I have done in my life. in what I did know. however short or long it may have been. and was put into the lowest form of the school. I was much farther removed from my companions than in what I did not. except Mick Walker and Mealy Potatoes. and of booklearning too. had so slipped away from me in the sordid cares of my life from day to night. in his white cravat. then stepped out of his place and welcomed me. and of having acquired experiences foreign to my age. But. who was the head-boy. I had become. in the Murdstone and Grinby time. if they knew of my familiar acquaintance with the King’s Bench Prison?  David Copperfield . I knew nothing. He looked like a young clergyman. It seemed to me so long. by my want of boyish skill. since I had been among such boys.wood Copperfield. My mind ran upon what they would think. when I was examined about what I knew. that. so unused to the sports and games of boys.

until dinner-time (we were out of school for good at three). hopeful of becoming a passable sort of boy yet. if they could know how I had scraped my halfpence together. and went down. and to make the past more indistinct. As I went up to my airy old room. for the purchase of my daily saveloy and beer. Agnes was in the drawing-room. She met me with her pleasant smile. that when I knocked at it. I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. with my new school-books under my arm. to discover how knowing I was (and was ashamed to be) in some of the meanest phases of both? All this ran in my head so much. the grave shadow of the staircase seemed to fall upon my doubts and fears. and should find me out? What would they say. I began to feel my uneasiness softening away.in spite of myself? Suppose some of the boys had seen me coming through Canterbury. who made so light of money.all those pawnings. on that first day at Doctor Strong’s.com  . that I felt distrustful of my slightest look and gesture. and suppers . afraid of committing myself in my response to any friendly notice or advance. and London streets. I sat there. and asked me how I liked the school. waiting for her father. But there was such an influence in Mr. Wickfield’s old house. and sellings. who were so innocent of London life. shrunk within myself whensoever I was approached by one of my new schoolfellows. sturdily conning my books. wayworn and ragged. who was detained by someone in his office. or my slices of pudding? How would it affect them. and hurried off the minute school was over.Was there anything about me which would reveal my proceedings in connexion with the Micawber family .

as if he were weary. I thought.’ ‘He is very fond of you.’ and went to the door to listen for his coming up. He greeted me cordially. I am sure.’ she said. who was one of the gentlest of men. great or small. you know. Did you think whose it was?’ I told her yes.’ I said. I hoped. but you mean here. but I was a little strange to it at first. at your own home?’ ‘Papa couldn’t spare me to go anywhere else. ‘Papa says so. smiling and shaking her head. in anything. ‘I only know her picture. ‘Never be one of those. it deserves consideration in all dealings with the Doctor. or whether it’s a blemish. because it was so like herself. ‘Hark! That’s papa now!’ Her bright calm face lighted up with pleasure as she went to meet him. But. hand in hand. and as they came in.I don’t know that there are .who abuse his kindness. too. Trotwood. in her quiet way. or dissatisfied  David Copperfield . ‘Mama has been dead ever since I was born. She nodded ‘Yes. and whether that’s a merit. perhaps . that she might meet him on the stairs.’ said Mr. as he was not there.’ I said. He is the least suspicious of mankind. and told me I should certainly be happy under Doctor Strong. she came back again. I saw you looking at it yesterday. ‘have you?’ ‘Oh yes! Every day.’ she answered. downstairs. ‘There may be some. ‘You have never been to school.’ He spoke. Wickfield. pleased.told her I should like it very much.’ said Agnes.’ ‘Ah. ‘His housekeeper must be in his house.

on reflection. gravely. ‘Well. Wickfield. for dinner was just then announced. . and the speaker’s substituted .‘pray excuse me for this intrusion . Wickfield interposed.’ said his master. and he begs the favour of a word.’ said the other . We had scarcely done so. ‘Yes. and looked at Agnes.‘Doctor Strong Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as Uriah’s head was pushed away.’ As he held the door open with his hand.’ ‘I don’t know. that she liked to have her friends within reach rather than to have them banished. and the old Doctor -’ ‘Doctor Strong. sir.com  . but I did not pursue the question in my mind. the sooner I go abroad the better. ‘I call him the old Doctor. My cousin Annie did say. of course. ‘I beg your pardon.with something.’ ‘I am but this moment quit of Mr. and looked at the plates.’ returned Mr. It’s only to say. you know.yet seemed to look at nothing. ‘but Mr. he made such an appearance all the while of keeping his red eyes dutifully on his master.’ observed a voice behind Uriah. it’s all the same. was that?’ Mr. sir. and looked at the dishes. ‘Doctor Strong. when we talked of it. Maldon has come back. Doctor Strong. when Uriah Heep put in his red head and his lank hand at the door.’ returned the other. Maldon. and looked at every object in the room.’ returned Uriah. and said: ‘Here’s Mr.that as it seems I have no choice in the matter. Maldon begs the favour of a word. Uriah looked at me. and we went down and took the same seats as before. I thought.

sir. I don’t want to look a gift-horse in the mouth. I suppose Annie would only have to say to the old Doctor -’ ‘Meaning that Mrs. ‘Why. ‘To the lady. except that the sooner I am off. and it would be so and so.’ returned the other. ‘.is not quite a charming young boy.’ said the other.would only have to say. my cousin Annie could easily arrange it in her own way. sedately eating his dinner. I dare say. Strong would only have to say to her husband . Jack Maldon.’ said Mr. I thought I’d come back and say. because Annie’s a charming young girl. in your case. Wickfield. it’s of no use lingering on the bank.’ Mr.do I follow you?’ said Mr. why there’s no more to be said. and the old Doctor .’ ‘And why as a matter of course. Mr. otherwise. which is not a gracious thing to do. Wickfield. I only mean that I suppose some compensation is fair and reasonable in that sort of marriage.’ ‘Compensation to the lady. Jack Maldon answered. you may depend upon it. Mr. But as it appears from the course you take with me he has changed his mind. as a matter of course.’ ‘There shall be as little lingering as possible.was of the same mind. the better.Doctor Strong. ‘Thank’ee. When a plunge is to be made into the water. ‘Much obliged. ‘No offence to anybody. laughing.  David Copperfield . that the sooner I am off the better. laughing. I believed. sir?’ asked Mr. Maldon?’ asked Mr. Mr. Wickfield gravely. I mean . ‘Quite so. Wickfield.’ said Mr. Therefore. Wickfield. Maldon. that she wanted such and such a thing to be so and so.

and played some games at dominoes with me. we went upstairs again. and worked and talked. Of course I shall observe your directions. and afterwards. I see her. Good-bye!’ Mr. In good time she made tea. He was rather a shallow sort of young gentleman. whom I had not expected to see so soon. and showed me what she knew of them (which was no slight matter. bold air. up at the Doctor’s. and a confident. When we had dined. and Mr. Wickfield sat down to drink. looked into them. in considering the matter as one to be arranged between you and me solely. he added: ‘However. with a handsome face. when I brought down my books. though she said it was).But appearing to remark that Mr. I am going to dine. with another apology for this intrusion. and not to be referred to. Maldon. I have said what I came to say. where everything went on exactly as on the previous day.’ ‘Have you dined?’ asked Mr. with a motion of his hand towards the table. I may take myself off. Agnes played the piano to him. placid manner. without rising. and drank a good deal.’ said Mr.com  . Wickfield. Agnes set the glasses and decanters in the same corner. and. Jack Maldon. and that there was no hope of making him relax a muscle of his face. Wickfield went on with his dinner in the same sedate. immovable manner. I thought. ‘with my cousin Annie. a rapid utterance. And this was the first I ever saw of Mr. and what was the best way to learn and understand them. orderly. looked after him thoughtfully as he went out. ‘Thank’ee. Wickfield. sat by him. and I hear Free eBooks at Planet eBook. when I heard the Doctor speak of him that morning. with her modest.

walking slowly to the great chimney-piece. The influence for all good. that’s quite different. and on everything around.’ he muttered. not at all in that way . ‘whether my Agnes tires of me. I am afraid. Not dull at all!’ ‘Than Agnes. and leaning against it. and I don’t love Agnes . I gave Mr. If I may!’ ‘Why. and shaded by his hand. and she having left us. seen long ago. ‘Now I wonder. The time having come for her withdrawal for the night.’ He was musing. sir. begins already to descend upon my breast. which she came to exercise over me at a later time. I love little Em’ly. Wickfield my hand.’ he said.’ I answered. and truth. But he checked me and said: ‘Should you like to stay with us. or to go elsewhere?’ ‘To stay. ‘Not more dull for me than Agnes. so I remained qui0 David Copperfield . ‘Than Agnes!’ He had drank wine that evening (or I fancied it).no.her beautiful calm voice. Not that I could see them now. until his eyes were bloodshot. ‘You are sure?’ ‘If you please. but I had noticed them a little while before. and that the soft light of the coloured window in the church. as I write these words. wherever Agnes is. boy. When should I ever tire of her! But that’s different.but I feel that there are goodness.’ he repeated. Trotwood. for they were cast down. it’s but a dull life that we lead here. and on me when I am near her. not speaking to me. falls on her always. preparatory to going away myself. peace. quickly.

‘Stay with us. sir. Wholesome for me. I cannot try that.‘A dull old house. Wickfield. but I must have her near me. ‘and a monotonous life. ‘what would it be.’ He leaned against the chimney-piece. or that my darling may die and leave me.’ ‘I am sure it is for me. no. At length he aroused himself. . but pacing slowly to the place where he had sat. until he should come out of his reverie. Trotwood. and looked about the room until his eyes encountered mine. you shall stay here. ‘If it is miserable to bear.’ he said. ‘I am glad of it. comes like a spectre.’ I said. and she away? No. and is only to be drowned in -’ He did not supply the word. I was free Free eBooks at Planet eBook. wholesome perhaps for all of us. and as if he were answering something I had just said. wholesome for Agnes. or to remain quietly where I was. to distress my happiest hours. I must keep her near me. and told me that when I had anything to do at night after Agnes had left us. set it down and paced back again. eh?’ he said in his usual manner. brooding so long that I could not decide whether to run the risk of disturbing him by going.’ He shook hands with me upon it.’ he said. and clapped me on the back. and mechanically going through the action of pouring wine from the empty decanter.com 1 et. no. You are company to us both. or when I wished to read for my own pleasure. If the thought that I may die and leave my darling. ‘I am so glad to be here. It is wholesome to have you here. ‘As long as you are glad to be here. when she is here.’ ‘That’s a fine fellow!’ said Mr.

to stand for one. with sharp dints  David Copperfield .’ said Uriah. ‘Yes. I went in there instead. for half-an-hour. Oh. and that he could only widen his mouth and make two hard creases down his cheeks. Tidd is. what a writer Mr. and.’ says I. then?’ I asked. Master Copperfield. which were thin and pointed. ‘I am going through Tidd’s Practice. as he went down soon afterwards. and to sit with him. ‘I am improving my legal knowledge. seeing a light in the little round office. Uriah. ‘You are working late tonight. ‘What work. But.to come down to his room. and following up the lines with his forefinger. who had a sort of fascination for me. I found Uriah reading a great fat book. I thanked him for his consideration. that as I watched him reading on again. and made clammy tracks along the page (or so I fully believed) like a snail. and I was not tired. I observed that his nostrils. one on each side. with a book in my hand. Master Copperfield. went down too. Master Copperfield!’ My stool was such a tower of observation. if he were there and if I desired it for company’s sake.’ says Uriah. after this rapturous exclamation. Master Copperfield. to talk to him more conveniently. of his permission.’ said Uriah. and immediately feeling myself attracted towards Uriah Heep. ‘I am not doing office-work. that his lank forefinger followed up every line as he read. with such demonstrative attention. to avail myself. As I was getting on the stool opposite. I observed that he had not such a thing as a smile about him.

that they seemed to twinkle instead of his eyes. ‘He is a partaker of glory at present. in a stealthy way. How much have I to be thankful for.’ said Uriah Heep. shutting up his book. ‘I suppose you are quite a great lawyer?’ I said. I observed. ‘I am well aware that I am the umblest person going. ‘Me. He was a sexton. after looking at him for some time. had a singular and most uncomfortable way of expanding and contracting themselves . Wickfield long? ‘I have been with him. besides often wiping them.’ said Uriah. ‘Since a year after my father’s death. no! I’m a very umble person. in that! How much have I to be thankful for.’ said Uriah Heep. We live in a numble abode. Master Copperfield. Wickfield!’ I asked Uriah if he had been with Mr. Wickfield’s kind intention to give me my articles.’ It was no fancy of mine about his hands.in them. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield. which hardly ever twinkled at all. modestly. in Mr. My mother is likewise a very umble person. for he frequently ground the palms against each other as if to squeeze them dry and warm. How much have I to be thankful for in living with Mr. My father’s former calling was umble. ‘let the other be where he may. on his pocket-handkerchief. going on four year. but have much to be thankful for.’ ‘What is he now?’ I asked. Master Copperfield?’ said Uriah. which would otherFree eBooks at Planet eBook. after carefully marking the place where he had left off. ‘But we have much to be thankful for. ‘Oh.com  .

but that I had not known him long myself. or Heep late Wickfield. Master Copperfield. ‘With the blessing of Providence.’ I said. ‘Perhaps you’ll be a partner in Mr.wise not lay within the umble means of mother and self!’ ‘Then. to make myself agreeable. in his humility. ‘I am much too umble for that!’ He certainly did look uncommonly like the carved face on the beam outside my window. ‘A sweet lady. Master Copperfield.’ said Uriah. ‘If you have known him long. eyeing me sideways. I am sure. with his mouth widened.’ ‘Oh no. Wickfield’s business. I suppose?’ said I. ‘Mr.’ returned Uriah. ‘Your aunt is a sweet lady. ‘She has a great admiration for Miss Agnes. I believe?’  David Copperfield . as he sat. much better than I can inform you. Master Copperfield!’ said Uriah Heep. you’ll be a regular lawyer.’ said Uriah. ‘Oh. Master Copperfield. to the snaky twistings of his throat and body. one of these days. Master Copperfield.’ I replied that I was certain he was. when your articled time is over. though he was a friend of my aunt’s. shaking his head. Master Copperfield. and which diverted my attention from the compliment he had paid my relation. Master Copperfield!’ He had a way of writhing when he wanted to express enthusiasm. you know it. Wickfield is a most excellent man. ‘and it will be Wickfield and Heep. which was very ugly. and the creases in his cheeks. indeed.’ returned Uriah.

indeed!’ exclaimed Uriah. thank you. ‘Yes.’ ‘Everybody must have. began to make arrangements for going home. ‘I should think YOU would come into the business at last. I know it is so true! Oh. Master Copperfield. but Uriah insisted on blandly replying to all my assurances. some time. we are much attached to one another. Master Copperfield.’ I returned. for though we are very umble. thank you. inexpressive-faced watch in his pocket. ‘for that remark! It is so true! Umble as I am. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield!’ He writhed himself quite off his stool in the excitement of his feelings. and take a cup of tea at our lowly dwelling.’ I said I should be glad to come. If you would come and see us.’ returned Uriah. Master Copperfield. ‘Thank you. ‘Mother will be expecting me.com  . referring to a pale. yes. too. ‘Oh. putting his book away upon the shelf .’ he said. Master Copperfield.I said. as long as I remained at school. indeed!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘and getting uneasy. I believed. being off. Master Copperfield?’ I said I was going to be brought up there. any afternoon.’ said Uriah Heep.’ said Uriah.‘I suppose you stop here.’ boldly. and that no such scheme was entertained in my behalf by anybody. mother would be as proud of your company as I should be. not that I knew anything about it. ‘Oh. ‘But I am sure you must have. Master Copperfield!’ I protested that I had no views of that sort. Heaven forgive me! ‘I hope you have. I should think you would. ‘Oh. and.

Peggotty’s house on a piratical expedition. of my dreaming about him. This was the proximate cause. and backward enough in their studies. Doctor Strong’s was an excellent school. with a black flag at the masthead. After shaking hands with me . and gained great commendation. ready to leave the office for the night. I was awkward enough in their games. I got a little the better of my uneasiness when I went to school next day. that he had launched Mr. at last. ‘Oh. among other things. but custom would improve me in the first respect. And. for what appeared to me to be half the night. both in play and in earnest. in the dark .his hand felt like a fish. indeed. and a good deal the better next day. among my new companions. bearing the inscription ‘Tidd’s Practice’. I should think you would. leaving me to grope my way back into the house: which cost me some trouble and a fall over his stool. in a very little while.he opened the door into the street a very little. Accordingly. I suppose. while my present life grew so familiar. and so shook it off by degrees. certainly!’ over and over again. under which diabolical ensign he was carrying me and little Em’ly to the Spanish Main. I went to work very hard. I hoped. Master Copperfield. he asked me if it would suit my convenience to have the light put out. and dreaming. and shut it. and hard work in the second.’ instantly extinguished it. as different  David Copperfield . that I seemed to have been leading it a long time. to be drowned. and crept out. Being.and. and happy. the Murdstone and Grinby life became so strange to me that I hardly believed in it. and on my answering ‘Yes. that in less than a fortnight I was quite at home.

Hence. whom he had married for love. and rarely did any disgrace. at second hand. until I understood that they were roots of words. how the Doctor’s cogitating manner was attributable to his being always engaged in looking out for Greek roots. desiring to do it credit. and in sustaining its character and dignity. as I remember. in my innocence and ignorance.I am sure I did for one. and on a sound system. which. and I never knew. we soon became warmly attached to it . with an appeal. We all felt that we had a part in the management of the place.from Mr. to the honour and good faith of the boys. we were well spoken of in the town. especially as he always looked at the ground when he walked about. in all my time. Some of the higher scholars boarded in the Doctor’s house. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in everything. to the reputation of Doctor Strong and Doctor Strong’s boys. We had noble games out of hours. It was very gravely and decorously ordered. and plenty of liberty.com  . Adams. and through them I learned. but even then. which worked wonders. and an avowed intention to rely on their possession of those qualities unless they proved themselves unworthy of it. how he had not yet been married twelve months to the beautiful young lady I had seen in the study.and learnt with a good will. for she had not a sixpence. of any other boy being otherwise . and had a world of poor relations (so our fellows said) ready to swarm the Doctor out of house and home. some particulars of the Doctor’s history .as. Creakle’s as good is from evil. I supposed to be a botanical furor on the Doctor’s part. by our appearance or manner. with a view to a new Dictionary which he had in contemplation. Also.

to give away. had made a calculation. or sixty-second. but I have believed it for so many years that I feel quite  David Copperfield . and never had. which was sometimes happily effected within a few yards of him. on the Doctor’s plan. It was so notorious in the house. there was a story current among us (I have no idea. with the stray rooks and jackdaws looking after him with their heads cocked slyly. He considered that it might be done in one thousand six hundred and forty-nine years. In fact. But the Doctor himself was the idol of the whole school: and it must have been a badly composed school if he had been anything else. without his knowing anything of the matter. of the time this Dictionary would take in completing. for he was the kindest of men. and turn them out of the courtyard. with a simple faith in him that might have touched the stone hearts of the very urns upon the wall. that vagabond was made for the next two days. Outside his own domain. As he walked up and down that part of the courtyard which was at the side of the house. as he jogged to and fro. and unprotected. if any sort of vagabond could only get near enough to his creaking shoes to attract his attention to one sentence of a tale of distress. who had a turn for mathematics. on what authority. as if they knew how much more knowing they were in worldly affairs than he. I was informed. that the masters and head-boys took pains to cut these marauders off at angles. counting from the Doctor’s last. before they could make the Doctor aware of their presence. He would have taken his gaiters off his legs. birthday. he was a very sheep for the shearers. and to get out of windows.our head-boy. and at the Doctor’s rate of going.

he actually did bestow his gaiters on a beggar-woman. She appeared to me to take great care of the Doctor. which were universally recognized. He had a fatherly. and considering them an improvement on his own. both because she had taken a liking for me on the morning of my introduction to the Doctor. wrapped in those garments. The legend added that the only person who did not identify them was the Doctor himself. benignant way of showing his fondness for her. and to like him very much. Strong. I often saw them walking in the garden where the peaches were. who. being as well known in the vicinity as the Cathedral. that on a frosty day. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. It was very pleasant to see the Doctor with his pretty young wife. and interested in me. and in the lining of his hat. and generally seemed to be expounding to her as they walked about. who occasioned some scandal in the neighbourhood by exhibiting a fine infant from door to door. when they were shortly afterwards displayed at the door of a little second-hand shop of no very good repute. and because she was very fond of Agnes.certain it is true). though I never thought her vitally interested in the Dictionary: some cumbrous fragments of which work the Doctor always carried in his pockets. and I sometimes had a nearer observation of them in the study or the parlour. and was always afterwards kind to me. where such things were taken in exchange for gin. one winter-time. as if admiring some curious novelty in the pattern. which seemed in itself to express a good man.com  . was more than once observed to handle them approvingly. I saw a good deal of Mrs.

wheresoever Mrs. sharp-eyed woman. and the skill with which she marshalled great forces of relations against the Doctor. that never wore off. that it was carried about to friendly meetings in a Hindoo basket. Markleham made HER appearance. is.and was often backwards and forwards at our house. There was a curious constraint between her and Mr. ornamented with some artificial flowers. like busy bees. Jack Maldon. and could only originate in the workmanship of that ingenious nation: but all I certainly know about it. She was a little. and two artificial butterflies supposed to be hovering above the flowers. And sometimes. Markleham. I observed the Old Soldier . when she was dressed. Her name was Mrs. Wickfield. she always shrunk from accepting his escort home. Strong’s mama was a lady I took great delight in. but our boys used to call her the Old Soldier.to pretty good advantage. There was a superstition among us that this cap had come from France. who was always surprised to see us.not to adopt the name disrespectfully . that the butterflies had the gift of trembling constantly. When she came there of an evening. 0 David Copperfield . one unchangeable cap. and ran away with me instead. and that they improved the shining hours at Doctor Strong’s expense. we would meet Mr. I thought (of whom she seemed to be afraid). expecting to meet nobody. on account of her generalship. Mrs. who used to wear. that it always made its appearance of an evening. as we were running gaily across the Cathedral yard together. on a night which is made memorable to me by something else I shall relate.

making baby love to Annie behind the gooseberry bushes in the back-garden. and I. Jack Maldon’s departure for India. Strong’s mama. as you may suppose. dressed in white. many. Mr. John. We had had a holiday. and many other people’s. had made presents to him in the morning.com 1 . Doctor. And now. but she looked very pretty. too.It was the night of a little party at the Doctor’s.’ replied the Doctor. which was given on the occasion of Mr. but for Annie’s. ma’am. happy returns. It seems but yesterday to me. ‘Many. ‘I have forgotten. when she turned round. Strong. Jack Maldon was there. Mr.’ said Mrs. many. Agnes. when you were a little creature. Wickfield having at length arranged the business. was playing the piano. Wickfield.’ said the Old Soldier. The clear red and white of her complexion was not so blooming and flower-like as usual. It happened to be the Doctor’s birthday. went to have tea with him in his private capacity. Wonderfully pretty. before us. Allow me to wish you many happy returns. ‘Not only for your own sake. with cherry-coloured ribbons. or something of that kind: Mr. very far from being mere compliments in my case.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. a head shorter than Master Copperfield. when we were seated. in the evening. Mrs. and had cheered him until we were hoarse. and he was leaning over her to turn the leaves. when we went in.’ ‘I thank you. whither he was going as a cadet. ‘to pay you the compliments of the day though they are. had made a speech to him through the head-boy. and until he had shed tears. I thought. and John Maldon’s.

don’t be absurd. Jack Maldon from any further reminder. in the goodness of his heart. if you deserve it. that your cousin is the wife of the Doctor. that a girl of twenty was old by years! . no.’ retorted the Old Soldier. Markleham changed her chair for one next the Doctor’s. or who has ever heard me say.’ ‘Nonsense. waved his hand as if to make light of it. You have found in him an influential and kind friend. that there are some members of our family who want a friend. Although not old by years . I call it quite my monomania. because I feel so very strongly. It is well for you. frankly. John.’ said the Doctor.’ The Doctor. But Mrs. I never hesitate to admit. You were one yourself.  David Copperfield . ‘Virtually. nonsense. I have no false pride. Jack Maldon. you know. and save Mr.’ said Mrs. ‘never mind that now. ‘Annie? Come!’ ‘Yes. You really are a Boon. my dear Doctor. and. You are a blessing to us. it is such a subject of mine. John. before your cousin’s influence raised up one for you. said: ‘No.‘My dear mama. when are you not to blush to hear of them?’ ‘Old?’ exclaimed Mr. ‘No.your cousin is the wife of the Doctor. you must excuse me if I appear to dwell on this rather. as such.’ returned the Soldier. an old married woman.for when did you ever hear me say. really. Strong.’ ‘Annie. I venture to predict. I beg your pardon.’ returned her mother. ‘If you are to blush to hear of such things now you are an old married woman. and putting her fan on his coatsleeve. who will be kinder yet. what I have described her.

you remember how surprised I was? .com  . ‘would he be unhappy without me? Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ returned the Doctor. or indeed as a marrying man in any way. At all events. I recall these things that I may be contradicted if I am wrong. I said. I hadn’t thought of you in such a light at all.simply that.’ Did I press it in the least? No. Well! Then I spoke to Annie.’ said Annie.’ she said crying.it would be ridiculous to say that! . ‘I mind very much. you having known her poor father. ‘I am extremely young’ . if you go on like that.‘and I hardly know if I have a heart at all. . but our dear and confidential friend Mr. is what I said when you first overpowered me with surprise . is your heart free?’ ‘Mama. and must be answered.’ ‘Aye. my dear. Annie. I shall begin to assert the privileges of a mother-in-law. What I am saying.’ said the Old Soldier. it’s free. Not that there was anything so very much out of the way. He cannot be kept in his present state of suspense. ‘you may rely upon it. here’s Doctor Strong has positively been and made you the subject of a handsome declaration and an offer. ‘Doctor Strong is in an agitated state of mind. ‘Now. I said. laying her fan upon his lips. you know.which was perfectly true .’ I said. my love. and I told her what had happened. and scold you. good-humouredly. ‘Never mind.’ ‘Mama. tell me the truth this moment.‘With nobody present. ‘My dear.’ said I. I am perfectly honest and outspoken. and having known her from a baby six months old. aye. in the mere fact of the proposal .’ ‘But I DO mind.but because. I cannot consent to be put down.by proposing for Annie. still crying. Wickfield.’ ‘Then.

my love. with its smile of simplicity and gentleness.she said. She now said very softly. and as for her to ask was al David Copperfield . today. ‘When I happened to say to that naughty thing. with her eyes fixed on the ground. as it is of no use complaining to you. I think. was bound to mention . ‘I have not quite finished. that I think I will have him. the other day. towards her. and I have used it again.’ returned the Old Soldier.’ I used the word at the time. If I have any merit it is consistency. I noticed that Mr. Since you ask me. but he will represent your late father: he will represent the head of our family. and looking on the ground too. playfully. Wickfield looked at her steadily. my dear Doctor. Doctor Strong will not only be your husband. I complain that you really are a little unnatural towards your own family. and not till then.’ pursued her mother. a Boon to it. I reply that I have not. and.indeed. she drooped her head more. Now. I mean to complain to your husband. I honour and respect him so much. and will be.’ As the Doctor turned his kind face. her cousin standing near her.If he would. he will represent the wisdom and station. that to mention it was to ask a favour. ‘Annie. as you were too generous. of our family. in a trembling voice: ‘Mama.’ The daughter had sat quite silent and still during this speech. And then. in short. do look at that silly wife of yours. shaking her head and her fan at her.’ So it was settled. and that. I said to Annie. ‘that there was a family circumstance she might mention to you . I hope you have finished?’ ‘No. and I may say the means. my dear Annie.

Jack Maldon as a modern Sindbad.’ And having. carried her point. and his various plans and prospects. and won’t. the talk became general. sitting under canopies. For my own part. and a little heat in the warm part of the day. she tapped the Doctor’s hand several times with her fan (which she kissed first). ‘That was wrong. if they could be Free eBooks at Planet eBook. smoking curly golden pipes . and was to be gone . and pictured him the bosom friend of all the Rajahs in the East. but a tiger or two. and it naturally turned on Mr. lay. my dear Doctor.com  .’ returned the Doctor.’ ‘Almost the very words I said to her!’ exclaimed her mother.’ ‘Annie. to tell you myself. I looked on Mr. I suppose.’ ‘Well. after supper. Some more company coming in. It robbed me of a pleasure. and his voyage. ‘Shall I?’ ‘Certainly. ‘That’s a bargain. then. among whom were the two masters and Adams. when I know what she would tell you but for this reason.I don’t know how many years. Jack Maldon. I will!’ said the Old Soldier. He was to leave that night. and the country he was going to.ways to have. I recollect it was settled by general consent that India was quite a misrepresented country. where the ship. ‘Now really.’ said the Doctor. or for his health . my dear.a mile long. and returned triumphantly to her former station.’ ‘I shall be glad if you will. she wouldn’t. for Gravesend. I have a great mind. another time. in which he was to make the voyage.unless he came home on leave. in a postchaise. and had nothing objectionable in it.

Everyone appeared to  David Copperfield . if it were so. But I remarked that the Old Soldier took him into custody directly. and I thought her finger trembled as she pointed out the cards. and instructed him. but could not so much as begin.straightened out. But. when she tried to sing by herself. on the sofa. with her cousin Maldon. of which he committed an innumerable quantity. At supper. and took no notice of this. and her cousin Maldon had excused himself because he had some packing to do. as she bent over him. and told him what to play. not made the less merry by the Doctor’s mistakes. although she began sweetly. Mrs. and left her quite distressed. From time to time she came and looked over the Doctor’s hand. Strong was a very pretty singer: as I knew. She was very pale. it was certain that she couldn’t sing at all. to relieve her. who often heard her singing by herself. on the ground of not feeling very well. and. of which he knew as much as of the art of playing the trombone. We had a merry game. to give her all the silver he had in his pocket. we were hardly so gay. but the Doctor was quite happy in her attention. her voice died away on a sudden. She tried a duet. proposed a round game at cards. whether she was afraid of singing before people. in spite of the watchfulness of the butterflies. as the first preliminary of initiation. he returned. Mrs. however. or was out of voice that evening. and they sat together. When he had done it. once. Strong had declined to play. and afterwards. The good Doctor said she was nervous. for her partner. talking. and to their great aggravation. with her head hanging down over the keys.

and a strange country. The Doctor. ‘it is past your cousin jack’s time. in the natural course of things.feel that a parting of that sort was an awkward thing. The winds you are going to tempt.com  .’ ‘Time will go fast with you. going away to the other end of the world.’ looking at the Doctor. looking at his watch. before you. by the Old Soldier: who continually recalled passages of Mr. but many men have had both. the more awkward it was.’ said Mrs. however. Jack Maldon. as it appeared to me. and made matters worse. and filling his glass. you have a long voyage.’ ‘It’s an affecting thing. was well pleased. and that the nearer it approached. ‘who makes such sacrifices. and we must not detain him. to see a fine young man one has known from an infant. Markleham . have wafted thousands upon thousands to fortune. to the end of time. ‘and fast with all of us. leaving all he knows behind.wait for no man. to greet Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I am sure. Jack Maldon tried to be very talkative.both concerned in this case .’ pursued the Doctor. it’s affecting. and many men will have both. but was not at his ease.’ said he. and not knowing what’s before him. Mr. my dear. perhaps. and brought thousands upon thousands happily back. And they were not improved. Jack Maldon’s youth. who felt. and had no suspicion but that we were all at the utmost height of enjoyment.‘however it’s viewed. Some of us can hardly expect. since time and tide . Jack Maldon. ‘Annie. Mr. Mr. A young man really well deserves constant support and patronage. that he was making everybody happy.

Mrs. and I had a lively impression made upon me. and something cherry-coloured in his hand. and another for the Doctor’s wife. In the midst of these remarks. we found her lying on the hall floor. and how he had felt it. who had assembled on the lawn for the purpose. standing up. where I found the guests all standing in a group about the Doctor. Mr. discussing how Mr.you on your return. as he got into the chaise. But all pressing out of the room. in the midst of the noise and dust. and hurried to the door. After another broadside for the Doctor. Running in among them to swell the ranks. on which we all stood up. and how he had borne it. and all the rest of it. Jack Maldon. no Annie replied. ‘A prosperous voyage out. The next best thing is to hope to do it. in a crowd. and that’s my case. You have long had a good model before you. to see what was the matter. Markleham cried: ‘Where’s Annie?’ No Annie was there. Markleham fanned herself. Jack Maldon had gone away. with a tremendous broadside of cheers discharged by our boys. Imitate her virtues as nearly as you can.’ said the Doctor. the boys dispersed. Jack. I shall not weary you with good advice. in your cousin Annie. and when they called to her. of having seen Mr. ‘Farewell. and shook her head. and all shook hands with Mr.’ Mrs. where he was received.  David Copperfield . Jack Maldon rattle past with an agitated face. a thriving career abroad. I was very near the chaise when it rolled away. after which he hastily took leave of the ladies who were there. and a happy return home!’ We all drank the toast. and I went back into the house.

a little while ago. that she was better than she had been since morning.or to hide it. We all looked for it. I wondered how I could have thought she looked white.her favourite cousin . but she said.but nobody could find it. I myself looked everywhere. and that we were all standing about her. Annie?’ said her mother. as she did so.that has done this. a cherry-coloured ribbon?’ It was the one she had worn at her bosom. she thought. and said. ‘See here! You have lost a bow. and saw where she was. I am certain . it seemed. to leave her with the Doctor and her mother. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Ah! It’s a pity! I am very sorry!’ When she opened her eyes. until it was found that she was in a swoon. I thought. when the Doctor. and sat her on a sofa. Will anybody be so good as find a ribbon. but it was not worth looking for. she arose with assistance: turning her head. or anything but burning red.There was great alarm at first.com  . I don’t know which. ‘Do you recollect where you had it last. ‘Annie. my dear. We went into the drawing-room. doing something to her dress. so they brought her in.’ said her mother. and that she would rather be brought among us. and that the swoon was yielding to the usual means of recovery. looking very white and weak. put her curls aside with his hand. looking around: ‘Poor Annie! She’s so faithful and tender-hearted! It’s the parting from her old playfellow and friend . to lay it on the Doctor’s shoulder . when she answered that she had had it safe. who had lifted her head upon his knee.

The eyes were wide open. She entreated that there might be no more searching. in a desultory way. Agnes. and to get a candle. and her brown hair fell in two rich clusters on her shoulders. humiliation. When we. it was so ashy pale. reached our own door. until she was quite well. and the company took their departure. The Doctor. with a complacent smile. Mr. I cannot say of what it was expressive. and I . 0 David Copperfield . Agnes discovered that she had left her little reticule behind. I passed on there. which was deserted and dark. being open. Wickfield. Penitence. was reading aloud some manuscript explanation or statement of a theory out of that interminable Dictionary. it was so fixed in its abstraction. and on her white dress. it was looked for again. I cannot even say of what it is expressive to me now.Nevertheless. Wickfield scarcely raising his eyes from the ground. it was so full of a wild. It was so beautiful in its form. I ran back to fetch it. Distinctly as I recollect her look. But with such a face as I never saw. at last. dreamy horror of I don’t know what.Agnes and I admiring the moonlight. and still not found. disordered by the want of the lost ribbon. rising again before my older judgement. and she was looking up at him. where there was a light. Delighted to be of any service to her. and Mr. sleep-walking. and his young wife was on a stool at his feet. to say what I wanted. but it was still sought for. But a door of communication between that and the Doctor’s study. We walked very slowly home. The Doctor was sitting in his easy-chair by the fireside. I went into the supper-room where it had been left.

roused her. in his fatherly way.I see them all.to let her feel assured (I heard her murmur some broken words to this effect) that she was in his confidence that night. and saying he was a merciless drone to let her tempt him into reading on.shame. and in them all. to let her stay . urgent manner. I see that horror of I don’t know what. something quieted. and my saying what I wanted. in a rapid. as she turned again towards him. love. and I remembered it a long time afterwards. and trustfulness . after glancing at me as I left the room and went out at the door. as I shall have occasion to narrate when the time comes.com 1 . and he would have her go to bed. and look up at him with the same face. pride. It made a great impression on me. for when I went back to replace the candle I had taken from the table. It disturbed the Doctor too. I saw her cross her hands upon his knee. My entrance. And. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as he resumed his reading. But she asked him. he was patting her head.

containing all particulars fully related. Her utmost powers of expression (which were certainly not great in ink) were exhausted in the attempt to write what she felt on the subject of my journey. but. except blots. as a merchant’s clerk. to discharge the sum I had borrowed of her: in which epistle. But the blots were more expressive to me than the best composition. Dick had given me. of course. enclosed in this last letter. detailing my happy condition and prospects. Four sides of incoherent and interjectional beginnings of sentences. I never could have derived anything like the pleasure from spending the money Mr. if not as concisely. per post. that I felt in sending a gold half-guinea to Peggotty. when my aunt took me formally under her protection. not before. and another. that had no end. I wrote her a letter almost as soon as I was housed at Dover. and a longer letter. I mentioned about the young man with the donkey-cart.CHAPTER 17 SOMEBODY TURNS UP I t has not occurred to me to mention Peggotty since I ran away. were inadequate to afford her any relief. To these communications Peggotty replied as promptly. On my being settled at Doctor Strong’s I wrote to her again. for David Copperfield  .

now. and all connected with my father and mother were faded away. how the cold rain would beat upon the window-glass. and she was evidently afraid of me. that the coach-fare to Yarmouth was always to be had of her for the asking. of the weeds growing tall in the garden.they showed me that Peggotty had been crying all over the paper. The notice was too short after so long a prepossession the other way. and that Mr. without much difficulty.com  . and Miss Murdstone were gone away. for she sent her grateful duty to her but timidly. namely. how the moon would make ghosts on the walls of the empty rooms. and the fallen leaves lying thick and wet upon the paths.that was her word. too. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. watching their solitude all night. We never knew a person. but it pained me to think of the dear old place as altogether abandoned. God knows I had no part in it while they remained there. She was evidently still afraid of Miss Betsey. I imagined how the winds of winter would howl round it. underneath the tree: and it seemed as if the house were dead too. she wrote. that she could not take quite kindly to my aunt yet. was a Moral! . but to think that Miss Betsey should seem to be so different from what she had been thought to be. I thought afresh of the grave in the churchyard. to be let or sold. that there had been a sale of the furniture at our old home. and the house was shut up. and what could I have desired more? I made out. She gave me one piece of intelligence which affected me very much. and entertained the probability of my running away again soon: if I might judge from the repeated hints she threw out.

There was no other news in Peggotty’s letters. every third or fourth week. which was ham David Copperfield . finding me well employed. though still a little near. To render his visits the more agreeable. and my little bedroom was always ready for me. containing a supply of stationery and the Memorial. Mr. Peggotty was well. and always at unseasonable hours: with the view. when he arrived by stage-coach at noon.. But. but we all had our faults. While I was yet new at Doctor Strong’s. and Ham was well. only reserving to myself the mention of little Em’ly. and Mrs. and she had plenty (though I am sure I don’t know what they were). but said that Peggotty might send it. and that it really must be got out of hand. Mr. Barkis was an excellent husband. Gummidge was but poorly. Dick never travelled without a leathern writing-desk. she made several excursions over to Canterbury to see me. and I saw Mr. my aunt had instructed me to open a credit for him at a cake shop. she soon discontinued these visits. in relation to which document he had a notion that time was beginning to press now. Mr. if she liked. of taking me by surprise. to whom I instinctively felt that she would not very tenderly incline. Dick was very partial to gingerbread. and he sent his duty. and little Em’ly wouldn’t send her love. when I went over to Dover for a treat. On these occasions Mr. I suppose. I saw her on a Saturday. to stay until next morning. Dick every alternate Wednesday. and hearing on all hands that I rose fast in the school. and bearing a good character. she said. All this intelligence I dutifully imparted to my aunt.

sir. ‘who’s the man that hides near our house and frightens her?’ ‘Frightens my aunt.’ he said.sixteen hundred and forty-nine was the date of King Charles’s execution. induced me to suspect that he was only allowed to rattle his money. sorely puzzled Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I found on further investigation that this was so.pered with the stipulation that he should not be served with more than one shilling’s-worth in the course of any one day. to my aunt. or at least there was an agreement between him and my aunt that he should account to her for all his disbursements. Dick. I think you said sixteen hundred and forty-nine?’ ‘Yes. to observe the effect which this description of her made upon me. as he repeatedly told me with infinite secrecy. ‘I thought nothing would have frightened her. with an air of mystery. Dick nodded. As he had no idea of deceiving her.let me see.com  .the wisest and most wonderful of women.’ ‘I don’t know how it can be.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. and not to spend it. This. and always desired to please her. sir?’ Mr. as well as on all other possible points. before they were paid. one Wednesday. he drew back. ‘was. he was thus made chary of launching into expense. Dick was convinced that my aunt was the wisest and most wonderful of women. ‘don’t mention it . and always in a whisper. and the reference of all his little bills at the county inn where he slept. Mr. Dick. ‘The first time he came.’ Having said which. after imparting this confidence to me. ‘for she’s -’ here he whispered softly. On this point. ‘Trotwood.’ said Mr. Dick.

till last night! We were walking  David Copperfield . he wasn’t there at all.and shaking his head.’ ‘Was it in that year that the man appeared. most decisively. no.’ retorted Mr. as the shortest way to get at it.’ said Mr. I must recollect a bit. Dick. ‘Oh dear. ‘Walking about?’ repeated Mr. Dick. ‘Why. ‘Let me see. Then she turned round and fainted.’ I asked. close to our house. somewhere. and I thought so. is the most extraordinary thing!’ ‘HAS he been hiding ever since?’ I asked. and I stood still and looked at him. with a gleam of hope. Did you get that date out of history?’ ‘Yes. and he walked away. Dick. Trotwood. ‘I don’t think I am as old as that. ‘until he came up behind her. However. I was walking out with Miss Trotwood after tea. just at dark. it was very soon after the mistake was made of putting some of the trouble out of King Charles’s head into my head. I was ingenuous and young. ‘I don’t see how it can have been in that year. Dick.’ ‘Walking about?’ I inquired. does it?’ said Mr. no. Dick. ‘I can’t make it out. that the man first came. sir?’ I asked. and whispered. he was not walking about. shaking his head. but that he should have been hiding ever since (in the ground or somewhere). ‘Well.’ ‘I suppose history never lies. sir!’ I replied. N-no. nodding his head gravely. what he WAS doing. sir. ‘To be sure he has. ‘There’s something wrong. Dick. really’ said Mr. and there he was. ‘Never came out.’ said Mr.

been quite different from her usual self. perhaps. Dick himself from under my aunt’s protection. and with great confidence. the strength of whose kind feeling towards him I knew from herself.com  . might have been induced to pay a price for his peace and quiet. ‘why did she give him money. sir!’ went on to say. ‘No beggar.’ ‘And did he frighten my aunt again?’ ‘All of a shiver. and having replied a great many times. and I knew him again. and he came up behind her again. might have been twice made to take poor Mr.’ Mr. in the outset of this story. ‘Held by the palings. As I was already much attached to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and one of the line of that ill-fated Prince who occasioned him so much difficulty. in the moonlight?’ ‘He was a beggar. But. Dick’s mind.and was seen no more: while my aunt came hurriedly and secretly back into the house. come here. counterfeiting that affection and making his teeth chatter.’ getting me close to him. who then slunk away . and late at night. Dick. Trotwood. Cried. seen my aunt give this person money outside the garden rails in the moonlight. which preyed on Mr. or threat of an attempt. no beggar. Dick’s. that he might whisper very softly. that the unknown was anything but a delusion of Mr. even that morning.into the ground again.last night. Dick shook his head. as he thought probable . but after some reflection I began to entertain the question whether an attempt. no beggar. boy. and had. I had not the least belief. as utterly renouncing the suggestion. and whether my aunt.’ said Mr. that from his window he had afterwards.

in the snow and east wind. looking at the boys going down the long slide. and very solicitous for his welfare. from a skewer upwards. oblivious of King Charles the Martyr’s head. fashion Roman chariots from  David Copperfield . without my entertaining a misgiving that he would not be on the coach-box as usual. He soon became known to every boy in the school.Mr. cheering the whole field on to action. These Wednesdays were the happiest days of Mr. and he never had anything more to tell of the man who could frighten my aunt. and for a long time his Wednesday hardly ever came round. and happy. He could turn cramp-bones into chessmen. He could make a boat out of anything. Dick. He could cut oranges into such devices as none of us had an idea of. standing blue-nosed. and clapping his worsted gloves in rapture! He was an universal favourite. intent upon a match at marbles or pegtop. looking on with a face of unutterable interest. grey-headed. and though he never took an active part in any game but kite-flying. There he always appeared. laughing. at hare and hounds. my fears favoured this supposition. and his ingenuity in little things was transcendent. How often have I seen him. however. they were far from being the least happy of mine. have I seen him mounted on a little knoll. was as deeply interested in all our sports as anyone among us. and waving his hat above his grey head. and all belonging to it! How many a summer hour have I known to be but blissful minutes to him in the cricket-field! How many winter days have I seen him. Dick’s life. and hardly breathing at the critical times! How often.

but not less beautiful). which was called ‘Dick’. waiting for me. and even when he and the Doctor Free eBooks at Planet eBook. here he would sit. to be presented to him. with a profound veneration for the learning he had never been able to acquire. to come on there. Dick to come on as a matter of course. Dick ever spoke to him otherwise than bareheaded. on a particular stool. and bird-cages of old wire. It was long before Mr. This ceremony I performed. if we were a little late. Dick. in the articles of string and straw. and rest himself until our morning’s work was over. on the occasion of his next visit. and I told him all my aunt had told me. Mr. whensoever he should not find me at the coach office. at last. more rarely seen by me or anyone. whom he thought the most subtle and accomplished philosopher of any age. I think. Here he made the acquaintance of the Doctor’s beautiful young wife (paler than formerly. But he was greatest of all. Doctor Strong himself made some inquiries of me about him. all this time. perhaps.com  . which interested the Doctor so much that he requested. with which we were all persuaded he could do anything that could be done by hands. attentively listening to whatever might be going on. after him. it soon passed into a custom for Mr. and the Doctor begging Mr. make spoked wheels out of cotton reels. as often happened on a Wednesday. he would come into the school and wait. to walk about the courtyard. Dick’s renown was not long confined to us.old court cards. until. and. Dick extended to the Doctor. After a few Wednesdays. This veneration Mr. with his grey head bent forward. and so became more and more familiar by degrees. and not so gay. He always sat in a particular corner.

I think of it as one of the pleasantest things. Mr. Agnes was one of Mr. Dick listening. Dick. However. or me. on that side of the courtyard which was known among us as The Doctor’s Walk. were not one half so good for it. I never knew.had struck up quite a friendship. and would walk together by the hour. in his heart of hearts believed the Dictionary to be the most delightful book in the world.as if a thousand things it makes a noise about. and Mr. he always consulted me in any little matter of doubt that arose. perhaps he felt it all the same. at first. listening with a face shining with pride and pleasure. enchained by interest. As I think of them going up and down before those schoolroom windows . with his poor wits calmly wandering God knows where. in these walks. very soon. or grave motion of his head. not only 0 David Copperfield . Dick came professedly to look after me as my guardian. it passed into a custom too. he made acquaintance with Uriah. as reading to himself. an occasional flourish of the manuscript. that I have ever seen. and invariably guided himself by my advice. upon the wings of hard words . and the world might somehow be the better for it . in a quiet way.the Doctor reading with his complacent smile. Dick would pull off his hat at intervals to show his respect for wisdom and knowledge. I feel as if they might go walking to and fro for ever. Dick’s friends. and Mr. while Mr. and it was maintained on this odd footing: that. The friendship between himself and me increased continually. How it ever came about that the Doctor began to read out scraps of the famous Dictionary. and in often coming to the house.

as we walked away together. and said I only wanted to be asked. ‘and it really isn’t our umbleness that prevents you. to Uriah. One Thursday morning. with a writhe. as I stood looking him in the face in the street. Master Copperfield. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. but considering that I inherited a good deal from my aunt. I announced myself as ready. who reminded me of the promise I had made to take tea with himself and his mother: adding.’ he said.’ I really had not yet been able to make up my mind whether I liked Uriah or detested him. as I had no doubt he would. and I was very doubtful about it still. So. indeed. Master Copperfield. Wickfield. if it wasn’t sinful. ‘Mother will be proud. Dick from the hotel to the coach office before going back to school (for we had an hour’s school before breakfast). will you come this evening? But if it is our umbleness. ‘But I didn’t expect you to keep it. we’re so very umble. I hope you won’t mind owning to it. ‘Or she would be proud.’ I returned. I would come with pleasure. ‘ Oh.’ ‘Yet you didn’t mind supposing I was proud this morning.’ said Uriah.’ I said I would mention it to Mr. Master Copperfield. when I was about to walk with Mr.having a high respect for my native sagacity. for we are well aware of our condition. But I felt it quite an affront to be supposed proud. if that’s all. at six o’clock that evening. which was one of the early office evenings. and if he approved. I met Uriah in the street. Master Copperfield.com 1 .

I assure you. without my doing outrage to their feelings by possessing learning. with an air of self-denial. There are people enough to tread upon me in my lowly state. ‘Oh. as I learn it. but I am much too umble to accept it. ‘But I don’t know what he might be to a gifted person. ‘He is hard to me sometimes. I suppose?’ said I. Uriah!’ ‘Oh.in Mr.’ returned Uriah. Tidd. Because we are so very umble. ‘Oh. ‘my reading is hardly to be called study. Master Copperfield .Latin words and terms .’ ‘Would you like to be taught Latin?’ I said briskly. sometimes. that are trying to a reader of my umble attainments. with Mr. with the two forefingers of his skeleton right hand. Tidd. ‘I am sure it’s very kind of you to make the offer. I have passed an hour or two in the evening. he added: ‘There are expressions. Master Copperfield!’ returned Uriah. but I am far too umble.’ ‘What nonsense. to change the subject. Master Copperfield! I am greatly obliged. no! Such a thought never came into my head! I shouldn’t have deemed it at all proud if you had thought US too umble for you. you see.’ ‘Oh.’ ‘Rather hard.’ After beating a little tune on his chin as he walked on. shaking his head.’ he said.’ he answered.’ ‘Have you been studying much law lately?’ I asked. believe me.‘Oh dear. Learning ain’t for  David Copperfield . indeed you must excuse me. no. thank you. and I should like it of all things. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield. ‘I will teach it you with pleasure.

there was a company of Uriah’s books commanded by Mr. who was the dead image of Uriah. The tea-things were set upon the table. She received me with the utmost humility. ‘I think you are wrong. and the kettle was boiling on the hob. lowly as they were. and apologized to me for giving her son a kiss. There was a chest of drawers with an escritoire top.’ he answered. there was a corner cupboard: and there were the usual articles of furniture. If he is to get on in life. I’m much too umble. there was Uriah’s blue bag lying down and vomiting papers. as when he delivered himself of these sentiments: shaking his head all the time. he must get on umbly. pinched. for them that are. Master Copperfield. you don’t judge well. spare look.’ ‘Oh. It was a perfectly decent room. and found there Mrs. for Uriah to read or write at of an evening. ‘I dare say there are several things that I could teach you. if you would like to learn them. I don’t doubt that. only short. perhaps. and writhing modestly. walked straight into from the street. half parlour and half kitchen.com  . Master Copperfield!’ I never saw his mouth so wide. Master Copperfield!’ We entered a low. which they hoped would give no offence to anyone. Heep.’ I said. or the creases in his cheeks so deep.me. Uriah. Here is my umble dwelling. thank you. observing that. Tidd. But not being umble yourself. old-fashioned room. but I do remember that the whole Free eBooks at Planet eBook. they had their natural affections. I won’t provoke my betters with knowledge. A person like myself had better not aspire. I don’t remember that any individual object had a bare. but not at all a snug room. ‘not in the least.

sir. ma’am. but otherwise she was as weedy as in the early days of her mourning. my Uriah. a long while.’ I felt embarrassed by these compliments. Umble we are. that she still wore weeds. and I thought Mrs. that he might have known his company this afternoon. of being entertained as an honoured guest.’ said Mrs. Heep an agreeable woman. and that Uriah gradually got opposite to me. Heep gradually got nearer to me. Heep. ‘If I could have wished father to remain among us for any reason. mother.’ ‘Thank you. Heep.’ I said.’ said Uriah. He had his fears that our umbleness stood in the way. ‘unless you like. ‘I am sure you have no occasion to be so. umble we have been. Heep. too.’ I found that Mrs. There was nothing particularly choice there. ‘This is a day to be remembered. Heep’s humility.’ said Mrs. but I was sensible.’ retorted Mrs. ‘We know our station and are thankful in it.’ ‘I said you’d think so. umble we shall ever be. It was perhaps a part of Mrs. and that they respectfully plied me with the choicest of the eatables on the table. ‘My Uriah.place had.’ said Mrs. but I took the will for the deed. ‘it would have been. she still wore weeds. Notwithstanding the lapse of time that had occurred since Mr. making the tea. Heep. Heep’s decease. Heep. and felt that they were  David Copperfield . to be sure. sir. ‘when Master Copperfield pays us a visit. and I joined in them myself.’ said Mrs. I am sure. I think there was some compromise in the cap. ‘has looked forward to this.

very attentive. because my aunt had advised me to observe a silence on that subject. and then I told them about mine. Mrs. Presently they began to talk about aunts. and wormed things out of me that I had no desire to tell. Heep.com  . Wickfield. Heep began to talk about fathers-in-law. and so they went on tossing it about until I had no idea who had got it. the more especially. now Agnes. or a little shuttlecock against two battledores. and then I began to tell her about mine . and about fathers and mothers. Heep. or a tender young tooth against a pair of dentists. Uriah kept it up a little while. that had its effect upon me. then sent it back to Mrs. now the excellence of Mr. and on my journey. A tender young cork. would have had no more chance against a pair of corkscrews. Heep. but the skill with which the one followed up whatever the other said. They were very fond of one another: that was certain. Now it was Mr. Uriah threw the ball to Mrs. they began about Mr. and was quite bewildered. than I had against Uriah and Mrs. Heep caught it and threw it back to Uriah.but stopped. I was dumb). and then Mrs. however. was a touch of art which I was still less proof against. as a touch of nature. I take it. as in my juvenile frankness. now my admiration of Agnes. and then I told them about mine. now the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. When there was nothing more to be got out of me about myself (for on the Murdstone and Grinby life. Wickfield. The ball itself was always changing too. I took some credit to myself for being so confidential and felt that I was quite the patron of my two respectful entertainers. They did just what they liked with me. Wickfield and Agnes. with a certainty I blush to think of.

Micawber. now. and to wish myself well out of the visit.came back again. reflecting upon the probability of something turning up (of which I am at present rather sanguine). and walked in. Wickfield took. or to do anything but sometimes encourage them a little. who is connected with the most eventful period of my  David Copperfield . I found myself perpetually letting out something or other that I had no business to let out and seeing the effect of it in the twinkling of Uriah’s dinted nostrils. exclaiming loudly. with his eyeglass. the reason why he took it.in short. ‘this is indeed a meeting which is calculated to impress the mind with a sense of the instability and uncertainty of all human . the weather being close for the time of year . Walking along the street. without appearing to speak very often. all complete! ‘My dear Copperfield. looked in.extent of Mr. and his genteel air. which was warm. I find a young but valued friend turn up. Micawber. the wine that Mr. and his walking-stick. and his shirt-collar. ‘Copperfield! Is it possible?’ It was Mr. then everything at once. it is a most extraordinary meeting. now another. Micawber! It was Mr. and all the time.’ said Mr. for fear they should be overcome by their humility and the honour of my company. I had begun to be a little uncomfortable.it stood open to air the room. putting out his hand. now our domestic life after dinner. when a figure coming down the street passed the door . and the condescending roll in his voice. Wickfield’s business and resources. now one thing. and the pity that it was he took so much.

Micawber was. with the turning-point of my existence.’ said Mr. settled his chin again. The twins no longer derive their sustenance from Nature’s founts . ‘She is tolerably convalescent. than make Mr.and Mrs. and one who is apparently her offspring . ‘I have discovered my friend Copperfield. in one of his bursts of confidence. Micawber.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. Micawber genteelly. but I was glad to see him too. and looked about him. under these circumstances. but partaking of a social meal in company with a widow lady.in short. which I accordingly did. ‘Thank you.I really cannot say . heartily.’ I said I should be delighted to see her.that I was glad to see Mr. Mr. and shook hands with him.’ I could do no less. Micawber then smiled. She will be rejoiced. and without addressing himself particularly to anyone.’ said Mr. and settling his chin in his shirt-collar. Micawber is. Micawber known to Uriah Heep and his mother. how do you do?’ I cannot say . to renew her acquaintance with one who has proved himself in all respects a worthy minister at the sacred altar of friendship. ‘not in solitude. Micawber. my travelling companion. ‘they are weaned .in short.life. waving his hand as of old. inquiring how Mrs.com  . I shall esteem it an honour to be presented. Micawber. Micawber there. my dear fellow. ‘You are very good. in another of his bursts of confidence. As they abased themselves before Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Copperfield.’ said Mr. Copperfield. ‘her son. Micawber. I may say. at present.

in another burst of confidence. Although a mind like my friend Copperfield’s’ . to get Mr.’ said Mr. I have no doubt. ‘I have no scruple in saying. Micawber. Micawber. it would require. Micawber. Micawber away. ‘it is an intellect capable of getting up the classics to any extent. made a ghastly writhe from the waist upwards. and replied. and we are thankful to him for his company. without his knowledge of men and things. Heep . Copperfield. ‘A pupil?’ said Mr. also to you.’ Uriah.’ ‘We are too umble.‘does not require that cultivation which. He has been so good as take his tea with us. in the pres David Copperfield .in short. with my hat in my hand. sir.’ said Mr.’ returned Mr. sir?’ I said. ‘you are very obliging: and what are you doing. Micawber. to express his concurrence in this estimation of me. Heep. ‘I am extremely happy to hear it. Micawber took a seat. sir.him. rising. that I was a pupil at Doctor Strong’s. Micawber away. ‘has a personal claim upon myself. ‘my son and me. with his long hands slowly twining over one another. ‘Any friend of my friend Copperfield’s. raising his eyebrows. ‘Shall we go and see Mrs. Micawber. to be the friends of Master Copperfield. with a bow.to Uriah and Mrs. and a very red face. smiling. still it is a rich soil teeming with latent vegetation .’ replied Mr.’ said Mrs. Copperfield? Still in the wine trade?’ I was excessively anxious to get Mr. for your notice. Micawber. and waved his hand in his most courtly manner. ‘If you will do her that favour.’ ‘Ma’am. Mr.

recumbent on a small sofa. It was a little inn where Mr. because a warm greasy smell appeared to come up through the chinks in the floor. and there was a flabby perspiration on the walls. Micawber. and strongly flavoured with tobacco-smoke. I think it was over the kitchen. have floored me. on account of the smell of spirits and jingling of glasses.’ But at no time of my life. There have been times when I have administered a succession of facers to them. chiefly arising out of warrants of attorney and promissory notes at two and four months. ‘Plato. ‘Mr. making a good deal of noise on the pavement with his shoes.com  . that I am a man who has.’ and then walking out with me in his most fashionable manner. Heep! Good evening.’ said Mr. and said to Mrs. ‘Sometimes I have risen superior to my difficulties. I know it was near the bar. Here. for some years. he always would be so boastful about his difficulties. Heep! Your servant. partitioned off from the commercial room. Sometimes my difficulties have . ‘have I enjoyed a higher degree of satisfaction than in pouring my griefs (if I may describe difficulties.ence of our friends here. contended against the pressure of pecuniary difficulties. Micawber.’ Mr.in short. thou reasonest well. in the words of Cato. and I have given in. I can show fight no more. and he occupied a little room in it. there have been times when they have been too many for me. by that word) into the bosom of my friend Copperfield. Micawber put up. Mrs. underneath a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. It’s all up now.’ I knew he was certain to say something of this kind. Micawber closed this handsome tribute by saying. and humming a tune as we went.

that I was a pupil of Doctor Strong’s. which I have no doubt he will like to know. I will go and look at the paper the while. that although Mr. Micawber’s abilities. by the by. and. ‘My dear. Micawber was amazed. and her feet pushing the mustard off the dumb-waiter at the other end of the room. Micawber entered first.’ said Mr. but very glad to see me. Mrs. ‘To be on the spot. Micawber.’ I said to Mrs. with her head close to the fire. as a genteel thing. talent is not wanted in the Custom House. Apart from which. ‘I will 0 David Copperfield .’ she replied. ‘My dear. and see whether anything turns up among the advertisements.’ ‘To be on the spot. The local influence of my family was quite unavailing to obtain any employment in that department. Micawber’s abilities.picture of a race-horse. allow me to introduce to you a pupil of Doctor Strong’s. ‘if you will mention to Copperfield what our present position is. Micawber was just as much confused as ever about my age and standing. He would only show the deficiency of the others.’ said Mrs. They would rather NOT have a man of Mr. ma’am. I was very glad to see her too. sat down on the small sofa near her. Micawber. after an affectionate greeting on both sides. But. he always remembered. ‘we went to Plymouth. for a man of Mr. Micawber.’ said Mrs. the truth is. to whom Mr. was Mrs. as he went out. Micawber. ‘Just so.’ ‘I thought you were at Plymouth.’ I noticed. ‘My dear Master Copperfield. Micawber. saying.’ I hinted.

’ said Mrs. being so newly released from captivity.’ said Mrs.for I maintain that he must take some course. cool.’ said Mrs. the money to return to London. cannot live Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Then you all came back again. ‘Since then. lowering her voice. and by little Wilkins and his sister. Micawber. not including a domestic. argumentatively. Micawber.not disguise from you. and by the twins. and thought. There is no doubt about it. so it was. of that branch of my family. that they ought to be ashamed of themselves. Master Copperfield. before we had been there a week. ‘We all came back again. ‘Still. Micawber. that when that branch of my family which is settled in Plymouth. my dear Master Copperfield.com 1 . ‘It is clear that a family of six. Micawber. ‘Yes. Micawber was accompanied by myself. what could a man of Mr.‘this is between ourselves . Micawber. Micawber. that branch of my family which is settled in Plymouth became quite personal to Mr. ‘Under such circumstances. decidedly. they did not receive him with that ardour which he might have expected.’ I said. Micawber’s spirit do? But one obvious course was left. became aware that Mr.’ continued Mrs. I have consulted other branches of my family on the course which it is most expedient for Mr. To borrow.’ ‘Dear me!’ I said. .our reception was cool.’ replied Mrs. Master Copperfield. ma’am?’ I said. In fact. Micawber to take . In fact. but our reception was. and to return at any sacrifice. ‘It is truly painful to contemplate mankind in such an aspect.

Talent. to come and see the Medway. capital. We have been here. as Mr.’ ‘To what. Micawber. Micawber.’ said Mrs. and secondly. so much as it would a stranger. and see the Cathedral. Then. on account of its being so well worth seeing.’ said Mrs. as yet. and that is my individual conclusion. Micawber has not. ‘three days. turned up.’ pursued Mrs. Micawber was of opinion that it would be rash not to come on. my dear Master Copperfield. Firstly. ‘I never will desert Mr. Micawber. Nothing has. and our never having seen it. Micawber very properly said. My opinion of the coal trade on that river is. ‘The opinion of those other branches of my family. Micawber. Micawber. I think. I say ‘we’. for I never will. Mr. that there might be an opening for a man of his talent in the Medway Coal Trade. the first step to be taken clearly was. but that it certainly requires capital. Micawber was induced to think.’ ‘Certainly. Master Copperfield. Being so near here. that Mr. Mr. on account of the great probability of something turning up in a cathedral town. the greater part of the Medway.’ I murmured my admiration and approbation. ma’am.’ repeated Mrs. ‘is. and it may not surprise you.upon air. ‘To the coal trade. ‘and saw the Medway. ma’am?’ ‘To coals. Micawber has. ‘We came. on inquiry. Micawber should immediately turn his attention to coals. to know that we are at present waiting for  David Copperfield .’ said Mrs. Which we came and saw. We saw. Mr. Micawber with emotion.’ said I. Mr. that it may require talent.

When I took my leave of them. Mr. if it would suit me better. Micawber arranged that he would call at Doctor Strong’s in the course of the morning (having a presentiment that the remittance would arrive by that post). and Mrs.’ At this dreadful hint Mrs. When I asked him if the remittance had Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ I felt the utmost sympathy for Mr. Micawber in the parlour. Micawber’s neck and entreated him to be calm. who had called to say that the dinner would take place as proposed. but so far recovered. Until the arrival of that remittance. and said as much to Mr. and from my twins.com  . Micawber in this anxious extremity. Micawber with much feeling. ‘Copperfield. Mr. Micawber. that I could not refuse. almost immediately. you are a true friend. but when the worst comes to the worst. to discharge our pecuniary obligations at this hotel. to lend them the amount they needed. when I should have a good deal to prepare in the evening. who now returned: adding that I only wished I had money enough. He wept. they both pressed me so much to come and dine before they went away. But. shaking hands with me. and bespeak a hot kidney pudding and a plate of shrimps for breakfast in the morning.’ said Mrs. as I knew I could not come next day. no man is without a friend who is possessed of shaving materials. He said. Micawber threw her arms round Mr.a remittance from London. as to ring the bell for the waiter. Accordingly I was called out of school next forenoon. from my boy and girl. ‘I am cut off from my home (I allude to lodgings in Pentonville). and propose the day after. Micawber’s answer expressed the disturbance of his mind. and found Mr.

Neither did I like to say. roasted. but I was uncomfortable about it. he pressed my hand and departed. fried sausagemeat. when I went to the little hotel next day at the appointed dinner-hour. a partridge. Micawber made us a  David Copperfield . too. Mrs. or. to see Mr. and a pudding. that he had gone home with Uriah. the kidney-end of a loin of veal. arm in arm: Uriah humbly sensible of the honour that was done him. Heep’s. and there was strong ale. ‘your friend Heep is a young fellow who might be attorney-general. Micawber said. Micawber and Uriah Heep walk past. that I believe my creditors would have been a great deal better managed than they were. I was afraid of hurting Mr.’ I hardly understood how this could have been. but I did not like to ask. and after dinner Mrs. ‘And I’ll tell you what. and Mr. she being very sensitive. which was four o’clock. seeing that Mr. from what Mr. But I was still more surprised. my dear Copperfield. it surprised me. As I was looking out of window that same evening. and often thought about it afterwards. and made me rather uneasy. at all events. Micawber’s feelings. that I hoped he had not been too communicative to Uriah. or to inquire if they had talked much about me. at the period when my difficulties came to a crisis. Micawber had paid them nothing at all as it was.come. and had drunk brandy-and-water at Mrs. Micawber taking a bland delight in extending his patronage to Uriah. If I had known that young man. Micawber’s. There was wine. We had a beautiful little dinner. to find. all I can say is.’ said Mr. Quite an elegant dish of fish. Micawber.

As the punch disappeared. and I. when I took a hearty farewell of himself and his Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I never saw anybody so thoroughly jovial as Mr. and that he would recommend me. we all joined hands round the table. Micawber delivered an eulogium on Mrs. He proposed me afterwards.bowl of hot punch with her own hands. Mrs. said. When we came to ‘Here’s a hand. at least. He made his face shine with the punch. I never saw him such good company. Micawber’s spirits becoming elevated.com  . we were really affected. to marry such another woman. and friend. ma’am. so that it looked as if it had been varnished all over. my trusty frere’. took a review of our past acquaintance. when I came to a marrying time of life. I shall now have the pleasure of drinking your health. and when we declared we would ‘take a right gude Willie Waught’. Mr. observing that Mrs. Then I proposed Mrs. In a word. ‘If you’ll allow me. Micawber became still more friendly and convivial. modestly. Micawber was uncommonly convivial. down to the very last moment of the evening. and hadn’t the least idea what it meant. in the course of which we sold the property all over again. and Mrs.’ On which Mr. and he. He got cheerfully sentimental about the town. and said she had ever been his guide. philosopher. Micawber’s character. and proposed success to it. Micawber and himself had been made extremely snug and comfortable there and that he never should forget the agreeable hours they had passed in Canterbury. Micawber: or. Micawber. if such another woman could be found. Mr. too. we sang ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Micawber was. Micawber. Mrs.

The bolt is impending. made payable fourteen days after date. Consequently. at seven o’clock next morning. one gleam of day might. it will not be taken up.amiable wife. London. I was not prepared.though his longevity is. this evening. a quarter of an hour after I had left him: ‘My DEAR YOUNG FRIEND. you will ever receive ‘From ‘The ‘Beggared Outcast. to receive the following communication. dated half past nine in the evening.all is over. When it becomes due. be a beacon to you through life. penetrate into the cheerless dungeon of his remaining existence . by possibility. Pentonville. If he could think himself of so much use. and humiliating to relate. my dear Copperfield. ‘Let the wretched man who now addresses you. I have not informed you. He writes with that intention. that there is no hope of the remittance! Under these circumstances. and the tree must fall. humiliating to contemplate. The result is destruction. I have discharged the pecuniary liability contracted at this establishment. extremely problematical. and in that hope. my dear Copperfield. by giving a note of hand. ‘WILKINS MICAWBER. alike humiliating to endure. at present (to say the least of it). ‘This is the last communication. ‘The die is cast . at my residence. Hiding the ravages of care with a sickly mask of mirth.’  David Copperfield .

upon the whole. Mr. I thought it best. Micawber with a word of comfort. As they did not see me. nevertheless. and Mrs. and felt. relieved that they were gone. though I still liked them very much. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I met the London coach with Mr.I was so shocked by the contents of this heart-rending letter. and trying to soothe Mr.com  . the very picture of tranquil enjoyment. I turned into a by-street that was the nearest way to school. Micawber up behind. smiling at Mrs. with a bottle sticking out of his breast pocket. with a great weight taken off my mind. Micawber. half-way there. eating walnuts out of a paper bag. not to see them. all things considered. Micawber’s conversation. So. But. that I ran off directly towards the little hotel with the intention of taking it on my way to Doctor Strong’s.

I am not the last boy in the school. now a dry channel overgrown with leaves. I have risen in a few months. and hold me hovering above those days.CHAPTER 18 A RETROSPECT M y school-days! The silent gliding on of my existence . But the first boy seems to me a mighty creature. The earthy smell. whether there are any marks along its course. as I look back upon that flowing water. the sensation of the world being shut out. dwelling afar off. where we all went together. assembling first at school for that purpose. at whose place she thinks David Copperfield  .’ and tell her that she little thinks what stores of knowledge have been mastered by the wonderful Being. in a half-sleeping and halfwaking dream. and I occupy my place in the Cathedral. whose giddy height is unattainable.from childhood up to youth! Let me think. by which I can remember how it ran. are wings that take me back. Agnes says ‘No. A moment.the unseen.’ but I say ‘Yes. over several heads. the resounding of the organ through the black and white arched galleries and aisles. unfelt progress of my life . the sunless air. every Sunday morning.

Fate being propitious. I adore Miss Shepherd. Miss Shepherd!’ in a transport of love. She is a little girl. for I must look upon Miss Shepherd. in a spencer. when he leaves Doctor Strong’s. at length. in my own room. yet I feel that they are appropriate Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I have Miss Shepherd for my partner. I cannot look upon my book. Miss Shepherd is a boarder at the Misses Nettingalls’ establishment. may arrive in time. I hear Miss Shepherd. At home. but we understand each other.I put her in among the Royal Family. But who is this that breaks upon me? This is Miss Shepherd. even I. I wonder? They are not expressive of affection. with a round face and curly flaxen hair. I touch Miss Shepherd’s glove. we meet at the dancing-school. and they are oily when cracked. even in room doors. whom I love. and what mankind will do to maintain any place against him. The Misses Nettingalls’ young ladies come to the Cathedral too. Miss Shepherd and myself live but to be united. I chiefly wonder what he’ll be.com  . as Steerforth was. When the choristers chaunt. I am sometimes moved to cry out. Why do I secretly give Miss Shepherd twelve Brazil nuts for a present. In the service I mentally insert Miss Shepherd’s name . and come out at my hair. and feel a thrill go up the right arm of my jacket. they are hard to crack. they are difficult to pack into a parcel of any regular shape. I say nothing to Miss Shepherd. weak aspirant. For some time.I. He is not my private friend and public patron. I am doubtful of Miss Shepherd’s feelings. but. ‘Oh. but I hold him in a reverential respect.

and oranges innumerable. Doctor Strong refers to me in public as a promising young scholar. All is over. I kiss Miss Shepherd in the cloak-room. And yet a coolness grows between Miss Shepherd and myself. Ecstasy! What are my agony and indignation next day. I am higher in the school.is at an end. one day. I bestow upon Miss Shepherd.for Jones! a boy of no merit whatever! The gulf between me and Miss Shepherd widens. Once. when I hear a flying rumour that the Misses Nettingall have stood Miss Shepherd in the stocks for turning in her toes! Miss Shepherd being the one pervading theme and vision of my life. Whispers reach me of Miss Shepherd having said she wished I wouldn’t stare so. and wonder why the girls can’t dance by themselves and leave us alone. Miss Shepherd comes out of the morning service. The devotion of a life . and shouldn’t dote on any of them. and neglect the laces of my boots. and having avowed a preference for Master Jones . At last. I am growing great in Latin verses. if they were twice as many and twenty times as beautiful. and the Royal Family know her no more. and my aunt remits me a guinea by the next post. Mr. it is all the same .to Miss Shepherd.it seems a life. I am not at all polite. now. I think the dancing-school a tiresome affair. and laughs to her companion. I meet the Misses Nettingalls’ establishment out walking. seedy biscuits. 00 David Copperfield . to the Misses Nettingalls’ young ladies. and no one breaks my peace. Miss Shepherd makes a face as she goes by. also. Soft. how do I ever come to break with her? I can’t conceive. Dick is wild with joy.

For these sufficient reasons I resolve to fight the butcher. In a moment the butcher lights ten thousand candles out of my left eyebrow. He is a broad-faced. I don’t know where the wall is. There is a vague belief abroad. In another moment. bull-necked. like the apparition of an armed head in Macbeth. and a sweep. He waylays the smaller boys to punch their unprotected heads. publicly. and the butcher and myself stand face to face. that if they want anything he’ll give it ‘em. a young publican. young butcher. with rough red cheeks. the butcher. that the beef suet with which he anoints his hair gives him unnatural strength. at the corner of a wall. we are always in such a tangle and tussle. to disparage Doctor Strong’s young gentlemen. He names individuals among them (myself included). and an injurious tongue. Who is this young butcher? He is the terror of the youth of Canterbury.The shade of a young butcher rises. sometimes I see nothing. by two other butchers. His main use of this tongue. down in a green hollow. knocking about upon the trodden grass. He says. and the other tied behind him. whom he could undertake to settle with one hand. or where anybody is. and calls challenges after me in the open streets. It is a summer evening. sometimes I go in at the butcher madly. The preliminaries are adjusted. I hardly know which is myself and which the butcher. and cut my knuckles open against his face. and sit gasping on my second’s knee. I meet the butcher by appointment. is. I am attended by a select body of our boys. without appearing to Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Sometimes I see the butcher.com 01 . bloody but confident. and that he is a match for a man. an ill-conditioned mind. or where I am.

very queer about the head. and condoles with me. For three or four days I remain at home. He has not staggered the world yet. either. and is to be an advocate. who know him. nor has he been this many and many a day. that the victory is his. through which the warriors of poetry and histo0 David Copperfield . always. for it goes on (as well as I can make out) pretty much the same as if he had never joined it. which swells immoderately. and see the butcher walking off. Agnes has my confidence completely. I tell her all about the butcher. and the wrongs he has heaped upon me. A blank. there are not many there. she thinks I couldn’t have done otherwise than fight the butcher. and putting on his coat as he goes. I am taken home in a sad plight. that when he comes back. Time has stolen on unobserved. a very ill-looking subject. and to wear a wig. At last I awake. and I should be very dull. but that Agnes is a sister to me. Adams is going to be called to the bar almost directly. with a green shade over my eyes. as from a giddy sleep. for Adams is not the head-boy in the days that are come now. Adams has left the school so long. and less imposing in appearance. and find a great puffy place bursting out on my upper lip. while she shrinks and trembles at my having fought him. and makes the time light and happy. on a visit to Doctor Strong. and am rubbed with vinegar and brandy. besides myself. and reads to me. from which I augur. congratulated by the two other butchers and the sweep and publican.discompose him at all. and I have beef-steaks put to my eyes. I am surprised to find him a meeker man than I had thought. justly.

And the little girl I saw on that first day at Mr. fine figure of a woman. The eldest Miss Larkins knows officers. Am I in love again? I am. rather than have actually been . Perhaps the eldest Miss Larkins may be about thirty. a child likeness no more. What other changes have come upon me.and almost think of him as of someone else. and a long-tailed coat. black-eyed.com 0 .which. my counsellor and friend. That little fellow seems to be no part of me. The eldest Miss Larkins is not a chicken. where is she? Gone also. the better angel of the lives of all who come within her calm. a ring upon my little finger.ry march on in stately hosts that seem to have no end . the perfect likeness of the picture. In her stead. self-denying influence . and in the knowledge I have garnered all this while? I wear a gold watch and chain. It is an awful Free eBooks at Planet eBook. dark. besides the changes in my growth and looks. I remember him as something left behind upon the road of life . taken in conjunction with the ring.and what comes next! I am the head-boy. The eldest Miss Larkins is not a little girl. I worship the eldest Miss Larkins. She is a tall.is quite a woman. Wickfield’s. now! I look down on the line of boys below me. and the eldest must be three or four years older. and Agnes . good. when I first came there. with a condescending interest in such of them as bring to my mind the boy I was myself. for the youngest Miss Larkins is not that. moves about the house. My passion for her is beyond all bounds.my sweet sister. as I call her in my thoughts. and I use a great deal of bear’s grease . looks bad.as something I have passed.

if there be even-handed justice in the world. and say that seventeen is young for the eldest Miss Larkins. I seem. She laughs and talks. Everything that belongs to her. To say ‘How do you do. and makes me wear my newest silk neckerchief continually. I shall be one-and-twenty in no time almost. If I can bow to her once in the day (I know her to bow to. I go where I am likely to meet him. Larkins (a gruff old gentleman with a double chin. and having my boots cleaned over and over again. Larkins). I see them speaking to her in the street. I deserve a bow now and then. The raging agonies I suffer on the night of the Race Ball. I regularly take walks outside Mr. though it cuts me to the heart to see the of0 David Copperfield . Larkins’s house in the evening. I think continually about my age. that I blush. where I know the eldest Miss Larkins will be dancing with the military. I see them cross the way to meet her.thing to bear. ought to have some compensation. to be worthier of the eldest Miss Larkins. what of that? Besides. Mr. I spend a good deal of my own spare time in walking up and down to meet her. knowing Mr. Say I am seventeen. accompanied by her sister’s bonnet. when her bonnet (she has a bright taste in bonnets) is seen coming down the pavement. Larkins? Are the young ladies and all the family quite well?’ seems so pointed. or is connected with her. My passion takes away my appetite. and one of his eyes immovable in his head) is fraught with interest to me. I am happier. and seems to like it. then. I have no relief but in putting on my best clothes. is precious to me. When I can’t meet his daughter. Mr.

I believe. on two or three occasions. Generally. I picture Miss Larkins sinking her head upon my shoulder. Dick and Doctor Strong being present at the marriage ceremony. For I am generally disinterested in my love. where there are lights. ‘My dear Copperfield. Youth is no objection. can I believe my ears!’ I picture Mr. Larkins waiting on me next morning. save her in my arms. dashing through them with a ladder. round and round the house after the family are gone to bed. music. my daughter has told me all. Copperfield. chattering. I indulge my fancy with pleasing images. a blaze of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I believe . and perish in the flames. on Mr. I mean . I picture myself taking courage to make a declaration to Miss Larkins. Larkins’s instead). I am a sensible fellow. Mr. and saying. wishing that a fire would burst out. officers (I am sorry to see). on looking back. and the eldest Miss Larkins. but all this goes on notwithstanding. for a great ball given at the Larkins’s (the anticipation of three weeks). Here are twenty thousand pounds.and modest I am sure. and think I could be content to make a figure before Miss Larkins. might rear it against her window. flowers. and saying. Be happy!’ I picture my aunt relenting. I repair to the enchanted house. that the assembled crowd would stand appalled. wondering which is the eldest Miss Larkins’s chamber (and pitching. in a sickly. ‘Oh. I even walk. but not always.ficers go in. or to hear them up in the drawing-room. I dare say now. and expire. and Mr. go back for something she had left behind. When I dress (the occupation of two hours). spoony manner.com 0 . and blessing us. Sometimes brighter visions rise before me. where the eldest Miss Larkins plays the harp. that I.

for I appear not to belong to anybody. too. and I am a little uncomfortable. It is the first really grown-up party that I have ever been invited to. if I dance? I stammer. she approaches me . with blue flowers in her hair . I take her sternly from the side of Captain Bailey. But after I have stood in the doorway for some time. Miss Larkins. the eldest Miss Larkins! . She admires a flower (pink camellia japonica. too. among whom. in a state of blissful delirium. I think. Larkins. and says. who asks me how my schoolfellows are.she. ‘Do you waltz? If not. I have been wretched. and feasted my eyes upon the goddess of my heart. She is dressed in blue. in my button-hole. but he is nothing to me.forget-me-nots . price half-a-crown). and nobody appears to have anything to say to me.and asks me pleasantly. I shall be very glad. resting on a sofa.’ The time arrives.as if SHE had any need to wear forget-menots. I only know that I swim about in space.’ ‘With no one else?’ inquires Miss Larkins. as it happens). Captain Bailey -’ But I do waltz (pretty well. ‘I should have no pleasure in dancing with anyone else.beauty. until I find myself alone with her in a little room. ‘With you. and I take Miss Larkins out. ‘It is a waltz. as I have not come there to be insulted. He is wretched. with a blue angel. I waltz with the eldest Miss Larkins! I don’t know where. I 0 David Copperfield .’ Miss Larkins laughs and blushes (or I think she blushes). when I present myself. ‘Next time but one. with a bow. except Mr. I have no doubt. which he needn’t do. or how long.’ Miss Larkins doubtfully observes.

and shake hands.give it her. For Free eBooks at Planet eBook. upon her arm. and am much gratified. and say: ‘I ask an inestimable price for it. all night long. ‘It does you credit. -we shall be glad for you to stop as long as you like. but I am a pretty large grower myself.’ says Miss Larkins. ‘There.’ I feel at once that he is a friend of the family. and waltz in imagination. Chestle warmly. with my arm round the blue waist of my dear divinity.’ I am lost in the recollection of this delicious interview. Chestle wants to know you. ‘I admire your taste. ‘A flower of yours.’ says Mr. She says I waltz so well! I go home in a state of unspeakable bliss. Copperfield. Mr. sir. and says.com 0 . Miss Larkins.’ She gives it me. and if you ever like to come over to our neighbourhood .’ I thank Mr. laughing. I suppose you don’t take much interest in hops. I think I am in a happy dream. and I put it to my lips. draws her hand through my arm. Miss Larkins. with a plain elderly gentleman who has been playing whist all night. when she comes to me again. Chestle.and take a run about our place.’ ‘You’re a bold boy. not displeased.’ ‘Indeed! What is that?’ returns Miss Larkins. ‘Now take me back to Captain Bailey. and the waltz. and says: ‘Oh! here is my bold friend! Mr. that I may treasure it as a miser does gold.neighbourhood of Ashford . and then into my breast. I waltz with the eldest Miss Larkins once again.

I take off my ring. as well as of the bear’s grease in moderation.’ says Agnes. Chestle. to no Captain.The eldest Miss Larkins. I am lost in rapturous reflections. and gloriously defeat him. nor when I call.some days afterwards. but I neither see her in the street. I throw the flower away. Papa? .’ ‘To .’ I am terribly dejected for about a week or two.to Captain Bailey?’ I have just enough power to ask. This. ‘Do you hear him. and the resumption of my ring. Being. ‘Trotwood. in my progress to seventeen. now. I wear my worst clothes. To Mr.’ ‘Not you. 0 David Copperfield . and having received new provocation from the butcher. ‘No. I suppose. a hop-grower. the perished flower. I am imperfectly consoled for this disappointment by the sacred pledge. Agnes?’ ‘Not me!’ raising her cheerful face from the music she is copying. ‘Who do you think is going to be married tomorrow? Someone you admire. and I frequently lament over the late Miss Larkins’s faded flower. I use no bear’s grease. rather tired of this kind of life. go out with the butcher. are the last marks I can discern. one day after dinner. by that time.

I was glad. when my school-days drew to an end. and what its circumstances were. I know that my juvenile Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I try in vain to recall how I felt about it. and I was eminent and distinguished in that little world. to have left school without natural regret. and the wonderful effects he could not fail to make upon society. but it is not momentous in my recollection. of the wonderful things to be seen and done by that magnificent animal. but for other reasons. I had been very happy there.CHAPTER 19 I LOOK ABOUT ME. The separation has not made the impression on me. according to my present way of thinking. So powerful were these visionary considerations in my boyish mind. For these reasons I was sorry to go. of the importance attaching to a young man at his own disposal.com 0 . Misty ideas of being a young man at my own disposal. AND MAKE A DISCOVERY I am doubtful whether I was at heart glad or sorry. I suppose the opening prospect confused me. unsubstantial enough. and the time came for my leaving Doctor Strong’s. lured me away. I had a great attachment for the Doctor. that other separations have. that I seem.

taken the command of a fast-sailing expedition. If I could have been inspired with a knowledge of the science of navigation. that I could discover. and on that occasion (I don’t know what put it in his head). but ever afterwards confined himself to looking watchfully at her for her suggestions. one morning in the Christmas season when I left school: ‘as this knotty point is still unsettled. and gone round the world on a triumphant voyage of discovery. and to do my duty in it. with a meditative and sage demeanour. MY aunt and I had held many grave deliberations on the calling to which I should be devoted. he suddenly proposed that I should be ‘a Brazier’.’ said my aunt. and rattling his money. In the meanwhile. in the absence of any such miraculous provision. my dear. that he never ventured on a second. whatever it might be. which I was just about to begin to read. I tell you what. you must try to 10 David Copperfield . He never made a suggestion but once. ‘Trot. My aunt received this proposal so very ungraciously. and that life was more like a great fairy story. But. and as we must not make a mistake in our decision if we can help it. I think I might have considered myself completely suited. Dick had regularly assisted at our councils.experiences went for little or nothing then. Mr. than anything else. my desire was to apply myself to some pursuit that would not lie too heavily upon her purse. for anything. For a year or more I had endeavoured to find a satisfactory answer to her oftenrepeated question. ‘What I would like to be?’ But I had no particular liking. I think we had better take a little breathing-time.

and not as a schoolboy. ‘that a little change. You’ll be worthy of her. And I am very well persuaded that whatever you do. aunt.that out-ofthe-way woman with the savagest of names.) ‘Bless me. for instance. and a glimpse of life out of doors. for she could never thoroughly forgive Peggotty for being so called. looking at me approvingly. I should like it best!’ ‘Well. aunt. Suppose you were to go down into the old part of the country again.’ ‘It has occurred to me.’ said my aunt.’ said my aunt. Betsey Trotwood. if there was anything of it left to turn.’ ‘It’s a mercy that poor dear baby of a mother of yours didn’t live.’ ‘Your sister. and see that . and form a cooler judgement.’ said my aunt. That will be enough for me.look at it from a new point of view. for I should like it too. aunt.’ (My aunt always excused any weakness of her own in my behalf. ‘would have been as natural and rational a girl as ever breathed.’ ‘I will. by transferring it in this way to my poor mother.’ said my aunt. rubbing her nose. Trotwood. will always be natural and rational. ‘or she’d have been so vain of her boy by this time. how you do remind me of her!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘I hope so.’ pursued my aunt. aunt.com 11 . Trot. that her soft little head would have been completely turned. ‘that’s lucky. ‘Of all things in the world. But it’s natural and rational that you should like it. may be useful in helping you to know your own mind. won’t you?’ ‘I hope I shall be worthy of YOU.

restored the sunshine to his face. with a will of your own. or by anything. once. With character.’ Mr. ‘.’ resumed my aunt. Dick. Dick’s going with you. decisively. alone. as she was that afternoon before she began to fret .’ said my aunt. Dick. Heaven knows. Trot .’ I intimated that I hoped I should be what she described. Trot. ‘He’s as like her. in a small way.with strength of character that is not to be influenced. shaking her cap at me. I shall keep him to take care of me. aunt?’ said I. ‘That you may begin.’ said my aunt. and clenching her hand. and to act for yourself. until the honour and dignity of having to take care of the most wonderful woman in the world. you are very well physically .’ said my aunt.I don’t mean physically. ‘But what I want you to be. ‘With determination. I hope. by anybody. ‘Besides.’ said my aunt. With resolution. ‘He is very like David!’ said Mr.‘Pleasantly. to have a reliance upon yourself. A fine firm fellow. emphatically. ‘I shall send you upon your trip.is. for a moment. ‘he’s as like her.bless my heart. Dick. That’s what your father and mother might both have been. That’s what I want you to be. but. as he can look at me out of his two eyes!’ ‘Is he indeed?’ said Mr. a firm fellow. on second thoughts. I did think. Dick. he’s as like her. ‘And he’s like David. too. but morally. except on good reason. and been the better for it.’ said my aunt. ‘there’s the Memorial -’ 1 David Copperfield . of Mr. looked a little disappointed.

and a good many kisses. I went to Canterbury first. spoils me. either on my way down into Suffolk. and should think a little. and is guided by you. I was at liberty to do what I would. I was shortly afterwards fitted out with a handsome purse of money. or in coming back.’ said Mr. ‘there’ll be a pretty kettle of fish!’ In pursuance of my aunt’s kind scheme. ‘I intend. Everyone who knows you. and also of the good Doctor. and no heart. and tenderly dismissed upon my expedition. and told me that the house had not been like itself since I had left it. to get that done immediately . after checking himself. Agnes was very glad to see me. Wickfield (my old room in whose house I had not yet relinquished). certainly. and a pledge to write three times a week and faithfully report myself. in a hurry.’ she anFree eBooks at Planet eBook. Dick. for there’s no head in my right hand. and a portmanteau. she would recommend me to stay a few days in London.’ said I. that I might take leave of Agnes and Mr. and pausing a long time. ‘I am sure I am not like myself when I am away. Though that’s not saying much. Trotwood. Dick.com 1 . and no other conditions were imposed upon my freedom than the before-mentioned thinking and looking about me. my aunt gave me some good advice. ‘I seem to want my right hand.it really must be done immediately! And then it will go in.’ ‘Everyone who knows me. and said that as her object was that I should look about me. if I liked it. Agnes. In a word. you know . when I miss you. At parting.‘Oh.and then -’ said Mr. consults with you. for three weeks or a month. I believe.

‘because if you had been you would have told me. and more worthy altogether than anyone I have ever seen here. not without being a little shame-faced.’ ‘Come! It’s not fair to abuse my confidence.’ said Agnes. Someone of a nobler character. But there is no one that I know of.even when I come to fall in love in earnest.’ Agnes laughed again. and shall exact a great deal from the successful one. In the time to come.’ ‘You talk. or fall in love. Agnes.’ said I. ‘Oh! that was as a child. as she sat at work. who deserves to love you. reddening at the recollection of my blue enslaver. Agnes. My wonder is. must rise up. Agnes. ‘Times are altering now. and I suppose I shall be in a terrible state of earnestness one day or other. laughing in my turn. I assure you. just the same. before I give my consent.’ I answered. ‘But I shall confide in you. laughing again. that you are not in earnest yourself.’ 1 David Copperfield . smiling.’ ‘Why. I shall always tell you. by this time.for I saw a faint blush in her face. You are so good. I know you are not!’ said I. ‘as if I were the late Miss Larkins. if you’ll let me . Whenever I fall into trouble. or a schoolboy. Or at least’ . ‘Oh. I shall have a wary eye on all admirers. ‘you would have let me find it out for myself.swered. ‘No. You have such a gentle nature. breaking into a pleasant laugh. and shook her head. I can never grow out of that. and you are always right. it’s because you are like no one else. and so sweet-tempered. you have always been in earnest!’ said Agnes.

begun as mere children. and the sense of being unfit for it.’ she said. or of having shown his condition in spite of himself. ‘His hand trembles. in my face. and had often wondered whether she had too. I must have shown as much. ‘Tell me what it is. that had long grown naturally out of our familiar relations. now. perhaps .something I would ask. his speech is not plain. in a low voice.’ said Agnes. liking him so much?’ ‘Yes. he is most certain to be wanted on some business.com 1 . and when he is least like himself. now suddenly lifting up her eyes to mine.or I fancy so. shaking her head. But Agnes.’ she said. and his eyes look wild. Have you observed any gradual alteration in Papa?’ I had observed it. of no one else. that next day he is Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Agnes. I think. said: ‘Trotwood.’ ‘It is not fancy. seems to make him so uneasy. so far. or of not having understood it.We had gone on. He is often very nervous . in a mixture of confidential jest and earnest.’ ‘By Uriah. for her eyes were in a moment cast down. ‘Yes. ‘I think . ‘I think he does himself no good by the habit that has increased upon him since I first came here. and that I may not have another opportunity of asking for a long time. Agnes.shall I be quite plain. and speaking in a different manner. and I saw tears in them. there is something that I want to ask you. I have remarked that at those times.

and his young wife. ‘I am getting lazy. and to let no harsh construction find any place against him. and was hanging on his shoulder. too. in her beautiful look. The Doctor. even in my inmost thoughts. and so he becomes jaded and haggard. and shed tears like a child. I felt to be very touching. and next day worse. Wickfield. and round the study fireside found the Doctor.’ said the Doctor. so proud of him and devoted to him. at once. and lead a quieter life. 1 David Copperfield . We went there at the usual hour.’ Mr. Do not be alarmed by what I say. warming his hands. Agnes.worse. and called for a log of wood to be thrown on the fire. as they both looked towards me.’ ‘You have said so. that nothing she could have said would have expressed more to me. I shall relinquish all my young people in another six months. and gratitude to him for all his love and care. and there was such a fervent appeal to me to deal tenderly by him. that he might see the face of his old pupil reddening in the blaze. and her mother. who made as much of my going away as if I were going to China. ‘I shall not see many more new faces in Trotwood’s stead. There was such deep fondness for him. received me as an honoured guest. and in a moment she had met her father at the door of the room. but in this state I saw him. and want ease. only the other evening. The expression of her face. and so reliant upon me to be so. or moved me more. Doctor.’ Her hand passed softly before my lips while I was yet speaking. We were to drink tea at the Doctor’s. she was. lay down his head upon his desk. yet so compassionate and sorry. any time these ten years.

’ ‘And to take care. ‘My first master will succeed me . sitting at the tea table by Agnes.I am in earnest at last .’ said Mrs. ‘that you’re not imposed on.not what can be called ROBUST.like living. ‘That trying climate! . Annie.Wickfield answered. they tell me.’ returned the Doctor.Annie. but he wasn’t. that his attention became fixed upon her. Wickfield glanced towards her. shaking her head. after a short silence.’ As Mr. Jack Maldon!’ said the Doctor. ‘By the by! and letters from Mr. My dear Doctor. Markleham. There are worse tasks than that. on a sand-heap. she seemed to me to avoid his look with such unwonted hesitation and timidity. ‘Indeed!’ ‘Poor dear Jack!’ said Mrs. eh? As you certainly would be. Markleham. with a smile. Well! I am ready. that he ventured on so boldly. underneath a burning-glass! He looked strong. it was his spirit.’ said the Doctor. not his constitution.’ ‘I shall have nothing to think of then. and to bind us firmly to them. you know. I observe.’ he said. ‘There is a post come in from India. I am sure you must perfectly recollect that your cousin never was strong .com 1 . and looking round Free eBooks at Planet eBook. my dear. in my calling. Wickfield. and this other contractbargain . like a couple of knaves. in any contract you should make for yourself. as if something were suggested to his thoughts. ‘but my Dictionary. ‘But now I mean to do it.so you’ll soon have to arrange our contracts. with emphasis.’ said Mr.

‘He has had dreadful strokes of the sun. sixteen.’ ‘Wickfield’s plans.from the time when my daughter and himself were children together. he gave up altogether. made no reply.’ returned Mrs.’ returned her mother. Wickfield. ‘once for all.why should I confine myself to four! I WON’T confine myself to four . Maldon is ill?’ asked Mr. and jungle fevers and agues. Wickfield.’ said the Old Soldier resignedly. arm-inarm. You might drag him at the heels of four wild horses first. ‘you little know my poor Jack Maldon when you ask that question. that Mr. ma’am. rather than say anything calculated to overturn the Doctor’s plans. my dear. ‘Annie. ‘Ill!’ replied the Old Soldier. stroking his face. Wickfield. indeed!’ said the Old Soldier. shaking her head and her fan.’ ‘Mama!’ said Mrs.upon us generally. ‘Do I gather from what you say. I must really beg that you will not interfere with me. of course. and every kind of thing you can mention. You know as well as I do that your cousin Maldon would be dragged at the heels of any number of wild horses .’ said the Doctor. and 1 David Copperfield . ‘Except well. ‘My dear sir. Say? Not he. Markleham. and walking about.eight. no doubt. Strong.’ Annie. unless it is to confirm what I say. ‘. thus addressed. he’s all sorts of things. two-andthirty. As to his liver. ‘that.’ ‘Except well?’ said Mr. when he first went out!’ ‘Does he say all this?’ asked Mr. ‘Say? My dear sir. the livelong day.

‘abroad.’ said the Old Soldier. ‘and I know he’ll die there.’ ‘Oh! Responsibility!’ said the Old Soldier. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and entertained us with some particulars concerning other deserving members of her family. Jack Maldon comes home on account of ill health. sooner than he’ll overturn the Doctor’s plans.which. she had not at all expected or led up to . for her sake. on her old playfellow. ‘I am not bigoted to my plans. sooner than he’ll overturn the Doctor’s plans. he can’t live there. our joint plans for him. whom it was desirable to set on their deserving legs. fanning herself. I can substitute some other plans.that she could only tell the Doctor it was like himself. everything was done for the kindest and best. And if he can’t live there. Markleham was so overcome by this generous speech .’ Mrs. ma’am. Wickfield. I said myself.’ ‘Well.’ ‘And I said’ added Mr. he must not be allowed to go back. he’ll die there. If Mr. and I can overturn them myself. I know him. in a sort of calm prophetic agony. for not being more demonstrative when such kindnesses were showered. and we must endeavour to make some more suitable and fortunate provision for him in this country. After which she gently chid her daughter Annie. Wickfield gravely. my dear Mr. abroad or at home. It’s my responsibility. I was the means of sending him abroad. well.’ said the Doctor cheerfully. But if the dear fellow can’t live there.com 1 .looking penitently at his adviser. and go several times through that operation of kissing the sticks of her fan. we know. I need not say. and then tapping his hand with it. ‘Everything was done for the best. ‘That is to say.

as to be quite absorbed. Markleham. It appeared to me that he never thought of being observed by anyone.‘I am sorry to inform you that my health is suffering severely. one of the most ridiculous persons in the world. ‘Now let us see.’ said Mrs.’ The letter was reluctantly produced. ‘where the passage is. you absolutely are. I believe. We never should have heard of the letter at all. and upon his own thoughts in connexion with her. You ought to know better.where is it? Oh! . and as I handed it to the old lady. ‘The remembrance of old 0 David Copperfield .’ said Mrs. towards Doctor Strong? I am surprised. here. mama. but was so intent upon her. He now asked what Mr.’ returned her mother. show me that letter again. and that I fear I may be reduced to the necessity of returning home for a time. unless I had asked for it myself. Wickfield had his glance upon her as she sat by his own daughter’s side. All this time. on some subjects.’ she pleaded in a low tone. poor fellow! His only hope of restoration! But Annie’s letter is plainer still.’ That’s pretty plain. her daughter Annie never once spoke. Annie. Jack Maldon had actually written in reference to himself. ‘My dear. and to whom he had written? ‘Why. or lifted up her eyes. as the only hope of restoration.All this time.’ ‘Not now. my love. Mr. putting her glass to her eye. Markleham. trembled. taking a letter from the chimney-piece above the Doctor’s head. I saw how the unwilling hand from which I took it. Do you call that confidence. ‘and perhaps the most unnatural to the claims of your own family. ‘the dear fellow says to the Doctor himself .

What I have endured. on total resignation. Long after the subject was dismissed.no. Agnes sang with great sweetness and expression. seldom raising his eyes. he remained so. and we had quite a little concert. Strong.com 1 . or both. to kiss her fan again. or his wife. ‘Now I have found it. and other topics occupied us. if that is not to be obtained. They sang together. there was a blank between her and Mr. as to have decided to leave it at all hazards. my dearest Annie’ .and so forth . But I remarked two things: first. and how stupid I am! ‘Doctor. who was looking at us in a state of placid satisfaction. how illegibly your cousin Maldon writes. but sat severely silent. secondly. and shake it at the Doctor.who’s he? Dear me. with his eyes fixed on the ground. is insupportable. The Doctor was very fond of music. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Wickfield said not one word. though the old lady looked to him as if for his commentary on this intelligence. and so did Mrs.times. ‘You may not be surprised to hear.‘that I have undergone so much in this distant place. on sick leave.’ Mr. and was quite herself. with a thoughtful frown. that though Annie soon recovered her composure. to be sure. if I can. and do endure here. ‘The amiable old Proctor’ . and played duets together. unless to rest them for a moment. telegraphing the Doctor as before. Markleham.’ . what did I say just now? . that Mr. upon the Doctor. Ah! amiable indeed!’ Here she left off.’ of course.it’s not there. knowing that he never was really strong. and refolding the letter. Wickfield which separated them wholly from each other.’ And but for the promptitude of that best of creatures. Annie. Annie.’ said Mrs. ‘it would be insupportable to me to think of.

as it confronted his. suspicions arose within me that it was an ill-assorted friendship. and to trouble me. to separate her from this look. the recollection of what I had seen on that night when Mr. Then I saw. first began to return upon me with a meaning it had never had. was mingled with commiseration for his faith in those who were treacherous to him. I cannot say what an impression this made upon me. It closed in an incident which I well remember. and to watch it with uneasiness. and Agnes was going to embrace her and kiss her. and with resentment against those who injured him. and the other was so happy too. It haunted me when I got home. Strong. I mistrusted the natural grace and charm of her manner. and remember her face in its innocent loveliness again. or how impossible I found it. as if by accident.Wickfield seemed to dislike the intimacy between her and Agnes. and when I looked at Agnes by her side. The reverence that I had for his grey head. They were taking leave of each other. I seemed to have left the Doctor’s roof with a dark cloud lowering on it. and I were still standing in the doorway on the night of the departure. The impending shadow of a great afflic David Copperfield . when Mr. Maldon went away. that they made the evening fly away as if it were but an hour. as though all the intervening time had been cancelled. when I thought of her afterwards. She was so happy in it herself. and drew Agnes quickly away. The innocent beauty of her face was not as innocent to me as it had been. the expression of that night in the face of Mrs. And now. and thought how good and true Agnes was. I must confess. Wickfield stepped between them. however.

in my old room.tion. and the old time was past. than I cared to show to Uriah Heep. and of the trim smooth grass-plot. going through the town. with an indifferent show of being very manly. I was heavier at heart when I packed up such of my books and clothes as still remained there to be sent to Dover. and throw him five shillings to drink. and that occupied my mind sufficiently.com  . and a great disgrace that had no distinct form in it yet. that I had half a mind to nod to my old enemy the butcher. but the days of my inhabiting there were gone. It was as if the tranquil sanctuary of my boyhood had been sacked before my face. I should be there again soon. and did it a cruel wrong. I was so softened and forgiving. But he looked such a very obdurate butcher as he stood scraping the great block in the shop. I got away from Agnes and her father. which Agnes had filled with her influence. I had no pleasure in thinking. which remained shut up in themselves a hundred years together. But morning brought with it my parting from the old house.perhaps often . that I thought it best Free eBooks at Planet eBook. somehow. any more. I might sleep again . who was so officious to help me. fell like a stain upon the quiet place where I had worked and played as a boy. and the stone urns. his appearance was so little improved by the loss of a front tooth which I had knocked out. no doubt. and the congenial sound of the Cathedral bell hovering above them all. and took my seat upon the box of the London coach. of the grave old broad-leaved aloetrees. and the Doctor’s walk. and its peace and honour given to the winds. and moreover. that I uncharitably thought him mighty glad that I was going.

because I felt it was a grown-up sort of thing. ‘I don’t know. as much as to say. I remember. too.’ said William. ‘Is Suffolk your county.to make no advances. I was going down there whaling. ‘I am going to London. He knew as well as I did that it was just as likely.’ I said. at that time of year. ‘Yes. was to appear as old as possible to the coachman.  David Copperfield . and to evince a familiarity with them. ‘whether I shall take a shot or not. when he’s a good un. with some importance. The main object on my mind. but I felt it necessary to uphold the institutions of my county.’ ‘I’m told the dumplings is uncommon fine down there. condescendingly (I knew him). ‘Yes. ‘I believe you!’ ‘And the Punches. I was not aware of it myself. and to speak extremely gruff. I shall go down into Suffolk afterwards. but I stuck to it. is worth his weight in gold. sir?’ asked William.’ said William.’ ‘Shooting. I’m told.’ I said.’ ‘Birds is got wery shy. ‘Suffolk’s my county. sir?’ said the coachman.’ said William. sir?’ said the coachman. The latter point I achieved at great personal inconvenience. William. ‘So I understand. pretending to be undecided. ‘There’s cattle! A Suffolk Punch.’ I said.’ said I. so I shook my head. ‘You are going through. but I felt complimented. when we got fairly on the road.

that his breath quite tickled the back of my head. ‘There ain’t no sort of orse that I ain’t bred. ‘Ain’t I what?’ said the gentleman behind. and no sort of dorg. who had a tall white hat on with a narrow flat brim. if you don’t mind. and a prominent chin. in a very knowing manner.’ said the gentleman. and Arithmetic . and whose close-fitting drab trousers seemed to button all the way up outside his legs from his boots to his hips. and as I looked at him. His chin was cocked over the coachman’s shoulder. ‘not exactly. I’ll pound it. he leered at the leaders with the eye with which he didn’t squint.’ I said.’ said William.’ ‘That ain’t a sort of man to see sitting behind a coachbox.’ I have always considered this as the first fall I had in Free eBooks at Planet eBook. is it though?’ said William in my ear.lodging. sir?’ ‘N-no.reading. ‘Ain’t you?’ asked William. sir. ‘I think it would be more correct. I construed this remark into an indication of a wish that he should have my place. ‘as has bred ‘em by wholesale. They’re wittles and drink to me . and sleep.’ ‘Here’s a gen’lm’n behind me. so I blushingly offered to resign it. so near to me. ‘Well. as he handled the reins.snuff.com  . ‘Bred them Suffolk Punches by wholesale?’ ‘I should think so. writing. wife. tobacker. Orses and dorgs is some men’s fancy. and children .’ The gentleman spoken of was a gentleman with a very unpromising squint.’ said William.Did you ever breed any Suffolk Punches yourself.

and had felt that I was a credit to the coach. and had given the bookkeeper half-a-crown. when it would have been better away. and dreadfully young. expressly to do honour to that distinguished eminence. and saw that well-remembered style of face turned up. who had no other merit than smelling like a livery-stables. and being able to walk across me. which has often beset me in life on small occasions. while the horses were at a canter! A distrust of myself. And here. but I felt completely extinguished.life. I was got up in a special great-coat and shawl. in every conspicuous landmark on the road. in the very first stage. and I caught a glimpse. of the lane where the old monster lived who had bought my jacket. and with plenty of money in my pocket. more like a fly than a human being. in passing. nevertheless. I had abundant occupation for my thoughts. I spoke from the pit of my stomach for the rest of the journey. When I booked my place at the coach office I had had ‘Box Seat’ written against the entry. I was supplanted by a shabby man with a squint. It was in vain to take refuge in gruffness of speech. had glorified myself upon it a good deal. was assuredly not stopped in its growth by this little incident outside the Canterbury coach. When we clattered through the narrow street of Chatham. It was curious and interesting. I stretched my neck eagerly to  David Copperfield . to be sitting up there behind four horses: well educated. well dressed. and to look out for the places where I had slept on my weary journey. When I looked down at the trampers whom we passed. I felt as if the tinker’s blackened hand were in the bosom of my shirt again.

A waiter showed me into the coffee-room.look for the place where I had sat. ‘what would you like for dinner? Young gentlemen likes poultry in general: have a fowl!’ I told him. as majestically as I could. in the sun and in the shade. and let all the boys out like so many caged sparrows. ‘Do you care for taters?’ said the waiter. in a tone of confidence.’ said the waiter. and passed the veritable Salem House where Mr. I would have given all I had. for lawful permission to get down and thrash him. and the waiter being familiar with me. We went to the Golden Cross at Charing Cross. with an insinuating smile. which smelt like a hackney-coach. that I wasn’t in the humour for a fowl. ‘Well now. ‘Young gentlemen is generally tired of beef and mutton: have a weal cutlet!’ I assented to this proposal. to order a veal Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and a chambermaid introduced me to my small bedchamber. ‘Young gentlemen generally has been overdosed with taters. at last. in default of being able to suggest anything else.com  . Creakle had laid about him with a heavy hand. waiting for my money. within a stage of London. I was still painfully conscious of my youth. When we came. for nobody stood in any awe of me at all: the chambermaid being utterly indifferent to my opinions on any subject. and his head on one side. ‘Ain’t you?’ said the waiter. in my deepest voice. then a mouldy sort of establishment in a close neighbourhood.’ I commanded him. and was shut up like a family vault. and offering advice to my inexperience.

’thought it a favourable opportunity. and to inquire at the bar if there were any letters for Trotwood Copperfield. and there. To have all those noble Romans alive before me. and it certainly had more English crumbs in it. Esquire . It was Covent Garden Theatre that I chose. I resolved to go to the play.  David Copperfield . I am afraid. was a most novel and delightful effect. I observed him behind a low wooden partition. I am of this opinion. but thought it manly to appear to expect. When the wine came.which I knew there were not. instead of being the stern taskmasters they had been at school. too. from the back of a centre box. I thought it flat. than were to be expected in a foreign wine in anything like a pure state. and all things fitting. he asked me what I would take with it. But the mingled reality and mystery of the whole show. and on my replying ‘Half a pint of sherry. like a chemist and druggist making up a prescription.cutlet and potatoes. and say nothing. I saw Julius Caesar and the new Pantomime. Being then in a pleasant frame of mind (from which I infer that poisoning is not always disagreeable in some stages of the process). and couldn’t be. the lights. to extract that measure of wine from the stale leavings at the bottoms of several small decanters. and walking in and out for my entertainment. very busy pouring out of a number of those vessels into one. because. the influence upon me of the poetry. which was his private apartment. while I was reading the newspaper. but I was bashful enough to drink it. While he was so engaged. He soon came back to say that there were none (at which I was much surprised) and began to lay the cloth for my dinner in a box by the fire.

with my eyes on the coffee-room fire. revolving the glorious vision all the way. over the coffee-room fire. I sat revolving it still. who had got the fidgets in his legs.com  . and with the past . and stood in the street for a little while. through which I saw my earlier life moving along . became a real presence to me.for it was. link-lighted. in a manner. the smooth stupendous changes of glittering and brilliant scenery. splashing. patten-clinking. much to the relief of the sleepy waiter. muddy. musing. at twelve o’clock at night. and hitting them. and putting them through all kinds of contortions in his small pantry. and was twisting them. miserable world. after some porter and oysters. umbrella-struggling. soon recalled me to myself. where I had been leading a romantic life for ages. at past one o’clock. and opened up such illimitable regions of delight. hackney-coach-jostling. were so dazzling. In going towards Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as if I really were a stranger upon earth: but the unceremonious pushing and hustling that I received. to a bawling. But I recollect being conscious of his company without having noticed his coming in .the music. At last I rose to go to bed. I felt as if I had come from the clouds. like a shining transparency. that when I came out into the rainy street. I was so filled with the play. the company.that I don’t know when the figure of a handsome well-formed young man dressed with a tasteful easy negligence which I have reason to remember very well. I had emerged by another door.and my still sitting. and put me in the road back to the hotel. whither I went. and where.

sometimes -but I saw no recognition in his face. too!’ he said. shaking my hands heartily. and we sat down together. came back. I passed the person who had come in. ‘I never. never was so glad! My dear Steerforth. and could not let them go.the door. his former protection of me appeared so deserving of my gratitude. I brushed away the tears that my utmost resolution had not been able to keep back. and I made a clumsy laugh of it. and might have lost him. I thought. ‘My God!’ he suddenly exclaimed. that I went up to him at once. clap0 David Copperfield . never. how do you come to be here?’ said Steerforth. I am afraid.just as he used to look. don’t be overpowered!’ And yet he was glad. and might have put it off until next day. where the play was still running high. and said: ‘Steerforth! won’t you speak to me?’ He looked at me . He did not know me. and the fear that it might displease him. ‘You don’t remember me. At another time I might have wanted the confidence or the decision to speak to him. But for very shame. too. Copperfield.’ said I. ‘Why. to see how the delight I had in meeting him affected me. side by side. in the then condition of my mind. But. ‘Why. and looked again. but I knew him in a moment. old boy. I turned directly. with a fast-beating heart. ‘It’s little Copperfield!’ I grasped him by both hands. and my old love for him overflowed my breast so freshly and spontaneously. and saw him plainly. I am so overjoyed to see you!’ ‘And I am rejoiced to see you. I could have held him round the neck and cried.

What a delightful and magnificent entertainment. just what you used to be. and have just finished my education there. and our house tedious enough. too. You’re a devilish amiable-looking fellow.’ He laughed as he ran his hand through the clustering curls of his hair.ping me on the shoulder. ‘that is to say. today. Steerforth?’ ‘Well.’ said I. How do YOU come to be here. now I look at you! Not altered in the least!’ ‘I knew you immediately. ‘you are a very Daisy. ‘but you are more easily remembered. Copperfield. ‘My dear young Davy. and those I have been dozing and grumbling away at the play. I am on an expedition of duty. too. and the roads being in a beastly condition.’ ‘I have been at the play. is not fresher than you are.com 1 . I am what they call an Oxford man. My mother lives a little way out of town.’ I said. ‘At Covent Garden. Steerforth!’ Steerforth laughed heartily. at sunrise. I remained here tonight instead of going on. I have been adopted by an aunt down in that part of the country. and said gaily: ‘Yes.’ he returned.and I am on my way now to my mother’s. I get bored to death down there. Holloa. I have been at Covent Garden. I have not been in town half-adozen hours. ‘I came here by the Canterbury coach. clapping me on the shoulder again. periodically . The daisy of the field.’ he said. you sir!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and there never was a more miserable business.

‘And do it at once. who had been very attentive to our recognition. I soon fell asleep in a blissful condition. It being now pretty late. ‘Mr. with an apologetic air. ‘Where have you put my friend. sir. and dreamed  David Copperfield .an invitation I was only too proud and happy to accept. you see we wasn’t aware. Copperfield seventy-two.’ said the waiter.’ ‘And what the devil do you mean. Copperfield was anyways particular. ‘Beg your pardon. we took our candles and went upstairs.’ retorted Steerforth. Copperfield is at present in forty-four. Steerforth.’ ‘Of course it would be preferred. sir.This was addressed to the waiter. sir. if it would be preferred. it not being at all musty. ‘Well. Next you. ‘as Mr. which was quite a little landed estate. sir. still apologetically. We can give Mr. very much amused at my having been put into forty-four. and having an immense four-post bedstead in it. ‘by putting Mr.’ said Steerforth. Copperfield into a little loft over a stable?’ ‘Why. and invited me to breakfast with him next morning at ten o’clock . Mr. laughed again. sir?’ ‘Where does he sleep? What’s his number? You know what I mean.’ said Steerforth. where we parted with friendly heartiness at his door. Copperfield?’ said Steerforth.’ returned the waiter.’ The waiter immediately withdrew to make the exchange. at a distance. and where I found my new room a great improvement on my old one. and clapped me on the shoulder again. among pillows enough for six. Here. sir. and now came forward deferentially.

of ancient Rome. made me dream of thunder and the gods. and friendship. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. until the early morning coaches. rumbling out of the archway underneath.com  . Steerforth.

and looking anything but regal in a drizzling rain and a darkbrown fog. a sneaking and guilty air when I passed her on the staircase. where the fire burnt bright. under the ignoble circumstances of the case. but. until I was admonished by the waiter that the gentleman was waiting for me. and blushed in my bed. I felt severely the having no occasion for it. when she said it. I was so sensitively aware. I was conscious. hearing her there with a broom. stood peeping out of window at King Charles on horseback. and gave me. red-curtained and Turkey-carpeted. and informed me that my shaving-water was outside. of being younger than I could have wished. but in a snug private apartment.CHAPTER 20 STEERFORTH’S HOME W hen the chambermaid tapped at my door at eight o’clock. that for some time I could not make up my mind to pass her at all. and a fine hot breakfast was set forth on a table covered with a David Copperfield  . preyed upon my mind all the time I was dressing. indeed. as I was going down to breakfast. The suspicion that she laughed too. surrounded by a maze of hackney-coaches. It was not in the coffee-room that I found Steerforth expecting me.

and superior to me in all respects (age included). Steerforth. I could not enough admire the change he had wrought in the Golden Cross. was shining in the little round mirror over the sideboard. ‘As you are in no hurry. ‘Now. and stay a day or two. ‘Come and prove it.’ ‘I should like to be as sure of that.she is a little vain and prosy about me. has a claim on her that is sure to be acknowledged. ‘everyone who likes me. I told him how my aunt had proposed the little expedition that I had before me. I feel as if you were my property.’ said I. as you are kind enough to say you are. and all about you. in sackcloth and ashes. As to the waiter’s familiarity.’ I answered. and made me quite at home. or compare the dull forlorn state I had held yesterday. it was quenched as if it had never been. and all. with this morning’s comfort and this morning’s entertainment. when we were alone. as I may say.’ Glowing with pleasure to find that he had still this interest in me. but that you can forgive her . ‘Oh!’ said Steerforth. Copperfield. ‘I should like to hear what you are doing. and whither it tended. We will go Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and elegant.’ said Steerforth. ‘come home with me to Highgate. and where you are going. You will be pleased with my mother .clean cloth.com  . the fire. the breakfast. Steerforth being so self-possessed. but his easy patronage soon put that to rights. He attended on us. smiling.’ ‘Then I think I shall be a favourite.and she will be pleased with you. then. ‘Good!’ said Steerforth. and a cheerful miniature of the room.’ said Steerforth. I was rather bashful at first.

and they will have good reason to be proud of you. Copperfield . Steerforth. to the solitary box in the coffee-room and the familiar waiter again. After I had written to my aunt and told her of my fortunate meeting with my admired old schoolfellow. that a parcel of heavyheaded fellows may gape and hold up their hands? Let them do it at some other man. where I could not help observing how much Steerforth knew.’ I could hardly believe but that I was in a dream. ‘if you have not done so already. and saw a Panorama and some other sights. on an infinite variety of subjects.’ ‘But the fame -’ I was beginning. and he’s wel David Copperfield . and of how little account he seemed to make his knowledge. ‘You romantic Daisy!’ said Steerforth. and that I should wake presently in number forty-four. ‘That’s a good fellow! My dear Daisy.’ said I. laughing. I find that I am heavy company enough for myself as I am. ‘Not I! my dear Daisy . There’s fame for him.’ ‘I take a degree!’ cried Steerforth.and then we’ll journey out to Highgate by the coach.it’s something to have a fresh fellow like you to show them to. ‘You’ll take a high degree at college. laughing still more heartily: ‘why should I trouble myself. we went out in a hackney-chariot.and see the lions for an hour or two . I have done quite sufficient for my purpose. and my acceptance of his invitation.’ said Steerforth. ‘I have not the least desire or intention to distinguish myself in that way. and took a walk through the Museum.will you mind my calling you Daisy?’ ‘Not at all!’ said I.

coming and going on the walls. by Steerforth’s mother when she was a girl). It was a genteel old-fashioned house. perhaps Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as the newly-kindled fire crackled and sputtered. for Steerforth could always pass from one subject to another with a carelessness and lightness that were his own. From the windows of my room I saw all London lying in the distance like a great vapour. in dressing. was in the doorway as we alighted. very quiet and orderly. Lunch succeeded to our sight-seeing. that it was dusk when the stagecoach stopped with us at an old brick house at Highgate on the summit of the hill. and greeting Steerforth as ‘My dearest James. of a slight short figure. to glance at the solid furniture. An elderly lady. and was glad to change the subject. I had only time.’ I was abashed at having made so great a mistake. and she gave me a stately welcome.come to it. with here and there some lights twinkling through it. with a proud carriage and a handsome face. Fortunately it was not difficult to do. when I was called to dinner. and not agreeable to look at. To this lady he presented me as his mother.com  .’ folded him in her arms. but with some appearance of good looks too. and some pictures in crayons of ladies with powdered hair and bodices. I supposed. There was a second lady in the dining-room. though not very far advanced in years. and the short winter day wore away so fast. who attracted my attention: perhaps because I had not expected to see her. the framed pieces of work (done. dark.

I concluded in my own mind that she was about thirty years of age. and had been for a long time Mrs. for it was not discoloured. It appeared to me that she never said anything she wanted to say.’ returned Miss Dartle. an appearance of good looks. It was an old scar . really? You know how ignorant I am.eh?’ ‘It is education for a very grave profession.’ Mrs. Steerforth observed. Steerforth’s companion. She was a little dilapidated . For example.because I found myself sitting opposite to her. which found a vent in her gaunt eyes. outright. Steerforth answered with some coldness. She was introduced as Miss Dartle. but hinted it. yet had. She had black hair and eager black eyes. and had a scar upon her lip. and both Steerforth and his mother called her Rosa. as I have said. except above and on her upper lip. if I am wrong .like a house . Her thinness seemed to be the effect of some wasting fire within her. and that she wished to be married. that she feared her son led but a wild life at college. but was now barely visible across the table. downward towards the chin. the shape of which it had altered.I want to be put right. and had healed years ago . and that I only ask for information.I should rather call it seam. though? . perhaps because of something really remarkable in her. more in jest than earnest. when Mrs.isn’t  David Copperfield .with having been so long to let. ‘Oh! Yes! That’s very true. Miss Dartle put in thus: ‘Oh. but isn’t it always so? I thought that kind of life was on all hands understood to be .which had once cut through her mouth. ‘But isn’t it. and made a great deal more of it by this practice. Rosa. if you mean that. I found that she lived there. and was thin.

I am convinced of it. You can’t think how it elevates him in my opinion. Well. really?’ ‘Really what?’ said Mrs. if he’s really conscientious. I’m very glad to hear it! Now. and her correction of everything that was said to which she was opposed. ‘My son’s tutor is a conscientious gentleman. Steerforth speaking to me about my intention of going down into Suffolk. I shall never allow people to talk before me about wastefulness and profligacy. I shall be quite happy in my opinion of him. from this time. I said at hazard how glad I should be. ‘Dear me! Conscientious. I could not conceal from myself. ‘Well. and so forth. I should have reliance on him.it. An instance happened before dinner was done. ‘How very nice!’ exclaimed Miss Dartle. ‘What a comfort! Really conscientious? Then he’s not . Mrs. Steerforth. now?’ ‘Yes. with great power. I know what to do! That’s the advantage of asking. I reminded him of the boatman Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in connexion with that life. Miss Dartle insinuated in the same way: sometimes. any more. Steerforth. and Mr.’ said Mrs. to know for certain that he’s really conscientious!’ Her own views of every question. and if I had not implicit reliance on my son.but of course he can’t be. Peggotty’s family. if Steerforth would only go there with me. though in contradiction even of Steerforth.com  . ‘Oh! You mean it’s not!’ returned Miss Dartle. and explaining to him that I was going to see my old nurse. Steerforth.’ said Mrs.’ ‘And you will be right.’ ‘Should you?’ said Miss Dartle. is he? Really conscientious.

I dare say . ‘Oh! That bluff fellow!’ said Steerforth. for he lives in one.’ 0 David Copperfield .’ said Steerforth. ‘They are not to be expected to be as sensitive as we are. as a son.’ My heart leaped with a new hope of pleasure. ‘That sort of people.but they have not very fine natures. He has a very pretty little niece too. though. though?’ she said. ‘whom he adopted. there’s a pretty wide separation between them and us. You would be delighted to see that household.whom he had seen at school. at least. Daisy).’ ‘Why.’ ‘Should I?’ said Steerforth.Are they really animals and clods. but.some people contend for that. That was his nephew. hadn’t he?’ ‘No. to see that sort of people together. and I am sure I don’t want to contradict them . that Miss Dartle.is full of people who are objects of his generosity and kindness. ‘He had a son with him. ‘Are they what? And are who what?’ said Steerforth. and beings of another order? I want to know SO much. like their coarse rough skins. his house . I must see what can be done.’ I replied. and to make one of ‘em. But it was in reference to the tone in which he had spoken of ‘that sort of people’. Are they. Their delicacy is not to be shocked. on dry land . or hurt easily. they are not easily wounded. whose sparkling eyes had been watchful of us. with indifference.or rather his boat. now broke in again. In short. I think I should. . It would be worth a journey (not to mention the pleasure of a journey with you. ‘Oh. whom he adopted as a daughter. and they may be thankful that. ‘Well. They are wonderfully virtuous. really? Do tell me.

or to draw Miss Dartle out.’ said Steerforth. as you see.’ he returned. as she has sharpened her own face and figure these years past.’ ‘What a remarkable scar that is upon her lip!’ I said. ‘Well. when I have been better pleased than to hear that. in jest. ‘and she’ll bear it to her grave. I had my doubts. ‘Clever! She brings everything to a grindstone. But he merely asked me what I thought of her.don’t it?’ I believed that Steerforth had said what he had. the fact is. and now I do know. when they suffer. and that shows the advantage of asking . they don’t feel! Sometimes I have been quite uneasy for that sort of people. She was the motherless child of a sort of cousin of my faFree eBooks at Planet eBook. It’s so consoling! It’s such a delight to know that. and I expected him to say as much when she was gone.com 1 . ‘She is very clever. I don’t know. and she exasperated me. and we two were sitting before the fire. A promising young angel I must have been!’ I was deeply sorry to have touched on such a painful theme. She is all edge. She has worn herself away by constant sharpening. I was a young boy. if she ever rests in one .’ said Steerforth. altogether. ‘I did that. but now I shall just dismiss the idea of them. I confess. but that was useless now. I didn’t know. and sharpens it. Steerforth’s face fell. Live and learn.though I can hardly believe she will ever rest anywhere. and he paused a moment. but now they’re cleared up. ‘Why. is she not?’ I asked. now.’ ‘By an unfortunate accident!’ ‘No.‘Really!’ said Miss Dartle. ‘She has borne the mark ever since. and I threw a hammer at her.

and then I saw it start forth like the old writing on the wall. lead-coloured streak. in compliment to you. for one moment. He died one day.but help yourself. There’s the history of Miss Rosa Dartle for you. and that. in a locket. with some of his baby-hair in it. It was no matter of wonder to me to find Mrs.the more shame for me!’ A moody smile that had overspread his features cleared off as he said this merrily. It was not long before I observed that it was the most susceptible part of her face. She has a couple of thousand pounds of her own. when she turned pale. I could not help glancing at the scar with a painful interest when we went in to tea. lengthening out to its full extent. in compliment to me . brought her here to be company to her. and she  David Copperfield . and became a dull. ‘Humph!’ retorted Steerforth. ‘Some brothers are not loved over much. and some love . looking at the fire.’ ‘And I have no doubt she loves you like a brother?’ said I. Copperfield! We’ll drink the daisies of the field. like a mark in invisible ink brought to the fire. She showed me his picture as an infant. that mark altered first. to add to the principal. Steerforth devoted to her son. There was a little altercation between her and Steerforth about a cast of the dice at back gammon . and the lilies of the valley that toil not. she showed me his picture as he had been when I first knew him. winning self again. who was then a widow. My mother.when I thought her. and saves the interest of it every year. She seemed to be able to speak or think about nothing else. in a storm of rage.ther’s. neither do they spin. and he was his own frank.

and we found such a man there. my son tells me. as she and I were talking at one table. for the stateliness of her manner already abated towards me. and would be content to bow himself before it. of a pupil younger than himself who had taken his fancy there. while they played backgammon at another.’ said I. but your name. ‘and I stood in need of such a friend. that you first became acquainted. except when she spoke in praise of him. she kept in a cabinet near her own chair by the fire. I subscribed to this with all my heart.’ ‘He was very generous and noble to me in those days. knowing the fellow. ‘far from it. She knew I did. ‘It was not a fit school generally for my son. I recollect his speaking.wore at her breast his picture as he was now. and I should have been very glad to hear them too.’ I knew that. but there were particular circumstances to be considered at the time. I should have been quite crushed without him. ‘It was at Mr. and then her air was always lofty.’ ‘He is always generous and noble. and coaxed her out of the design. Steerforth. ma’am. My son’s high spirit made it desirable that he should be placed with some man who felt its superiority. God knows.’ said Mrs. Creakle’s. And yet I did not deFree eBooks at Planet eBook. at that time.’ said she.’ said Mrs. All the letters he had ever written to her. I assure you. and she would have read me some of them. proudly. has not lived in my memory. of more importance even than that selection. as you may suppose. ‘Indeed. Steerforth.com  . if he had not interposed.

felt older than I  David Copperfield . and honoured by Mrs. I should have fancied that her figure had got thin. but he found himself the monarch of the place. or lost a look of mine as I received it with the utmost pleasure. ‘My son informs me. to the course in which he can always. and that when you met yesterday you made yourself known to him with tears of joy. and that you may rely on his protection.’ I echoed. but thought it a redeeming quality in him if he could be allowed any grace for not resisting one so irresistible as Steerforth. ‘My son’s great capacity was tempted on. and I am very glad to see you here. with all my heart and soul. there. Steerforth’s confidence. but I cannot be indifferent to anyone who is so sensible of his merit. If I had seen her. over that pursuit. that you were quite devoted to him.spise him the more for it. and no other in the world. Mr. and can assure you that he feels an unusual friendship for you. It was like himself. that it was like himself. when it is his pleasure. by a feeling of voluntary emulation and conscious pride. But I am very much mistaken if she missed a word of this. first. and he haughtily determined to be worthy of his station. I should be an affected woman if I made any pretence of being surprised by my son’s inspiring such emotions.’ the fond lady went on to say. and on no compulsion. ‘So my son took.’ Miss Dartle played backgammon as eagerly as she did everything else. at the board.’ she pursued. Copperfield. and her eyes had got large. ‘He would have risen against all constraint. outstrip every competitor. of his own will.

had done since I left Canterbury. When the evening was pretty far spent, and a tray of glasses and decanters came in, Steerforth promised, over the fire, that he would seriously think of going down into the country with me. There was no hurry, he said; a week hence would do; and his mother hospitably said the same. While we were talking, he more than once called me Daisy; which brought Miss Dartle out again. ‘But really, Mr. Copperfield,’ she asked, ‘is it a nickname? And why does he give it you? Is it - eh? - because he thinks you young and innocent? I am so stupid in these things.’ I coloured in replying that I believed it was. ‘Oh!’ said Miss Dartle. ‘Now I am glad to know that! I ask for information, and I am glad to know it. He thinks you young and innocent; and so you are his friend. Well, that’s quite delightful!’ She went to bed soon after this, and Mrs. Steerforth retired too. Steerforth and I, after lingering for half-an-hour over the fire, talking about Traddles and all the rest of them at old Salem House, went upstairs together. Steerforth’s room was next to mine, and I went in to look at it. It was a picture of comfort, full of easy-chairs, cushions and footstools, worked by his mother’s hand, and with no sort of thing omitted that could help to render it complete. Finally, her handsome features looked down on her darling from a portrait on the wall, as if it were even something to her that her likeness should watch him while he slept. I found the fire burning clear enough in my room by this time, and the curtains drawn before the windows and
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round the bed, giving it a very snug appearance. I sat down in a great chair upon the hearth to meditate on my happiness; and had enjoyed the contemplation of it for some time, when I found a likeness of Miss Dartle looking eagerly at me from above the chimney-piece. It was a startling likeness, and necessarily had a startling look. The painter hadn’t made the scar, but I made it; and there it was, coming and going; now confined to the upper lip as I had seen it at dinner, and now showing the whole extent of the wound inflicted by the hammer, as I had seen it when she was passionate. I wondered peevishly why they couldn’t put her anywhere else instead of quartering her on me. To get rid of her, I undressed quickly, extinguished my light, and went to bed. But, as I fell asleep, I could not forget that she was still there looking, ‘Is it really, though? I want to know’; and when I awoke in the night, I found that I was uneasily asking all sorts of people in my dreams whether it really was or not - without knowing what I meant. 

David Copperfield

CHAPTER 21 LITTLE EM’LY

T

here was a servant in that house, a man who, I understood, was usually with Steerforth, and had come into his service at the University, who was in appearance a pattern of respectability. I believe there never existed in his station a more respectable-looking man. He was taciturn, soft-footed, very quiet in his manner, deferential, observant, always at hand when wanted, and never near when not wanted; but his great claim to consideration was his respectability. He had not a pliant face, he had rather a stiff neck, rather a tight smooth head with short hair clinging to it at the sides, a soft way of speaking, with a peculiar habit of whispering the letter S so distinctly, that he seemed to use it oftener than any other man; but every peculiarity that he had he made respectable. If his nose had been upside-down, he would have made that respectable. He surrounded himself with an atmosphere of respectability, and walked secure in it. It would have been next to impossible to suspect him of anything wrong, he was so thoroughly respectable. Nobody could have thought of putting him in a livery, he was so highly respectable. To have imposed
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any derogatory work upon him, would have been to inflict a wanton insult on the feelings of a most respectable man. And of this, I noticed- the women-servants in the household were so intuitively conscious, that they always did such work themselves, and generally while he read the paper by the pantry fire. Such a self-contained man I never saw. But in that quality, as in every other he possessed, he only seemed to be the more respectable. Even the fact that no one knew his Christian name, seemed to form a part of his respectability. Nothing could be objected against his surname, Littimer, by which he was known. Peter might have been hanged, or Tom transported; but Littimer was perfectly respectable. It was occasioned, I suppose, by the reverend nature of respectability in the abstract, but I felt particularly young in this man’s presence. How old he was himself, I could not guess - and that again went to his credit on the same score; for in the calmness of respectability he might have numbered fifty years as well as thirty. Littimer was in my room in the morning before I was up, to bring me that reproachful shaving-water, and to put out my clothes. When I undrew the curtains and looked out of bed, I saw him, in an equable temperature of respectability, unaffected by the east wind of January, and not even breathing frostily, standing my boots right and left in the first dancing position, and blowing specks of dust off my coat as he laid it down like a baby. I gave him good morning, and asked him what o’clock it was. He took out of his pocket the most respectable hunting David Copperfield

watch I ever saw, and preventing the spring with his thumb from opening far, looked in at the face as if he were consulting an oracular oyster, shut it up again, and said, if I pleased, it was half past eight. ‘Mr. Steerforth will be glad to hear how you have rested, sir.’ ‘Thank you,’ said I, ‘very well indeed. Is Mr. Steerforth quite well?’ ‘Thank you, sir, Mr. Steerforth is tolerably well.’ Another of his characteristics - no use of superlatives. A cool calm medium always. ‘Is there anything more I can have the honour of doing for you, sir? The warning-bell will ring at nine; the family take breakfast at half past nine.’ ‘Nothing, I thank you.’ ‘I thank YOU, sir, if you please’; and with that, and with a little inclination of his head when he passed the bed-side, as an apology for correcting me, he went out, shutting the door as delicately as if I had just fallen into a sweet sleep on which my life depended. Every morning we held exactly this conversation: never any more, and never any less: and yet, invariably, however far I might have been lifted out of myself over-night, and advanced towards maturer years, by Steerforth’s companionship, or Mrs. Steerforth’s confidence, or Miss Dartle’s conversation, in the presence of this most respectable man I became, as our smaller poets sing, ‘a boy again’. He got horses for us; and Steerforth, who knew everything, gave me lessons in riding. He provided foils for us,
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and Steerforth gave me lessons in fencing - gloves, and I began, of the same master, to improve in boxing. It gave me no manner of concern that Steerforth should find me a novice in these sciences, but I never could bear to show my want of skill before the respectable Littimer. I had no reason to believe that Littimer understood such arts himself; he never led me to suppose anything of the kind, by so much as the vibration of one of his respectable eyelashes; yet whenever he was by, while we were practising, I felt myself the greenest and most inexperienced of mortals. I am particular about this man, because he made a particular effect on me at that time, and because of what took place thereafter. The week passed away in a most delightful manner. It passed rapidly, as may be supposed, to one entranced as I was; and yet it gave me so many occasions for knowing Steerforth better, and admiring him more in a thousand respects, that at its close I seemed to have been with him for a much longer time. A dashing way he had of treating me like a plaything, was more agreeable to me than any behaviour he could have adopted. It reminded me of our old acquaintance; it seemed the natural sequel of it; it showed me that he was unchanged; it relieved me of any uneasiness I might have felt, in comparing my merits with his, and measuring my claims upon his friendship by any equal standard; above all, it was a familiar, unrestrained, affectionate demeanour that he used towards no one else. As he had treated me at school differently from all the rest, I joyfully believed that he treated me in life unlike any other friend he 
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had. I believed that I was nearer to his heart than any other friend, and my own heart warmed with attachment to him. He made up his mind to go with me into the country, and the day arrived for our departure. He had been doubtful at first whether to take Littimer or not, but decided to leave him at home. The respectable creature, satisfied with his lot whatever it was, arranged our portmanteaux on the little carriage that was to take us into London, as if they were intended to defy the shocks of ages, and received my modestly proffered donation with perfect tranquillity. We bade adieu to Mrs. Steerforth and Miss Dartle, with many thanks on my part, and much kindness on the devoted mother’s. The last thing I saw was Littimer’s unruffled eye; fraught, as I fancied, with the silent conviction that I was very young indeed. What I felt, in returning so auspiciously to the old familiar places, I shall not endeavour to describe. We went down by the Mail. I was so concerned, I recollect, even for the honour of Yarmouth, that when Steerforth said, as we drove through its dark streets to the inn, that, as well as he could make out, it was a good, queer, out-of-the-way kind of hole, I was highly pleased. We went to bed on our arrival (I observed a pair of dirty shoes and gaiters in connexion with my old friend the Dolphin as we passed that door), and breakfasted late in the morning. Steerforth, who was in great spirits, had been strolling about the beach before I was up, and had made acquaintance, he said, with half the boatmen in the place. Moreover, he had seen, in the distance, what he was sure must be the identical house of Mr.
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Peggotty, with smoke coming out of the chimney; and had had a great mind, he told me, to walk in and swear he was myself grown out of knowledge. ‘When do you propose to introduce me there, Daisy?’ he said. ‘I am at your disposal. Make your own arrangements.’ ‘Why, I was thinking that this evening would be a good time, Steerforth, when they are all sitting round the fire. I should like you to see it when it’s snug, it’s such a curious place.’ ‘So be it!’ returned Steerforth. ‘This evening.’ ‘I shall not give them any notice that we are here, you know,’ said I, delighted. ‘We must take them by surprise.’ ‘Oh, of course! It’s no fun,’ said Steerforth, ‘unless we take them by surprise. Let us see the natives in their aboriginal condition.’ ‘Though they ARE that sort of people that you mentioned,’ I returned. ‘Aha! What! you recollect my skirmishes with Rosa, do you?’ he exclaimed with a quick look. ‘Confound the girl, I am half afraid of her. She’s like a goblin to me. But never mind her. Now what are you going to do? You are going to see your nurse, I suppose?’ ‘Why, yes,’ I said, ‘I must see Peggotty first of all.’ ‘Well,’ replied Steerforth, looking at his watch. ‘Suppose I deliver you up to be cried over for a couple of hours. Is that long enough?’ I answered, laughing, that I thought we might get through it in that time, but that he must come also; for he would find that his renown had preceded him, and that he 
David Copperfield

was almost as great a personage as I was. ‘I’ll come anywhere you like,’ said Steerforth, ‘or do anything you like. Tell me where to come to; and in two hours I’ll produce myself in any state you please, sentimental or comical.’ I gave him minute directions for finding the residence of Mr. Barkis, carrier to Blunderstone and elsewhere; and, on this understanding, went out alone. There was a sharp bracing air; the ground was dry; the sea was crisp and clear; the sun was diffusing abundance of light, if not much warmth; and everything was fresh and lively. I was so fresh and lively myself, in the pleasure of being there, that I could have stopped the people in the streets and shaken hands with them. The streets looked small, of course. The streets that we have only seen as children always do, I believe, when we go back to them. But I had forgotten nothing in them, and found nothing changed, until I came to Mr. Omer’s shop. OMER AND Joram was now written up, where OMER used to be; but the inscription, DRAPER, TAILOR, HABERDASHER, FUNERAL FURNISHER, &c., remained as it was. My footsteps seemed to tend so naturally to the shop door, after I had read these words from over the way, that I went across the road and looked in. There was a pretty woman at the back of the shop, dancing a little child in her arms, while another little fellow clung to her apron. I had no difficulty in recognizing either Minnie or Minnie’s children. The glass door of the parlour was not open; but in the
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workshop across the yard I could faintly hear the old tune playing, as if it had never left off. ‘Is Mr. Omer at home?’ said I, entering. ‘I should like to see him, for a moment, if he is.’ ‘Oh yes, sir, he is at home,’ said Minnie; ‘the weather don’t suit his asthma out of doors. Joe, call your grandfather!’ The little fellow, who was holding her apron, gave such a lusty shout, that the sound of it made him bashful, and he buried his face in her skirts, to her great admiration. I heard a heavy puffing and blowing coming towards us, and soon Mr. Omer, shorter-winded than of yore, but not much olderlooking, stood before me. ‘Servant, sir,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘What can I do for you, sir?’ ‘You can shake hands with me, Mr. Omer, if you please,’ said I, putting out my own. ‘You were very good-natured to me once, when I am afraid I didn’t show that I thought so.’ ‘Was I though?’ returned the old man. ‘I’m glad to hear it, but I don’t remember when. Are you sure it was me?’ ‘Quite.’ ‘I think my memory has got as short as my breath,’ said Mr. Omer, looking at me and shaking his head; ‘for I don’t remember you.’ ‘Don’t you remember your coming to the coach to meet me, and my having breakfast here, and our riding out to Blunderstone together: you, and I, and Mrs. Joram, and Mr. Joram too - who wasn’t her husband then?’ ‘Why, Lord bless my soul!’ exclaimed Mr. Omer, after being thrown by his surprise into a fit of coughing, ‘you don’t say so! Minnie, my dear, you recollect? Dear me, yes; the 
David Copperfield

party was a lady, I think?’ ‘My mother,’ I rejoined. ‘To - be - sure,’ said Mr. Omer, touching my waistcoat with his forefinger, ‘and there was a little child too! There was two parties. The little party was laid along with the other party. Over at Blunderstone it was, of course. Dear me! And how have you been since?’ Very well, I thanked him, as I hoped he had been too. ‘Oh! nothing to grumble at, you know,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘I find my breath gets short, but it seldom gets longer as a man gets older. I take it as it comes, and make the most of it. That’s the best way, ain’t it?’ Mr. Omer coughed again, in consequence of laughing, and was assisted out of his fit by his daughter, who now stood close beside us, dancing her smallest child on the counter. ‘Dear me!’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Yes, to be sure. Two parties! Why, in that very ride, if you’ll believe me, the day was named for my Minnie to marry Joram. ‘Do name it, sir,’ says Joram. ‘Yes, do, father,’ says Minnie. And now he’s come into the business. And look here! The youngest!’ Minnie laughed, and stroked her banded hair upon her temples, as her father put one of his fat fingers into the hand of the child she was dancing on the counter. ‘Two parties, of course!’ said Mr. Omer, nodding his head retrospectively. ‘Ex-actly so! And Joram’s at work, at this minute, on a grey one with silver nails, not this measurement’ - the measurement of the dancing child upon the counter - ‘by a good two inches. - Will you take someFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 

thing?’ I thanked him, but declined. ‘Let me see,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Barkis’s the carrier’s wife - Peggotty’s the boatman’s sister - she had something to do with your family? She was in service there, sure?’ My answering in the affirmative gave him great satisfaction. ‘I believe my breath will get long next, my memory’s getting so much so,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘Well, sir, we’ve got a young relation of hers here, under articles to us, that has as elegant a taste in the dress-making business - I assure you I don’t believe there’s a Duchess in England can touch her.’ ‘Not little Em’ly?’ said I, involuntarily. ‘Em’ly’s her name,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘and she’s little too. But if you’ll believe me, she has such a face of her own that half the women in this town are mad against her.’ ‘Nonsense, father!’ cried Minnie. ‘My dear,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘I don’t say it’s the case with you,’ winking at me, ‘but I say that half the women in Yarmouth - ah! and in five mile round - are mad against that girl.’ ‘Then she should have kept to her own station in life, father,’ said Minnie, ‘and not have given them any hold to talk about her, and then they couldn’t have done it.’ ‘Couldn’t have done it, my dear!’ retorted Mr. Omer. ‘Couldn’t have done it! Is that YOUR knowledge of life? What is there that any woman couldn’t do, that she shouldn’t do - especially on the subject of another woman’s good looks?’ I really thought it was all over with Mr. Omer, after he 
David Copperfield

had uttered this libellous pleasantry. He coughed to that extent, and his breath eluded all his attempts to recover it with that obstinacy, that I fully expected to see his head go down behind the counter, and his little black breeches, with the rusty little bunches of ribbons at the knees, come quivering up in a last ineffectual struggle. At length, however, he got better, though he still panted hard, and was so exhausted that he was obliged to sit on the stool of the shop-desk. ‘You see,’ he said, wiping his head, and breathing with difficulty, ‘she hasn’t taken much to any companions here; she hasn’t taken kindly to any particular acquaintances and friends, not to mention sweethearts. In consequence, an ill-natured story got about, that Em’ly wanted to be a lady. Now my opinion is, that it came into circulation principally on account of her sometimes saying, at the school, that if she was a lady she would like to do so-and-so for her uncle - don’t you see? - and buy him such-and-such fine things.’ ‘I assure you, Mr. Omer, she has said so to me,’ I returned eagerly, ‘when we were both children.’ Mr. Omer nodded his head and rubbed his chin. ‘Just so. Then out of a very little, she could dress herself, you see, better than most others could out of a deal, and that made things unpleasant. Moreover, she was rather what might be called wayward - I’ll go so far as to say what I should call wayward myself,’ said Mr. Omer; ‘- didn’t know her own mind quite - a little spoiled - and couldn’t, at first, exactly bind herself down. No more than that was ever said against her, Minnie?’ ‘No, father,’ said Mrs. Joram. ‘That’s the worst, I believe.’
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‘So when she got a situation,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘to keep a fractious old lady company, they didn’t very well agree, and she didn’t stop. At last she came here, apprenticed for three years. Nearly two of ‘em are over, and she has been as good a girl as ever was. Worth any six! Minnie, is she worth any six, now?’ ‘Yes, father,’ replied Minnie. ‘Never say I detracted from her!’ ‘Very good,’ said Mr. Omer. ‘That’s right. And so, young gentleman,’ he added, after a few moments’ further rubbing of his chin, ‘that you may not consider me long-winded as well as short-breathed, I believe that’s all about it.’ As they had spoken in a subdued tone, while speaking of Em’ly, I had no doubt that she was near. On my asking now, if that were not so, Mr. Omer nodded yes, and nodded towards the door of the parlour. My hurried inquiry if I might peep in, was answered with a free permission; and, looking through the glass, I saw her sitting at her work. I saw her, a most beautiful little creature, with the cloudless blue eyes, that had looked into my childish heart, turned laughingly upon another child of Minnie’s who was playing near her; with enough of wilfulness in her bright face to justify what I had heard; with much of the old capricious coyness lurking in it; but with nothing in her pretty looks, I am sure, but what was meant for goodness and for happiness, and what was on a good and happy course. The tune across the yard that seemed as if it never had left off - alas! it was the tune that never DOES leave off - was 
David Copperfield

beating, softly, all the while. ‘Wouldn’t you like to step in,’ said Mr. Omer, ‘and speak to her? Walk in and speak to her, sir! Make yourself at home!’ I was too bashful to do so then - I was afraid of confusing her, and I was no less afraid of confusing myself.- but I informed myself of the hour at which she left of an evening, in order that our visit might be timed accordingly; and taking leave of Mr. Omer, and his pretty daughter, and her little children, went away to my dear old Peggotty’s. Here she was, in the tiled kitchen, cooking dinner! The moment I knocked at the door she opened it, and asked me what I pleased to want. I looked at her with a smile, but she gave me no smile in return. I had never ceased to write to her, but it must have been seven years since we had met. ‘Is Mr. Barkis at home, ma’am?’ I said, feigning to speak roughly to her. ‘He’s at home, sir,’ returned Peggotty, ‘but he’s bad abed with the rheumatics.’ ‘Don’t he go over to Blunderstone now?’ I asked. ‘When he’s well he do,’ she answered. ‘Do YOU ever go there, Mrs. Barkis?’ She looked at me more attentively, and I noticed a quick movement of her hands towards each other. ‘Because I want to ask a question about a house there, that they call the - what is it? - the Rookery,’ said I. She took a step backward, and put out her hands in an undecided frightened way, as if to keep me off. ‘Peggotty!’ I cried to her.
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She cried, ‘My darling boy!’ and we both burst into tears, and were locked in one another’s arms. What extravagances she committed; what laughing and crying over me; what pride she showed, what joy, what sorrow that she whose pride and joy I might have been, could never hold me in a fond embrace; I have not the heart to tell. I was troubled with no misgiving that it was young in me to respond to her emotions. I had never laughed and cried in all my life, I dare say - not even to her - more freely than I did that morning. ‘Barkis will be so glad,’ said Peggotty, wiping her eyes with her apron, ‘that it’ll do him more good than pints of liniment. May I go and tell him you are here? Will you come up and see him, my dear?’ Of course I would. But Peggotty could not get out of the room as easily as she meant to, for as often as she got to the door and looked round at me, she came back again to have another laugh and another cry upon my shoulder. At last, to make the matter easier, I went upstairs with her; and having waited outside for a minute, while she said a word of preparation to Mr. Barkis, presented myself before that invalid. He received me with absolute enthusiasm. He was too rheumatic to be shaken hands with, but he begged me to shake the tassel on the top of his nightcap, which I did most cordially. When I sat down by the side of the bed, he said that it did him a world of good to feel as if he was driving me on the Blunderstone road again. As he lay in bed, face upward, and so covered, with that exception, that he seemed to be nothing but a face - like a conventional cheru0 David Copperfield

bim - he looked the queerest object I ever beheld. ‘What name was it, as I wrote up in the cart, sir?’ said Mr. Barkis, with a slow rheumatic smile. ‘Ah! Mr. Barkis, we had some grave talks about that matter, hadn’t we?’ ‘I was willin’ a long time, sir?’ said Mr. Barkis. ‘A long time,’ said I. ‘And I don’t regret it,’ said Mr. Barkis. ‘Do you remember what you told me once, about her making all the apple parsties and doing all the cooking?’ ‘Yes, very well,’ I returned. ‘It was as true,’ said Mr. Barkis, ‘as turnips is. It was as true,’ said Mr. Barkis, nodding his nightcap, which was his only means of emphasis, ‘as taxes is. And nothing’s truer than them.’ Mr. Barkis turned his eyes upon me, as if for my assent to this result of his reflections in bed; and I gave it. ‘Nothing’s truer than them,’ repeated Mr. Barkis; ‘a man as poor as I am, finds that out in his mind when he’s laid up. I’m a very poor man, sir!’ ‘I am sorry to hear it, Mr. Barkis.’ ‘A very poor man, indeed I am,’ said Mr. Barkis. Here his right hand came slowly and feebly from under the bedclothes, and with a purposeless uncertain grasp took hold of a stick which was loosely tied to the side of the bed. After some poking about with this instrument, in the course of which his face assumed a variety of distracted expressions, Mr. Barkis poked it against a box, an end of which had been visible to me all the time. Then his face beFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1

came composed. ‘Old clothes,’ said Mr. Barkis. ‘Oh!’ said I. ‘I wish it was Money, sir,’ said Mr. Barkis. ‘I wish it was, indeed,’ said I. ‘But it AIN’T,’ said Mr. Barkis, opening both his eyes as wide as he possibly could. I expressed myself quite sure of that, and Mr. Barkis, turning his eyes more gently to his wife, said: ‘She’s the usefullest and best of women, C. P. Barkis. All the praise that anyone can give to C. P. Barkis, she deserves, and more! My dear, you’ll get a dinner today, for company; something good to eat and drink, will you?’ I should have protested against this unnecessary demonstration in my honour, but that I saw Peggotty, on the opposite side of the bed, extremely anxious I should not. So I held my peace. ‘I have got a trifle of money somewhere about me, my dear,’ said Mr. Barkis, ‘but I’m a little tired. If you and Mr. David will leave me for a short nap, I’ll try and find it when I wake.’ We left the room, in compliance with this request. When we got outside the door, Peggotty informed me that Mr. Barkis, being now ‘a little nearer’ than he used to be, always resorted to this same device before producing a single coin from his store; and that he endured unheard-of agonies in crawling out of bed alone, and taking it from that unlucky box. In effect, we presently heard him uttering suppressed groans of the most dismal nature, as this magpie proceed David Copperfield

ing racked him in every joint; but while Peggotty’s eyes were full of compassion for him, she said his generous impulse would do him good, and it was better not to check it. So he groaned on, until he had got into bed again, suffering, I have no doubt, a martyrdom; and then called us in, pretending to have just woke up from a refreshing sleep, and to produce a guinea from under his pillow. His satisfaction in which happy imposition on us, and in having preserved the impenetrable secret of the box, appeared to be a sufficient compensation to him for all his tortures. I prepared Peggotty for Steerforth’s arrival and it was not long before he came. I am persuaded she knew no difference between his having been a personal benefactor of hers, and a kind friend to me, and that she would have received him with the utmost gratitude and devotion in any case. But his easy, spirited good humour; his genial manner, his handsome looks, his natural gift of adapting himself to whomsoever he pleased, and making direct, when he cared to do it, to the main point of interest in anybody’s heart; bound her to him wholly in five minutes. His manner to me, alone, would have won her. But, through all these causes combined, I sincerely believe she had a kind of adoration for him before he left the house that night. He stayed there with me to dinner - if I were to say willingly, I should not half express how readily and gaily. He went into Mr. Barkis’s room like light and air, brightening and refreshing it as if he were healthy weather. There was no noise, no effort, no consciousness, in anything he did; but in everything an indescribable lightness, a seeming imFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 

possibility of doing anything else, or doing anything better, which was so graceful, so natural, and agreeable, that it overcomes me, even now, in the remembrance. We made merry in the little parlour, where the Book of Martyrs, unthumbed since my time, was laid out upon the desk as of old, and where I now turned over its terrific pictures, remembering the old sensations they had awakened, but not feeling them. When Peggotty spoke of what she called my room, and of its being ready for me at night, and of her hoping I would occupy it, before I could so much as look at Steerforth, hesitating, he was possessed of the whole case. ‘Of course,’ he said. ‘You’ll sleep here, while we stay, and I shall sleep at the hotel.’ ‘But to bring you so far,’ I returned, ‘and to separate, seems bad companionship, Steerforth.’ ‘Why, in the name of Heaven, where do you naturally belong?’ he said. ‘What is ‘seems’, compared to that?’ It was settled at once. He maintained all his delightful qualities to the last, until we started forth, at eight o’clock, for Mr. Peggotty’s boat. Indeed, they were more and more brightly exhibited as the hours went on; for I thought even then, and I have no doubt now, that the consciousness of success in his determination to please, inspired him with a new delicacy of perception, and made it, subtle as it was, more easy to him. If anyone had told me, then, that all this was a brilliant game, played for the excitement of the moment, for the employment of high spirits, in the thoughtless love of superiority, in a mere 
David Copperfield

wasteful careless course of winning what was worthless to him, and next minute thrown away - I say, if anyone had told me such a lie that night, I wonder in what manner of receiving it my indignation would have found a vent! Probably only in an increase, had that been possible, of the romantic feelings of fidelity and friendship with which I walked beside him, over the dark wintry sands towards the old boat; the wind sighing around us even more mournfully, than it had sighed and moaned upon the night when I first darkened Mr. Peggotty’s door. ‘This is a wild kind of place, Steerforth, is it not?’ ‘Dismal enough in the dark,’ he said: ‘and the sea roars as if it were hungry for us. Is that the boat, where I see a light yonder?’ ‘That’s the boat,’ said I. ‘And it’s the same I saw this morning,’ he returned. ‘I came straight to it, by instinct, I suppose.’ We said no more as we approached the light, but made softly for the door. I laid my hand upon the latch; and whispering Steerforth to keep close to me, went in. A murmur of voices had been audible on the outside, and, at the moment of our entrance, a clapping of hands: which latter noise, I was surprised to see, proceeded from the generally disconsolate Mrs. Gummidge. But Mrs. Gummidge was not the only person there who was unusually excited. Mr. Peggotty, his face lighted up with uncommon satisfaction, and laughing with all his might, held his rough arms wide open, as if for little Em’ly to run into them; Ham, with a mixed expression in his face of admiration, exultation, and a lumbering sort of bashfulness that sat upon him very
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well, held little Em’ly by the hand, as if he were presenting her to Mr. Peggotty; little Em’ly herself, blushing and shy, but delighted with Mr. Peggotty’s delight, as her joyous eyes expressed, was stopped by our entrance (for she saw us first) in the very act of springing from Ham to nestle in Mr. Peggotty’s embrace. In the first glimpse we had of them all, and at the moment of our passing from the dark cold night into the warm light room, this was the way in which they were all employed: Mrs. Gummidge in the background, clapping her hands like a madwoman. The little picture was so instantaneously dissolved by our going in, that one might have doubted whether it had ever been. I was in the midst of the astonished family, face to face with Mr. Peggotty, and holding out my hand to him, when Ham shouted: ‘Mas’r Davy! It’s Mas’r Davy!’ In a moment we were all shaking hands with one another, and asking one another how we did, and telling one another how glad we were to meet, and all talking at once. Mr. Peggotty was so proud and overjoyed to see us, that he did not know what to say or do, but kept over and over again shaking hands with me, and then with Steerforth, and then with me, and then ruffling his shaggy hair all over his head, and laughing with such glee and triumph, that it was a treat to see him. ‘Why, that you two gent’lmen - gent’lmen growed should come to this here roof tonight, of all nights in my life,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘is such a thing as never happened afore, I do rightly believe! Em’ly, my darling, come here! 
David Copperfield

Come here, my little witch! There’s Mas’r Davy’s friend, my dear! There’s the gent’lman as you’ve heerd on, Em’ly. He comes to see you, along with Mas’r Davy, on the brightest night of your uncle’s life as ever was or will be, Gorm the t’other one, and horroar for it!’ After delivering this speech all in a breath, and with extraordinary animation and pleasure, Mr. Peggotty put one of his large hands rapturously on each side of his niece’s face, and kissing it a dozen times, laid it with a gentle pride and love upon his broad chest, and patted it as if his hand had been a lady’s. Then he let her go; and as she ran into the little chamber where I used to sleep, looked round upon us, quite hot and out of breath with his uncommon satisfaction. ‘If you two gent’lmen - gent’lmen growed now, and such gent’lmen -’ said Mr. Peggotty. ‘So th’ are, so th’ are!’ cried Ham. ‘Well said! So th’ are. Mas’r Davy bor’ - gent’lmen growed - so th’ are!’ ‘If you two gent’lmen, gent’lmen growed,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘don’t ex-cuse me for being in a state of mind, when you understand matters, I’ll arks your pardon. Em’ly, my dear! - She knows I’m a going to tell,’ here his delight broke out again, ‘and has made off. Would you be so good as look arter her, Mawther, for a minute?’ Mrs. Gummidge nodded and disappeared. ‘If this ain’t,’ said Mr. Peggotty, sitting down among us by the fire, ‘the brightest night o’ my life, I’m a shellfish biled too - and more I can’t say. This here little Em’ly, sir,’ in a low voice to Steerforth, ‘- her as you see a blushing here
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just now -’ Steerforth only nodded; but with such a pleased expression of interest, and of participation in Mr. Peggotty’s feelings, that the latter answered him as if he had spoken. ‘To be sure,’ said Mr. Peggotty. ‘That’s her, and so she is. Thankee, sir.’ Ham nodded to me several times, as if he would have said so too. ‘This here little Em’ly of ours,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘has been, in our house, what I suppose (I’m a ignorant man, but that’s my belief) no one but a little bright-eyed creetur can be in a house. She ain’t my child; I never had one; but I couldn’t love her more. You understand! I couldn’t do it!’ ‘I quite understand,’ said Steerforth. ‘I know you do, sir,’ returned Mr. Peggotty, ‘and thankee again. Mas’r Davy, he can remember what she was; you may judge for your own self what she is; but neither of you can’t fully know what she has been, is, and will be, to my loving art. I am rough, sir,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘I am as rough as a Sea Porkypine; but no one, unless, mayhap, it is a woman, can know, I think, what our little Em’ly is to me. And betwixt ourselves,’ sinking his voice lower yet, ‘that woman’s name ain’t Missis Gummidge neither, though she has a world of merits.’ Mr. Peggotty ruffled his hair again, with both hands, as a further preparation for what he was going to say, and went on, with a hand upon each of his knees: ‘There was a certain person as had know’d our Em’ly, from the time when her father was drownded; as had seen her constant; when a babby, when a young gal, when a wom David Copperfield

an. Not much of a person to look at, he warn’t,’ said Mr. Peggotty, ‘something o’ my own build - rough - a good deal o’ the sou’-wester in him - wery salt - but, on the whole, a honest sort of a chap, with his art in the right place.’ I thought I had never seen Ham grin to anything like the extent to which he sat grinning at us now. ‘What does this here blessed tarpaulin go and do,’ said Mr. Peggotty, with his face one high noon of enjoyment, ‘but he loses that there art of his to our little Em’ly. He follers her about, he makes hisself a sort o’ servant to her, he loses in a great measure his relish for his wittles, and in the long-run he makes it clear to me wot’s amiss. Now I could wish myself, you see, that our little Em’ly was in a fair way of being married. I could wish to see her, at all ewents, under articles to a honest man as had a right to defend her. I don’t know how long I may live, or how soon I may die; but I know that if I was capsized, any night, in a gale of wind in Yarmouth Roads here, and was to see the town-lights shining for the last time over the rollers as I couldn’t make no head against, I could go down quieter for thinking ‘There’s a man ashore there, iron-true to my little Em’ly, God bless her, and no wrong can touch my Em’ly while so be as that man lives.‘‘ Mr. Peggotty, in simple earnestness, waved his right arm, as if he were waving it at the town-lights for the last time, and then, exchanging a nod with Ham, whose eye he caught, proceeded as before. ‘Well! I counsels him to speak to Em’ly. He’s big enough, but he’s bashfuller than a little un, and he don’t like. So I speak. ‘What! Him!’ says Em’ly. ‘Him that I’ve know’d so
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intimate so many years, and like so much. Oh, Uncle! I never can have him. He’s such a good fellow!’ I gives her a kiss, and I says no more to her than, ‘My dear, you’re right to speak out, you’re to choose for yourself, you’re as free as a little bird.’ Then I aways to him, and I says, ‘I wish it could have been so, but it can’t. But you can both be as you was, and wot I say to you is, Be as you was with her, like a man.’ He says to me, a-shaking of my hand, ‘I will!’ he says. And he was - honourable and manful - for two year going on, and we was just the same at home here as afore.’ Mr. Peggotty’s face, which had varied in its expression with the various stages of his narrative, now resumed all its former triumphant delight, as he laid a hand upon my knee and a hand upon Steerforth’s (previously wetting them both, for the greater emphasis of the action), and divided the following speech between us: ‘All of a sudden, one evening - as it might be tonight comes little Em’ly from her work, and him with her! There ain’t so much in that, you’ll say. No, because he takes care on her, like a brother, arter dark, and indeed afore dark, and at all times. But this tarpaulin chap, he takes hold of her hand, and he cries out to me, joyful, ‘Look here! This is to be my little wife!’ And she says, half bold and half shy, and half a laughing and half a crying, ‘Yes, Uncle! If you please.’ - If I please!’ cried Mr. Peggotty, rolling his head in an ecstasy at the idea; ‘Lord, as if I should do anythink else! - ‘If you please, I am steadier now, and I have thought better of it, and I’ll be as good a little wife as I can to him, for he’s a dear, good fellow!’ Then Missis Gummidge, she claps her hands 
0 David Copperfield

I was affected by the story altogether. in itself. as a mark of confidence and friendship.’ Ham staggered.‘You come in! It took place this here present hour. Peggotty . I know that I was filled with pleasure by all this.when I thought what she’d grow up to be. I thought the simple confidence reposed in us by Mr.gent’lmen . I see her grown up . was.that can love his lady more than I love her. trembling in the strength of what he felt for the pretty little creature who had won his heart. though there’s many a common man . How far my emotions were influenced by the recollections of my childhood. I don’t know. Peggotty and by himself. and you come in. I .when you first come .Oh! most content and cheerful! She’s more to me . I don’t know. as well he might.like a flower. Mas’r Davy . but.gent’lmen . Whether I had come there with any lingering fancy that I was still to love little Em’ly.nor yet sailing upon all the sea .would say better . I’d lay down my life for her .’ I thought it affecting to see such a sturdy fellow as Ham was now. Peggotty dealt him in his unbounded joy. There ain’t a gent’lman in all the land .what he meant.she’s all to me that ever I can want. and here’s the man that’ll marry her. he said. with an indescribably sensitive Free eBooks at Planet eBook.Mas’r Davy . but feeling called upon to say something to us. under the blow Mr. with much faltering and great difficulty: ‘She warn’t no higher than you was.than ever I could say. the minute she’s out of her time. at first.like a play.than . and more than ever I . affecting. Theer! the murder’s out!’ said Mr.com 1 .I love her true.

until he brought us. how skilfully he avoided anything that would embarrass her. how he referred to me about the time when he had seen Mr. At first little Em’ly didn’t like to come. too! Daisy. ‘you are a thoroughly good fellow. . Therefore.such a gap least of all . into a charmed circle. indeed. how he talked to Mr.I wouldn’t make. how delighted he was with the boat and all belonging to it. and fish. if it had depended upon me to touch the prevailing chord among them with any skill. unless you can induce your gentle niece to come back (for whom I vacate this seat in the corner). Presently they brought her to the fireside. and we were all talking away without any reserve. very much confused. My hand upon it! Ham. I give you joy. I shall go. Peggotty. stir the fire. and tides. and her face got animated. Peggotty of boats. and he did it with such address. and make it a brisk one! and Mr. ‘Mr. that in a few minutes we were all as easy and as happy as it was possible to be. how lightly and easily he carried on. Em’ly. My hand upon that.’ he said. I should have made a poor hand of it. and she was charm David Copperfield . Peggotty. But it depended upon Steerforth. for the wealth of the Indies!’ So Mr. and very shy. and deserve to be as happy as you are tonight. that a very little would have changed to pain. and then Ham went.pleasure. Any gap at your fireside on such a night .but she soon became more assured when she found how gently and respectfully Steerforth spoke to her. and ships. Peggotty went into my old room to fetch little Em’ly. my boy. said little all the evening. and listened. Peggotty at Salem House. by degrees. but she looked.

Peggotty informed me). or rather to roar.ing. But he set up no monopoly of the general attention. that I could have almost fancied that the real wind creeping sorrowfully round the house. that she said next day she thought she must have been bewitched. Steerforth told a story of a dismal shipwreck (which arose out of his talk with Mr.and little Em’ly’s eyes were fastened on him all the time. as if he saw it all before him . since the decease of the old one. and when we both laughed and reddened. and all the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. She sat. and observed us thoughtfully. and when I asked her if she recollected how I used to be devoted to her. as a relief to that. When little Em’ly grew more courageous. casting these looks back on the pleasant old times. he roused that victim of despondency with a success never attained by anyone else (so Mr. to pick up shells and pebbles. do blow. and we all laughed (Steerforth too). Peggotty). do blow’. so unreal to look at now. and talked (but still bashfully) across the fire to me. he was silent and attentive. He left her so little leisure for being miserable. ‘When the stormy winds do blow. He got Mr. with as much gaiety as if the narrative were as fresh to him as it was to us . Peggotty to sing. at this time. of our old wanderings upon the beach. He told us a merry adventure of his own. and murmuring low through our unbroken silence.com  . Gummidge. or the conversation. as if she saw it too.and little Em’ly laughed until the boat rang with the musical sounds. and he sang a sailor’s song himself. so pathetically and beautifully. As to Mrs. in irresistible sympathy with what was so pleasant and light-hearted. was there to listen.

evening. I saw the sweet blue eyes of little Em’ly peeping after us. and with them all. We parted merrily. taking my arm. much relieved: ‘Ah. on the old locker in her old little corner by the fire . all the evening. now.’ I returned. it was almost midnight when we took our leave. too. But turning quickly upon him. As I remember. and they are quaint company.Ham beside her. or in a maidenly reserve before us. He had been so hearty with him. How delightful to see it. I could not satisfy myself whether it was in her own little tormenting way. ‘Well! It’s a quaint place. as we have been!’ ‘That’s rather a chuckle-headed fellow for the girl. ‘to have arrived to witness their happiness in that intended marriage! I never saw people so happy. and it’s quite a new sensation to mix with them. which we men (I may say we men. We had had some biscuit and dried fish for supper. where I used to sit. and Steerforth had produced from his pocket a full flask of Hollands. but I observed that she did so. and away from him. from behind Ham. that I felt a shock in this unexpected and cold reply. isn’t he?’ said Steerforth. and to be made the sharers in their honest joy. ‘A most engaging little Beauty!’ said Steerforth. and seeing a laugh in his eyes. Steerforth! It’s well for you to joke about the poor!  David Copperfield . and as they all stood crowded round the door to light us as far as they could upon our road. without a blush) had emptied. that she kept quite close to the wall.’ ‘How fortunate we are. and heard her soft voice calling to us to be careful how we went. I answered.

or try to hide your sympathies in jest from me. that can be indifferent to you. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and. Peggotty’s song. not an emotion.com  . I wish we all were!’ Next moment he was gaily singing Mr. Steerforth.You may skirmish with Miss Dartle. how exquisitely you can enter into happiness like this plain fisherman’s. and are good. And I admire and love you for it. ‘Daisy. looking in my face. I believe you are in earnest. but I know better. or humour a love like my old nurse’s. said. twenty times the more!’ He stopped. of such people. When I see how perfectly you understand them. as we walked at a round pace back to Yarmouth. I know that there is not a joy or sorrow.

and I was but an indifferent one. however. but occasionally we were asunder for some hours at a time. which was a favourite amusement of his. My occupation of Peggotty’s spare-room put a constraint upon me. Peggotty. Peggotty’s house of call. Thus it came about. ‘The Willing Mind’. AND SOME NEW PEOPLE teerforth and I stayed for more than a fortnight in that part of the country. whole moonlight nights. from which he was free: for. I generally remained ashore. knowing how assiduously she attended on Mr. I need not say. as in  David Copperfield S . and of his being afloat. lying at the Inn.CHAPTER 22 SOME OLD SCENES. had nothing to consult but his own humour. By this time. and when he went out boating with Mr. He was a good sailor. and coming back when the morning tide was at flood. Barkis all day. I did not like to remain out late at night. after I was in bed. wrapped in fishermen’s clothes. I knew that his restless nature and bold spirits delighted to find a vent in rough toil and hard weather. that I heard of his making little treats for the fishermen at Mr. whereas Steerforth. We were very much together.

I had no idea how he employed his time in the interval. for it was like a departed voice to me. beyond a general knowledge that he was very popular in the place.com  . with such curious feelings of compassion. so none of his proceedings surprised me. I haunted them. of which I never tired. and by which I had stood. while Steerforth. not so far removed but I could read the names upon the stone as I walked to and fro.on which I had looked out. and lingered among them as my younger thoughts had lingered when I was far away. and made a garden of. when it was my father’s only. and revisiting the old familiar scenes of my childhood. that I had naturally an interest in going over to Blunderstone. For my own part. had naturally no great interest in going there again. on three or four days that I can at once recall. The grave beneath the tree. startled by the sound of the church-bell when it struck the hour. so desolate. Hence. after being there once. was. and to haunt the old spots. in a quiet corner. we went our several ways after an early breakfast. and had twenty means of actively diverting himself where another man might not have found one.any other means of excitement that presented itself freshly to him. by the hour. It lay a little off the churchyard path.the grave which Peggotty’s own faithful care had ever since kept neat. Another cause of our being sometimes apart. I walked near. where both my parents lay . and met again at a late dinner. my occupation in my solitary pilgrimages was to recall every yard of the old road as I went along it. My Free eBooks at Planet eBook. as my memory had often done. when it was opened to receive my pretty mother and her baby .

and Mrs. But. Grayper. There were great changes in my old home. looking out into the churchyard.  David Copperfield . My echoing footsteps went to no other tune. with which it seemed to be always wondering why it had ever been born. and two weak staring eyes. and stained the outer walls. and the people who took care of him.reflections at these times were always associated with the figure I was to make in life. and they had a weazen little baby. Chillip was married again to a tall. were gone. He was always sitting at my little window. Mr. so long deserted by the rooks. were gone to South America. raw-boned. and the distinguished things I was to do. and the trees were lopped and topped out of their remembered shapes. high-nosed wife. It was with a singular jumble of sadness and pleasure that I used to linger about my native place. Our old neighbours. when the place was left behind. and I wondered whether his rambling thoughts ever went upon any of the fancies that used to occupy mine. and the rain had made its way through the roof of their empty house. but only by a poor lunatic gentleman. until the reddening winter sun admonished me that it was time to start on my returning walk. but were as constant to that as if I had come home to build my castles in the air at a living mother’s side. The garden had run wild. on the rosy mornings when I peeped out of that same little window in my night-clothes. and saw the sheep quietly feeding in the light of the rising sun. and half the windows of the house were shut up. Mr. The ragged nests. with a heavy head that it couldn’t hold up. It was occupied.

he was lost in his meditations. and such a substitute for what I had lost as my excellent and generous aunt.com  . It landed me on the flat between the town and the sea. when I went to my neat room at night. Peggotty’s house being on that waste-place. and not a hundred yards out of my track. remembered with a grateful heart how blest I was in having such a friend as Steerforth. MY nearest way to Yarmouth. and we went on together through the frosty air and gathering fog towards the twinkling lights of the town. turning over the leaves of the crocodile-book (which was always there. sitting thoughtfully before the fire. which I could make straight across. though in a softened degree. was by a ferry. it was delicious to think of having been there. Peggotty’s house.I found him alone in Mr. in coming back from these long walks. looking at him. with a heavy brow. I was standing close to him. that day. such a friend as Peggotty. been making my parting visit to Blunderstone. Mr. but even my entrance failed to rouse him. when I was later than usual . as we were now about to return home . and so save myself a considerable circuit by the high road. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I always looked in as I went by. upon a little table). Steerforth was pretty sure to be there expecting me. This. So it was.for I had. he might easily have been if he had been less absorbed. and. for footsteps fell noiselessly on the sandy ground outside. One dark evening. and still.and especially when Steerforth and I were happily seated over our dinner by a blazing fire. indeed. He was so intent upon his own reflections that he was quite unconscious of my approach.

‘But you are spoiling them for me. ‘I wish with all my soul I could guide myself better!’ There was a passionate dejection in his manner that quite 0 David Copperfield . glancing round the room.be dispersed. and roaring out into the air.’ he said. ‘And I have been sitting here. or dead. somehow. striking out of it a train of red-hot sparks that went careering up the little chimney.’ said Steerforth. then?’ said I. ‘I detest this mongrel time.’ said I. neither day nor night. might .’ said I.’ he returned.’ he returned. David. ‘No. I wish to God I had had a judicious father these last twenty years!’ ‘My dear Steerforth. that he made me start too. almost angrily. taking my seat near him. ‘Have I called you down from the stars?’ ‘No. ‘thinking that all the people we found so glad on the night of our coming down. ‘like a reproachful ghost!’ ‘I was obliged to announce myself.’ ‘Up from anywhere.’ he answered.He gave such a start when I put my hand upon his shoulder. or come to I don’t know what harm.to judge from the present wasted air of the place . How late you are! Where have you been?’ ‘I have been taking leave of my usual walk. as he stirred it quickly with a piece of burning wood. what is the matter?’ ‘I wish with all my soul I had been better guided!’ he exclaimed.’ I replied. ‘You come upon me. ‘You would not have seen them. ‘I was looking at the pictures in the fire.

I think. ‘It would be better to be this poor Peggotty. I am heavy company for myself. and became food for lions . What old women call the horrors. getting up and leaning moodily against the chimney-piece.amazed me.fretfully at first. but soon with returning gaiety. twenty times richer and twenty times wiser. just now . ‘Well! So it goes by! I am not about to be Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘You are afraid of nothing else. ‘I told you at the inn in London.’ he answered. ‘Perhaps not. that at first I could only observe him in silence. have been creeping over me from head to foot. and be the torment to myself that I have been. unrecognized for what they are.’ he said. he began to laugh .com 1 . At length I begged him.’ said I. I think. ‘than to be myself. I have been afraid of myself. At odd dull times. to tell me what had occurred to cross him so unusually. if I could not hope to advise him.must have had one. I believe I have been confounding myself with the bad boy who ‘didn’t care’. sometimes. I suppose. with his face towards the fire. I have been a nightmare to myself. Daisy! nothing!’ he replied. and looking gloomily down at the fire. and yet may have enough to be afraid of too. ‘Tut. Before I had well concluded. and to let me sympathize with him. with all the earnestness I felt. within the last half-hour!’ I was so confounded by the alteration in him. nursery tales come up into the memory. it’s nothing. He was more unlike himself than I could have supposed possible. as he stood leaning his head upon his hand.a grander kind of going to the dogs. or his lout of a nephew. in this Devil’s bark of a boat.

‘So much for that!’ he said. took my arm. and hurried me away. making as if he tossed something light into the air. I strolled in here and found the place deserted. Gummidge’s spirits by a cheerful salutation and a jocose embrace. That set me thinking. Gummidge’s. but I tell you. He had improved his own spirits. my good fellow. with whom it was an early night. She had hurried out to buy something that was needed.’ like Macbeth. ‘God knows. Steerforth. I am a man again.’ ‘But where are they all. after very much improving Mrs.’ The advent of Mrs. no less than Mrs. I wonder!’ said I. should come home while she was gone. and he was full of vivacious conversation as we went along.’ said Steerforth. being gone. that it would have been well for me (and for more than me) if I had had a steadfast and judicious father!’ His face was always full of expression. ‘After strolling to the ferry looking for you. Daisy. And now for dinner! If I have not (Macbeth-like) broken up the feast with most admired disorder. David. Gummidge with a basket. and you found me thinking. Peggotty’s return with the tide. ‘And so. once more. with his hand. ‘‘Why. ‘we abandon this buccaneer life tomorrow. do we?’  David Copperfield . for they were again at their usual flow. with his glance bent on the fire. explained how the house had happened to be empty. but I never saw it express such a dark kind of earnestness as when he said these words. gaily. and had left the door open in the meanwhile.hipped again. lest Ham and little Em’ly.’ he said. against Mr.

’ I returned.’ he returned. . Peggotty says you are a wonder. and how easily you can master it. I could pass a reasonably good examination already. laughing. except with your freshness. eh?’ laughed Steerforth.’ ‘Contented?’ he answered. ‘Indeed he does. my gentle Daisy. Well! I dare say I am a capricious fellow. as a pilot in these waters. ‘Like enough. I suppose. ‘And our places by the coach are taken. I wish there was not.’ said Steerforth.’ ‘As long as the novelty should last. And that amazes me most in you. Steerforth.that you should be contented with such fitful uses of your powers.’ ‘Ay! there’s no help for it.‘So we agreed. and now don’t care about it. ‘A nautical phenomenon. and you know how truly. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘I am never contented. but while the iron is hot. I think.’ I returned. I know I am. you know. David. merrily. ‘though there’s a sarcastic meaning in that observation for an amiable piece of innocence like my young friend. I have never learnt the art of binding myself to any of the wheels on which the Ixions of these days are turning round and round. I missed it somehow in a bad apprenticeship.You know I have bought a boat down here?’ ‘What an extraordinary fellow you are. I can strike it vigorously too. stopping . Steerforth!’ I exclaimed. As to fitfulness.for this was the first I had heard of it.’ ‘Mr.com  .’ said I. ‘I have almost forgotten that there is anything to do in the world but to go out tossing on the sea here. I know how ardent you are in any pursuit you follow.

’ he answered. ‘didn’t I say that there was not a joy. or sorrow.a clipper. ‘She must be newly rigged. At all events. Peggotty says. Peggotty will be master of her in my absence. ‘and I shall leave Littimer behind to see it done.’ walking me briskly on.’ he returned. ‘you told me all that. exultingly. I feared that  David Copperfield .’ said Steerforth. ‘I have bought a boat that was for sale . Steerforth!’ said I. how can I tell you what I think of your generosity?’ ‘Tush!’ he answered. that I may know she is quite complete. with a letter from my mother.’ ‘Now I understand you. or any emotion of such honest hearts that was indifferent to you?’ ‘Aye. and so she is . turning red. though he looked very steadily at me. I only pursued it in my thoughts as we went on at even a quicker pace than before. My dear kind Steerforth. aye. Did I tell you Littimer had come down?’ ‘ No. I might have known as much at first. We have said enough!’ Afraid of offending him by pursuing the subject when he made so light of it.’ ‘Oh yes! came down this morning. ‘I have taken a fancy to the place. knowing you. Mr. ‘You pretend to have bought it for yourself. I observed that he was pale even to his lips.and Mr.‘When you may never care to come near the place again!’ ‘I don’t know that. ‘The less said.’ As our looks met. but you have really done so to confer a benefit on him.’ ‘Didn’t I know?’ cried I. the better. There let it rest.

until he had become a skilled workman. and a very fit protector for the blooming little creature at his side. the best of good looks. He shall see to the boat being fresh named.’ said Steerforth. I thought. I hinted so. Indeed. and seemed relieved.’ As he had continued to look steadily at me. What does Mr. an honesty. and giving a slight laugh. He is come down. I could not help showing in my face how much it pleased me.’ he said. I took it as a reminder that he objected to being extolled for his consideration. ‘But see here. ‘where the original little Em’ly comes! And that fellow with her. that man of mine. and looked rugged enough. ‘Nothing of the sort! Yes. which were. there was a frankness in his face.com  . to me. She’s the ‘Stormy Petrel’ now. ‘The same as ever.’ ‘The same as ever?’ said I. He never leaves her!’ Ham was a boat-builder in these days. looking before us. He was in his working-dress. and he resumed his usual smile. but I said little. having improved a natural ingenuity in that handicraft.’ ‘By what name?’ I asked. eh? Upon my soul.some difference between him and his mother might have led to his being in the frame of mind in which I had found him at the solitary fireside. ‘Distant and quiet as the North Pole. but manly withal. Peggotty care for Stormy Petrels! I’ll have her christened again. and his love for her. shaking his head. ‘The ‘Little Em’ly”. as they came towards Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Oh no!’ he said. and an undisguised show of his pride in her. he’s a true knight.

‘She must have it in her mind to beg of them. her figure disappeared in like manner.’ said Steerforth. for the time. and flaunting. She withdrew her hand timidly from his arm as we stopped to speak to them. ‘what does it mean?’ He spoke in a low voice that sounded almost strange to Me. She was lightly dressed. to have given all that to the wind which was blowing. ‘A beggar would be no novelty. absorbing their figures into itself. When they passed on. she did not like to replace that hand. that they were well matched even in that particular. but seemed. still no nearer to them than before. and to have nothing in her mind but going after them.’ said I.evidently following them . I thought all this very pretty and engaging. I think. and thought I had a faint remembrance of. still appearing timid and constrained.’ ‘Why?’ I asked. left but itself visible between us and the sea and clouds. as we looked after them fading away in the light of a young moon. and Steerforth seemed to think so too. standing still.’ said Steerforth.  David Copperfield .us. and poor. after we had exchanged a few words. walked by herself. and haggard. Suddenly there passed us . looked bold. As the dark distant level. ‘but it is a strange thing that the beggar should take that shape tonight. but.a young woman whose approach we had not observed. but whose face I saw as she went by. and blushed as she gave it to Steerforth and to me. ‘That is a black shadow to be following the girl.

And he wondered about it. and yet he seemed to me to say as plainly as a man could say: ‘You are very young. When I said to him that I hoped Mrs.’ he said. than because I was thinking. as we emerged upon a road on which a wall abutted. ‘It’s gone!’ he returned. from the corner where he kept watch upon us. sir. sir. he answered respectfully (and of course respectably). She informs me that she makes one of her professional visits here. and yet again. I think.’ We had almost finished dinner. when taking a step or two towards the table.’ said I. ‘Miss Mowcher. Steerforth and Miss Dartle were well. Now for our dinner!’ But he looked again over his shoulder towards the sealine glimmering afar off. what on earth does she do here?’ said Steerforth. sir. and had his usual effect upon me. several times. and had sent their compliments. in the short remainder of our walk. you are exceedingly young. he thanked me. ‘And all ill go with it. he said to his master: ‘I beg your pardon.‘For no better reason. truly. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Who?’ cried Steerforth. that they were tolerably well. in some broken expressions. or rather upon me. looking over his shoulder. as I felt. at table. Where the Devil did it come from. ‘It appears to be her native part of the country. I wonder!’ ‘From the shadow of this wall. after a pause. and only seemed to forget it when the light of fire and candle shone upon us. This was all. much astonished. sir. ‘of something like it. Littimer was there. seated warm and merry. Miss Mowcher is down here.com  .’ ‘Why. when it came by.

and positively refused to answer any question of which I made her the subject. ‘for she is one of the seven wonders of the world.every year. and she wished to know if she might have the honour of waiting on you after dinner. I was obliged to confess . I remained.’ ‘Do you know the Giantess in question. sir. I met her in the street this afternoon. a pair of roguish grey eyes. therefore. to enable herself to lay a finger archly against her snub nose. and Littimer. ‘Then you shall know her. with a very large head and face. sir. when. show her in.that Miss Mowcher and I were wholly unacquainted.’ I felt some curiosity and excitement about this lady. especially as Steerforth burst into a fit of laughing when I referred to her. in a state of considerable expectation until the cloth had been removed some half an hour. and such extremely little arms. I was still looking at the doorway. a pursy dwarf. announced: ‘Miss Mowcher!’ I looked at the doorway and saw nothing. thinking that Miss Mowcher was a long while making her appearance. When Miss Mowcher comes. of about forty or fortyfive.’ said Steerforth. Daisy?’ inquired Steerforth. there came waddling round a sofa which stood between me and it. even of being at this disadvantage before Littimer . with his habitual serenity quite undisturbed. to my infinite astonishment. as she ogled  David Copperfield . and we were sitting over our decanter of wine before the fire. that. when the door opened.I felt ashamed.

This lady . Her chin. and lay her nose against it. she was so short that she stood at a common-sized chair as at a table. ‘You’re there. ain’t I? Ha. like the conjurer’s half-crown in the lady’s handkercher. now. fie for shame.dressed in an off-hand. what do you do so far away from home? Up to mischief. waist she had none. at this passage of her Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and. I’m everywhere. and I’m another. resting a bag she carried on the seat. worth mentioning. bringing her nose and her forefinger together. ha. with the difficulty I have described. you naughty boy. shaking her large head at him.Steerforth. I’m here and there. was so fat that it entirely swallowed up the strings of her bonnet. you’re a downy fellow. with one of her sharp eyes shut up. standing with her head necessarily on one side.and talking of ladies . broke into a torrent of words. and where not. over one of my shoulders. easy style. if she had had any. bow and all. in a pair of feet. legs she had none. and though she terminated. which was what is called a double chin. ‘What! My flower!’ she pleasantly began. Steerforth. that you wouldn’t have seen me here. I’ll be bound. man alive. and I don’t say which!’ Miss Mowcher untied her bonnet.after ogling Steerforth for a few moments. Oh. making an uncommonly knowing face . for though she was more than full-sized down to where her waist would have been. she was obliged to meet the finger half-way.what a comfort you are to your blessed mother. my dear boy. ha! You’d have betted a hundred pound to five. Throat she had none.com  . ain’t you. are you! Oh. wouldn’t you? Bless you. as human beings generally do. so you are. Talking of handkerchers .

Ha! ha! ha! He’s a pleasant wretch. and glancing shrewdly at me. ‘and don’t be impudent! But I give you my word and honour I was at Lady Mithers’s last week THERE’S a woman! How SHE wears! . and twinkling her eyes like an imp of supernatural intelligence. and sat down. that I began to think I should be obliged to ring the bell.’ ‘What were you doing for Lady Mithers?’ asked Steerforth. making a whisk at him with the handkerchief with which she was wiping her face. screwing up her face. that’s the fact.discourse. Steerforth.making a kind of arbour of the dining table. as if it was a bucket of water. it gives me as much trouble to draw every breath I want. wouldn’t you?’ ‘I should think that. ‘Never YOU 0 David Copperfield . tapping her nose again. threw back the strings. wherever I saw you. but he wants principle.THERE’S a man! How HE wears! and his wig too. panting. ‘Go along. which spread its mahogany shelter above her head.’ replied Steerforth. you’d think I was a fine woman.and he went on at that rate in the complimentary line. If you saw me looking out of an upper window.and Mithers himself came into the room where I was waiting for her . ‘I’m of too full a habit. ‘That’s tellings. clapping a hand on each of her little knees.’ she retorted. on a footstool in front of the fire . ‘Oh my stars and what’s-their-names!’ she went on. for he’s had it these ten years . do!’ cried the little creature. my blessed infant. you dog. After a flight of stairs.

bits of flannel.’ ‘Well. at every dive) a number of small bottles. Altogether I was lost in amazement. or improve her eyebrows. and was busily engaged in producing from the bag (plunging in her short arm to the shoulder. ‘and he came of a long line of Walkers. little pairs of curling-irons. ‘It was Walker. From this employment she suddenly desisted. sponges. or when waiting for an answer to what she had said herself. and said to Steerforth. then. of the laws of politeness. much to my confusion: ‘Who’s your friend?’ ‘Mr.’ said Steerforth. my sweet pet. ‘he wants to know you. brushes. and one eye turned up like a magpie’s.com 1 . when listening to what was said to her. and sat staring at her. She had a wonderful way too.mind! You’d like to know whether I stop her hair from falling off.’ said Steerforth. combs. I am afraid. which she tumbled in a heap upon the chair. or touch up her complexion. She had by this time drawn the chair to her side.’ I never beheld anything approaching to Miss Mowcher’s wink except Miss Mowcher’s self-possession. that I inherit all the Hookey estates from. quite oblivious. wouldn’t you? And so you shall.’ replied Miss Mowcher. of pausing with her head cunningly on one side. Copperfield. or dye it. my darling .when I tell you! Do you know what my great grandfather’s name was?’ ‘No. he shall! I thought he looked as if he did!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and other instruments.

through the nose. ‘Look here!’ taking something out. though. ‘None of your close shavers the Prince  David Copperfield . arm and all. Miss Mowcher?’ said Steerforth. my dear child . my sweet child?’ replied that morsel of a woman. ‘Oh. ain’t we. feeling in the bag with her head on one side and her eye in the air.returned Miss Mowcher. my goodness. how polite we are!’ exclaimed Miss Mowcher. as the morsel of a hand came away from the face. I hope?’ said Steerforth. to be sure. ‘I keep his nails in order for him. for his name’s got all the letters in it. and laughing on me as she came. Twice a week! Fingers and toes.’ replied Miss Mowcher. I’m sure. Happy to make your acquaintance.’ replied Miss Mowcher. in the bag again. higgledy-piggledy. ‘Ha! ha! ha! What a refreshing set of humbugs we are. I call him. Prince Alphabet turned topsy-turvy. ‘Pays. ‘Face like a peach!’ standing on tiptoe to pinch my cheek as I sat.’ ‘The Russian Prince is a client of yours. ‘What a world of gammon and spinnage it is.’ ‘He pays well. and buried itself. is he?’ said Steerforth. making a preposterous attempt to cover her large face with her morsel of a hand. waddling up to me. bag in hand. ‘Quite tempting! I’m very fond of peaches. my pet. Copperfield. ain’t it!’ This was addressed confidentially to both of us. ‘I believe you. ‘Scraps of the Russian Prince’s nails. as he speaks. and that the happiness was mutual. Mr. ‘What do you mean.’ I said that I congratulated myself on having the honour to make hers.

and to wink with the other. You never saw such a rusty Prince in all your born days as he was. ain’t you?’ returned Miss Mowcher. Miss Mowcher continuing all the time to shake her head (which was very much on one side). if you saw his moustachios. of course. Steerforth. I give ‘em away to the young ladies. I believe. just now?’ inquired Steerforth. than all my talents put together. Come. Steerforth laughed heartily. Ha! ha! ha! Upon my life. trying to fold her short arms. ‘the whole social system’ (as the men call it when they make speeches in Parliament) is a system of Prince’s nails!’ said this least of women. Miss Mowcher winked assent. and I showed you the scraps of the Prince’s nails to prove it. what a set of humbugs we were in general. and nodding her large head. ‘Forced to send for me. and I laughed too. you’re a broth of a boy. ‘this is not business.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. If Miss Mowcher cuts the Prince’s nails. Red by nature. and to look into the air with one eye.’ said Steerforth. she must be all right.’ ‘By your art. well!’ she said. black by art.com  . The Prince’s nails do more for me in private families of the genteel sort. and have it over. The climate affected his dye. They put ‘em in albums. let’s explore the polar regions. I always carry ‘em about. shaking her head violently. They’re the best introduction.ain’t. Couldn’t help it. ‘Oh. smiting her small knees. You’d say so. it did very well in Russia. but it was no go here. ‘Well. and rising. Like old iron!’ ‘Is that why you called him a humbug. ‘I said.

come to Mrs. looking at his rich profusion of brown hair through a large round magnifying glass. evidently for no other purpose than our entertainment. and begging the assistance of my hand. as if it were a stage. again imparting some of the virtues of that preparation to one of the  David Copperfield . pretty nimbly. ducky. which she took out of her pocket. To see Miss Mowcher standing over him. she pushed a chair against it. ducky. and his laughing face towards me. my young friend. sat himself down.’ she said. with his back to the table.’ This was an invocation to Steerforth to place himself under her hands. and.’ said Steerforth. she tilted some of the contents of the little bottle on to one of the little bits of flannel. and we’ll give you a polishing that shall keep your curls on for the next ten years!’ With this. but for me. to the top.’ I’ll consent to live.’ cried Miss Mowcher. ‘You’re a pretty fellow!’ said Miss Mowcher. Bond and be killed. ‘say so. ‘You’d be as bald as a friar on the top of your head in twelve months. ‘Well then. ducky. Now. ‘I did not. accordingly. and asked (to my surprise) if the table would bear. On Steerforth’s replying in the affirmative. and I’ll go home and destroy myself!’ ‘I did not.She then selected two or three of the little instruments. and a little bottle. just half a minute. who. when she was safely elevated. was a most amazing spectacle. ‘If either of you saw my ankles. and submitted his head to her inspection.’ said I. mounted up. after a brief inspection.

quite a Griffin . There was a woman in the shop . the duke’s son. talking all the time. ‘To drink?’ returned Miss Mowcher. do you think I want with rouge?’ ‘No offence. ‘You know Charley?’ peeping round into his face. ‘it’s not . ‘It looks like it. I thought it might be. my child. they’d defy competition.not . but. you know. mad or sane.’ ‘What is it? Something to drink?’ asked Steerforth. ‘To doctor his own moustachios with. he tried.’ Now that.’ said the Griffin to Charley. ‘What a man HE is! THERE’S a whisker! As to Charley’s legs. lo and behold you.’ ‘Charley does?’ said Steerforth. ‘A little.not ROUGE. Would you believe he tried to do without me . rubbing all the time as Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘There’s Charley Pyegrave.’ continued Miss Mowcher.’ she said.little brushes. However. stopping to slap his cheek.’ said the Griffin. ‘What the unmentionable to ears polite. ‘Begging pardon.’ said Charley to the Griffin.who had never even heard of it by name.com  . he goes into a perfumer’s shop. too?’ ‘Mad!’ said Steerforth. ‘we have it asked for by so many names. ‘What does he do.elderly female .’ returned Miss Mowcher. is it?’ ‘Rouge. and wants to buy a bottle of the Madagascar Liquid. ‘Charley does. But they haven’t got any of the Madagascar Liquid. sir.in the Life-Guards. if they were only a pair (which they ain’t). began rubbing and scraping away with both on the crown of Steerforth’s head in the busiest manner I ever witnessed.’ said Steerforth. sir.

And when I wait upon ‘em. Another.’ ‘No?’ said Steerforth. rubbing busily at Steerforth’s head.sharp’s the word. to one another.‘How am I looking. my dear boy . before a whole drawing-room. jemmy. but we keep up the trick so. as before me. I say I do a little in that way myself. intensely enjoying this refreshment.thick.WITH IT ON . ‘Ah!’ she said. ‘is another instance of the refreshing humbug I was speaking of. Another.’ replied Miss Mowcher. That sets me off again! I haven’t seen a pretty woman since I’ve been here. I think?’ said  David Copperfield .never mind!’ ‘In what way do you mean? In the rouge way?’ said Steerforth. ‘We could show her the substance of one.perhaps a little . Mowcher? Am I pale?’ Ha! ha! ha! ha! Isn’t THAT refreshing. ‘work it by the rule of Secrets in all trades.’ returned the wary Mowcher. SHE calls it lip-salve. SHE calls it tucker-edging. I do something in that way myself .perhaps a good deal .busily as ever. I call it whatever THEY call it. ‘Put this and that together. my young friend!’ I never did in my days behold anything like Mowcher as she stood upon the dining table. SHE calls it gloves. One Dowager. that they’d as soon think of laying it on. ‘Such things are not much in demand hereabouts. my tender pupil. SHE calls it a fan. and no mistake . and winking at me over it. I supply it for ‘em. ‘Not the ghost of one. Another. touching her nose. they’ll say to me sometimes . and make believe with such a face. and the product will give you the desired result.

‘No.’ said I. aye?’ ‘No. as if she were looking for an answer in the air and were confident of its appearing presently. Daisy?’ ‘Yes. ‘Aha?’ cried the little creature. Mr. indeed. On the contrary.’ ‘Aha?’ she cried exactly as before. hasn’t he now?’ returned Miss Mowcher. ‘Aye. She is engaged to be married to a Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Steerforth. and a searching look.com  .’ I replied. with her head on one side and her eye turned up. She seemed to have found no answer to either. ‘Nothing of the sort. Copperfield. ‘Umph?’ The first exclamation sounded like a question put to both of us. and change every hour. and then peeping round at Steerforth’s.Is her name Polly?’ The Elfin suddenness with which she pounced upon me with this question. quite disconcerted me for a moment.to have a great admiration for her. and still keeping the same look-out. So I said. after a pause. ‘Eh. ‘A sister of yours. and the second like a question put to Steerforth only. ‘Umph? What a rattle I am! Mr. glancing sharply at my face. but continued to rub. ain’t I volatile?’ Her tone and look implied something that was not agreeable to me in connexion with the subject. Copperfield used .’ ‘Why. ‘Is he fickle? Oh.or I am much mistaken . Copperfield?’ she cried. Mr.Steerforth. in a graver manner than any of us had yet assumed: ‘She is as virtuous as she is pretty. for shame! Did he sip every flower. until Polly his passion requited? . addressing his eyes to mine. ‘Her name is Emily. Miss Mowcher. before I could reply.

Do you observe? Omer and Joram. Peggotty. hear. She lives with a relative. ‘Very well: very well! Quite a long story. Miss Mowcher. ‘Oh! And that’s all about it. I esteem her for her good sense. Ham. Milliners. Ought to end ‘and they lived  David Copperfield . occupation. ‘Hear. When he ceased she became brisk again in an instant. that I am sure she might do better. Peggotty. by leaving her nothing to guess at.most worthy and deserving man in her own station of life. hear! Now I’ll quench the curiosity of this little Fatima. that went glancing round his head in all directions. I would add. unknown. in this town. If it were not that I might appear to disparage her Intended. I admire her . to Omer and Joram. Christian name. also of this town. surname. Christian name. also of this town. and so forth. which I know my friend would not like. She is at present apprenticed.’ ‘Well said!’ cried Steerforth. and that I swear she was born to be a lady. my dear Daisy.as my friend does . or whatever it may be.’ Miss Mowcher listened to these words. seafaring. or articled. trimming his whiskers with a little restless pair of scissors. that to me she seems to be throwing herself away. and rattled away with surprising volubility. is made and entered into with her cousin. is it?’ she exclaimed. boat-builder. which were very slowly and distinctly spoken. The promise of which my friend has spoken. as much as I admire her for her good looks. and her eye in the air as if she were still looking for that answer.exceedingly. occupation. She is the prettiest and most engaging little fairy in the world. surname. Haberdashers. with her head on one side.

‘some other time.’ ‘What do you say.’ ‘No. for a pair of whiskers. Come!’ I could not help blushing as I declined. I took her to the sign of the exquisite. because she’s enticing. I understand yours. Copperfield will take the chair I’ll operate on him.’ ‘Have it carried half a quarter of an inch towards the temple.’ I returned. and she lives in the east? Ha! ha! ha! Mr. because she’s engaged.’ returned the little woman. ‘Will you be improved?’ ‘Thank you. oughtn’t it? Ah! What’s that game at forfeits? I love my love with an E. finding that I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. now. you are. looking at me with the aspect of a connoisseur. I thank you. not this evening.happy ever afterwards”. jemmy (as we say at Court). for I felt we were on my weak point. Miss Mowcher. my darling? I understand yours. and not waiting for any reply.’ ‘Don’t say no.com  .’ peeping down into his face. her name’s Emily. ‘No? Let’s get the scaffolding up. laughing. Steerforth.’ ‘Go in for a tip. without drawing breath: ‘There! If ever any scapegrace was trimmed and touched up to perfection. Daisy?’ inquired Steerforth. ain’t I volatile?’ Merely looking at me with extravagant slyness. and resigning his seat. and treated her with an elopement. ‘a little bit more eyebrow?’ ‘Thank you. Copperfield. Not at present. If I understand any noddle in the world. ‘Now you may mizzle. But Miss Mowcher. Do you hear me when I tell you that. she continued.’ said Miss Mowcher. and if Mr. ‘We can do it in a fortnight. then. I hate her with an E.’ she urged.

as the Englishman said for ‘Good night’.’ replied Miss Mowcher. ‘The fee. and began to tie her double chin into her bonnet. Thus assisted. ‘is -’ ‘Five bob. as he says. Mr. but droll! Now. ‘That’s the Till!’ observed Miss Mowcher. when she tossed up his two half-crowns like a goblin pieman. said we would make a beginning on an early day. It won’t do to be like long Ned Beadwood. Ain’t I volatile. standing at the chair again. for the time being. and that I was. jockey of Norfolk! How I have been rattling on! It’s all the fault of you two wretches. and try to bear it. and gave it a loud slap. but I am forced to leave you. when they took him to church ‘to marry him to somebody’. Copperfield?’ I replied politely: ‘Not at all. Good-bye. ‘Have I got all my traps? It seems so. Ha! ha! ha! A wicked rascal. caught them. my chicken. Copperfield! Take care of yourself. and replacing in the bag a miscellaneous collection of little objects she had emptied out of it. ‘Bob swore. she skipped down with much agility. and requested the aid of my hand to descend from her elevated station. and thought it so like English. Ned.’ said Steerforth.’ But I thought she was rather so. I forgive you! ‘Bob swore!’ .’ my ducks!’ 00 David Copperfield .was not at present disposed for any decoration within the range of her art. proof against the blandishments of the small bottle which she held up before one eye to enforce her persuasions. You must call up all your fortitude. Mr. dropped them in her pocket. ‘and dirt cheap. I know I’m going to break your hearts. and left the bride behind. when he first learnt French.

and to know everybody. which was after some time. and made herself useful to a variety of people in a variety of ways. a good deal about her skill. She was the principal theme of our conversation during the evening: and when we parted for the night Steerforth called after me over the banisters. was true enough. I forbore or forgot to repeat them. though I am not sure I should have done so. and. and if her sympathies were generally on the right side of things: but. with her finger on her nose. and about her being a scientific cupper. for she made little darts into the provinces. He told me instead.With the bag slung over her arm. I asked him what her disposition was: whether it was at all mischievous. departed. and there. with much rapidity. that it was impossible for me to help laughing too. and her profits. she waddled to the door. Steerforth laughed to that degree. he told me that Miss Mowcher had quite an extensive connexion. he said. and rattling as she waddled away. He told me that what she had said of being here.com 01 . but for this inducement. if I should ever have occasion for her service in that capacity. ‘Bob swore!’ as I went Free eBooks at Planet eBook. where she stopped to inquire if she should leave us a lock of her hair. When we had had our laugh quite out. as a commentary on this offer. ‘Ain’t I volatile?’ she added. Some people trifled with her as a mere oddity. but she was as shrewdly and sharply observant as anyone he knew. and everywhere. and seemed to pick up customers everywhere. and as long-headed as she was short-armed. not succeeding in attracting his attention to these questions after two or three attempts.

fur to 0 David Copperfield .’ ‘I should have thought. a light began to fall upon the figure I had seen following them. after we met you?’ ‘Keeping us in sight?’ said Ham. and still more surprised to learn from him that little Em’ly was inside. Ham.’ ‘Did I see her tonight. smiling. Barkis’s house. ‘Em’ly. Mas’r Davy. ‘It’s like you did. ‘but look’ee here.a young woman. Mas’r Davy. sir.’ he returned. in a general way. you see. so ‘t would be.’ said I. in a hesitating manner. Em’ly. Mas’r Davy. but along of her creeping soon arterwards under Em’ly’s little winder. and speaking very gravely. she’s talking to some ‘un in here. I naturally inquired why he was not there too. ‘that that was a reason for your being in here too. she was theer.’ When I heard these words. for Christ’s sake. when she see the light come.downstairs.’ ‘Well. sir . that Em’ly knowed once. some hours ago. Not that I know’d then.’ lowering his voice. ‘as is trod under foot by all the town. The mowld o’ the churchyard don’t hold any that the folk shrink away from. have a woman’s heart towards me.’ said Ham. when I came to Mr. Ham. ‘It’s a poor wurem. to find Ham walking up and down in front of it. more. and whispering ‘Em’ly. Up street and down street. on the sand. Mas’r Davy. instead of pacing the streets by himself? ‘Why.’ he rejoined. I was once like you!’ Those was solemn words. ‘It’s a young woman. I was surprised. and doen’t ought to know no more. Mas’r Davy. Mas’r Davy.

can it be you?’ . on the instant. quite as well as Ham. ‘Show that.’ By and by she tells me what I tell you. ‘I recollect her quite well!’ ‘Martha Endell.’ ‘For the matter o’ that.no. Em’ly couldn’t speak to her theer. What can I do? She doen’t ought to know any such. side by side. for the love of me. but was at the school with her.’ said Ham. ‘all’s told a’most in them words.’ ‘I recollect her now!’ cried I. ‘he couldn’t. What did Em’ly do?’ ‘Says Em’ly. Mas’r Davy. for Christ’s sake. Martha. recalling one of the two girls I had seen when I first went there. ‘Em’ly.’ he pursued. and she’ll set you down by her fire.’ I felt how true this was. Barkis.’ said I. at Mr. with great earnestness. I knew it. Mas’r Davy.com 0 .for they had sat at work together. is it you? Oh. and he wouldn’t . kind-natur’d. and I can come.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. see them two together. tender-hearted as he is. ‘I didn’t mean to interrupt you. ‘to my aunt. Mas’r Davy. I was once like you!’ She wanted to speak to Em’ly. Mrs. have a woman’s heart towards me. many a day. ‘Two or three year older than Em’ly. ‘Martha.hear!’ ‘They were indeed. ‘and gives it to her out o’ winder to bring here. when the tears is on her face. ‘So Em’ly writes in pencil on a bit of paper.’ replied Ham. for her loving uncle was come home. but I can’t deny her.’ said Ham. Em’ly.’ she says. Omer’s. for all the treasures that’s wrecked in the sea.’ ‘I never heard her name. and asks me to bring her. Ham. till uncle is gone out.

‘With such a little money in it. and took out with great care a pretty little purse. Em’ly my dear. but for its being the neat-tiled kitchen I have mentioned more than once. tenderly adjusting it on the rough palm of his hand. The door opening immediately into it. and the Dutch clock by the dresser seemed. I found myself among them before I considered whither I was going. I would have kept away. over which her hair fell loose and scattered. entreating me to come in too. and that the forlorn head might perhaps have been lying on her lap. but I saw that she was young. So had little Em’ly.’ I shook him warmly by the hand when he had put it away again . beckoning to Ham to come in. that Em’ly had but newly risen from the chair.’ said Ham. and Peggotty appeared. ‘how could I deny her when she give me this to carry for her . ‘And if I could deny her when the tears was on her face. to tick 0 David Copperfield . but she came after me.was near the fire. I saw but little of the girl’s face.He put his hand into the breast of his shaggy jacket. in the silence. She was sitting on the ground. and of a fair complexion.and we walked up and down. Mas’r Davy. thoughtfully looking on it. with her head and one arm lying on a chair.for that was more satisfactory to me than saying anything . I would have avoided the room where they all were. Even then. as if she had been disordering it with her own hands. I fancied.the same I had seen upon the sands . The door opened then. for a minute or two. in silence. Not a word was spoken when we first went in. Peggotty had been crying.knowing what she brought it for? Such a toy as it is!’ said Ham. The girl . from the disposition of her figure.

‘Better there than here. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I saw him put in it a little canvas bag. although it hardly rose above a whisper. came back to where he had retired near me. and showed it to him.Martha’s. They both spoke as if she were ill. He stood between them.’ she said to Ham. as a woman in a fever. ‘No one knows me there. ‘She will try to do well.’ ‘Why to London?’ returned Ham. Does he . ‘You don’t know what she has said to us. though she did not move. and looked darkly round at him for a moment. She took it.com 0 . looking on the prostrate girl with a mixture of compassion for her. ‘to go to London. where the whole town knows me from a child!’ As Em’ly held out her hand to Ham.’ said little Em’ly. then laid it down again. but finding her mistake. which I have always remembered distinctly. in a soft. I never can do worse than I have done here. suppressed tone that was plainly heard. and made a step or two forward. and of jealousy of her holding any companionship with her whom he loved so well.twice as loud as usual.’ said Martha. or in an agony of pain from a shot. ‘Martha wants. ‘I’ll try.’ ‘What will she do there?’ inquired Ham. She lifted up her head.do they . might twist herself. I may do better. Everybody knows me here.’ said a third voice aloud .aunt?’ Peggotty shook her head compassionately. Em’ly spoke first. as if she thought it were her purse. and curved her right arm about her neck. Oh!’ with a dreadful shiver. ‘if you’ll help me away. ‘take me out of these streets.

I know I do!’ she sobbed. As the door closed. ‘Doen’t. ‘I try your love too much. pretty!’ ‘Oh. I saw her stooping over her. covering her face with it.’ said Ham. Not near! not near!’ And still she cried. Em’ly. I don’t know. as if her heart would break.’ the other said. yes. Making the same low. but no word passed her lips. She stopped a moment before going out. little Em’ly looked at us three in a hurried manner and then hid her face in her hands. ‘I’m 0 David Copperfield . wretched moaning in her shawl. ‘Doen’t. as if she would have uttered something or turned back. and gathering her shawl about her.‘It’s all yourn. she went away. still weeping pitifully.’ I could hear him say. It ain’t of no delight to me. but she turned away and went to Martha. tapping her gently on the shoulder. I ought to have!’ ‘Yes. She whispered something. I’m sure. you have. and fell to sobbing. sobbing. and took her hand and kissed it. ‘I am not as good a girl as I ought to be. and weeping aloud. as she asked was that enough? ‘More than enough. except for you!’ The tears rose freshly in her eyes. and shaking her head. Ham!’ she exclaimed. ‘I haven’t nowt in all the wureld that ain’t yourn. dreary. sometimes. Then Martha arose. and putting money in her bosom. ‘No! no! no!’ cried little Em’ly. my dear! You doen’t ought to cry so. Em’ly!’ said Ham. What she gave her. went slowly to the door. ‘I am not so good a girl as I ought to be! I know I have not the thankful heart. my dear.

when I ought to be far different. try to help me! I want to be a better girl than I am. ‘Oh. not because I am! Oh. my heart!’ She dropped her face on my old nurse’s breast. pray. You are never so to me. I know!’ Peggotty had hastened to the chair before the fire. and to make you happy!’ ‘You always make me so. kneeled by her.often cross to you. aunt. with her arms around her neck. ‘Martha has overset her. and never vain and changeable like me!’ ‘Poor little tender-heart. and to lead a peaceful life. please. ‘my dear! I am happy in the sight of you. I want to feel more. ‘come here. for the sake of old times. if you had been fond of someone else . aunt. and.’ said Ham. I want to feel a hundred times more thankful than I do. looking up most earnestly into her face. David. do. and let me lay my head upon you. Why am I ever so to you. aunt! Oh. try to help me! Ham. I am not as good a girl as I ought to be.’ ‘Ah! that’s not enough!’ she cried. I am happy. ‘That is because you are good. try to help me! Mr. oh me! Oh my heart. dear.’ ‘Please.’ sobbed Em’ly. Em’ly. Oh. all day long. what a blessed thing it is to be the wife of a good man.of someone steadier and much worthier than me. who was all bound up in you. ceasFree eBooks at Planet eBook. it might have been a better fortune for you. Oh me. when I should think of nothing but how to be grateful. in a low voice. altogether. and changeable with you. I am very miserable tonight.com 0 . my dear.’ said Ham. in the thoughts of you. I am not.

until she was able to smile. She got calmer by degrees. when she got home. that night. and then to sit up. more natural. wept silently. what I had never seen her do before. and now jesting a little with her. and then we soothed her. while Peggotty recalled her stray ringlets. 0 David Copperfield . and better suited to her beauty. half ashamed. as I thought. comparing their departure in my mind with Martha’s. now talking encouragingly. I saw her do. than any other manner could have been). lest her uncle should wonder. and creep close to his bluff form as if it were her best support. and then to laugh. and I looked after them. which in its agony and grief was half a woman’s. while my old nurse hushed her like an infant. why his darling had been crying. dried her eyes.ing this supplication. in that. I saw her innocently kiss her chosen husband on the cheek. in the waning moonlight. half a child’s. and still kept close to him. So we got on. I saw that she held his arm with both her hands. as all her manner was (being. and made her neat again. until she began to raise her head and speak to us. When they went away together.

CHAPTER 23 I CORROBORATE Mr. DICK. AND CHOOSE A PROFESSION W hen I awoke in the morning I thought very much of little Em’ly. therefore. and shall always be persuaded.even to Steerforth’s . I made a resolution. to keep it in my own breast. unworthy of myself. I felt would be a rough deed. and her emotion last night. which I always saw encircling her head.com 0 . I then devotedly loved. and there it gave her image a new grace. unworthy of the light of our pure childhood. would be wrong. The repetition to any ears . and whom I have always been persuaded. and that to disclose them. after Martha had left. to my dying day. I felt as if I had come into the knowledge of those domestic weaknesses and tendernesses in a sacred confidence. even to Steerforth.of what she had been unable to repress when her heart lay open to me by an accident. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I had no gentler feeling towards anyone than towards the pretty creature who had been my playmate.

10 David Copperfield .While we were at breakfast. we should hardly have wanted porters to carry it. and we left him standing on the pavement. when our portmanteaux went to the coach. Littimer touched his hat in acknowledgement of my good opinion. as respectable a mystery as any pyramid in Egypt.’ said I. just now. if it would have kept us eight-and-forty hours in Yarmouth. In a word. and left a great many people very sorry behind US. ‘He knows what he has to do. sir. He touched it once more. wishing us a good journey.’ he replied.’ ‘That I am sure he will. The whole house of Omer and Joram turned out to bid us good-bye. For the present we had enough to do. ‘No. carelessly. a letter was delivered to me from my aunt. and there were so many seafaring volunteers in attendance on Steerforth. and on which I knew I should be delighted to consult him. as he stood waiting to see the coach start. Peggotty and all her family were full of grief at our going. Littimer?’ said I. Barkis was far from being the last among them. Mr. and sacrificed another guinea. ‘probably not very long. Do you stay long here. in his regret at our departure.’ observed Steerforth. and I felt about eight years old. and I believe would even have opened the box again. and he’ll do it. that if we had had the baggage of a regiment with us. in taking leave of all our friends. we departed to the regret and admiration of all concerned.’ ‘He can hardly say. As it contained matter on which I thought Steerforth could advise me as well as anyone. sir. I resolved to make it a subject of discussion on our journey home.

For some little time we held no conversation, Steerforth being unusually silent, and I being sufficiently engaged in wondering, within myself, when I should see the old places again, and what new changes might happen to me or them in the meanwhile. At length Steerforth, becoming gay and talkative in a moment, as he could become anything he liked at any moment, pulled me by the arm: ‘Find a voice, David. What about that letter you were speaking of at breakfast?’ ‘Oh!’ said I, taking it out of my pocket. ‘It’s from my aunt.’ ‘And what does she say, requiring consideration?’ ‘Why, she reminds me, Steerforth,’ said I, ‘that I came out on this expedition to look about me, and to think a little.’ ‘Which, of course, you have done?’ ‘Indeed I can’t say I have, particularly. To tell you the truth, I am afraid I have forgotten it.’ ‘Well! look about you now, and make up for your negligence,’ said Steerforth. ‘Look to the right, and you’ll see a flat country, with a good deal of marsh in it; look to the left, and you’ll see the same. Look to the front, and you’ll find no difference; look to the rear, and there it is still.’ I laughed, and replied that I saw no suitable profession in the whole prospect; which was perhaps to be attributed to its flatness. ‘What says our aunt on the subject?’ inquired Steerforth, glancing at the letter in my hand. ‘Does she suggest anything?’ ‘Why, yes,’ said I. ‘She asks me, here, if I think I should like to be a proctor? What do you think of it?’
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‘Well, I don’t know,’ replied Steerforth, coolly. ‘You may as well do that as anything else, I suppose?’ I could not help laughing again, at his balancing all callings and professions so equally; and I told him so. ‘What is a proctor, Steerforth?’ said I. ‘Why, he is a sort of monkish attorney,’ replied Steerforth. ‘He is, to some faded courts held in Doctors’ Commons, - a lazy old nook near St. Paul’s Churchyard - what solicitors are to the courts of law and equity. He is a functionary whose existence, in the natural course of things, would have terminated about two hundred years ago. I can tell you best what he is, by telling you what Doctors’ Commons is. It’s a little out-of-the-way place, where they administer what is called ecclesiastical law, and play all kinds of tricks with obsolete old monsters of acts of Parliament, which three-fourths of the world know nothing about, and the other fourth supposes to have been dug up, in a fossil state, in the days of the Edwards. It’s a place that has an ancient monopoly in suits about people’s wills and people’s marriages, and disputes among ships and boats.’ ‘Nonsense, Steerforth!’ I exclaimed. ‘You don’t mean to say that there is any affinity between nautical matters and ecclesiastical matters?’ ‘I don’t, indeed, my dear boy,’ he returned; ‘but I mean to say that they are managed and decided by the same set of people, down in that same Doctors’ Commons. You shall go there one day, and find them blundering through half the nautical terms in Young’s Dictionary, apropos of the ‘Nancy’ having run down the ‘Sarah Jane’, or Mr. Peggot1 David Copperfield

ty and the Yarmouth boatmen having put off in a gale of wind with an anchor and cable to the ‘Nelson’ Indiaman in distress; and you shall go there another day, and find them deep in the evidence, pro and con, respecting a clergyman who has misbehaved himself; and you shall find the judge in the nautical case, the advocate in the clergyman’s case, or contrariwise. They are like actors: now a man’s a judge, and now he is not a judge; now he’s one thing, now he’s another; now he’s something else, change and change about; but it’s always a very pleasant, profitable little affair of private theatricals, presented to an uncommonly select audience.’ ‘But advocates and proctors are not one and the same?’ said I, a little puzzled. ‘Are they?’ ‘No,’ returned Steerforth, ‘the advocates are civilians men who have taken a doctor’s degree at college - which is the first reason of my knowing anything about it. The proctors employ the advocates. Both get very comfortable fees, and altogether they make a mighty snug little party. On the whole, I would recommend you to take to Doctors’ Commons kindly, David. They plume them- selves on their gentility there, I can tell you, if that’s any satisfaction.’ I made allowance for Steerforth’s light way of treating the subject, and, considering it with reference to the staid air of gravity and antiquity which I associated with that ‘lazy old nook near St. Paul’s Churchyard’, did not feel indisposed towards my aunt’s suggestion; which she left to my free decision, making no scruple of telling me that it had occurred to her, on her lately visiting her own proctor in Doctors’ Commons for the purpose of settling her will in
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my favour. ‘That’s a laudable proceeding on the part of our aunt, at all events,’ said Steerforth, when I mentioned it; ‘and one deserving of all encouragement. Daisy, my advice is that you take kindly to Doctors’ Commons.’ I quite made up my mind to do so. I then told Steerforth that my aunt was in town awaiting me (as I found from her letter), and that she had taken lodgings for a week at a kind of private hotel at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where there was a stone staircase, and a convenient door in the roof; my aunt being firmly persuaded that every house in London was going to be burnt down every night. We achieved the rest of our journey pleasantly, sometimes recurring to Doctors’ Commons, and anticipating the distant days when I should be a proctor there, which Steerforth pictured in a variety of humorous and whimsical lights, that made us both merry. When we came to our journey’s end, he went home, engaging to call upon me next day but one; and I drove to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where I found my aunt up, and waiting supper. If I had been round the world since we parted, we could hardly have been better pleased to meet again. My aunt cried outright as she embraced me; and said, pretending to laugh, that if my poor mother had been alive, that silly little creature would have shed tears, she had no doubt. ‘So you have left Mr. Dick behind, aunt?’ said I. ‘I am sorry for that. Ah, Janet, how do you do?’ As Janet curtsied, hoping I was well, I observed my aunt’s visage lengthen very much. 
1 David Copperfield

‘I am sorry for it, too,’ said my aunt, rubbing her nose. ‘I have had no peace of mind, Trot, since I have been here.’ Before I could ask why, she told me. ‘I am convinced,’ said my aunt, laying her hand with melancholy firmness on the table, ‘that Dick’s character is not a character to keep the donkeys off. I am confident he wants strength of purpose. I ought to have left Janet at home, instead, and then my mind might perhaps have been at ease. If ever there was a donkey trespassing on my green,’ said my aunt, with emphasis, ‘there was one this afternoon at four o’clock. A cold feeling came over me from head to foot, and I know it was a donkey!’ I tried to comfort her on this point, but she rejected consolation. ‘It was a donkey,’ said my aunt; ‘and it was the one with the stumpy tail which that Murdering sister of a woman rode, when she came to my house.’ This had been, ever since, the only name my aunt knew for Miss Murdstone. ‘If there is any Donkey in Dover, whose audacity it is harder to me to bear than another’s, that,’ said my aunt, striking the table, ‘is the animal!’ Janet ventured to suggest that my aunt might be disturbing herself unnecessarily, and that she believed the donkey in question was then engaged in the sand-and-gravel line of business, and was not available for purposes of trespass. But my aunt wouldn’t hear of it. Supper was comfortably served and hot, though my aunt’s rooms were very high up - whether that she might have more stone stairs for her money, or might be nearer
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to the door in the roof, I don’t know - and consisted of a roast fowl, a steak, and some vegetables, to all of which I did ample justice, and which were all excellent. But my aunt had her own ideas concerning London provision, and ate but little. ‘I suppose this unfortunate fowl was born and brought up in a cellar,’ said my aunt, ‘and never took the air except on a hackney coach-stand. I hope the steak may be beef, but I don’t believe it. Nothing’s genuine in the place, in my opinion, but the dirt.’ ‘Don’t you think the fowl may have come out of the country, aunt?’ I hinted. ‘Certainly not,’ returned my aunt. ‘It would be no pleasure to a London tradesman to sell anything which was what he pretended it was.’ I did not venture to controvert this opinion, but I made a good supper, which it greatly satisfied her to see me do. When the table was cleared, Janet assisted her to arrange her hair, to put on her nightcap, which was of a smarter construction than usual (’in case of fire’, my aunt said), and to fold her gown back over her knees, these being her usual preparations for warming herself before going to bed. I then made her, according to certain established regulations from which no deviation, however slight, could ever be permitted, a glass of hot wine and water, and a slice of toast cut into long thin strips. With these accompaniments we were left alone to finish the evening, my aunt sitting opposite to me drinking her wine and water; soaking her strips of toast in it, one by one, before eating them; and looking benig1 David Copperfield

nantly on me, from among the borders of her nightcap. ‘Well, Trot,’ she began, ‘what do you think of the proctor plan? Or have you not begun to think about it yet?’ ‘I have thought a good deal about it, my dear aunt, and I have talked a good deal about it with Steerforth. I like it very much indeed. I like it exceedingly.’ ‘Come!’ said my aunt. ‘That’s cheering!’ ‘I have only one difficulty, aunt.’ ‘Say what it is, Trot,’ she returned. ‘Why, I want to ask, aunt, as this seems, from what I understand, to be a limited profession, whether my entrance into it would not be very expensive?’ ‘It will cost,’ returned my aunt, ‘to article you, just a thousand pounds.’ ‘Now, my dear aunt,’ said I, drawing my chair nearer, ‘I am uneasy in my mind about that. It’s a large sum of money. You have expended a great deal on my education, and have always been as liberal to me in all things as it was possible to be. You have been the soul of generosity. Surely there are some ways in which I might begin life with hardly any outlay, and yet begin with a good hope of getting on by resolution and exertion. Are you sure that it would not be better to try that course? Are you certain that you can afford to part with so much money, and that it is right that it should be so expended? I only ask you, my second mother, to consider. Are you certain?’ My aunt finished eating the piece of toast on which she was then engaged, looking me full in the face all the while; and then setting her glass on the chimney-piece, and foldFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1

ing her hands upon her folded skirts, replied as follows: ‘Trot, my child, if I have any object in life, it is to provide for your being a good, a sensible, and a happy man. I am bent upon it - so is Dick. I should like some people that I know to hear Dick’s conversation on the subject. Its sagacity is wonderful. But no one knows the resources of that man’s intellect, except myself!’ She stopped for a moment to take my hand between hers, and went on: ‘It’s in vain, Trot, to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present. Perhaps I might have been better friends with your poor father. Perhaps I might have been better friends with that poor child your mother, even after your sister Betsey Trotwood disappointed me. When you came to me, a little runaway boy, all dusty and way-worn, perhaps I thought so. From that time until now, Trot, you have ever been a credit to me and a pride and a pleasure. I have no other claim upon my means; at least’ - here to my surprise she hesitated, and was confused - ‘no, I have no other claim upon my means - and you are my adopted child. Only be a loving child to me in my age, and bear with my whims and fancies; and you will do more for an old woman whose prime of life was not so happy or conciliating as it might have been, than ever that old woman did for you.’ It was the first time I had heard my aunt refer to her past history. There was a magnanimity in her quiet way of doing so, and of dismissing it, which would have exalted her in my respect and affection, if anything could. ‘All is agreed and understood between us, now, Trot,’ said 
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my aunt, ‘and we need talk of this no more. Give me a kiss, and we’ll go to the Commons after breakfast tomorrow.’ We had a long chat by the fire before we went to bed. I slept in a room on the same floor with my aunt’s, and was a little disturbed in the course of the night by her knocking at my door as often as she was agitated by a distant sound of hackney-coaches or market-carts, and inquiring, ‘if I heard the engines?’ But towards morning she slept better, and suffered me to do so too. At about mid-day, we set out for the office of Messrs Spenlow and Jorkins, in Doctors’ Commons. My aunt, who had this other general opinion in reference to London, that every man she saw was a pickpocket, gave me her purse to carry for her, which had ten guineas in it and some silver. We made a pause at the toy shop in Fleet Street, to see the giants of Saint Dunstan’s strike upon the bells - we had timed our going, so as to catch them at it, at twelve o’clock - and then went on towards Ludgate Hill, and St. Paul’s Churchyard. We were crossing to the former place, when I found that my aunt greatly accelerated her speed, and looked frightened. I observed, at the same time, that a lowering ill-dressed man who had stopped and stared at us in passing, a little before, was coming so close after us as to brush against her. ‘Trot! My dear Trot!’ cried my aunt, in a terrified whisper, and pressing my arm. ‘I don’t know what I am to do.’ ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ said I. ‘There’s nothing to be afraid of. Step into a shop, and I’ll soon get rid of this fellow.’ ‘No, no, child!’ she returned. ‘Don’t speak to him for the
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world. I entreat, I order you!’ ‘Good Heaven, aunt!’ said I. ‘He is nothing but a sturdy beggar.’ ‘You don’t know what he is!’ replied my aunt. ‘You don’t know who he is! You don’t know what you say!’ We had stopped in an empty door-way, while this was passing, and he had stopped too. ‘Don’t look at him!’ said my aunt, as I turned my head indignantly, ‘but get me a coach, my dear, and wait for me in St. Paul’s Churchyard.’ ‘Wait for you?’ I replied. ‘Yes,’ rejoined my aunt. ‘I must go alone. I must go with him.’ ‘With him, aunt? This man?’ ‘I am in my senses,’ she replied, ‘and I tell you I must. Get mea coach!’ However much astonished I might be, I was sensible that I had no right to refuse compliance with such a peremptory command. I hurried away a few paces, and called a hackneychariot which was passing empty. Almost before I could let down the steps, my aunt sprang in, I don’t know how, and the man followed. She waved her hand to me to go away, so earnestly, that, all confounded as I was, I turned from them at once. In doing so, I heard her say to the coachman, ‘Drive anywhere! Drive straight on!’ and presently the chariot passed me, going up the hill. What Mr. Dick had told me, and what I had supposed to be a delusion of his, now came into my mind. I could not doubt that this person was the person of whom he had 
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made such mysterious mention, though what the nature of his hold upon my aunt could possibly be, I was quite unable to imagine. After half an hour’s cooling in the churchyard, I saw the chariot coming back. The driver stopped beside me, and my aunt was sitting in it alone. She had not yet sufficiently recovered from her agitation to be quite prepared for the visit we had to make. She desired me to get into the chariot, and to tell the coachman to drive slowly up and down a little while. She said no more, except, ‘My dear child, never ask me what it was, and don’t refer to it,’ until she had perfectly regained her composure, when she told me she was quite herself now, and we might get out. On her giving me her purse to pay the driver, I found that all the guineas were gone, and only the loose silver remained. Doctors’ Commons was approached by a little low archway. Before we had taken many paces down the street beyond it, the noise of the city seemed to melt, as if by magic, into a softened distance. A few dull courts and narrow ways brought us to the sky-lighted offices of Spenlow and Jorkins; in the vestibule of which temple, accessible to pilgrims without the ceremony of knocking, three or four clerks were at work as copyists. One of these, a little dry man, sitting by himself, who wore a stiff brown wig that looked as if it were made of gingerbread, rose to receive my aunt, and show us into Mr. Spenlow’s room. ‘Mr. Spenlow’s in Court, ma’am,’ said the dry man; ‘it’s an Arches day; but it’s close by, and I’ll send for him directly.’
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As we were left to look about us while Mr. Spenlow was fetched, I availed myself of the opportunity. The furniture of the room was old-fashioned and dusty; and the green baize on the top of the writing-table had lost all its colour, and was as withered and pale as an old pauper. There were a great many bundles of papers on it, some endorsed as Allegations, and some (to my surprise) as Libels, and some as being in the Consistory Court, and some in the Arches Court, and some in the Prerogative Court, and some in the Admiralty Court, and some in the Delegates’ Court; giving me occasion to wonder much, how many Courts there might be in the gross, and how long it would take to understand them all. Besides these, there were sundry immense manuscript Books of Evidence taken on affidavit, strongly bound, and tied together in massive sets, a set to each cause, as if every cause were a history in ten or twenty volumes. All this looked tolerably expensive, I thought, and gave me an agreeable notion of a proctor’s business. I was casting my eyes with increasing complacency over these and many similar objects, when hasty footsteps were heard in the room outside, and Mr. Spenlow, in a black gown trimmed with white fur, came hurrying in, taking off his hat as he came. He was a little light-haired gentleman, with undeniable boots, and the stiffest of white cravats and shirt-collars. He was buttoned up, mighty trim and tight, and must have taken a great deal of pains with his whiskers, which were accurately curled. His gold watch-chain was so massive, that a fancy came across me, that he ought to have a sinewy 
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golden arm, to draw it out with, like those which are put up over the goldbeaters’ shops. He was got up with such care, and was so stiff, that he could hardly bend himself; being obliged, when he glanced at some papers on his desk, after sitting down in his chair, to move his whole body, from the bottom of his spine, like Punch. I had previously been presented by my aunt, and had been courteously received. He now said: ‘And so, Mr. Copperfield, you think of entering into our profession? I casually mentioned to Miss Trotwood, when I had the pleasure of an interview with her the other day,’ - with another inclination of his body - Punch again - ‘that there was a vacancy here. Miss Trotwood was good enough to mention that she had a nephew who was her peculiar care, and for whom she was seeking to provide genteelly in life. That nephew, I believe, I have now the pleasure of’ - Punch again. I bowed my acknowledgements, and said, my aunt had mentioned to me that there was that opening, and that I believed I should like it very much. That I was strongly inclined to like it, and had taken immediately to the proposal. That I could not absolutely pledge myself to like it, until I knew something more about it. That although it was little else than a matter of form, I presumed I should have an opportunity of trying how I liked it, before I bound myself to it irrevocably. ‘Oh surely! surely!’ said Mr. Spenlow. ‘We always, in this house, propose a month - an initiatory month. I should be happy, myself, to propose two months - three - an indefinite period, in fact - but I have a partner. Mr. Jorkins.’
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‘And the premium, sir,’ I returned, ‘is a thousand pounds?’ ‘And the premium, Stamp included, is a thousand pounds,’ said Mr. Spenlow. ‘As I have mentioned to Miss Trotwood, I am actuated by no mercenary considerations; few men are less so, I believe; but Mr. Jorkins has his opinions on these subjects, and I am bound to respect Mr. Jorkins’s opinions. Mr. Jorkins thinks a thousand pounds too little, in short.’ ‘I suppose, sir,’ said I, still desiring to spare my aunt, ‘that it is not the custom here, if an articled clerk were particularly useful, and made himself a perfect master of his profession’ - I could not help blushing, this looked so like praising myself - ‘I suppose it is not the custom, in the later years of his time, to allow him any -’ Mr. Spenlow, by a great effort, just lifted his head far enough out of his cravat to shake it, and answered, anticipating the word ‘salary’: ‘No. I will not say what consideration I might give to that point myself, Mr. Copperfield, if I were unfettered. Mr. Jorkins is immovable.’ I was quite dismayed by the idea of this terrible Jorkins. But I found out afterwards that he was a mild man of a heavy temperament, whose place in the business was to keep himself in the background, and be constantly exhibited by name as the most obdurate and ruthless of men. If a clerk wanted his salary raised, Mr. Jorkins wouldn’t listen to such a proposition. If a client were slow to settle his bill of costs, Mr. Jorkins was resolved to have it paid; and however painful these things might be (and always were) 
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to the feelings of Mr. Spenlow, Mr. Jorkins would have his bond. The heart and hand of the good angel Spenlow would have been always open, but for the restraining demon Jorkins. As I have grown older, I think I have had experience of some other houses doing business on the principle of Spenlow and Jorkins! It was settled that I should begin my month’s probation as soon as I pleased, and that my aunt need neither remain in town nor return at its expiration, as the articles of agreement, of which I was to be the subject, could easily be sent to her at home for her signature. When we had got so far, Mr. Spenlow offered to take me into Court then and there, and show me what sort of place it was. As I was willing enough to know, we went out with this object, leaving my aunt behind; who would trust herself, she said, in no such place, and who, I think, regarded all Courts of Law as a sort of powder-mills that might blow up at any time. Mr. Spenlow conducted me through a paved courtyard formed of grave brick houses, which I inferred, from the Doctors’ names upon the doors, to be the official abidingplaces of the learned advocates of whom Steerforth had told me; and into a large dull room, not unlike a chapel to my thinking, on the left hand. The upper part of this room was fenced off from the rest; and there, on the two sides of a raised platform of the horse-shoe form, sitting on easy oldfashioned dining-room chairs, were sundry gentlemen in red gowns and grey wigs, whom I found to be the Doctors aforesaid. Blinking over a little desk like a pulpit-desk, in the curve of the horse-shoe, was an old gentleman, whom,
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if I had seen him in an aviary, I should certainly have taken for an owl, but who, I learned, was the presiding judge. In the space within the horse-shoe, lower than these, that is to say, on about the level of the floor, were sundry other gentlemen, of Mr. Spenlow’s rank, and dressed like him in black gowns with white fur upon them, sitting at a long green table. Their cravats were in general stiff, I thought, and their looks haughty; but in this last respect I presently conceived I had done them an injustice, for when two or three of them had to rise and answer a question of the presiding dignitary, I never saw anything more sheepish. The public, represented by a boy with a comforter, and a shabby-genteel man secretly eating crumbs out of his coat pockets, was warming itself at a stove in the centre of the Court. The languid stillness of the place was only broken by the chirping of this fire and by the voice of one of the Doctors, who was wandering slowly through a perfect library of evidence, and stopping to put up, from time to time, at little roadside inns of argument on the journey. Altogether, I have never, on any occasion, made one at such a cosey, dosey, old-fashioned, time-forgotten, sleepy-headed little family-party in all my life; and I felt it would be quite a soothing opiate to belong to it in any character - except perhaps as a suitor. Very well satisfied with the dreamy nature of this retreat, I informed Mr. Spenlow that I had seen enough for that time, and we rejoined my aunt; in company with whom I presently departed from the Commons, feeling very young when I went out of Spenlow and Jorkins’s, on account of the clerks poking one another with their pens to point me out. 
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We arrived at Lincoln’s Inn Fields without any new adventures, except encountering an unlucky donkey in a costermonger’s cart, who suggested painful associations to my aunt. We had another long talk about my plans, when we were safely housed; and as I knew she was anxious to get home, and, between fire, food, and pickpockets, could never be considered at her ease for half-an-hour in London, I urged her not to be uncomfortable on my account, but to leave me to take care of myself. ‘I have not been here a week tomorrow, without considering that too, my dear,’ she returned. ‘There is a furnished little set of chambers to be let in the Adelphi, Trot, which ought to suit you to a marvel.’ With this brief introduction, she produced from her pocket an advertisement, carefully cut out of a newspaper, setting forth that in Buckingham Street in the Adelphi there was to be let furnished, with a view of the river, a singularly desirable, and compact set of chambers, forming a genteel residence for a young gentleman, a member of one of the Inns of Court, or otherwise, with immediate possession. Terms moderate, and could be taken for a month only, if required. ‘Why, this is the very thing, aunt!’ said I, flushed with the possible dignity of living in chambers. ‘Then come,’ replied my aunt, immediately resuming the bonnet she had a minute before laid aside. ‘We’ll go and look at ‘em.’ Away we went. The advertisement directed us to apply to Mrs. Crupp on the premises, and we rung the area bell,
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which we supposed to communicate with Mrs. Crupp. It was not until we had rung three or four times that we could prevail on Mrs. Crupp to communicate with us, but at last she appeared, being a stout lady with a flounce of flannel petticoat below a nankeen gown. ‘Let us see these chambers of yours, if you please, ma’am,’ said my aunt. ‘For this gentleman?’ said Mrs. Crupp, feeling in her pocket for her keys. ‘Yes, for my nephew,’ said my aunt. ‘And a sweet set they is for sich!’ said Mrs. Crupp. So we went upstairs. They were on the top of the house - a great point with my aunt, being near the fire-escape - and consisted of a little half-blind entry where you could see hardly anything, a little stone-blind pantry where you could see nothing at all, a sitting-room, and a bedroom. The furniture was rather faded, but quite good enough for me; and, sure enough, the river was outside the windows. As I was delighted with the place, my aunt and Mrs. Crupp withdrew into the pantry to discuss the terms, while I remained on the sitting-room sofa, hardly daring to think it possible that I could be destined to live in such a noble residence. After a single combat of some duration they returned, and I saw, to my joy, both in Mrs. Crupp’s countenance and in my aunt’s, that the deed was done. ‘Is it the last occupant’s furniture?’ inquired my aunt. ‘Yes, it is, ma’am,’ said Mrs. Crupp. ‘What’s become of him?’ asked my aunt. 
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Mrs. Crupp was taken with a troublesome cough, in the midst of which she articulated with much difficulty. ‘He was took ill here, ma’am, and - ugh! ugh! ugh! dear me! and he died!’ ‘Hey! What did he die of?’ asked my aunt. ‘Well, ma’am, he died of drink,’ said Mrs. Crupp, in confidence. ‘And smoke.’ ‘Smoke? You don’t mean chimneys?’ said my aunt. ‘No, ma’am,’ returned Mrs. Crupp. ‘Cigars and pipes.’ ‘That’s not catching, Trot, at any rate,’ remarked my aunt, turning to me. ‘No, indeed,’ said I. In short, my aunt, seeing how enraptured I was with the premises, took them for a month, with leave to remain for twelve months when that time was out. Mrs. Crupp was to find linen, and to cook; every other necessary was already provided; and Mrs. Crupp expressly intimated that she should always yearn towards me as a son. I was to take possession the day after tomorrow, and Mrs. Crupp said, thank Heaven she had now found summun she could care for! On our way back, my aunt informed me how she confidently trusted that the life I was now to lead would make me firm and self-reliant, which was all I wanted. She repeated this several times next day, in the intervals of our arranging for the transmission of my clothes and books from Mr. Wickfield’s; relative to which, and to all my late holiday, I wrote a long letter to Agnes, of which my aunt took charge, as she was to leave on the succeeding day. Not to lengthen these particulars, I need only add, that she made a handFree eBooks at Planet eBook.com 

some provision for all my possible wants during my month of trial; that Steerforth, to my great disappointment and hers too, did not make his appearance before she went away; that I saw her safely seated in the Dover coach, exulting in the coming discomfiture of the vagrant donkeys, with Janet at her side; and that when the coach was gone, I turned my face to the Adelphi, pondering on the old days when I used to roam about its subterranean arches, and on the happy changes which had brought me to the surface. 

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David Copperfield

CHAPTER 24 MY FIRST DISSIPATION

I

t was a wonderfully fine thing to have that lofty castle to myself, and to feel, when I shut my outer door, like Robinson Crusoe, when he had got into his fortification, and pulled his ladder up after him. It was a wonderfully fine thing to walk about town with the key of my house in my pocket, and to know that I could ask any fellow to come home, and make quite sure of its being inconvenient to nobody, if it were not so to me. It was a wonderfully fine thing to let myself in and out, and to come and go without a word to anyone, and to ring Mrs. Crupp up, gasping, from the depths of the earth, when I wanted her - and when she was disposed to come. All this, I say, was wonderfully fine; but I must say, too, that there were times when it was very dreary. It was fine in the morning, particularly in the fine mornings. It looked a very fresh, free life, by daylight: still fresher, and more free, by sunlight. But as the day declined, the life seemed to go down too. I don’t know how it was; it seldom looked well by candle-light. I wanted somebody to talk to, then. I missed Agnes. I found a tremendous blank, in 
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the place of that smiling repository of my confidence. Mrs. Crupp appeared to be a long way off. I thought about my predecessor, who had died of drink and smoke; and I could have wished he had been so good as to live, and not bother me with his decease. After two days and nights, I felt as if I had lived there for a year, and yet I was not an hour older, but was quite as much tormented by my own youthfulness as ever. Steerforth not yet appearing, which induced me to apprehend that he must be ill, I left the Commons early on the third day, and walked out to Highgate. Mrs. Steerforth was very glad to see me, and said that he had gone away with one of his Oxford friends to see another who lived near St. Albans, but that she expected him to return tomorrow. I was so fond of him, that I felt quite jealous of his Oxford friends. As she pressed me to stay to dinner, I remained, and I believe we talked about nothing but him all day. I told her how much the people liked him at Yarmouth, and what a delightful companion he had been. Miss Dartle was full of hints and mysterious questions, but took a great interest in all our proceedings there, and said, ‘Was it really though?’ and so forth, so often, that she got everything out of me she wanted to know. Her appearance was exactly what I have described it, when I first saw her; but the society of the two ladies was so agreeable, and came so natural to me, that I felt myself falling a little in love with her. I could not help thinking, several times in the course of the evening, and particularly when I walked home at night, what delightful 
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company she would be in Buckingham Street. I was taking my coffee and roll in the morning, before going to the Commons - and I may observe in this place that it is surprising how much coffee Mrs. Crupp used, and how weak it was, considering - when Steerforth himself walked in, to my unbounded joy. ‘My dear Steerforth,’ cried I, ‘I began to think I should never see you again!’ ‘I was carried off, by force of arms,’ said Steerforth, ‘the very next morning after I got home. Why, Daisy, what a rare old bachelor you are here!’ I showed him over the establishment, not omitting the pantry, with no little pride, and he commended it highly. ‘I tell you what, old boy,’ he added, ‘I shall make quite a townhouse of this place, unless you give me notice to quit.’ This was a delightful hearing. I told him if he waited for that, he would have to wait till doomsday. ‘But you shall have some breakfast!’ said I, with my hand on the bell-rope, ‘and Mrs. Crupp shall make you some fresh coffee, and I’ll toast you some bacon in a bachelor’s Dutch-oven, that I have got here.’ ‘No, no!’ said Steerforth. ‘Don’t ring! I can’t! I am going to breakfast with one of these fellows who is at the Piazza Hotel, in Covent Garden.’ ‘But you’ll come back to dinner?’ said I. ‘I can’t, upon my life. There’s nothing I should like better, but I must remain with these two fellows. We are all three off together tomorrow morning.’ ‘Then bring them here to dinner,’ I returned. ‘Do you
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think they would come?’ ‘Oh! they would come fast enough,’ said Steerforth; ‘but we should inconvenience you. You had better come and dine with us somewhere.’ I would not by any means consent to this, for it occurred to me that I really ought to have a little house-warming, and that there never could be a better opportunity. I had a new pride in my rooms after his approval of them, and burned with a desire to develop their utmost resources. I therefore made him promise positively in the names of his two friends, and we appointed six o’clock as the dinner-hour. When he was gone, I rang for Mrs. Crupp, and acquainted her with my desperate design. Mrs. Crupp said, in the first place, of course it was well known she couldn’t be expected to wait, but she knew a handy young man, who she thought could be prevailed upon to do it, and whose terms would be five shillings, and what I pleased. I said, certainly we would have him. Next Mrs. Crupp said it was clear she couldn’t be in two places at once (which I felt to be reasonable), and that ‘a young gal’ stationed in the pantry with a bedroom candle, there never to desist from washing plates, would be indispensable. I said, what would be the expense of this young female? and Mrs. Crupp said she supposed eighteenpence would neither make me nor break me. I said I supposed not; and THAT was settled. Then Mrs. Crupp said, Now about the dinner. It was a remarkable instance of want of forethought on the part of the ironmonger who had made Mrs. Crupp’s kitchen fireplace, that it was capable of cooking nothing but 
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chops and mashed potatoes. As to a fish-kittle, Mrs. Crupp said, well! would I only come and look at the range? She couldn’t say fairer than that. Would I come and look at it? As I should not have been much the wiser if I HAD looked at it, I declined, and said, ‘Never mind fish.’ But Mrs. Crupp said, Don’t say that; oysters was in, why not them? So THAT was settled. Mrs. Crupp then said what she would recommend would be this. A pair of hot roast fowls - from the pastry-cook’s; a dish of stewed beef, with vegetables - from the pastry-cook’s; two little corner things, as a raised pie and a dish of kidneys - from the pastrycook’s; a tart, and (if I liked) a shape of jelly - from the pastrycook’s. This, Mrs. Crupp said, would leave her at full liberty to concentrate her mind on the potatoes, and to serve up the cheese and celery as she could wish to see it done. I acted on Mrs. Crupp’s opinion, and gave the order at the pastry-cook’s myself. Walking along the Strand, afterwards, and observing a hard mottled substance in the window of a ham and beef shop, which resembled marble, but was labelled ‘Mock Turtle’, I went in and bought a slab of it, which I have since seen reason to believe would have sufficed for fifteen people. This preparation, Mrs. Crupp, after some difficulty, consented to warm up; and it shrunk so much in a liquid state, that we found it what Steerforth called ‘rather a tight fit’ for four. These preparations happily completed, I bought a little dessert in Covent Garden Market, and gave a rather extensive order at a retail wine-merchant’s in that vicinity. When I came home in the afternoon, and saw the bottles drawn
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up in a square on the pantry floor, they looked so numerous (though there were two missing, which made Mrs. Crupp very uncomfortable), that I was absolutely frightened at them. One of Steerforth’s friends was named Grainger, and the other Markham. They were both very gay and lively fellows; Grainger, something older than Steerforth; Markham, youthful-looking, and I should say not more than twenty. I observed that the latter always spoke of himself indefinitely, as ‘a man’, and seldom or never in the first person singular. ‘A man might get on very well here, Mr. Copperfield,’ said Markham - meaning himself. ‘It’s not a bad situation,’ said I, ‘and the rooms are really commodious.’ ‘I hope you have both brought appetites with you?’ said Steerforth. ‘Upon my honour,’ returned Markham, ‘town seems to sharpen a man’s appetite. A man is hungry all day long. A man is perpetually eating.’ Being a little embarrassed at first, and feeling much too young to preside, I made Steerforth take the head of the table when dinner was announced, and seated myself opposite to him. Everything was very good; we did not spare the wine; and he exerted himself so brilliantly to make the thing pass off well, that there was no pause in our festivity. I was not quite such good company during dinner as I could have wished to be, for my chair was opposite the door, and my attention was distracted by observing that the handy young man went out of the room very often, and that his 
David Copperfield

in which belief. The ‘young gal’ likewise occasioned me some uneasiness: not so much by neglecting to wash the plates. once a week. were small drawbacks. that I was obliged to go into the pantry. and madly took so much snuff out of Grainger’s box. and to remove the ‘young gal’ to the basement also.com  . until further notice. however. she several times retired upon the plates (with which she had carefully paved the floor). at which period of the entertainment the handy young man was discovered to be speechless. I began. and did a great deal of destruction.shadow always presented itself. as by breaking them. came rushing into my mind. and easily forgotten when the cloth was cleared. Giving him private directions to seek the society of Mrs. by passing the wine faster and faster yet. and made me hold forth in a most unwonted manner. I went on. all sorts of half-forgotten things to talk about. I laughed heartily at my own jokes. and everybody else’s. Crupp. by being singularly cheerful and light-hearted. announced that I meant to have a dinner-party exactly like that. on the wall of the entry. These. and have a private fit of sneezing ten minutes long. made several engagements to go to Oxford. and continually starting up with a corkscrew to open more Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and the dessert put on the table. called Steerforth to order for not passing the wine. she was constantly peering in at us. and unable to confine herself (as her positive instructions were) to the pantry. immediately afterwards. and constantly imagining herself detected. For being of an inquisitive disposition. with a bottle at its mouth. I abandoned myself to enjoyment.

where the Lares were sacred. and the companion of my prime. by finding suddenly that somebody was in the middle of a song. and he sang ‘When the heart of a man is depressed with care’. and I would never permit that toast to be drunk in my house otherwise than as ‘The Ladies!’ I was very high with him. I was smoking. I said I owed him more obligations than I could ever repay. he would give us ‘Woman!’ I took objection to that. and trying to suppress a rising tendency to shud David Copperfield . and a good one to finish with. mainly I think because I saw Steerforth and Grainger laughing at me .never under my roof. when he had sung it.wine.or at him . I said I was delighted to propose his health. then. and held him in a higher admiration than I could ever express. He said it was no derogation from a man’s dignity to confess that I was a devilish good fellow. He said a man was not to be insulted. and another. and I said (in two words) ‘Steerforth . long before any was needed. Markham was the singer. I said he was right there . He said. I broke my glass in going round the table to shake hands with him. and the laws of hospitality paramount. ‘I’ll give you Steerforth! God bless him! Hurrah!’ We gave him three times three. I finished by saying. the protector of my boyhood. We were all smoking.’ I went on. and I couldn’t allow it.or at both of us. He said a man was not to be dictated to. I instantly proposed his health. Somebody was smoking. I proposed Steerforth’s health.you’ retheguidingstarofmyexistence. I said a man was. I said it was not a respectful way of proposing the toast. I said he was my dearest friend.

the lamp. but again the jingling table covered with glasses. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I felt called upon to propose an individual. my eyes had a vacant appearance.der. laughing. somebody was unsteadily contemplating his features in the looking-glass.com  .in case of fire.each day at five o’clock. I returned thanks. ‘Let us go to the theatre. Miss Betsey Trotwood. Near the bottom. Steerforth had made a speech about me. The very thing. in the course of which I had been affected almost to tears. and saying. and Steerforth opposite . Markham on my left. We went downstairs. one behind another. nothing else . when Steerforth.all sitting in a mist. and my hair . the door was gone. The theatre? To be sure.’ Now. and turned the lamp off . and feeling the air upon his face. I would give them my aunt.looked drunk. ‘Why did you try to smoke? You might have known you couldn’t do it. the best of her sex! Somebody was leaning out of my bedroom window.only my hair. that we might enjoy the pleasures of conversation and society through a long evening. and the day after . I was very pale in the looking-glass. I was feeling for it in the window-curtains. and a long way off. and hoped the present company would dine with me tomorrow. I was addressing myself as ‘Copperfield’. It was myself. That was I too. refreshing his forehead against the cool stone of the parapet. took me by the arm and led me out. Come along! But they must excuse me if I saw everybody out first. Grainger on my right hand. Owing to some confusion in the dark. Somebody said to me. Copperfield!’ There was no bedroom before me.

I began to think there might be some foundation for it. Shortly afterwards. On somebody’s motion. and took money from somebody. when I tried to steady it. talking about something or other. and there were ladies down in the boxes. looking very clean and smooth after the streets. I considered it frosty. ‘You are all right. and put my hat into shape.’ A man. Steerforth then said. and appearing rather doubtful (as I remember in the glimpse I had of him) whether to take the money for me or not. Somebody else said it was Copperfield. There was a great stage. that seemed to me to smoke. we were very high up in a very hot theatre. are you not?’ and I told him. for I hadn’t had it on before. There was an abundance of bright lights. A very foggy night. it conducted itself in such an unaccountable manner. too. and there were people upon it. looked out of the fog. Copperfield. with great rings round the lamps in the streets! There was an indistinct talk of its being wet. and rolled down. but not at all intelligibly. and there was music. finding myself on my back in the passage. sitting in a pigeon-hole-place. the people with whom it was crammed were so indistinct. which somebody produced from somewhere in a most extraordinary manner. and I don’t know what more. The whole building looked to me as if it were learning to swim.somebody fell. I was angry at that false report. until. inquiring if I was one of the gentlemen paid for. Steerforth dusted me under a lamppost. we resolved to go downstairs to 0 David Copperfield . looking down into a large pit. ‘Neverberrer.

to hand her downstairs. if I tell you I am very Free eBooks at Planet eBook. where the ladies were.’ she returned. and ladies casting indignant glances at me. and put her gloved hand to her forehead.com 1 . and saw her shrink into her corner. ‘Lorblessmer! Agnes!’ ‘Hush! Pray!’ she answered. I looked at her again by and by. to fix it. whom I didn’t know. I see her face now. in the same box. I dare say. Do not mind me. but quite in vain. Look at the stage!’ I tried. and people about me crying ‘Silence!’ to somebody. and also my own figure at full length in a glass. thickly. with its indelible look of regret and wonder turned upon me.Agnes. ‘I’mafraidyou’renorwell.what! yes! . better than I did then.the dress-boxes. I suppose I expressed it. ‘Yes. Trotwood. yes. ‘Agnes!’ I said. and found myself saying something as I sat down. Then I was being ushered into one of these boxes. and to hear something of what was going on there.’ I had a stupid intention of replying that I was going to wait. I could not conceive why. on her injunction. and . for after she had looked at me attentively for a little while. with a lady and gentleman beside her. with an opera-glass in his hand. somehow. ‘Agnes!’ I said. sitting on the seat before me. passed before my view. she appeared to understand. on a sofa. ‘You disturb the company.’ ‘Yes. full dressed. A gentleman lounging. and replied in a low tone: ‘I know you will do as I ask you. ‘Listen! Are you going away soon?’ ‘Amigoarawaysoo?’ I repeated.

the torturing impossibility of communicating with her.the bed a rocking sea that was never still! How. hot plates of metal which no ice could cool! But the agony of mind. or where she stayed my disgust of the very sight of the room where the revel had been held . lying in my bed. and which nothing could ever expiate . where only Steerforth was with me. I felt ashamed. in a feverish dream all night .’ She had so far improved me. and adjuring him to bring the corkscrew. and burning up over a slow fire. how she came to be in London. and feel as if my outer covering of skin were a hard board. my tongue the bottom of an empty kettle.my recollection of that indelible look which Agnes had given me . for the time. and shame I felt when I became conscious next day! My horror of having committed a thousand offences I had forgotten. Trotwood. the impossibility of going out. and ask your friends to take you home. that I might open another bottle of wine. lay saying and doing all this over again. They followed. and with a short ‘Goori!’ (which I intended for ‘Good night!’) got up and went away. that though I was angry with her. the remorse. at cross purposes. did I begin to parch.my racking head . the palms of my hands. How somebody. helping me to undress.the smell of smoke.earnest in it. furred with long service. and I stepped at once out of the box-door into my bedroom. Beast that I was. and where I was by turns telling him that Agnes was my sister. the sight of glasses. as that somebody slowly settled down into myself. for my sake. not knowing. Go away now. or even getting up!  David Copperfield .

when Mrs.Oh. in heartfelt penitence. dimpled all over with fat. and should succeed to his dismal story as well as to his chambers. coming in to take away the broth-basin. Mrs. and thought I was going the way of my predecessor. Mrs.only that I doubted. what an evening. produced one kidney on a cheese-plate as the entire remains of yesterday’s feast. never mind the broken meats! I am very miserable!’ . Crupp. Crupp were quite the sort of woman to confide in! Free eBooks at Planet eBook. what a day it was! Oh. even at that pass. and had half a mind to rush express to Dover and reveal all! What an evening. if Mrs. Crupp. when I sat down by my fire to a basin of mutton broth. ‘Oh. and I was really inclined to fall upon her nankeen breast and say.com  . Crupp.

he swung into a trot. Copperfield. However. and repentance. looking at him over the banisters. which he said required an answer.CHAPTER 25 GOOD AND BAD ANGELS I was going out at my door on the morning after that deplorable day of headache. I could scarcely lay claim to the name: I was so disturbed by the conviction that the letter came from Agnes. I told him I was T. and he believed it. Copperfield. in such a nervous state that I was fain to lay the letter down on my breakfast table. but when he saw me on the top of the staircase. He was taking his time about his errand. I shut him out on the landing to wait for the answer. and went into my chambers again. as if a body of Titans had taken an enormous lever and pushed the day before yesterday some months back. when I saw a ticket-porter coming upstairs. before I could David Copperfield  . Esquire. with a letter in his hand. and came up panting as if he had run himself into a state of exhaustion. and gave me the letter. and familiarize myself with the outside of it a little. ‘T. Esquire. touching his hat with his little cane. sickness. then.’ said the ticket-porter. with an odd confusion in my mind relative to the date of my dinner-party.

‘My dear Agnes. I am staying at the house of papa’s agent. AGNES. After many attempts. ‘ It took me such a long time to write an answer at all to my satisfaction. and it got no farther. in Ely Place.C. I wrote. that I don’t know what the ticket-porter can have thought. All it said was. If the day were half as tremendous to any other professional gentleman in Doctors’ Commons as it was to me. the ticket-porter at last departed. containing no reference to my condition at the theatre. I sincerely believe he made some expiation for his share in Free eBooks at Planet eBook. unless he thought I was learning to write.there I didn’t like it. I even tried poetry. my dear Agnes. when I did open it. Holborn. and what could I say of it that would be higher praise than that? I will come at four o’clock. I found. Your letter is like you. and then I tore it up. as soon as it was out of my hands). ‘My dear Trotwood. in a six-syllable line. ‘Shakespeare has observed. I must have written half-a-dozen answers at least.but that associated itself with the fifth of November. at any time you like to appoint? Ever yours affectionately. do not remember’ . Waterbrook. Affectionately and sorrowfully. I began one. I began one note. my dear Agnes.’ With this missive (which I was in twenty minds at once about recalling. and became an absurdity. that it was a very kind note. to efface from your remembrance the disgusting impression’ . T.com  .resolve to break the seal. Will you come and see me today. ‘Oh.that reminded me of Markham. I began another. Mr. how strange it is that a man should put an enemy into his mouth’ . ‘How can I ever hope.

Holborn.’ She put her hand . and I felt so befriended and comforted. ‘Don’t be unhappy. before I could muster up sufficient desperation to pull the private bell-handle let into the left-hand door-post of Mr. The professional business of Mr.’ said Agnes. Waterbrook’s house. and was prowling about the place of appointment within a few minutes afterwards. that.  David Copperfield . and the genteel business (of which there was a good deal) in the upper part of the building. cheerfully. and reminded me so strongly of my airy fresh school days at Canterbury. nobody being by. To this hour I am undecided whether it was upon the whole the wisest thing I could have done. Although I left the office at half past three. the appointed time was exceeded by a full quarter of an hour. But that it should have been you who saw me! I almost wish I had been dead. first. according to the clock of St. or the most ridiculous.that rotten old ecclesiastical cheese. She looked so quiet and good. turning away my head. stupid wretch I had been the other night. and there sat Agnes.in short. I yielded to my self-reproach and shame. made a fool of myself. Waterbrook’s establishment was done on the ground-floor. Andrew’s.’ said I. netting a purse. that I could not help moving it to my lips. ‘Sit down. I was shown into a pretty but rather close drawing-room. and . and the sodden. and gratefully kissing it. Agnes. I cannot deny that I shed tears. smoky. ‘I should not have minded it half so much. ‘If it had been anyone but you.its touch was like no other hand upon my arm for a moment.

Trotwood. and the influence he has over you. whom will you trust?’ ‘Ah. ‘You are my good Angel!’ She smiled rather sadly.’ ‘My dear Agnes. Trotwood. and unlike you.’ she returned. and your character. then?’ ‘From many things .’ she quietly replied. ‘there is one thing that I should set my heart on very much. Agnes. I Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘Yes. to judge him from what you saw of me the other night?’ ‘I do not judge him from what I saw of you the other night. It was always earnest.’ I began. I judge him. there was a thrill in it that quite subdued me.’ said Agnes. or anyone’s! He. anything but a guide. ‘On warning you.trifles in themselves. is it not unjust. but already with a foreknowledge of her meaning. Agnes!’ I returned. and a friend to me! My dear Agnes! Now. Trotwood. but when it was very earnest.’ There was always something in her modest voice that seemed to touch a chord within me. I thought. with a steady glance. my good Angel! Always my good Angel!’ ‘If I were. Trotwood.com  . ‘From what. partly from your account of him. answering to that sound alone. ‘against your bad Angel. If you cannot confidently trust me. I sat looking at her as she cast her eyes down on her work. ‘if you mean Steerforth -’ ‘I do. but they do not seem to me to be so.’ she returned. ‘Then. and shook her head. a support. when they are put together. you wrong him very much. He my bad Angel. as it was now. Agnes. indeed.’ I looked at her inquiringly.

‘when you come to do Steerforth justice. but she returned my smile.sat seeming still to listen to her. ‘It is very bold in me.’ I replied.I mean. ‘I am not so unreasonable as to expect. resuming her usual tone. . or even to have this strong opinion. if you ever think of me . Agnes.’ said Agnes. I am quite sure it is. I am certain that what I say is right. and we were  David Copperfield . and to like him as well as I do.’ ‘Not until then?’ said Agnes. again I listened to her after she was silent. to give you my advice so confidently.’ Again I looked at her. looking up again. ‘who have lived in such seclusion. and again his image. change any sentiment that has become a conviction to you. I feel as if it were someone else speaking to you. for I was going to interrupt her. in spite of all my attachment to him. and in how true an interest in all relating to you.’ with a quiet smile. least of all a sentiment that is rooted in your trusting disposition. and she knew why. Trotwood. and Steerforth. But I know in what it is engendered. I only ask you. Trotwood. at once.in how true a remembrance of our having grown up together. or that you can. ‘as often as you think of me . Do you forgive me for all this?’ ‘I will forgive you. and can know so little of the world. though it was still fixed in my heart. You ought not hastily to do that. darkened. ‘that you will.to think of what I have said. I saw a passing shadow on her face when I made this mention of him. It is that which makes me bold. after a little while. and not I.’ said Agnes. when I caution you that you have made a dangerous friend. darkened in that tone.

Is he in London?’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said I. Trotwood. Then she asked me if I had seen Uriah. ‘You must not forget. Steerforth’s house.’ Agnes laughed again at her own penetration. laughing. ‘No. like the table of the reigns of the kings and queens. and holding up her finger. and whom I like to talk to .com  .but I don’t adore her. ‘No.’ said Agnes.’ said Agnes. at Mrs. in the History of England. Agnes. She would have dismissed the subject so. Who has succeeded to Miss Larkins. and insisted on telling her how it happened that I had disgraced myself. It was a great relief to me to do this. Trotwood?’ ‘No one.’ said Agnes. with the date. calmly changing the conversation as soon as I had concluded. but I was too full of it to allow that. who is very clever. and what chain of accidental circumstances had had the theatre for its final link. and termination of each. but when you fall in love. not only when you fall into trouble. ‘Uriah Heep?’ said I. ‘that you are always to tell me. Agnes.again as unreserved in our mutual confidence as of old. ‘And when. and told me that if I were faithful to her in my confidence she thought she should keep a little register of my violent attachments. upon my word! There is a lady. and to enlarge on the obligation that I owed to Steerforth for his care of me when I was unable to take care of myself.’ ‘Someone. Agnes. ‘will you forgive me the other night?’ ‘When I recall it. certainly.Miss Dartle . duration.

I felt very sorry. with a faint smile at my warmth: and then replied: ‘You remember our last conversation about papa? It was not long after that . Agnes. He has mastered papa’s weaknesses. and his inability to conceal that it was forced upon him. and replied.’ Still looking at me.’ said I.’ ‘Forced upon him. folding her hands upon one another. Trotwood.not more than two or three days . Agnes! Who forces it upon him?’ ‘Uriah. and taken advantage of them. Agnes shook her head while I was speaking. You must prevent it. ‘Have you made no remonstrance about it. ‘He was in London a week before me.‘He comes to the office downstairs. You must speak out. Agnes? Consider what a connexion it is likely to be. You must not allow your father to take such a mad step. fostered them.’ returned Agnes.’ she replied. indignantly. while there’s time. He is subtle and watchful. Agnes. until . every day.’ ‘What? Uriah? That mean. after a moment’s hesitation. I am afraid on disagreeable business. I see.to say all that I mean in a 0 David Copperfield . It was sad to see him struggling between his desire to represent it to me as a matter of choice on his part.when he gave me the first intimation of what I tell you.’ ‘On some business that makes you uneasy. worm himself into such promotion!’ I cried. fawning fellow. and looking pensively at me out of those beautiful soft eyes of hers: ‘I believe he is going to enter into partnership with papa. ‘What can that be?’ Agnes laid aside her work. ‘has made himself indispensable to papa.

and that it would give me increased opportunities of being his companion. and unwilling to leave.until papa is afraid of him. Trotwood. was a great satisfaction to me. perhaps: I hope so . more that she knew. I could not give her pain by asking what it was. Papa was very much depressed then.com 1 . ‘is very great.’ she replied. on the least reflection. I could not but feel. Feeling sure that it was necessary for papa’s peace that the sacrifice should be made. ‘At the time I speak of.but his position is really one of power. He professes humility and gratitude . I was sensible: yes. . ‘he had told papa that he was going away. but that he had better prospects. but he seemed relieved by this expedient of the partnership. I entreated him to make it. though at the same time he seemed hurt by it and ashamed of it. putting her hands Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I said it would lighten the load of his life . I clearly saw.’ pursued Agnes. It had long been going on to this. ‘what I hope was right. I remained silent. as the time when papa spoke to me. which.I hope it will! . for I knew that she withheld it from me. Trotwood. at the moment.with truth.’ I said he was a hound. Oh.word. to spare her father. Trotwood!’ cried Agnes. and I fear he makes a hard use of his power. ‘His ascendancy over papa. and more bowed down by care than ever you or I have seen him.’ said Agnes.’ There was more that she might have said. that he was very sorry. or that she suspected. Agnes?’ ‘I did. that it had been going on to this for a long time.’ ‘And how did you receive it.

If I could ever set this right! If I could ever work out his restoration. ‘and while I have an opportunity. as I know well now.’ said Agnes. and weakened his strength and energy. For I know how he has altered. and I had seen them there when we last spoke about her father. ‘We are not likely to remain alone much longer. whatever I might know or not know then. Trotwood. ‘Pray. instead of his loving child. as I have so innocently been the cause of his decline!’ I had never before seen Agnes cry. in the concentration of his whole mind upon me. but I had never seen her grieve like this. Don’t repel him. I know how he has narrowed the circle of his sympathies and duties. and I had seen her turn her gentle head aside when we took leave of one another. in his devotion to me. Agnes. ‘I almost feel as if I had been papa’s enemy. which makes her so different in my remembrance from everybody else. It made me so sorry that I could only say. by turning them always upon one idea. came back again. as if a cloud had passed from a serene sky. Don’t resent (as I think you have a general disposition  David Copperfield .before her face. I had seen tears in her eyes when I had brought new honours home from school. to be friendly to Uriah. in a foolish. as her tears started on it. I know what a multitude of things he has shut out for my sake. don’t! Don’t. The beautiful. calm manner. my dear sister!’ But Agnes was too superior to me in character and purpose. let me earnestly entreat you. and how his anxious thoughts of me have shadowed his life. helpless manner. to be long in need of my entreaties.

and inquired. I accepted the invitation.to do) what may be uncongenial to you in him. when he asked me for it confidentially. When I went to dinner next day.com  . but she appeared to remember me perfectly. He may not deserve it. and leaving a card for him in his absence. for I immediately identified the ticket-porter in disguise. making a call on Uriah in the office as I went out. if I went much into the parks. and well did he know me. Waterbrook softened towards me considerably. think first of papa and me!’ Agnes had no time to say more. as if he had never seen me before. if I went much into society. assisting the family servant. and on the street door being opened. but well did I know him. for the room door opened. as if I had seen her in a pale magic lantern.or who wore a large dress: I don’t exactly know which. He looked. In any case. and took my leave. and invited me to dinner next day. but she concealed the fact gracefully. firstly. I had a dim recollection of having seen her at the theatre. for we know no certain ill of him. and (I hope) that I was a modest young gentleman. and still to suspect me of being in a state of intoxication. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. for I don’t know which was dress and which was lady . who was a large lady .came sailing in. and secondly. and waiting at the foot of the stairs to carry up my name. to the best of his ability. that I was sober. and Mrs. Mrs. plunged into a vapour-bath of haunch of mutton. however. Finding by degrees. I divined that I was not the only guest. Waterbrook. On my replying to both these questions in the negative. it occurred to me that I fell again in her good opinion.

which Agnes told me was on account of Mr. presented me. whom I remember as looking like a near relation of Hamlet’s .say his aunt. remotely connected with the Treasury. Waterbrook. and her husband was there too: so cold a man. Mrs. that he was proud to be noticed by me. and a good deal of shirt-collar. seemed to be sprinkled with hoar-frost. with his shadowless eyes and cadaverous face.Conscience made cowards of us both. I found Uriah Heep among the company. like the wine. with much ceremony. on account of my hearing  David Copperfield . He told me. instead of being grey. and that he really felt obliged to me for my condescension. I found Mr. with a short throat. who only wanted a black nose to be the portrait of a pug-dog. He told me he was happy to have the honour of making my acquaintance. as it struck me. I forget what or which. for he hovered about me in his gratitude all the rest of the evening. and a great black velvet hat. But there was one who attracted my attention before he came in. Henry Spiker being solicitor to something Or to Somebody. to a very awful lady in a black velvet dress. male and female. when I shook hands with him. in a suit of black. Waterbrook to be a middle-aged gentleman. Henry Spiker was this lady’s name. and in deep humility. I could have wished he had been less obliged to me. and whenever I said a word to Agnes. that his head. was sure. Immense deference was shown to the Henry Spikers. There were other guests .all iced for the occasion. and when I had paid my homage to Mrs. to be looking gauntly down upon us from behind.

Traddles with unusual interest.’ said I. ‘Indeed!’ said Mr. Henry Spiker?’ ‘Oh.’ returned my host nodding his head with an air of toleration. intended to be ocFree eBooks at Planet eBook. with much diminished interest.’ ‘Oh yes. ‘I mean the gentleman named Traddles. and he was an excellent fellow. He was a sober. glancing towards him. and said. Traddles is a good fellow. that Traddles should be here at all: as Traddles was only invited this morning. I don’t mean him!’ I returned.’ ‘If it’s really the same person. I thought. and either my vision deceived me. that I had some difficulty in making him out. ‘it was at a place called Salem House where we were together.’ said I. Waterbrook. with a comic head of hair. surprised. ‘quite a coincidence.’ ‘Oh! Aye. ‘It is really. Traddles! My mind flew back to Salem House. that I believed I had the pleasure of seeing an old schoolfellow there.him announced as Mr. who used to draw the skeletons! I looked for Mr. Waterbrook.com  . and could it be Tommy. ‘Traddles is quite a good fellow. and eyes that were rather wide open. At length I had a good view of him. I made my way to Mr.’ returned my host. and he got into an obscure corner so soon. ‘Possibly. when the place at table. aye! Indeed!’ said my host. steady-looking young man of retiring manners. or it was the old unfortunate Tommy. ‘You are too young to have been at school with Mr.’ ‘It’s a curious coincidence.

Henry Spiker’s brother. something . Henry Spiker’s brother.’ returned Mr.  David Copperfield .considerable. Yes. Yes. every now and then. There was wonderful expression in it. which was full of feeling. Oh yes. Waterbrook.’ returned Mr. Mrs. became vacant. Traddles was by profession. prosperous sort of way. and stating a case in writing.nobody’s enemy but his own. with the eye of a philosopher and a patron. It completely conveyed the idea of a man who had been born. Waterbrook. not to say with a silver spoon. plainly. ‘I should say he was one of those men who stand in their own light. on the people down in the trenches. ‘Traddles. I am able to throw something in Traddles’s way. Mr. Yes. and playing with his watch-chain.’ I was much impressed by the extremely comfortable and satisfied manner in which Mr. but with a scaling-ladder. until now he looked. sorry to hear this. Oh yes.’ I murmured an assent. in a comfortable.for him . I should say he would never. in the course of the year. Copperfield. pursing up his mouth.’ ‘Is he his own enemy?’ said I. in consequence of his indisposition. He is quite a good fellow . ‘is a young man reading for the bar. Waterbrook delivered himself of this little word ‘Yes’. ‘Well. and had gone on mounting all the heights of life one after another. He has a kind of talent for drawing briefs.cupied by Mrs. and I inquired what Mr. be worth five hundred pound. considering that I knew nothing at all about him. for example. Yes. A very gentlemanly man. from the top of the fortifications. Traddles was recommended to me by a professional friend.

who greeted me with great fervour. if we had not been quite so genteel. on every topic that was introduced. Gulpidge were of the party. Agnes. but as we always fell back upon Blood. Mr. Traddles and I were separated at table. Traddles. To mend the matter. that I could gladly have pitched him over the banisters. and I. as the junior part of the company. Mrs. who had something to do at second-hand (at least. Waterbrook. while Uriah writhed with such obtrusive satisfaction and self-abasement. These were few enough. A Mr. It occurred to me several times that we should have got on better. in the gloom of Hamlet’s aunt. Uriah. I. we were as exclusive as the Court Circular. Mr. was given to a simpering fellow with weak legs. that if she had a weakness.My reflections on this theme were still in progress when dinner was announced. how we could. Hamlet’s aunt had the family failing of indulging in soliloquy. I was not so vexed at losing Agnes as I might have been. Mr. it was Blood. Waterbrook repeatedly told us. Henry Spiker took Mrs.and Blood. We were so exceedingly genteel.com  . since it gave me an opportunity of making myself known to Traddles on the stairs. and the conversation was about the Aristocracy . by herself. and what with the Treasury. Waterbrook went down with Hamlet’s aunt. and Mrs. she had as wide a field for abstract speculation Free eBooks at Planet eBook. whom I should have liked to take myself. that our scope was very limited. and held forth in a desultory manner. went down last. to be sure. Gulpidge had) with the law business of the Bank. The dinner was very long. and what with the Bank. being billeted in two remote corners: he in the glare of a red velvet lady.

‘we can’t forego Blood. intellect.’ said Mr. perhaps. I’d rather at any time be knocked down by a man who  David Copperfield . Waterbrook. Some young fellows. ‘Other things are all very well in their way. Positively Idols! Before service. ‘There it is! That’s Blood!’ It is an actual matter of fact.’ said this gentleman. We must have Blood. It admits of no doubt. We point it out. you know.’ The simpering fellow with the weak legs. stated the question more decisively yet. you know. ‘I confess I am of Mrs. There are some low minds (not many. it’s delightful to reflect that they’ve got Blood in ‘em! Myself. looking round the board with an imbecile smile.and all that . and so on. and get themselves and other people into a variety of fixes . We might have been a party of Ogres. but give me Blood!’ ‘Oh! There is nothing. and may go a little wrong. the conversation assumed such a sanguine complexion.but deuce take it.as her nephew himself. and we know it. speaking generally. I am happy to believe. you know. deuce take it. you know.’ observed Hamlet’s aunt. you know.of all that sort of thing. in point of education and behaviour. may be a little behind their station. But these are intangible points. Waterbrook’s opinion. We meet with it in a chin. ‘Oh. Blood is not so. I thought. with his wine-glass at his eye. and we say. We see Blood in a nose. who had taken Agnes down. but there are some) that would prefer to do what I should call bow down before idols. ‘so satisfactory to one! There is nothing that is so much one’s beau-ideal of .

’s?’ said Mr. Gulpidge. Gulpidge.K. and brought the gentleman into great notice until the ladies retired. with an ominous look. I observed that Mr. or no release. and exchanged a mysterious dialogue across the table for our defeat and overthrow. gave the utmost satisfaction. and looked much concerned. or no release.’s!’ said Mr. Spiker. the common enemy.‘‘ ‘Lord bless my soul!’ cried Mr. checking himself ‘I understand.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘When the question was referred to Lord . than I’d be picked up by a man who hadn’t!’ This sentiment. ‘. Gulpidge. his answer was. entered into a defensive alliance against us. ‘N. After that.I needn’t name him. ‘That affair of the first bond for four thousand five hundred pounds has not taken the course that was expected. ‘The C. He was attended at Newmarket for that purpose.com  .. ‘The next in reversion .’ said Mr. ‘Do you mean the D. Spiker. of A.you understand me?’ ‘K. as compressing the general question into a nutshell.‘was referred to him. of B. Henry Spiker. ‘Money. Gulpidge.’ Mr.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. Spiker. Gulpidge and Mr.‘‘ repeated Mr. Spiker. then positively refused to sign. Spiker raised his eyebrows.had got Blood in him.’ said Mr. Gulpidge darkly nodded . Spiker. ‘‘Money. Mr. who had hitherto been very distant. and he point-blank refused to do it. firmly.

and promised ourselves the pleasure of another meeting when he should come back to town. even hinted at. Waterbrook was only too happy. and the same good-natured creature still. ‘So the matter rests at this hour. He assumed an expression of gloomy intelligence (though I am persuaded he knew no more about the discussion than I did). I was very glad indeed to get upstairs to Agnes. Spiker. and to talk with her in a corner. All this time we. Spiker was so interested. the outsiders. remained oppressed by the tremendous interests involved in the conversation. naturally desired to favour his friend with a confidence of his own. and spoke of 0 David Copperfield . but agreeable. I had not nearly so much conversation with him as I could have wished. and to introduce Traddles to her. He was greatly interested to hear that I knew Steerforth. and highly approved of the discretion that had been observed. after the receipt of such a confidence. and so on. Spiker’s turn again. but we exchanged addresses. as it appeared to me. and that by another in which the surprise came round to Mr.’ said Mr. on account of the magnitude of the interests involved. to have such interests. throwing himself back in his chair.Mr. that he became quite stony. As he was obliged to leave early. ‘Our friend Waterbrook will excuse me if I forbear to explain myself generally. as the victims of a salutary awe and astonishment. therefore the foregoing dialogue was succeeded by another.’ Mr. and such names. in which it was Mr. on account of going away next morning for a month. who was shy. and our host regarded us with pride. Gulpidge. across his table. turn and turn about. Gulpidge’s turn to be surprised. Mr.

Waterbrook’s society were all snuffed out. though I was sorry at the prospect of parting from her again so soon. It was in no disposition for Uriah’s company. whom I don’t include in that denomination. slowly fitting his long skeleton fingers into the still longer fingers of a great Guy Fawkes pair of gloves. having no excuse for staying any longer. was such a delightful reminder to me of my happy life in the grave old house she had made so beautiful. and hearing her sing. This caused me to remain until all the company were gone. He was close behind me when I went downstairs.him with such warmth that I made him tell Agnes what he thought of him.com 1 . but. but in remembrance of the entreaty Agnes had made to me. I felt then. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. He was close beside me. and have some coffee. that she was my better Angel. that I asked him if he would come home to my rooms. but I ought to have excepted Uriah. Conversing with her. when I walked away from the house. when the lights of Mr. But Agnes only looked at me the while. I took my leave very much against my inclination. As she was not among people with whom I believed she could be very much at home. like an Angel. more than ever. that I could have remained there half the night. as though they had shone on me from some removed being. I hope I thought no harm. and who had never ceased to hover near us. I have said that the company were all gone. I was almost glad to hear that she was going away within a few days. and very slightly shook her head when only I observed her. and if I thought of her sweet face and placid smile.

because it was not intended for the purpose.‘Oh. I could not help being rather short with him. but he appeared not to mind it. without conversing much upon the road. When I lighted my candles. to prevent his knocking his head against anything. Mister Copperfield. Crupp delighted to prepare it (chiefly. ‘Oh. really. Master Copperfield. Master Copperfield. really. that I was tempted to drop it and run away. Agnes and hospitality prevailed. and really his damp cold hand felt so like a frog in mine. he fell into meek transports with the room that was revealed to him. very much. ‘Will you come?’ ‘I should like to. when we got to my place. and seemed to have made no advance in that labour. however. and I conducted him to my fireside. being a shaving-pot.I mean Mister Cop David Copperfield .‘I beg your pardon. but the other comes so natural. I led him up the dark stairs.’ said I. and when I heated the coffee in an unassuming block-tin vessel in which Mrs. ‘Well. that I could joyfully have scalded him. then.’ ‘There is no constraint in the case.’ he rejoined . with a writhe.’ replied Uriah. I believe. and he was so humble in respect of those scarecrow gloves. that he was still putting them on. come along!’ said I. I don’t like that you should put a constraint upon yourself to ask a numble person like me to your ouse. and because there was a patent invention of great price mouldering away in the pantry). . he professed so much emotion. We went the nearest way.

Mister Copperfield?’ As he sat on my sofa. with his long knees drawn up under his coffee-cup. Oh. I des-say. of a change in my expectations. the disagreeable dints I have formerly described in his nostrils coming and going with his breath.com  . and unused to disguise what I so strongly felt.I should say.’ said I. for I was young then. however immaterial. ‘I’m glad to find Miss Agnes knows of it. But I only drank my coffee. thank you. Master . so many things happen to me which I never could have expected. ‘something. I des-say. ‘to see you waiting upon me is what I never could have expected! But. for having entrapped me into the disclosure of anything concerning Agnes. that it seems to rain blessings on my ed.’ ‘Ah! I thought Miss Agnes would know of it!’ he quietly returned. ‘You have heard something. his shadowless red eyes. one way and another. turned towards me without looking at me.I should say. of a change in my expectations.’ said Uriah. his spoon going softly round and round. Master Copperfield. . ‘Yes.Mister Copperfield!’ I could have thrown my bootjack at him (it lay ready on the rug). Mister Copperfield?’ observed Uriah. I decided in my own mind that I disliked him intensely. . his hat and gloves upon the ground close to him.perfield. It made me very uncomfortable to have him for a guest. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in my umble station. Master Copperfield. I am sure. You have heard something. which looked as if they had scorched their lashes off. and a snaky undulation pervading his frame from his chin to his boots.

Master Copperfield. ‘But the umblest persons. Wickfield. with that carved grin on his face. but how imprudent he has been!’ ‘I am sorry to hear it. Mister Copperfield!’ returned Uriah.’ said I. Master Copperfield. enthusiastically. but I remember how you said one day that everybody must admire her. ‘I am sure I didn’t myself. a person treasures such things up!’ ‘I recollect talking about it. I am glad to think I have been the instrument of good to Mr. I recollect saying with my own lips that I was much too umble. Master Copperfield. that perhaps I should be a partner in Mr. rather pointedly.’ ‘Oh! who would have thought it likely. ‘Dear me. I could not help adding. what a prophet you have proved yourself to be! Don’t you remember saying to me once. ‘on all accounts. Mister Copperfield!’ pursued Uriah.’ he presently resumed.  David Copperfield .’ ‘Decidedly so.’ replied Uriah. I have no doubt. Master Copperfield?’ ‘No. Wickfield’s business. ‘though I certainly did not think it very likely then. drily. Mister Copperfield.’ said I.’ He sat. Oh what a worthy man he is. looking at the fire. Miss Agnes’s above all! You don’t remember your own eloquent expressions.’ said I. and how I thanked you for it! You have forgot that. and that I may be more so.‘What a prophet you have shown yourself. ‘On all accounts. Mister Copperfield. as I looked at him. ‘may be the instruments of good. but when a person is umble. So I considered myself really and truly. and perhaps it might be Wickfield and Heep? You may not recollect it.

’ he returned. had made me start as if I had seen him illuminated by a blaze of light. Recalled by his request. sighing modestly. Master Copperfield! It’s like the blowing of old breezes or the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. for my life. very much so! But I wish you’d call me Uriah. ‘has been imprudent. preferred in quite another tone of voice. ‘To think that you should be the first to kindle the sparks of ambition in my umble breast.or me’. ‘who is worth five hundred of you . he sipped it. ‘Thank you.’ returned Uriah.’ said I. Mr. and something in the glance he directed at me as he said it. he looked at the fire. a sudden sense of being no match for him.’ said I. It’s like old times. he looked about the room. He stirred his coffee round and round. if you please. Wickfield. Master Copperfield. ‘Thank you.‘Oh how glad I am you have not!’ exclaimed Uriah. Heep?’ ‘Oh. he writhed and undulated about. at last. ‘So. he felt his chin softly with his grisly hand. I did the honours of the shaving-pot. which I felt could not escape his observation. bolting it out with some difficulty. but he left the renewal of the conversation to me. he gasped rather than smiled at me.Would you excuse me asking for a cup more coffee?’ Something in the emphasis he laid upon the kindling of those sparks. but I did them with an unsteadiness of hand. and that you’ve not forgot it! Oh! . with fervour. ‘Oh.com  . He said nothing at all. has he. and a perplexed suspicious anxiety as to what he might be going to say next. Mr. he stirred and sipped again. very imprudent indeed. I think. I could not have helped dividing that part of the sentence with an awkward jerk.’ ‘Well! Uriah. in his deferential servility.

he took his crooked thumb off the spot where he had planted it. If anyone else had been in my place during the last few years. How thankful should I be!’ With his face turned towards me. I recollect well how indignantly my heart beat. Master Copperfield. Wickfield’s head. and shook the room.’ he proceeded. ‘Oh! Yes.’ said Uriah. and slowly and thoughtfully scraped his lank jaw with it. as he stretched out his cruel-looking hand above my table. Master Copperfield. Wickfield (oh. in a soft voice. ‘Ah! Great imprudence.’ said Uriah. and he puts me on an eminence I hardly could have hoped to reach. There would have been loss. Mr. what a worthy man he is. ‘there’s no doubt of it. I am the umble instrument of umbly serving him. I don’t know what at all. ‘Oh. If I had been obliged to look at him with him splay foot on Mr. and no more. dear. which did not diminish its hard pressure in the least degree. as he finished. most remarkably contrasting with the action of his thumb. truly. It’s a topic that I wouldn’t touch upon. too!) under his thumb. disgrace.ringing of old bellses to hear YOU say Uriah. as if he were shaving himself. Was I making any observation?’ ‘About Mr. yes. Master Copperfield. Wickfield. to any soul but you. I think I could scarcely have hated him more. I beg your pardon. as I saw  David Copperfield . Wickfield knows it. Un—der—his thumb. but without looking at me. and pressed his own thumb upon it.’ I suggested. very slowly. until it shook. by this time he would have had Mr. Even to you I can only touch upon it.

Master Copperfield -’ ‘Well. but I am umble still. in fact. in all respects. thank you! It’s so true!’ he cried. ‘umble as my mother is.his crafty face. to everyone around her. Umble as I am. spontaneously!’ he cried.’ said I. and looked at them and at the fire by turns.‘but am I keeping you up?’ ‘You are not keeping me up.’ I returned. the confidence that I am going to take the liberty of reposing. preparing for something else. ‘There is no reason why you should thank me. ‘Oh. with an effort. ‘You thought her looking very beautiful tonight. Master Copperfield! I have risen from my umble station since first you used to address me.’ I said. and gave himself a jerk. Master Copperfield. ‘Thank you!’ He took out his pocket-handkerchief.’ ‘Thank you. ‘is. ‘Oh. Master Copperfield?’ ‘I thought her looking as she always does: superior. I hope I never shall be otherwise than umble.’ ‘Why that.’ he began . and began wiping the palms of his hands. loftily.’ he wiped his hands harder. ‘Miss Agnes. Master Copperfield? Will you?’ ‘Oh no. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ said Uriah. with the appropriately red light of the fire upon it. how pleasant to be called Uriah. thank you very much for that!’ ‘Not at all. ‘Master Copperfield. You will not think the worse of my umbleness. Uriah?’ ‘Oh. it is true. if I make a little confidence to you.com  . I generally go to bed late. like a convulsive fish.

and the strange feeling (to which. like a ball fired from a rifle: but the image of Agnes. He seemed to swell and grow before my eyes. than any effort I could have made. the image of Miss Agnes (I don’t mind trusting you with my secret. no! Not to anyone but you. I rest a good deal of hope on her observing how useful I am to her father (for I trust to be  David Copperfield . I asked him. for I have always overflowed towards you since the first moment I had the pleasure of beholding you in a pony-shay) has been in my breast for years. ‘Oh no. did more to bring back to my remembrance the entreaty of Agnes. took possession of me. and made me giddy.lowly as our poor but honest roof has ever been. outraged by so much as a thought of this red-headed animal’s. with a better appearance of composure than I could have thought possible a minute before. A timely observation of the sense of power that there was in his face. and running him through with it. Master Copperfield. remained in my mind when I looked at him. whether he had made his feelings known to Agnes. You see I am only just emerging from my lowly station. with what a pure affection do I love the ground my Agnes walks on!’ I believe I had a delirious idea of seizing the red-hot poker out of the fire. Oh. perhaps. no one is quite a stranger) that all this had occurred before. Master Copperfield!’ he returned. the room seemed full of the echoes of his voice. at some indefinite time. Master Copperfield. It went from me with a shock. and that I knew what he was going to say next. ‘oh dear. sitting all awry as if his mean soul griped his body. in its full force.

with this thought in my mind. and keep him straight. unbeknown. Master Copperfield. you know.’ I fathomed the depth of the rascal’s whole scheme. So I shall have time gradually to make her familiar with my hopes. ‘My Agnes is very young still. one of these days. what a lovely thing it is in a daughter!). and make a good many new arrangements. before it would be quite convenient. Master Copperfield. and mother and me will have to work our way upwards. but having only known me on my umble footing (on my umblest I should say.’ Dear Agnes! So much too loving and too good for anyone that I could think of. ‘and not. Oh. it’s such a relief. you might. as I sat gazing at him. in his slimy way. in general.’ Uriah proceeded. as opportunities offer. I know what a friendly heart you’ve got. to go against me. go against me rather. ‘I’d crowns resign. Master Copperfield. you see. She’s so much attached to her father. You wouldn’t wish to make unpleasantness. was it possible that she was reserved to be the wife of such a wretch as this! ‘There’s no hurry at present. ‘If you’ll have the goodness to keep my secret. to call her mine!’ I hope to do it. I shall take it as a particular favour. you can’t think. There’s a song that says. to be kind to me. Master Copperfield (oh. for I am very umble still). and understood why he laid it bare. that I think she may come. I’m so much obliged to you for this confidence! Oh.very useful to him indeed. Master Copperfield). to know that you understand Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I call her mine. and how I smooth the way for him. with my Agnes.com  .’ he pursued. on his account.

’ ‘I am sorry. and I’ll lie down before the fire. ‘Dear me!’ he said. and which was never less than three-quarters of an hour too slow.will have gone to bed these two hours. The moments slip away so. and having given it a damp squeeze. situated at about the level of low-water mark.’ I returned. Master Copperfield. and that I -’ ‘Oh. in a distant chamber. to which she always referred me when we had any little difference on the score of punctuality. Not that I had really thought so. don’t think of mentioning beds. ‘it’s past one. then sleeping.’ His repudiation of this offer was almost shrill enough. and 0 David Copperfield . but because my conversational powers were effectually scattered. ‘Dear me!’ he said. referred to his pale-faced watch. in the excess of its surprise and humility. Master Copperfield. in the confidence of old times.our situation. considering. that it’s almost half past one!’ I answered that I had thought it was later. drawing up one leg.a sort of a private hotel and boarding ouse. Master Copperfield!’ he rejoined ecstatically. ‘The ouse that I am stopping at . ‘But would you have any objections to my laying down before the fire?’ ‘If it comes to that. and are certain (as you wouldn’t wish to make unpleasantness in the family) not to go against me!’ He took the hand which I dared not withhold. ‘that there is only one bed here. ‘pray take my bed.’ I said. to have penetrated to the ears of Mrs. soothed in her slumbers by the ticking of an incorrigible clock. near the New River ed . I suppose. Crupp.

and to keep to myself what I had heard. The mattress of the sofa (which was a great deal too short for his lank figure). for which he was more than thankful. and I had snatched it out of the fire. that it was still red hot. how I considered what could I do. I left him to his rest. the recollection that Uriah was lying in the next room. and oppressed me with a leaden dread. When I awoke. sat heavy on me like a waking nightmare. the image of Agnes with her tender eyes. Having lent him a night-cap. between sleeping and waking. As no arguments I could urge. how I could come to no other conclusion than that the best course for her peace was to do nothing. and of her father looking fondly on her. for his repose before the fire. If I went to sleep for a few moments. a clean breakfast-cloth.com 1 . and in which he made such an awful figure. and what ought I to do. I never shall forget that night. and a great-coat. the sofa pillows. and filled me with vague terrors. made him a bed and covering. a blanket. which he put on at once. had the least effect upon his modesty in inducing him to accept my bedroom. as if I had had some meaner quality of devil for a lodger. arose before me with appealing faces. and wouldn’t come out. as I had so often seen him look. the table-cover. I was obliged to make the best arrangements I could. in my bewildered condition. how I wearied myself with thinking about Agnes and this creature. that I have never worn one since.had always been put right in the morning by the best authorities. The poker got into my dozing thoughts besides. I never shall forget how I turned and tumbled. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I thought.

long night seemed heavy and hopeless as ever. lying on his back. I was so haunted at last by the idea. though I knew there was nothing in it. that I stole into the next room to look at him. that my sitting-room might be aired. gurglings taking place in his throat. thank Heaven! he would not stay to breakfast). it appeared to me as if the night was going away in his person. that afterwards I was attracted to him in very repulsion. and taking another look at him. He was so much worse in reality than in my distempered fancy. Still. Crupp with particular directions to leave the windows open.and run him through the body. I charged Mrs. and could not help wandering in and out every half-hour or so. When I went out to the Commons. the long. There I saw him. When I saw him going downstairs early in the morning (for. with his legs extending to I don’t know where. and no promise of day was in the murky sky. stoppages in his nose. and his mouth open like a post-office.  David Copperfield . and purged of his presence.

Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com  . while Agnes looked on.CHAPTER 26 I FALL INTO CAPTIVITY I saw no more of Uriah Heep.’ A miserable foreboding that she would yield to. but what I underwent in my efforts to be friendly with him. perhaps deserved that little recompense. as at the dinner-party. In the state of trouble into which his disclosure by my fire had thrown me. I had thought very much of the words Agnes had used in reference to the partnership. in company with an umbrella like a small tent. or Agnes said to me. of course. mulberry-coloured great-coat perched up. inside. It was some small satisfaction to me to observe his spare. on the edge of the back seat on the roof. I was at the coach office to take leave of her and see her go. returning to Canterbury by the same conveyance. ‘I did what I hope was right. Feeling sure that it was necessary for papa’s peace that the sacrifice should be made. high-shouldered. while Agnes was. like a great vulture: gorging himself on every syllable that I said to Agnes. short-waisted. he hovered about us without a moment’s intermission. until the day when Agnes left town. and there was he. At the coach window. I entreated him to make it.

that I could as soon have injured her. When Agnes wrote to tell me of her safe arrival. Thus it was that we parted without explanation: she waving her hand and smiling farewell from the coach window. It became a part of my life. and having cast no shadow on her yet. and all my uneasiness was sure to be redoubled.and sustain herself by. in the self-denial of her pure soul and the sordid baseness of his. the greatest danger lay. this subject was sure to present itself. had oppressed me ever since. and as owing him a great debt she ardently desired to pay. and I was so sure. and had. he knew thoroughly. considered well. I could not get over this farewell glimpse of them for a long time. Yet I was so certain that the prospect of such a sacrifice afar off. in his cunning. of its being unseen by her then. must destroy the happiness of Agnes. I knew how she loved him. Whenever I fell into a thoughtful state. doubtless. I knew from her own lips that she regarded herself as the innocent cause of his errors. I knew what the devotion of her nature was. as given her any warning of what impended. her evil genius writhing on the roof. as if he had her in his clutches and triumphed. and as inseparable from my life as my own head.  David Copperfield . the same feeling in reference to any sacrifice for his sake. All this. Hardly a night passed without my dreaming of it. from her manner. for I felt that in the very difference between them. I had no consolation in seeing how different she was from this detestable Rufus with the mulberry-coloured great-coat. I was as miserable as when I saw her going away.

At about this time. that the influence of Agnes was upon me. which was generally accompanied with inflammation of the nose. upon the whole. and that it was the more powerful with me. I was articled to Spenlow and Jorkins. I wrote to him most affectionately in reply to his. On the day when I was articled. because she had so large a share in my thoughts and interest. beyond my having sandwiches and sherry into the office for Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com  . on looking back. Crupp was a martyr to a curious disorder called ‘the spazzums’. I had ninety pounds a year (exclusive of my house-rent and sundry collateral matters) from my aunt. that Mrs. to have taken by the gallon at about this period of my existence. days and weeks slipped away.I had ample leisure to refine upon my uneasiness: for Steerforth was at Oxford. and required to be constantly treated with peppermint. and when I was not at the Commons. but I think I was glad. I made three discoveries: first. I believe I had at this time some lurking distrust of Steerforth. secondly. and resign myself to coffee. I was very much alone. too. thirdly. My rooms were engaged for twelve months certain: and though I still found them dreary of an evening. I suspect the truth to be. no festivity took place. as he wrote to me. I could settle down into a state of equable low spirits. that he could not come to London just then. and the evenings long. In the meantime. that I was alone in the world. made the brandy-bottles burst. that something peculiar in the temperature of my pantry. which I seem. and much given to record that circumstance in fragments of English versification. undisturbed by the sight of him.

Spenlow ate entirely off plate and china. and another hinted at champagne being constantly on draught. he referred to this engagement. on account of the expected return of his daughter from finishing her education at Paris. In a week or two. and stay till Monday. Mr. and he was to drive me down in his phaeton. and expressed my acknowledgements. One of them informed me that he had heard that Mr. but for his domestic arrangements being in some disorder. Mr. that if I would do him the favour to come down next Saturday. Spenlow remarked. had been down on business several times in the course of his career. The old clerk with the wig. that I hardly knew myself in my own glass when I got home. and was so dreadfully cut up. my very carpet-bag was an object of veneration to the stipendiary clerks. and said. as a Doctors’ Commons sort of play. and to bring me back. I knew that he was a widower with one daughter. Tiffey. he intimated that when she came home he should hope to have the pleasure of entertaining me. He described it as an apartment of the most  David Copperfield . whose name was Mr. and had on each occasion penetrated to the breakfast-parlour. when we concluded our business. that he should have been happy to have seen me at his house at Norwood to celebrate our becoming connected. Spenlow was as good as his word. But. after the usual custom of table-beer. When the day arrived. to whom the house at Norwood was a sacred mystery. I went to see The Stranger.the clerks. he would be extremely happy. and going alone to the theatre at night. on this occasion. Of course I said I would do him the favour.

less mechanical. that in my time the great article of competition there was starch: which I think was worn among the proctors to as great an extent as it is in the nature of man to bear. and must on no account be confounded with the profession of a solicitor: being quite another sort of thing. and sentenced in no end of costs. of a quality so precious as to make a man wink. and the judge. and the advocates on both sides (who were all nearly related). and that set us. going down. The phaeton was a very handsome affair. though I always have considered. we got him excommunicated for six weeks. and it turned out some very choice equipages then. infinitely more exclusive. according to a calculation I made. and Mr. However.sumptuous nature. There was a good deal of competition in the Commons on all points of display. he observed. and Mr. He said it was the genteelest profession in the world. Spenlow and I drove away in the phaeton. Free eBooks at Planet eBook.and as the evidence was just twice the length of Robinson Crusoe. went out of town together. and more profitable. We took things much more easily in the Commons than they could be taken anywhere else. it was rather late in the day before we finished. and said that he had drunk brown East India sherry there. and then the baker’s proctor. and always shall consider. the horses arched their necks and lifted up their legs as if they knew they belonged to Doctors’ Commons. We were very pleasant. as a privileged class. Spenlow gave me some hints in reference to my profession.about excommunicating a baker who had been objecting in a vestry to a paving-rate .com  . We had an adjourned cause in the Consistory that day .

It was the complete idea of snugness. You made a quiet little round game of it. For example: You brought a divorce case. Suppose you were not satisfied with the Consistory. and then to the Lords). What was to be particularly admired (he said) in the Commons. He said it was impossible to conceal the disagreeable fact. Then. but. that we were chiefly employed by solicitors. perhaps. but another judge. he said. was. with the same bar. I asked Mr. It was the most conveniently organized place in the world. In such a case. for there the Consis David Copperfield . You tried it in the Consistory. and expense was no consideration. but he gave me to understand that they were an inferior race of men. It lay in a nutshell. in the same room. you went into the Arches. what did you do then? Why. he launched into a general eulogium on the Commons. and the same practitioners. Spenlow what he considered the best sort of professional business? He replied. among a family group. that a good case of a disputed will. What was the Arches? The same court. Very good. or a restitution case. and mountains upon mountains of evidence on interrogatory and counter-interrogatory (to say nothing of an appeal lying. where there was a neat little estate of thirty or forty thousand pounds. in the way of arguments at every stage of the proceedings. first to the Delegates. universally looked down upon by all proctors of any pretensions. the best of all.apart. was its compactness. and you played it out at leisure. both sides went at it in a lively and spirited manner. the costs being pretty sure to come out of the estate at last. into the Consistory. not only were there very pretty pickings.

It has reappeared to annihilate me.‘Touch the Commons. I had my doubts whether the country was quite as much obliged to the Commons as Mr. Spenlow made out.tory judge could plead any court-day as an advocate. and had talked to all the players about it. and the necessity of reforming the Commons. exactly. and had seen the cards shuffled. in conclusion. said Mr. what it has to do with me. and though. the Commons had been busiest. but whenever I see my old friend the bushel brought in by the head and shoulders (as Free eBooks at Planet eBook. closeness in the Commons. you played your round game out again. . on an infinite variety of occasions. you went to the Delegates. and played. Very good. or what right it has to crush me. I respectfully deferred to his opinion.com  . Who were the Delegates? Why. the Ecclesiastical Delegates were the advocates without any business. who had looked on at the round game when it was playing in both courts. Spenlow solemnly. and down comes the country!’ I listened to all this with attention. all through my life. but when the price of wheat per bushel had been highest. to settle the matter to the satisfaction of everybody! Discontented people might talk of corruption in the Commons. and say this to the whole world. That about the price of wheat per bushel. and a man might lay his hand upon his heart. Still you were not satisfied. What did you do then? Why. as judges. in connexion with all kinds of subjects. I have never. Well. I must say. and quite settled the question. I modestly felt was too much for my strength. to this hour. I don’t know now. and cut. and now came fresh. got the better of that bushel of wheat.

on which shrubs and flowers grew in the growing season. it was so beautifully kept. I submissively expressed. and the pairs of horses. that I was quite enchanted. ‘Mr. Mr. There was a charming lawn. and bring down the country. ‘Here Miss Spenlow walks by herself. no doubt. I had fulfilled my destiny. ‘Where is Miss Dora?’ said Mr. I was not the man to touch the Commons. Spenlow’s voice. and I didn’t care whose it was. I was a captive and a slave. Spenlow’s gate. there were clusters of trees. my acquiescence in all I had heard from my superior in years and knowledge. greatcoats. until we came to Mr. but I didn’t know it. and walking-sticks. ‘What a beautiful name!’ We turned into a room near at hand (I think it was the identical breakfast-room. I loved Dora Spenlow to distraction! She was more than human to me. by my silence. She was a Fairy.’ I thought. Copperfield. whips. and I heard a voice say. plaids. and my daughter Dora’s confidential friend!’ It was. a 0 David Copperfield . arched over with trellis-work. gloves. my daughter Dora.he always is. and though that was not the best time of the year for seeing a garden. Spenlow’s house. and there were perspective walks that I could just distinguish in the dark. made memorable by the brown East Indian sherry). ‘Dora!’ I thought. ‘Dear me!’ We went into the house. caps. which was cheerfully lighted up. and into a hall where there were all sorts of hats. and we talked about The Stranger and the Drama. I observe). This is a digression. I give up a subject for lost. All was over in a moment. Spenlow to the servant. There was a lovely garden to Mr.

‘Very well.’ he said. but Dora Spenlow. no capacity of astonishment was left in me. ‘Miss Murdstone has had the goodness. the confidential friend. Miss Murdstone! I don’t think I was much astonished. anywhere.of Free eBooks at Planet eBook. To the best of my judgement. ‘I. Miss Murdstone? I hope you are well.’ said Mr. no looking down.’ observed a well-remembered voice. There was no pausing on the brink. or looking back. ‘I am glad to find. then put in his word. I was swallowed up in an abyss of love in an instant. No. I don’t know what she was .’ Mr. Copperfield and myself.Sylph. Murdstone?’ She replied.’ She answered.com 1 . before I had sense to say a word to her. I am obliged to you.’ said Miss Murdstone. and everything that everybody ever wanted. ‘How is Mr. headlong. I was gone. with severe composure. ‘are connexions. I suppose.’ The speaker was not Dora. when I had bowed and murmured something. We were once slightly acquainted. ‘How do you do. Which was true enough. It was in his childish days. ‘have seen Mr. to be astonished about.’ ‘Mr. ‘Copperfield. Spenlow to me. that you and Miss Murdstone are already acquainted. who. Circumstances have separated us since.’ I replied that I should have known her. Copperfield before.if I may so describe it .anything that no one ever saw. There was nothing worth mentioning in the material world. ‘to accept the office . had been surprised to see us recognize each other. I should not have known him. ‘My brother is robust. Spenlow. I said.’ I said.

Miss Murdstone is obliging enough to become her companion and protector. But as I had none but passing thoughts for any subject save Dora. I glanced at her. no mother.my daughter Dora’s confidential friend. and so carried me off to dress. Grey as he was . girlish.I was madly jealous of him. What a form she had. There was some company. in that state of love. The idea of dressing one’s self. in her prettily pettish manner.and a greatgrandfather into the bargain. like the pocket instrument called a life-preserver. directly afterwards. Dora was talking to an old gentleman with a grey head. It was torturing to me to hear them talk  David Copperfield . and was thinking that I saw. My daughter Dora having. and went downstairs. What a state of mind I was in! I was jealous of everybody. what a graceful. instead of the careful operation I could have wished under the circumstances. was a little too ridiculous. brighteyed lovely Dora. variable. I could only sit down before my fire. and think of the captivating. that she was not very much inclined to be particularly confidential to her companion and protector. which Mr. Spenlow better than I did. I couldn’t bear the idea of anybody knowing Mr. what a face she had. biting the key of my carpet-bag. for he said so . was not so much designed for purposes of protection as of assault. unhappily. Spenlow said was the first dinner-bell. enchanting manner! The bell rang again so soon that I made a mere scramble of my dressing. when a bell rang.’ A passing thought occurred to me that Miss Murdstone. or doing anything in the way of action.

When a most amiable person. except Dora. besides Dora. I have not the least idea what we had for dinner.’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I don’t remember who was there. entirely. ‘David Copperfield. She was rather diminutive altogether.’ said Miss Murdstone. I fell into a reverie. several times. by the grim and distant aspect of Miss Murdstone. but I was wandering in a garden of Eden all the while. She had the most delightful little voice. beckoning me aside into a window. I sat next to her.of occurrences in which I had had no share.com  . So much the more precious. But I was relieved of them in an unexpected manner. that I dined off Dora. I thought. The amiable creature with the polished head told me a long story. I seemed to pay the deepest attention to him. with Dora. with a highly polished bald head. I talked to her. the pleasantest and most fascinating little ways. which I think was about gardening. the gayest little laugh. My impression is. only disturbed by the cruel apprehension that Miss Murdstone would disparage me to her. that ever led a lost youth into hopeless slavery. ‘my gardener’. ‘A word. When she went out of the room with Miss Murdstone (no other ladies were of the party). My apprehensions of being disparaged to the object of my engrossing affection were revived when we went into the drawing-room. I could have done anything to him that was savage and revengeful. I think I heard him say. if that were the first occasion of my seeing the grounds. asked me across the dinner table. and sent away half-a-dozen plates untouched.

I confronted Miss Murdstone alone. As the chances of life have brought us together again. I shall not attempt to disguise the fact.a female I am sorry to say. ‘that these opinions should come into collision here. and disdainfully inclined her head. then. and I am not the creature of circumstance or change. You may have your opinion of me.’ ‘Far from it. not to mention her. and therefore I would rather not mention her. I may have my opinion of you. I could not hear her disrespectfully mentioned.’ I inclined my head. It may have been a mistaken one. or of past outrages. ‘I need not enlarge upon family circumstances. ‘But it is not necessary. but I said it would certainly be better.’ said Miss Murdstone. They are not a tempting subject. I believe. in my turn. or you may have ceased to justify it. ‘David Copperfield.’ said Miss Murdstone. That is not in question between us now. for some firmness.’ I felt very fiery on my aunt’s account. slowly opening her eyes. if Miss Murdstone pleased.who is not to be mentioned without scorn and disgust. I have received outrages from a person . ‘I do not wish to revive the memory of past differences.  David Copperfield . without expressing my opinion in a decided tone. I added.’ I returned.’ assented Miss Murdstone. Miss Murdstone shut her eyes. ma’am. that I formed an unfavourable opinion of you in your childhood. it is as well on all accounts that they should not. resumed: ‘David Copperfield. for the credit of my sex . I belong to a family remarkable. Under existing circumstances. ‘Far from it.

arranging the little fetters on her wrists and round her neck. I would say. That when Miss Murdstone took her into custody and led her away. But I quite agree in what you propose.and may bring us together on other occasions. to all beholders. she smiled and gave me her delicious hand. that I heard the empress of my heart sing enchanted ballads in the French language. we ought always to dance. and it is quite unnecessary that either of us should make the other the subject of remark. stiff fingers. That my soul recoiled from punch particularly. as when I had seen her last. ‘I think you and Mr. Do you approve of this?’ ‘Miss Murdstone. let us meet here as distant acquaintances. Ta ra la! accompanying herself on a glorified instrument. just touching the back of my hand with the tips of her cold. in exactly the same state. I shall always think so. looking perfectly imbeFree eBooks at Planet eBook. resembling a guitar. Family circumstances are a sufficient reason for our only meeting on that footing. Then. whatever was the matter. she walked away. of the fetters over a jail door. All I know of the rest of the evening is. That I was lost in blissful delirium.’ I returned. and bent her head. what was to be expected within.’ Miss Murdstone shut her eyes again. That I refused refreshment. That I caught a view of myself in a mirror.com  . Ta ra la. which seemed to be the same set. These reminded me. generally to the effect that. suggesting on the outside. as long as I live. Murdstone used me very cruelly. in reference to Miss Murdstone’s nature. and treated my mother with great unkindness.

‘You .cile and idiotic. The garden was cool and solitary. and early. I believe I was almost as innocently undesigning then. I approached him tenderly. That I retired to bed in a most maudlin state of mind. but there was a purity of heart in all this. when I turned a corner. got under a chair expressly to snarl. and met her. and I thought I would go and take a stroll down one of those wire-arched walks. As to marriage. On my way through the hall. let me laugh as I may. I encountered her little dog. and fortune. that prevents my having quite a contemptuous recollection of it. To be allowed to call her ‘Dora’. and my pen shakes in my hand.are . ‘and Miss Murdstone is so absurd! She talks such nonsense about its being neces David Copperfield . It was a fine morning.I am sure it was the summit of mine.short for Gipsy. I tingle again from head to foot as my recollection turns that corner. who was called Jip . There is no doubt whatever that I was a lackadaisical young spooney. I had not been walking long. seemed to me the summit of human ambition . ‘It’s so stupid at home. Miss Spenlow.out early. to dote upon and worship her. and got up in a crisis of feeble infatuation. and all that. as when I loved little Em’ly. to write to her. and wouldn’t hear of the least familiarity. but he showed his whole set of teeth.’ she replied.’ said I. I walked about. for I loved even him. if I could ever become engaged to this dear wonder. and indulge my passion by dwelling on her image. wondering what my feelings of happiness would be. to have reason to think that when she was with other people she was yet mindful of me.

what a priceless possession it would have been! ‘You have just come home from Paris. ‘Yes. ‘or that the weather has really changed?’ I stammered worse than before. As to the straw hat and blue ribbons which was on the top of the curls.) ‘On a Sunday morning. Aired!’ (She laughed. Don’t you think so?’ I hazarded a bold flight. before I come out. that she should think it possible I could go. It was in the state of my own feelings. was insupportable. here.’ said she. ‘Do you mean a compliment?’ said Dora. though I was not aware of any change having taken place in the weather. if I could only have hung it up in my room in Buckingham Street. I never saw such curls . and said (not without stammering) that it was very bright to me then.’ said I. it’s the brightest time of the whole day. ‘Have you ever been there?’ ‘No. but the plain truth.as those she shook out to hide her blushes. Besides. I said I wouldn’t leave Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Oh! I hope you’ll go soon! You would like it so much!’ Traces of deep-seated anguish appeared in my countenance. I added bashfully: to clench the explanation. in the most melodious manner.com  . So I told papa last night I must come out. for there never were such curls! . in replying that I meant no compliment.how could I. That she should hope I would go. when I don’t practise. though it had been very dark to me a minute before. I must do something. I depreciated France.sary for the day to be aired. I depreciated Paris.

England. Jip can protect me a great deal better than Miss Murdstone. and then she beat him. Nothing should induce me. -’My pet. for any earthly consideration. pouting. but he persisted upon barking still. when he chose such a vexatious thing to be my companion. if they had only been to me!) ‘No. Oh.oh my goodness! . ‘I can’t think what papa can have been about. ‘You are not very intimate with Miss Murdstone. she was shaking the curls again. It increased my sufferings greatly to see the pats she gave him for punishment on the bridge of his blunt nose. . At length he was quiet . when the little dog came running along the walk to our relief. are you?’ said Dora. and still growled within himself like a little double-bass. while he winked his eyes.and caressed him. Who wants a protector? I am sure I don’t want a protector. under existing circumstances. In short. when she kissed his ball of a head. He wouldn’t let me touch him. and licked her hand. when I tried.’ ‘She is a tiresome creature. Jip? We are not going to confide  David Copperfield . ‘Papa calls her my confidential friend. and persisted in barking at me.and we walked away to look at a greenhouse.’ I replied.is she.well he might be with her dimpled chin upon his head! . but I am sure she is no such thing . She took him up in her arms .’ said Dora. ‘Not at all so. Jip.can’t you.’ (The two last words were to the dog. He was mortally jealous of me. dear?’ He only winked lazily.

Jip and I. strikes me with a half comical half serious wonder as to what change has come over me in a moment. The scent of a geranium leaf. She found us Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and a little black dog being held up. We won’t be confidential. that we are to have. and of being presently ejected from the premises besides. every word was a new heap of fetters. But. and to find out our own friends. We mean to bestow our confidence where we like. Jip. It contained quite a show of beautiful geraniums. Jip?’ If it had lasted any longer.in any such cross people. always following us about . to smell the flowers. We loitered along in front of them. by good fortune the greenhouse was not far off. instead of having them found out for us . and if we were not all three in Fairyland. ‘It is very hard.don’t we.won’t we. and Dora. and not please her . a little like a teakettle when it sings. a sulky. and we’ll tease her. with the probability before me of grazing them. at this day. against a bank of blossoms and bright leaves. Jip?’ jip made a comfortable noise. held the dog up childishly. and I stopped to admire the same one. As for me. instead. laughing. and these words brought us to it. and we’ll make ourselves as happy as we can in spite of her. I think I must have gone down on my knees on the gravel. in answer. riveted above the last. gloomy old thing like Miss Murdstone. because we have not a kind Mama. certainly I was. Jip? Never mind.isn’t it. Miss Murdstone had been looking for us. and then I see a straw hat and blue ribbons. in two slender arms. and Dora often stopped to admire this one or that one. and a quantity of curls.com  .

for we had a Salvage case coming on in the Admiralty Court. to Dora to be kissed. Miss Murdstone with a homily before her. Spenlow imagine. A sermon was delivered . how fervently I was embracing him. must have gone by the board. and that I was invoking blessings on his head! We departed early in the morning. But. We had a quiet day. I don’t know. No company. in which (as we couldn’t be expected to know much about those matters in the Commons) the judge had entreated two old Trinity Masters. as his son-in-law! Little did he think. Then she took Dora’s arm in hers. because Dora made it. Ah! little did Mr. when he sat opposite to me after dinner that day.here. with his pocket-handkerchief over his head. Miss Murdstone was between Dora and me in the pew. How many cups of tea I drank. and an evening of looking over books and pictures. and the congregation vanished. the little wrinkles in it filled with hair powder. in my fancy. but I heard her sing. keeping guard vigilantly. of course . I perfectly remember that I sat swilling tea until my whole nervous system. to come and help him out.about Dora. and her eye upon us. a walk. and presented her uncongenial cheek. if I had had any in those days. By and by we went to church.and I am afraid that is all I know of the service. that he had just given his full consent to my being engaged to Dora. for charity’s sake. Dora was at the breakfast-table to make the 0 David Copperfield . when I took leave of him at night. requiring a rather accurate knowledge of the whole science of navigation. a family dinner of four. and marched us into breakfast as if it were a soldier’s funeral.

I don’t mean the dreams that I dreamed on that day alone. however. and. but to think about Dora. What the Admiralty was to me that day. as I listened to it. how it was that married people could ever be otherwise than happy. as the emblem of that high jurisdiction. in the matrimonial cases (remembering Dora). and the ship to which I belonged had sailed away and left me on a desert island. Spenlow went home without me (I had had an insane hope that he might take me back again). for Dora . if the money in question had been left to me. I bought four sumptuous waistcoats . it was only to wonder. as if I were a mariner myself. I had no pride in them.not for myself. what were the foremost steps I should immediately have taken in regard to Dora. Within the first week of my passion. from week to week. I went there. as they dragged their slow length before me. how I saw ‘DORA’ engraved upon the blade of the silver oar which they lay upon the table. and I had the melancholy pleasure of taking off my hat to her in the phaeton. to consider.com 1 .tea again. in the Prerogative cases. and term to term. If ever I bestowed a thought upon the cases. not to attend to what was going on. it would reveal my truth. as she stood on the door-step with Jip in her arms. and laid the foundations of all the Free eBooks at Planet eBook.and took to wearing straw-coloured kid gloves in the streets. and present in any visible form the daydreams I have had in it about Dora. what nonsense I made of our case in my mind. If that sleepy old court could rouse itself. I shall make no fruitless effort to describe. and how I felt when Mr. but day after day.

walked with her and Miss Murdstone a little way. for. and I had not had the courage to write more explicitly even to Agnes. or that she had no idea of the extent of my devotion. for when this attachment was but a few weeks old. for another invitation to Mr. ‘whose family. Mrs. but I pervaded London likewise. I fagged through the Park again and again. or that she cared nothing about me. Spenlow’s house. I was always looking out. She came up to me one evening.I say Mrs. I walked about the streets where the best shops for ladies were. ‘consists of one daughter’.corns I have ever had. in a most affecting manner. Spenlow’s house. I saw her. Not only was I soon as well known on the Norwood Road as the postmen on that beat. I walked miles upon miles daily in the hope of seeing her. to ask (she being then afflicted with  David Copperfield . they would show what the state of my heart was. to think that I had said nothing to the purpose. Sometimes. long after I was quite knocked up.’ I added. wretched cripple as I made myself by this act of homage to Dora. . perhaps I met her. for I got none. when I was very low. If the boots I wore at that period could only be produced and compared with the natural size of my feet. I was always being disappointed. Perhaps I saw her glove waved in a carriage window. Crupp must have been a woman of penetration. And yet. and spoke to her. she found it out. even in that early stage. I haunted the Bazaar like an unquiet spirit. than that I had been to Mr. as may be supposed. at long intervals and on rare occasions. In the latter case I was always very miserable afterwards. Crupp must have been a woman of penetration.

so palatable to her.’ Mrs.’ I did not quite perceive the application of this fact to myself.com  .or. You are a young gentleman to be smiled on. sir. which was the best remedy for her complaint.’ ‘Mrs.the disorder I have mentioned) if I could oblige her with a little tincture of cardamums mixed with rhubarb. There’s a lady in the case. Crupp?’ I returned. with a little brandy. sir. in some indistinct association with a washing-day. ‘I can’t abear to see you so. I know what it is. ‘Cheer up. ‘Excuse me.’ said Mrs. I am inclined to think.’ said Mrs. no doubt. because it was not my name. and secondly. sir!’ said Mrs. As I had never even heard of the first remedy. Mr. she remarked. but I smiled on Mrs. nodding encouragement. bless you! Keep a good heart. there’s a many as will. if I had not such a thing by me. Crupp. which was the next best. ‘Never say die. and flavoured with seven drops of the essence of cloves. sir. Crupp. reddening. but it was the next best. Crupp a glass of the second. Copperfull. ‘What makes you suppose there is any young lady in the Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and you must learn your walue. ‘Oh. sir: I’m a mother myself. which (that I might have no suspicion of its being devoted to any improper use) she began to take in my presence. I gave Mrs. . Crupp. sir. and always had the second in the closet. It was not. ‘Come. sir! If She don’t smile upon you. Copperfull: firstly. Crupp. Crupp always called me Mr. as benignly as was in my power.

He may wear his boots much too large for him.’ said Mrs. He may brush his hair too regular.’ ‘Is that what you found your supposition on. and fortify herself against returning pain with sips of her medicine. ‘When the present set were took for you by your dear aunt.’ said Mrs. sir. ‘It was but the gentleman which died here before yourself. that I had not an inch of vantage-ground left. ‘that fell in love .case. ‘I have now found summun I can care for!’ . Crupp. ‘Sir. Mr. Crupp. Crupp.’ ‘Mrs. That is according as the young gentleman has his original character formed.You don’t eat enough.with a barmaid . there’s a young lady in both of ‘em.’ For some time Mrs. A young gentleman may be over-careful of himself. ‘I’ve laundressed other young gentlemen besides yourself. But let him go to which extreme he may.’ said Mrs.and had his waistcoats took in directly. though much swelled by drinking.’ said Mrs. Mrs. or he may be under-careful of himself. or too un-regular. Copperfull. Crupp could only lay her hand upon her nankeen bosom. Copperfull.’ Mrs. Crupp. in a tone approaching to severity. I had now found summun I could care for. ‘I must beg you not to connect the  David Copperfield . sir.’ said I. or much too small. Crupp?’ said I. Mrs. ‘my remark were. At length she spoke again. ‘Thank Ev’in!’ were the expression. Crupp shook her head in such a determined manner. Crupp?’ said I. ‘Mr. with a great deal of feeling. Crupp. nor yet drink. ‘I’m a mother myself.

to keep a good heart. to cheer up. Crupp. sir. but. you might find it divert your mind.’ said Mrs. as a word to the wise. ‘I’m a mother myself.’ returned Mrs. Crupp’s part. I should never wish to intrude where I were not welcome. if you please. and to know your own walue. I ask your pardon. affecting to be very careful of the brandy . Crupp. If you was to take to something. Mr. sir. and do you good. and my adwice to you is. Mrs. ‘if you was to take to skittles. I was content to receive it.’ ‘Mr. But you are a young gentleman. and retired. if I intrude. now. and not likely. Copperfull. which is healthy. Crupp.thanked me with a majestic curtsey. at the same time.com  .which was all gone . this counsel certainly presented itself to my mind in the light of a slight liberty on Mrs. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. or anything of that sort.young lady in my case with a barmaid. in another point of view. As her figure disappeared into the gloom of the entry.’ With these words. and a warning in future to keep my secret better. sir. Copperfull.

Crupp’s advice.CHAPTER 27 TOMMY TRADDLES I t may have been in consequence of Mrs. who bought live donkeys. The inhabitants appeared to have a propensity to throw any little trifles they were not in want of. but untidy too. next day. a black  David Copperfield . to go and look after Traddles. and he lived in a little street near the Veterinary College at Camden Town. that it came into my head. as one of our clerks who lived in that direction informed me. the same afternoon. on account of the cabbage-leaves. for the sake of Traddles. which was principally tenanted. and. I found that the street was not as desirable a one as I could have wished it to be. Having obtained from this clerk a direction to the academic grove in question. I set out. and made experiments on those quadrupeds in their private apartments. perhaps. for I myself saw a shoe. a doubled-up saucepan. The refuse was not wholly vegetable either. to visit my old schoolfellow. The time he had mentioned was more than out. for no better reason than because there was a certain similarity in the sound of the word skittles and Traddles. by gentlemen students. into the road: which not only made it rank and sloppy.

As to his dealing in the mild article of milk. still throwing his voice into the house. and made it unlike all the other houses in the street . and an umbrella. in various stages of decomposition.bonnet. master says he’ll attend to it immediate. and looked like the early copies of a blundering boy who was learning to make houses. ‘Now. An indescribable character of faded gentility that attached to the house I sought. and never won’t be heerd of. than of the youthful servant . ‘Because. The general air of the place reminded me forcibly of the days when I lived with Mr. and Mrs. I was reminded of Mr.reminded me still more of Mr. Happening to arrive at the door as it was opened to the afternoon milkman. rather for the edification of somebody within the house. as I judged from his tone. and glaring down the passage. and speaking. you know!’ said the milkman.com  . that I begin to believe it’s run away altogether. and Mrs. and Mrs.though they were all built on one monotonous pattern. Micawber more forcibly yet. by the by. Micawber. there never was a greater anomaly. going on as if he had received no answer. I’m not a going to stand it. ‘Has that there little bill of mine been heerd on?’ ‘Oh. Now. and had not yet got out of his cramped brick-and-mortar pothooks . His deportment would Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Micawber.’ said the milkman. as I was looking out for the number I wanted.an impression which was strengthened by his manner of glaring down the passage ‘because that there little bill has been running so long.’ said the milkman to a very youthful servant girl.’ was the reply.

that I was surveyed by a mysterious eye. ‘Does Mr.’ ‘Is he at home?’ said I.have been fierce in a butcher or a brandy-merchant. and uttered the cry of his trade next door. muttering. upon the whole. When I got to the top of the stairs . D’ye hear? Not a fragment of milk you won’t have tomorrow.’ Upon which the youthful servant replied ‘Yes. ‘are you fond of milk?’ ‘Yes.’ she replied. Again the mysterious voice replied in the affirmative. probably belonging to the mysterious voice. but she seemed to me. Traddles live here?’ I then inquired. relieved by the prospect of having any today. ‘Then you won’t have none tomorrow. in a vindictive shriek. and deposited the usual quantity in the family jug.Traddles was on the  David Copperfield . he went away. released her chin. and taking her by the chin. and with anything rather than good-will opened his can. The milkman.’ said the milkman. conscious. I likes it. from the action of her lips. and again the servant echoed it. This done. as I passed the back parlour-door.’ I thought she seemed. looking hard at her for the first time. I walked in. ‘I tell you what. and in pursuance of the servant’s directions walked upstairs.the house was only a story high above the ground floor . again to murmur that it would be attended to immediate. ‘Good.’ said the milkman. Upon this. after shaking his head at her darkly. The voice of the youthful servant became faint. A mysterious voice from the end of the passage replied ‘Yes.

Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and gave me welcome. ‘I am very glad indeed to see you. with great heartiness. I saw. I looked at nothing. for the disguise of his chest of drawers.’ ‘Oh! You have chambers?’ said I. with the memorable works of art I have so often mentioned. shaking hands with him again. ‘I am delighted to see you. but I saw everything.on the top shelf. and his blacking-brushes and blacking were among his books . for there was a sofabedstead in it. as I sat down . after I had sat down. and to comfort himself under ill usage. too. and he was hard at work in an old coat. was a faculty confirmed in me in the old Micawber times.’ he returned. His table was covered with papers. In a corner of the room was something neatly covered up with a large white cloth.landing to meet me.’ said I.com  . Copperfield. Various ingenious arrangements he had made. particularly impressed themselves upon me. and so forth. even to the prospect of a church upon his china inkstand. I could not make out what that was. to his little room. It was because I was thoroughly glad to see you when we met in Ely Place. and the accommodation of his boots. that I know of. It was in the front of the house. and extremely neat.’ ‘I am delighted to see YOU. as evidences of the same Traddles who used to make models of elephants’ dens in writing-paper to put flies in. that I gave you this address instead of my address at chambers. ‘Traddles. behind a dictionary.and this. He was delighted to see me. It was his only room. and was sure you were thoroughly glad to see me. though sparely furnished. his shavingglass.

who might not like to come here. The fact is. I have just begun to keep my terms. ‘I am reading for the bar.’ His old simple character and good temper. and something of his old unlucky fortune also.’ ‘Lord. Traddles. I thought. after rather a long delay. laughing. I have the fourth of a room and a passage.’ said Traddles. you understand.’ said Traddles.‘Why. For myself. Half-a-crown a week he costs me. as if he had had a tooth out. and it would be ridiculous if I made a pretence of doing anything else. with a wince.’ returned Traddles. It’s only on account of those who come to me. A great pull!’ said Traddles. ‘No. I am fighting my way on in the world against difficulties. ‘That sky-blue suit you used to wear. ‘Why. as I sit here looking at you?’ I asked him. smiled at me in the smile with which he made this explanation.to look business-like . but the payment of that hundred pounds was a great pull. yes. ‘It’s not because I have the least pride. ‘Tight in the arms and legs. rubbing his hands slowly over one another. to be sure!’ cried Traddles. and the fourth of a clerk. It’s some time since I was articled. ‘that I don’t usually give my address here. you know? Dear me! Well! Those were happy times.’ ‘You are reading for the bar. Mr. weren’t they?’ 00 David Copperfield . ‘Do you know what I can’t help thinking of. ‘Three others and myself unite to have a set of chambers .’ said he.and we quarter the clerk too. Waterbrook informed me?’ said I. Copperfield.

He died soon after I left school. He said I wasn’t at all what he expected. Mell? Old Creakle! I should like to see him again. ha! And do you remember when I got caned for crying about Mr. a long while. for his good humour made me feel as if I had seen him beaten but yesterday. Traddles. ‘Perhaps he might.and had made me his heir.’ said I.draper cloth-merchant . ‘Do you think so?’ returned Traddles.’ ‘And what did you do?’ I asked. but he didn’t like me at all. ‘Oh dear. there was a good deal of fun going on.’ I returned. ‘Of course I was!’ said Traddles. that I fancied he must have some other meaning. yes. He was a retired . ‘But dear me. ha. Copperfield! I mean it. And always didn’t. and so he married his housekeeper. ‘It was an unfortunate thing.’ ‘Indeed!’ ‘Yes. eh! Ha. ha. But it’s all over.’ ‘Do you really mean that?’ said I. ha! Yes. I had an uncle then.what do you call it! . too!’ ‘He was a brute to you. indignantly. then?’ said I.com 01 . I acknowledge. ‘The one I was always going to write to.’ replied Traddles. ‘Really? Perhaps he was rather.‘I think our schoolmaster might have made them happier. without doing any harm to any of us.’ said Traddles. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Do you remember the nights in the bedroom? When we used to have the suppers? And when you used to tell the stories? Ha. But he didn’t like me when I grew up. Old Creakle!’ ‘You were brought up by an uncle. He was so composed.

‘I am at work for him at this minute. I am not a bad compiler. I was fortunate enough. ‘I began. with his nose on one side. with the assistance of the son of a professional man.’ ‘Did you get nothing. too. Copperfield. I had never been brought up to any profession. Waterbrook’s for one . yes!’ said Traddles. and had learnt the way of doing such things pithily. and then I began to state cases for them. until his gout unfortunately flew to his stomach . not a particle.Yawler. However. preserving the same air of cheerful confidence in all he said. ‘I lived with them.and so he died.Mr. and at first I was at a loss what to do for myself. indeed’ (glancing at his table). and he set me to work. who had been to Salem House . ‘I got fifty pounds. Well! That put it in my head to enter myself as a law student. I 0 David Copperfield . by means of his assistance. and that ran away with all that was left of the fifty pounds. For I am a plodding kind of fellow.’ said Traddles.’ said Traddles. He had not been there with me. to become acquainted with a person in the publishing way. Copperfield. all the noses were straight in my day.‘I didn’t do anything in particular. Do you recollect him?’ No. and. and make abstracts. who was getting up an Encyclopaedia. to copy law writings. and so she married a young man. ‘but I have no invention at all. waiting to be put out in the world. however .’ said Traddles.and I got a good many jobs. Yawler recommended me to one or two other offices. Traddles. I began. That didn’t answer very well. and so I wasn’t provided for. after all?’ ‘Oh dear. and that sort of work. ‘It don’t matter.

to get connected with some newspaper: which would almost be the making of my fortune. still.’ As Traddles seemed to expect that I should assent to this as a matter of course.’ said Traddles. you are so exactly what you used to be.’ Engaged! Oh.’ The delight with which he entered into these particulars. towards the church.I can find no better expression . Free eBooks at Planet eBook. ‘and thank Heaven that’s paid . Spenlow’s house and garden at the same moment. involuntarily. I am living by the sort of work I have mentioned. I nodded. out of this gate. ‘one of ten. did not fully present itself to me until afterwards. with the same sprightly patience .’ said Traddles.facing. and I hope. and it’s so pleasant to see you.though it was . Now. ‘a pull. with that agreeable face. and not living high. Dora! ‘She is a curate’s daughter. and he went on. there stands the house . ‘and exactly where I hold this pen. Copperfield. wincing again as if he had had another tooth out. for my selfish thoughts were making a ground-plan of Mr.suppose there never was a young man with less originality than I have. Therefore you must know that I am engaged. Yes!’ For he saw me glance.’ tracing his finger along the inkstand. that I sha’n’t conceal anything. ‘So.as before. ‘That’s the church! You come round here to the left. you understand. at the prospect on the inkstand.’ said Traddles. down in Devonshire. by little and little.com 0 . I managed to scrape up the hundred pounds at last. one of these days.though it certainly was.

‘However. but the dearest girl! I told you I was going out of town? I have been down there. falling a little back from it to survey it with the greater admiration. Here. ‘but it’s something. with a triumphant smile. are what discourage me most. No. you know. put his hand upon the white cloth I had observed. You want to lay a book down.‘She is such a dear girl!’ said Traddles.’ said Traddles. but we have begun. Copperfield. and wants a place to stand a cup of tea upon. The table-cloths. This flower-pot and stand. ‘It’s an admirable piece of workmanship . You put that in a parlour window. We must get on by degrees. ‘It’s not a great deal towards the furnishing. And she would wait. I bought.for me!’ Traddles rose from his chair. she bought herself.and there you are! This little round table with the marble top (it’s two feet ten in circumference). and .’ he said. ‘with a plant in it. no.firm as a rock!’ I praised them both. I walked there. and articles of that kind. highly. till she was sixty . ‘Wait and hope. and I had the most delightful time! I dare say ours is likely to be a rather long engagement. 0 David Copperfield . and. ‘a little older than me.’ drawing the cloth off with great pride and care. and pillow-cases.’ said Traddles. and I walked back. ‘it’s not that we haven’t made a beginning towards housekeeping. but our motto is ‘Wait and hope!’ We always say that. we have begun. ‘are two pieces of furniture to commence with.any age you can mention . and and there you are again!’ said Traddles. and Traddles replaced the covering as carefully as he had removed it. or somebody comes to see you or your wife.’ we always say.

‘wait and hope!’ And I assure you she’s the dearest girl!’ ‘I am quite certain of it.candle-boxes. with the old roll in his voice. and which nobody but Mr. and gridirons. his stick. ‘What are you talking about?’ Traddles looked at me. his shirtcollar.’ said Traddles. and mount up. all the same as ever . However. I board with the people downstairs. ‘I was not aware that there was any Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I begged Traddles to ask his landlord to walk up. Micawber!’ I repeated. and Mrs. So does the ironmongery . ‘Mr. resolved any doubt in my mind as to their being my old friends. I don’t make much. as he checked himself in humming a soft tune. In general. Micawber. Traddles accordingly did so. ‘I beg your pardon. Both Mr. ‘Why. and Mrs. which I knew well from old experience in Windsor Terrace. Micawber. as if he wondered what I was talking about. coming back to his chair. ‘and this is the end of my prosing about myself. Micawber have seen a good deal of life. and Mr. I get on as well as I can.’ said Mr. not a bit changed .came into the room with a genteel and youthful air.his tights. Traddles. and that sort of necessaries . and his eye-glass. over the banister.Copperfield. who are very agreeable people indeed. Micawber could ever have knocked at that door. and are excellent company. Mr. ‘In the meantime. but I don’t spend much.’ said I. I am intimately acquainted with them!’ An opportune double knock at the door.com 0 .because those things tell.’ ‘My dear Traddles!’ I quickly exclaimed.

‘Sir. my love!’ Mr. likewise. Micawber. and shook hands with me again. I am in statu quo. ‘Good Heaven. Micawber. ‘Here is a gentleman in Mr. Micawber?’ said I. fell back. ‘she is also. cried. Mr.’ All this time. ‘Sir. Micawber. ‘and all the circle at Canterbury?’ 0 David Copperfield . Micawber had not known me in the least. Traddles!’ said Mr. the companion of earlier days! My dear!’ calling over the banisters to Mrs. whom he wishes to have the pleasure of presenting to you. ‘to think that I should find you acquainted with the friend of my youth. Traddles’s apartment. Micawber?’ ‘Sir. and pulled up his shirt-collar. Micawber. Mr.’ said Mr. Mr.’ said Mr. though he had stood face to face with me. ‘Is it possible! Have I the pleasure of again beholding Copperfield!’ and shook me by both hands with the utmost fervour. Micawber?’ I pursued. Copperfield?’ said Mr. he examined my features with more attention. in statu quo.’ Mr. in your sanctum.’ said Mr. ‘And how is our good friend the Doctor. ‘you are exceedingly obliging. But now. Micawber.individual. Mr. ‘I rejoice to reply that they are. Micawber.’ ‘And Mrs. alien to this tenement. Micawber slightly bowed to me. ‘How do you do. while Traddles looked (with reason) not a little amazed at this description of me.’ ‘And the children. thank God. Micawber immediately reappeared. seeing me smile. in the enjoyment of salubrity.

to my unaccustomed eyes.’ I replied that it was. and conquered obstacles. of that religious edifice immortalized by Chaucer. The present is one of those momentous stages in the life of man. but not. I may figuratively say. as of Mrs. before making what I trust I shall not be accused of presumption in terming . without showing. with one eye on Traddles. I thought. when Mrs.’ I was expressing my satisfaction. Within the shadow. which was anciently the resort of Pilgrims from the remotest corners of . Micawber.’ said Mr. on what may be designated as a small and unassuming scale. and I have every reason to believe that a vigorous leap will shortly be the result.’ said Mr. Mr. Micawber washing her hands. by some marks of concern in his countenance. but.‘I have none but good accounts of them. You find me. until certain expected events should turn up.in short. surmounted difficulties. a little more slatternly than she used to be.com 0 . but still with Free eBooks at Planet eBook. in the course of my career.a spring. ‘in the immediate neighbourhood of the Cathedral. that he was sensible of sounds in the next room. Micawber. when it has been necessary that I should fall back. ‘at present established. you are aware that I have. Micawber. Micawber continued talking as volubly as he could.’ said I. You are no stranger to the fact. ‘You find us. ‘I am most delighted to hear it. Micawber came in. that there have been periods of my life. Copperfield. and hurriedly opening and shutting drawers that were uneasy in their action.’ said Mr. when it has been requisite that I should pause. fallen back. ‘It was at Canterbury where we last met. FOR a spring. or so she seemed now.

and Mr. that before I could think of leaving. to run down to the water-butt in the backyard. and was really pleased to see me. rendered it necessary to fix a somewhat distant one.’ said Mr. being in a delicate state of health. We had half-an-hour’s talk. whom she described as ‘absolute giants’. in Mrs. and after Master and Miss Micawber. Micawber was obliged. Micawber. Micawber’s eye. in great trepidation.some preparation of herself for company. But I told Traddles. ‘My dear. who. I therefore pleaded another engagement. and with a pair of brown gloves on. Micawber. I should not have been averse to do so. ‘here is a gentleman of the name of Copperfield. who wishes to renew his acquaintance with you. Mr. she said. but that I imagined I detected trouble. and then I took my leave. and draw a basinful to lave her brow with. 0 David Copperfield . all together.’ It would have been better. The occupations to which Traddles stood pledged. they must appoint a day when they would come and dine with me. Micawber was very anxious that I should stay to dinner. to have led gently up to this announcement. Micawber’s spirits were immediately lightened. however. She presently revived. as it turned out. I resisted all persuasion to forego it. leading her towards me. and I asked her about the twins. were ‘grown great creatures’. but they were not produced on that occasion. and calculation relative to the extent of the cold meat. but an appointment was made for the purpose. that Mr. that suited us all. was overcome by it. and Mrs. and was taken so unwell. and observing that Mrs. for Mrs. Micawber.

is an unspeakable comfort.in other words. Micawber. I have merely to observe. which I trust will enable me to provide. Micawber.in your friend Traddles.com 0 .which gleams . accompanied me to the corner of the street.in short. and that Free eBooks at Planet eBook. be prepared to hear that Mrs. perhaps. being anxious (he explained to me) to say a few words to an old friend. Micawber. ‘My dear Copperfield. You may. in confidence.Mr. under pretence of showing me a nearer way than that by which I had come. ‘I need hardly tell you that to have beneath our roof. my dear Copperfield. it does not pay . however. I am.and some temporary embarrassments of a pecuniary nature have been the consequence. in whom I have an unaffected interest. under existing circumstances. and a Bow-street officer residing over the way. I am at present. a mind like that which gleams . dwelling next door. Micawber is in a state of health which renders it not wholly improbable that an addition may be ultimately made to those pledges of affection which . Micawber’s family have been so good as to express their dissatisfaction at this state of things. Mrs. both for myself and for your friend Traddles. delighted to add that I have now an immediate prospect of something turning up (I am not at liberty to say in what direction). to the infantine group. With a washerwoman. who exposes hard-bake for sale in her parlour-window. that I am not aware that it is any business of theirs. It is not an avocation of a remunerative description .if I may be allowed the expression . permanently. engaged in the sale of corn upon commission.’ said Mr. you may imagine that his society is a source of consolation to myself and to Mrs.

Micawber then shook hands with me again. and with defiance!’ Mr. and left me. 10 David Copperfield .I repel that exhibition of feeling with scorn.

founded on the acute experience acquired at this period of my life. I merely provided a pair of soles.com . and I was glad of it. The quantity of walking exercise I took. In my love-lorn condition. Crupp broke out into rebellion on my first bashful hint in 11 Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Mrs. I lived principally on Dora and coffee.CHAPTER 28 Mr. I did not repeat my former extensive preparations. I think the extremities require to be at peace before the stomach will conduct itself with vigour. was not in this respect attended with its usual consequence. too. I have my doubts. On the occasion of this domestic little party. my appetite languished. whether a sound enjoyment of animal food can develop itself freely in any human subject who is always in torment from tight boots. for I felt as though it would have been an act of perfidy towards Dora to have a natural relish for my dinner. MICAWBER’S GAUNTLET U ntil the day arrived on which I was to entertain my newly-found old friends. and a pigeon-pie. a small leg of mutton. as the disappointment counteracted the fresh air.

ready. for you are better acquainted with me than to suppose me capable of doing what I cannot do with ampial satisfaction to my own feelings!’ But. on condition that I dined from home for a fortnight afterwards. lay her hand upon her nankeen bosom. Crupp offence. a compromise was effected. We made a compromise of everything. and Mrs. sink breathless on a chair near the door. If I hesitated. ‘No! No. and she appeared at last . was dreadful. with a dignified sense of injury. If I rang the bell impatiently. And here I may remark. sir! You will not ask me sich a thing.reference to the cooking of the fish and joint. In short. in consequence of the tyranny she established over me. Crupp consented to achieve this feat. after halfa-dozen unavailing modest pulls. at any sacrifice of brandy or anything else. I would have done anything in an honourable way rather than give Mrs. that what I underwent from Mrs.which was not by any means to be relied upon . she was taken with that wonderful disorder which was always lying in ambush in her system. and said.she would appear with a reproachful aspect. that I was glad. at the shortest notice.which I do still think an uncomfortable arrangement . If I objected to having my bed made at five o’clock in the afternoon .one motion of her hand towards the same nankeen region of wounded sensibility was enough to make me falter an apology. and she was the terror of my life. and become so ill. Crupp. to prey upon her vitals. I bought a second-hand dumb-waiter for this dinner1 David Copperfield . I never was so much afraid of anyone. to get rid of her. in the end.

and having laid the cloth with my own hands. Micawber on his arm. where a habit of sniffing she had contracted would be lost upon the guests. and where her retiring on the plates would be a physical impossibility. Micawber with more shirt-collar than usual. two wax-candles. and then withdraw to the landing-place. to assist Mrs. Micawber to my dressing-table. in consequence of meeting him in the Strand. having provided a bottle of lavender-water. she was in such raptures. a paper of mixed pins. and supporting Mrs.com 1 . but on the stipulation that she should only bring in the dishes.party. Micawber in her toilette at my dressing-table. At the appointed time. Mr. Micawber.’ said Mr. in a waistcoat remarkably like one of mine. Mrs. Having laid in the materials for a bowl of punch. The ‘young gal’ was reengaged. and a new ribbon to his eye-glass. This is a way of life which reminds me of the period Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Micawber’s convenience. that she called Mr. I awaited the result with composure. having also caused the fire in my bedroom to be lighted for Mrs. in preference to re-engaging the handy young man. Micawber to come in and look. Traddles carrying the parcel. and she saw the scale on which it was prepared for her. beyond the outer door. ‘My dear Copperfield. When I conducted Mrs. Micawber with her cap in a whitey-brown paper parcel. They were all delighted with my residence. which had been missing since the former occasion. ‘this is luxurious. Micawber. against whom I had conceived a prejudice. to be compounded by Mr. my three visitors arrived together. one Sunday morning. and a pincushion.

Micawber.’ ‘My dear. forgive.’ ‘He means. and Mrs. I understand your allusion. with a ribald Turncock attached to the water-works . Micawber.’ Mr. I am too well aware that when. the momentary laceration of a wounded spirit. Micawber with sudden seriousness. ‘I have no desire to answer for others. Micawber then embraced Mrs.’ said Mr. destined. and pressed my hand. at length to fall a victim to pecuniary involvements of a complicated nature. archly. you were reserved for me. in consequence of default in the payment of the company’s rates.’ returned Mr.’ said Mrs. my love. solicited by him. Micawber. made sensitive by a recent collision with the Minion of Power .and will pity. Micawber!’ ‘My love. Copperfield. ‘He cannot answer for others.’ ‘Micawber!’ exclaimed Mrs. much affected. its excesses. I am sure. after a protracted struggle. and our old and tried friend Copperfield will. ‘you will forgive. it is possible you may have been reserved for one. ‘Have I deserved this! I. Mr. I informed Mr. not condemn. leaving me to infer from this broken allusion that his domestic supply of water had been cut off that afternoon. Micawber had not yet been solicited to plight her faith at the Hymeneal altar. in the inscrutable decrees of Fate. but I can bear it. who never WILL desert you.when I was myself in a state of celibacy. I regret it. in tears. Micawber that I relied upon him for a bowl 1 David Copperfield . To divert his thoughts from this melancholy subject. who never have deserted you. Micawber.in other words.

I never saw a man so thoroughly enjoy himself amid the fragrance of lemon-peel and sugar. In short. and the steam of boiling water. or the lavender-water. but it was a delusive pie: the crust being like a disappointing head. As to Mrs. after frying the soles. with nothing particular underneath. instead of punch. by the by. for I was alFree eBooks at Planet eBook. But we were not in condition to judge of this fact from the appearance of the gravy. the banquet was such a failure that I should have been quite unhappy . His recent despondency. I don’t know whether it was the effect of the cap. and mixed.that Mrs. or the pins.where it remained.of punch. The pigeonpie was not bad. and tasted. And the lark was never gayer than that excellent woman. in a long train. Micawber. and looked as if he were making. was gone in a moment. Because we broke down at that point. as he stirred. lovely. as if if had had a fall into the ashes of that remarkable kitchen fireplace. or the fire. or the wax-candles. comparatively speaking.about the failure. Crupp. a fortune for his family down to the latest posterity.I never ventured to inquire. but I suppose . phrenologically speaking: full of lumps and bumps.com 1 . as Mr. but she came out of my room. The leg of mutton came up very red within. the odour of burning rum. Micawber did that afternoon. and very pale without: besides having a foreign substance of a gritty nature sprinkled over it. forasmuch as the ‘young gal’ had dropped it all upon the stairs . was taken ill. I mean. not to say despair. until it was worn out. and led him to the lemons. I suppose . It was wonderful to see his face shining at us out of a thin cloud of these delicate fumes.

in a twinkling. in the lofty character of Wife. and that I believe. and immediately applied ourselves to carrying Mr.’ There was a gridiron in the pantry. salt. ‘My dear friend Copperfield. Micawber.’ said Mr. When we had slices enough done to begin upon. Micawber’s idea into effect. I would put it to you. and cayenne. I put them on the gridiron. they may be expected with confidence. Micawber. and continually stirred. and our attention divided between the mutton on our 1 David Copperfield . and must be borne with philosophy. under Mr. in short.I would say. some mushroom ketchup in a little saucepan. If you will allow me to take the liberty of remarking that there are few comestibles better. we fell-to. and took them off. ‘accidents will occur in the best-regulated families. by the influence of Woman. Mr. Micawber’s direction. We had it in. Micawber heated. in their way. mustard. with our sleeves still tucked up at the wrist. and Mrs. turned them with a fork.Traddles cut the mutton into slices. The division of labour to which he had referred was this: . and by a bright suggestion from Mr. on which my morning rasher of bacon was cooked. than a Devil. more slices sputtering and blazing on the fire. we could accomplish a good one if the young person in attendance could produce a gridiron. with a little division of labour. that this little misfortune may be easily repaired.ways unhappy about Dora . Micawber (who could do anything of this sort to perfection) covered them with pepper.if I had not been relieved by the great good humour of my company. and in families not regulated by that pervading influence which sanctifies while it enhances the .a .

so amused.com 1 . sir. and were all busily engaged. when I was aware of a strange presence in the room. sir.plates. don’t you come from him?’ ‘Not immediately so. Traddles laughed as heartily. in our several departments. ‘I beg your pardon. the excellence of it. I am satisfied that Mr. But I should think he might be here Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I am ashamed to record it. Is my master not here. as he ate and worked. ‘What’s the matter?’ I involuntarily asked. Indeed we all did. if they had sold a bed to provide it. standing hat in hand before me. sir?’ ‘No. What with the novelty of this cookery. I was directed to come in. the bustle of it. we reduced the leg of mutton to the bone. but I really believe I forgot Dora for a little while. so flushed with the fire. sir. My own appetite came back miraculously. endeavouring to bring the last batch of slices to a state of perfection that should crown the feast. sir?’ ‘No. We were at the height of our enjoyment. the being so busy. and Mrs. the frequent sitting down to dispose of it as the crisp slices came off the gridiron hot and hot. Micawber could not have enjoyed the feast more. and in the midst of such a tempting noise and savour. and I dare say there was never a greater success. the frequent starting up to look after it.’ ‘Did he tell you you would find him here?’ ‘Not exactly so. and my eyes encountered those of the staid Littimer.’ ‘Have you not seen him. and the mutton then preparing. almost the whole time. all at once.

As we severally pushed away our plates. of his own accord. gave us our wine-glasses. too. Mrs. I dare say. who had come from Heaven knows where.’ With which he took the fork from my unresisting hand. to show that he was quite at ease. he noiselessly removed them.’ ‘Is he coming up from Oxford?’ ‘I beg. and set on the cheese. Mr. as he has not been here today. and bent over the gridiron. as if he had stabbed himself. and. subsided into his chair. but we became in a moment the meekest of the meek before his respectable serving-man. cleared the table. by the appearance of Steerforth himself. Micawber. to put my establishment to rights.’ he returned respectfully. as if his whole attention were concentrated on it. We should not have been much discomposed. Meanwhile he took the mutton off the gridiron. Traddles ran his greasy hands through his hair. and we merely made a show of eating it. and he never raised his 1 David Copperfield . ‘that you will be seated. I was a mere infant at the head of my own table. and hardly ventured to glance at the respectable phenomenon. and allow me to do this. but our appreciation of it was gone. piled everything on the dumb-waiter. Micawber put on her brown gloves. when it was done with. As for me. All this was done in a perfect manner. sir. He took that off. and stood it bolt upright. We all took some.tomorrow. with the handle of a hastily concealed fork sticking out of the bosom of his coat. wheeled the dumb-waiter into the pantry. humming a tune. and assumed a genteel languor. and stared in confusion on the table-cloth. and gravely handed it round.

Yet his very elbows.com 1 . sir. The mistake is mine. when he had his back towards me. ‘Can I do anything more. when. I rather thought he might have been here today. Steerforth coming from Oxford?’ ‘I beg your pardon. as an old schoolfellow of his was here. sir?’ ‘Is Mr.’ ‘Is Mr. in a forlorn hope of saying something naturally . sir!’ and he divided a bow between me and Traddles.’ said I.’ ‘In case you do. sir. no doubt. to this man . with a glance at the latter. seemed to teem with the expression of his fixed opinion that I was extremely young. ‘If you’ll excuse me. sir. I remained behind on purpose to see the boat Free eBooks at Planet eBook.which I never could. sir. sir. that time?’ ‘Not particularly so.’ ‘Indeed. I don’t think I shall see him first. but would he take no dinner himself? ‘None. ‘pray say that I am sorry he was not here today. No. sir. sir?’ I thanked him and said.I said: ‘Oh! Littimer!’ ‘Sir!’ ‘Did you remain long at Yarmouth.’ ‘If you should see him first -’ said I. sir. Steerforth coming from Oxford?’ ‘I should imagine that he might be here tomorrow.eyes from what he was about.’ ‘You saw the boat completed?’ ‘Yes. I am obliged to you. He was moving softly to the door.

that I always DID feel as if this man were finding me out? Mr. Micawber roused me from this reflection. How was it. ‘But punch. ‘if my friend Cop0 David Copperfield .but I really can’t say. by bestowing many encomiums on the absent Littimer as a most respectable fellow. I may remark. having so little in reality to conceal. my dear Copperfield. Mr. but my own relief was very great. Ah! it is at the present moment in high flavour. in the respectful bow with which he followed these words. Micawber. Steerforth has not seen it yet. sir. and I could not repress a vague uneasy dread that he might find it out.’ ‘I know!’ He raised his eyes to mine respectfully. ‘like time and tide. and disappeared. ‘Then I will drink. sir. my conscience had embarrassed me with whispers that I had mistrusted his master. had taken his full share of the general bow.’ He comprehended everybody present. Micawber pronounced it excellent. which was blended with a certain remorseful apprehension of seeing Steerforth himself. Micawber. I suppose?’ ‘I really can’t say.’ said Mr. waits for no man. arising from that extraordinary sense of being at a disadvantage which I always had in this man’s presence. My visitors seemed to breathe more freely when he was gone. tasting it. sir.completed. Micawber. ‘Mr. will you give me your opinion?’ Mrs. I wish you good night. I think . for besides the constraint. and a thoroughly admirable servant. and had received it with infinite condescension.’ said Mr. My love.

Micawber said it must be very little. and fought our way in the world side by side. but we couldn’t allow that.com 1 .perfield will permit me to take that social liberty. Micawber. ‘as I have repeatedly said to Mr. For corn. ‘what gowans may be. Micawber. Micawber. another glass?’ Mrs. sipping her punch. and the old indescribable air of saying something genteel. Micawber and I could have been comrades in the battle of the world. ‘As we are quite confidential here. Copperfield. of myself and Copperfield. Commission to the extent of two and ninepence in a Free eBooks at Planet eBook. So we all did: Traddles evidently lost in wondering at what distant time Mr. Mr. but it is not remunerative.’ said Mrs. Micawber argumentatively. but I have no doubt that Copperfield and myself would frequently have taken a pull at them. to the days when my friend Copperfield and myself were younger.’ said Mr. Traddles being a part of our domesticity.in a figurative point of view . Micawber. if it had been feasible. Micawber. and warming with the punch and with the fire. in words we have sung together before now. with the old roll in his voice.’ said Mrs. at the then present moment. ‘Ahem!’ said Mr. that We twa hae run about the braes And pu’d the gowans’ fine . Micawber’s prospects.’ Mr. may be gentlemanly. clearing his throat. I may say.on several occasions. ‘Mr. took a pull at his punch. I should much like to have your opinion on Mr. so it was a glassful. ‘My dear. I am not exactly aware.

I am convinced. ‘The articles of corn and coals. Copperfield. Micawber. ‘Then. I know  David Copperfield . ‘being equally out of the question. leaning back in his chair with his hands in his pockets. ‘then I ask myself this question. and that it did him much credit. Micawber. and nodded his head. a certainty. eyed us aside. We have turned our attention to that experiment. Micawber. Micawber. ‘that I have long felt the Brewing business to be particularly adapted to Mr. by a feeling murmur. ‘What is there in which a person of Mr. Micawber.’ said Mrs. Mr. what is? Are coals to be relied upon? Not at all. and keeping Mr. What is best suited to a person of Mr. however limited our ideas. that this great discovery was no doubt true of Mr. my dear Mr.fortnight cannot. Look at Barclay and Perkins! Look at Truman. be considered remunerative. and we find it fallacious. I naturally look round the world. because commission is not a certainty. and say. ‘I will not conceal from you. who prided herself on taking a clear view of things. Micawber straight by her woman’s wisdom. Copperfield.’ We were all agreed upon that. on the suggestion of my family. Micawber’s peculiar temperament is. If corn is not to be relied upon. as much as to say that the case was very clearly put. Micawber. and Buxton! It is on that extensive footing that Mr. Micawber’s talent is likely to succeed?’ And I exclude the doing anything on commission. still more argumentatively. Hanbury. Micawber. when he might otherwise go a little crooked.’ Mr.’ said Mrs.’ Traddles and I both expressed.’ said Mrs.

Micawber cannot get into those firms . Micawber’s abilities. ‘What is the conclusion. to which I am Free eBooks at Planet eBook. might found an establishment of that description. be silent. I am told.’ interposed Mr. the manners of Mr. and must extend the connexion. laying her brown glove on his hand. ‘My love. Copperfield. But if the various banking-houses refuse to avail themselves of Mr. Micawber’s hands.from my own knowledge of him. when he offers his services even in an inferior capacity .’ said Mrs. Micawber’s manners peculiarly qualify him for the Banking business.what is the use of dwelling upon that idea? None.com  . what is the use of dwelling upon THAT idea? None.’ I shook my head. But if they do NOT choose to place their money in Mr. is calculated to shine. Micawber.which decline to answer his letters. as representing that banking-house. would inspire confidence. that if I had a deposit at a banking-house. I may know that there are members of my family who. my dear Mr.which they don’t . and said. Micawber’s hands . Micawber. ‘Not a bit. Mr. that Mr. ‘I may have a conviction.’ ‘What do I deduce from this?’ Mrs. As to originating a banking-business. Micawber went on to say. and the profits. still with the same air of putting a case lucidly.’ Traddles also shook his head. Micawber. and said. ‘Not a bit. my dear.what is the use of that? Again I contend that we are no farther advanced than we were before. if they chose to place their money in Mr. or receive the offer of them with contumely. I may argue within myself. Copperfield. I may have a conviction that Mr. are e-NOR-MOUS! But if Mr. Micawber’s manners -’ ‘Hem! Really.

I should say. Copperfield. Micawber. Micawber several times of late. my dear Mr. Copperfield.’ ‘And here is Mr. ‘Then what do I recommend? Here is Mr. ‘Very well. Where does that responsibility rest? Clearly on society. allow me to conclude.irresistibly brought? Am I wrong in saying. myself. my love. Micawber. that a person must either live or die. with genius. Micawber without any suitable position or employment.’ said Mrs. it is clear that we must live?’ I answered ‘Not at all!’ and Traddles answered ‘Not at all!’ and I found myself afterwards sagely adding. ‘that what Mr. but that may be the partiality of a wife -’ Traddles and I both murmured ‘No. I may be wrong. Here is Mr.’ said Mr. with a variety of qualifications. We must. alone. Micawber. and this I have pointed out to Mr. in a measure.’ said Mrs.’ Both Traddles and I applauded it highly.’ returned Mrs. that we can not live without something widely different from existing circumstances shortly turning up. Then I would make a fact so disgraceful known. ‘Pray. forcibly. Micawber with a variety of qualifications . that things cannot be expected to turn up of themselves. Micawber. Now I am convinced. is to throw down the  David Copperfield . ‘It is precisely that. And the fact is. Micawber has to do. It appears to me. Micawber. and boldly challenge society to set it right. ‘Just so.with great talent -’ ‘Really. assist to turn them up. my dear Mr. my dear. but I have formed that opinion. with great talent .

in justice to himself. ‘is. too. is to advertise in all the papers.‘‘ I ventured to ask Mrs. in justice to his family.’ said Mrs. preserving the same logical air.on a bill. post-paid. in justice to his family.’ I remarked. by which he has been hitherto overlooked. in effect. and address. and say. Post Office. M. that I think Mr. Micawber . Micawber. ‘Exactly so!’ said Mrs.’ said Mrs.’ Mr. on remunerative terms. making his shirt-collar meet in front of his chin. and I will even go so far as to say in justice to society. Micawber how this was to be done. Micawber has to do. It is for that reason especially.‘‘ ‘This idea of Mrs. who was looking at the fire. Camden Town. with such and such qualifications and to put it thus: ‘Now employ me. ‘is Free eBooks at Planet eBook. Micawber.gauntlet to society. trifled with his eye-glass and cast his eyes up at the ceiling.com  . Micawber. Let the party immediately step forward. Micawber. my dear Mr. ‘Quite true. but I thought him observant of Traddles. dubiously.’ said Mr. and glancing at me sideways. the Leap to which I alluded. that what Mr. Micawber. Micawber’s. to W. leaning back in his chair. Copperfield! I have made the identical observation to Mr. when I last had the pleasure of seeing you. ‘By advertising. and in justice to society) to raise a certain sum of money . ‘If no member of my family. It appears to me.’ ‘Advertising is rather expensive. Micawber ought (as I have already said. in justice to himself. to describe himself plainly as so-and-so. in fact. my dear Copperfield..‘in all the papers. ‘Show me who will take that up.

Micawber should go into the City. Copperfield. my dear Mr. who took his tone from me. ‘then my opinion is. Micawber. I could not refrain from making you acquainted with the course I advise Mr. to do the same. should take that bill into the Money Market. to regard it as an investment which is sure of return. still looking at the fire. and gathering her scarf about her shoulders. Traddles. and in the presence of Mr.possessed of sufficient natural feeling to negotiate that bill . my dear Mr. Micawber. Traddles. that this was selfdenying and devoted in Mrs. and it appears  David Copperfield . did likewise. as an investment. At your fireside. suggested ‘Discount.assert himself.’ I felt. Micawber to take. that Mr. Micawber. Micawber should exert himself and . though not so old a friend. steadily. but I am sure I don’t know why. and should dispose of it for what he can get. Copperfield. Micawber. is quite one of ourselves. Micawber’s pecuniary affairs. and I uttered a murmur to that effect. I view it. I recommend Mr. that is between themselves and their consciences.I will add . Micawber to sustain a great sacrifice. I feel that the time is arrived when Mr. ‘I will not. preparatory to her withdrawal to my bedroom: ‘I will not protract these remarks on the subject of Mr.’ said Mrs. If the individuals in the Money Market oblige Mr.’ said Mrs. and to make up his mind to any sacrifice.I believe there is a better business-term to express what I mean -’ Mr.’ ‘To discount that bill. Micawber. with his eyes still cast up at the ceiling. who. finishing her punch.

I well know.the sort of woman who might have been a Roman matron. and done all manner of heroic things. but that he was an observer of character in some degree. He gave us to understand that in our children we lived again. and their sentiments were utterly indifferFree eBooks at Planet eBook. As to her family. Mrs. which I think had more snuff upon it than he was aware of.to me that these are the means. when I lived at home with my papa and mama. but her grasp of a subject is inferior to none.com  . my papa was in the habit of saying. any accession to their number was doubly welcome. under the pressure of pecuniary difficulties. I congratulated Mr. still I must not forget that. He said that Mrs. So did Traddles. and that. He then returned to the punch. but that he had dispelled them. and then covered his face with his pocket-handkerchief. and resisting our entreaties that she would grace the remaining circulation of the punch with her presence. Micawber extended his hand to each of us in succession. And really I felt that she was a noble woman . and reassured her. in times of public trouble.’ That my papa was too partial. He was full of eloquence. Micawber retired to my bedroom. Micawber had latterly had her doubts on this point. I am aware that I am merely a female. my duty and my reason equally forbid me to doubt. Mr. In the fervour of this impression. they were totally unworthy of her. in the highest state of exhilaration.’ With these words. ‘Emma’s form is fragile. Micawber on the treasure he possessed. and that a masculine judgement is usually considered more competent to the discussion of such questions.

Micawber. by saying. Micawber might drink D. Micawber telling us that he found Camden Town in David Copperfield . of hinting. After feeling very hot and uncomfortable for some time. he observed. Traddles thanked us both. and denying.. whom Traddles had honoured with his affection. that he ran with a glass of punch into my bedroom. to the steady virtues of which he (Mr. ‘Well! I would give them D. and who had reciprocated that affection by honouring and blessing Traddles with her affection. Our conversation. stammering. crying from within. with the utmost delicacy and ceremony.ent to him. by way of applause. Hear!’ and tapping at the wall. could deprive him of the impression that his friend Copperfield loved and was beloved.!’ which so excited and gratified Mr. ‘I am very much obliged to you indeed. in a shrill voice. at the state of MY affections. Copperfield. with a simplicity and honesty I had sense enough to be quite charmed with. he thanked Heaven. and after a good deal of blushing. Nothing but the serious assurance of his friend Copperfield to the contrary. I am delighted. So did I. he could admire. ‘Hear. And I do assure you. in order that Mrs. and they might . took a more worldly turn. having my glass in my hand.I quote his own expression . Micawber took an early opportunity. He said Traddles’s was a character. He feelingly alluded to the young lady. Mr. after that. who drank it with enthusiasm. but which. hear! My dear Mr. she’s the dearest girl! -’ Mr. Micawber then delivered a warm eulogy on Traddles. unknown. Micawber) could lay no claim. afterwards. I said. Mr. Micawber pledged her. Mr.go to the Devil.

over some respectable place of business say in Piccadilly. asked me. Whatever was reserved for him. was fair. We acknowledged his kindness. but which he did not expect to attain immediately. when the advertisement should have been the cause of something satisfactory turning up. Mrs. whenever I went near her. we discussed a variety of topics before the fire. he explained. fronting Hyde Park. we might rely on this . or dark. in handing about the tea-cups and bread-and-butter.there would always be a room for Traddles. Micawber. After tea. by throwing out a bow-window. and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and a knife and fork for me. they might live. and that the first thing he contemplated doing. as it would require a large establishment. There would probably be an interval. was to move. or carrying up the roof another story. comfortably and reputably.com  . Micawber. and to excuse it as natural in one who was making entirely new arrangements in life. and.convenient. on which he had always had his eye.which would be a cheerful situation for Mrs. whether D. for a few years. tapping at the wall again to know if tea were ready. or making some little alteration of that sort. . or whether she was short. in which he should content himself with the upper part of a house. or wherever his abode might be. He mentioned a terrace at the western end of Oxford Street. and he begged us to forgive his having launched into these practical and business-like details. he expressly said. and where. which I think I liked. She made tea for us in a most agreeable manner. broke up this particular phase of our friendly conversation. in a whisper. or tall: or something of that kind.

’ said I. you know. ‘Oh! You call THAT something to lend?’ returned Traddles. For both of these songs Mrs. Micawber. which I remembered to have considered. to detain Traddles for a moment on the top of the stairs. I also took the opportunity of my holding a candle over the banisters to light them down.’ said I. Micawber was good enough to sing us (in a small. leading Mrs. Mr. flat voice. she had attracted his attention in an extraordinary degree. Micawber told us. to slip a letter into my hand.’ returned Traddles. with a thoughtful look. if I were you. and ‘Little Tafflin’. ‘Traddles. ‘I haven’t got anything to lend. he had resolved to win that woman or perish in the attempt. when I first knew her. thin. Mr. with a whispered request that I would read it at my leisure. It was between ten and eleven o’clock when Mrs. and Traddles was following with the cap. I wouldn’t lend him anything. Micawber took the opportunity of Traddles putting on his great-coat. Micawber had been famous when she lived at home with her papa and mama. the very table-beer of acoustics) the favourite ballads of ‘The Dashing White Sergeant’. Micawber don’t mean any harm. when Mr. smiling.’ ‘My dear Copperfield. Micawber rose to replace her cap in the whitey-brown paper parcel. ‘Mr.Mrs. on the first occasion of his seeing her beneath the parental roof. and to put on her bonnet. but that when it came to Little Tafflin. Micawber was going first. 0 David Copperfield . that when he heard her sing the first one. poor fellow: but.’ ‘You have got a name.

and descended. ‘Yes. Micawber’s expression. and felt my heart beat high.’ ‘Oh!’ said Traddles. for it was Steerforth’s. ‘Not for that one. I returned to my fireside. I had only time to repeat my caution. ‘I should think not.‘Certainly. Micawber and the old relations between us. on the character of Mr. Traddles thanked me. At first. but as the step approached. I thought it was Traddles coming back for something Mrs. that it was provided for.’ said I.com 1 .’ said Traddles.’ said Traddles. to be sure! I am very much obliged to you. ‘Provided for. Micawber looking up at this juncture to where we were standing. I have been thinking that he will most likely propose that one.‘‘ Mr. and gave Mrs. because he told me. that he would be carried into the Money Market neck and heels. Copperfield. This is the first I have heard of that one. and was musing. ‘No. Micawber his arm. Micawber had left behind.’ ‘For the bill that is to be a certain investment?’ I inquired. ‘I hope not. But I was much afraid. I was never unmindful of Agnes. when I heard a quick step ascending the stairs.I am afraid I have lent him that already. on the way home.’ ‘I hope there will be nothing wrong about it. when I observed the good-natured manner in which he went down with the cap in his hand. I knew it. but . half gravely and half laughing. and the blood rush to my face. only the other day. Mine’s another. though. and she never left that Free eBooks at Planet eBook. That was Mr.

not her.’ replied Steerforth. Micawber had recently vacated. and I felt confounded and ashamed of having doubted one I loved so heartily. and stood before me with his hand out.’ ‘All of whom I met in the street.’ said I. of Mr. I reproached myself. and I would have made him any atonement if I had known what to make. shaking my hand heartily. ‘Why. the sight of me is good for sore eyes. Steerforth. I loved her none the less. dumb-foundered!’ laughed Steerforth. talking loud in your praise. ‘Who’s our friend in the tights?’ I gave him the best idea I could. I thought of her as the same benignant. you Sybarite! These Doctors’ Commons fellows are the gayest men in town. ‘and not at all Bacchanalian tonight. and beat us sober Oxford people all to nothing!’ His bright glance went merrily round the room. the darkness that had fallen on him changed to light. with having done him an injury. though I confess to another party of three. old boy. and stirred the fire into a blaze. in a few words. How are you. But when he entered. as he took the seat on the sofa opposite to me. which Mrs.sanctuary in my thoughts . Daisy. I believe. ‘and so is the sight of you.where I had placed her from the first.if I may call it so . as the Scotch say. in full bloom.’ returned Steerforth. Daisy. my Bacchanal?’ ‘I am very well.’ said I. giving him welcome with all the cordiality I felt.  David Copperfield . and throwing it gaily away. ‘Have I detected you in another feast.’ ‘Well. gentle angel in my life. and how to make it. ‘that I had hardly breath to greet you with. ‘I was so surprised at first.

and he must know him.’ ‘Traddles!’ I replied. with the poker.’ said Steerforth. I observed that he did the same thing while I was getting out the remains of the pigeon-pie. ‘Don’t you remember Traddles? Traddles in our room at Salem House?’ ‘Oh! That fellow!’ said Steerforth. and so forth. ‘Heaven knows.’ said Steerforth. He laughed heartily at my feeble portrait of that gentleman. Daisy. Steerforth. ‘I have been seafaring . for he had always been an odd fish. I hope? I thought he looked a little like one. for I felt that Steerforth rather slighted him. ‘Who’s he?’ asked Steerforth. dismissing the subject with a light nod.Micawber. ‘Not a bore. inquired if I could give him anything to eat? During most of this short dialogue. here’s a supper for a king!’ he exclaimed. for I have come from Yarmouth. and said he was a man to know. beating a lump of coal on the top of the fire. he had sat idly beating on the lump of coal with the poker. and a smile. ‘But who do you suppose our other friend is?’ said I. when he had not been speaking in a wild vivacious manner. in his careless way. ‘I shall do it justice. starting out of his silence with a burst.better emFree eBooks at Planet eBook. as highly as I could. ‘Why. ‘Not I. in my turn. ‘Is he as soft as ever? And where the deuce did you pick him up?’ I extolled Traddles in reply. and the remark that he would be glad to see the old fellow too.’ ‘I thought you came from Oxford?’ I returned. and taking his seat at the table.com  . triumphantly.

he certainly did not say so. I believe .in so many weeks. Steerforth!’ interested to know all about it. or months.’ said Steerforth.’ I remarked. and it’s about that.’ ‘Littimer was here today. and we’ll find it presently. that’s not it. and drinking to me. By the by’. I am afraid. Daisy.’ ‘And how are they all? Of course. indeed. ‘I have a letter for you. Steerforth.’ said I. do you mean?’ ‘Yes!’ still feeling in his pockets. now I think of it. I have not seen much of ‘em. moving my chair to the table. little Emily is not married yet?’ ‘Not yet.ployed. Old what’s-his-name’s in a bad way. ‘‘J. from your old nurse. ‘An escapade of a week or so. taking some papers out of his breast pocket. Esquire. debtor. he laid down his knife and fork.’ he returned. I saw  David Copperfield .’ ‘That’s true. ‘Have you been there long?’ ‘No. ‘and I understood him that you were at Oxford. to have been inquiring for me at all. I believe. Going to be.’ ‘Barkis. and looking over their contents: ‘it’s all over with poor Barkis. ‘As to understanding him. to The Willing Mind”. jovially pouring out a glass of wine. you are a cleverer fellow than most of us.’ he returned. to inquire for you. if you can do that. ‘So you have been at Yarmouth. though. and began feeling in his pockets.’ ‘From whom?’ ‘Why. or something or other. Patience. which he had been using with great diligence.’ ‘Littimer is a greater fool than I thought him.

Is it there?’ ‘Here it is!’ said I. homely piety that I knew to be genuine. While I deciphered it. unaffected. It was written with a plain.com  . ‘but the sun sets every day. to me. and consequently more difficult to manage for his own comfort. No! Ride on! Rough-shod if need be. It said nothing of her weariness and watching.a little apothecary there . when I had done. smooth-shod if that will do. . and people die every minute. because that equal foot at all men’s doors was heard knocking somewhere. or whatever he is . but ride on! Ride on over all obstacles. If we failed to hold our own. that the carrier was making his last journey rather fast.meaning myself. It informed me of her husband’s hopeless state. Steerforth continued to eat and drink.’ said he. and brief. He was mighty learned about the case. ‘Ride on!’ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and I think you’ll find the letter. and hinted at his being ‘a little nearer’ than heretofore.who brought your worship into the world. and we mustn’t be scared by the common lot. ‘That’s right!’ It was from Peggotty. ‘It’s a bad job. something less legible than usual. and win the race!’ ‘And win what race?’ said I. but the upshot of his opinion was. and praised him highly. ‘The race that one has started in.’ he said.Put your hand into the breast pocket of my great-coat on the chair yonder. every object in this world would slip from us. and ended with ‘my duty to my ever darling’ .surgeon.

‘and it would be in vain to ask you to go with me?’  David Copperfield . if you were in my place?’ His face was thoughtful. It is no great effort to make. that. and it was ruddy. when roused.’ ‘You have just come back. for such a friend as she has been to me.I noticed. as he paused. but she is so attached to me that my visit will have as much effect on her. ‘Then I tell you what. and his glass raised in his hand. or render her any real service. was so passionately roused within him. She will take it so kindly that it will be a comfort and support to her.’ he answered. You can do no harm. and braving of hard weather. made since I last saw it. Steerforth. as if I could do both. I had it in my thoughts to remonstrate with him upon his desperate way of pursuing any fancy that he took . I am sure. and pursued that instead. Steerforth. and will do whatever you like.’ said I. in a low voice. I think I will go down and see my old nurse. moving from the table to the fireside again. It is not that I can do her any good.’ said I. and he sat considering a little before he answered.when my mind glanced off to the immediate subject of our conversation again.such as this buffeting of rough seas. looking at me with his handsome head a little thrown back. for example . I remember. Wouldn’t you go a day’s journey. though the freshness of the sea-wind was on his face. ‘Well! Go. ‘if your high spirits will listen to me -’ ‘They are potent spirits. ‘I tell you what. there were traces in it. as if he had applied himself to some habitual strain of the fervent energy which.

still holding me as before.Bah! Nonsense! . without me?’ ‘Yes. Steerforth.’ laughed Steerforth. who are always running wild on some unknown expedition or other!’ He looked at me for a moment without speaking.’ he returned.com  . or hate. and you fly off to Yarmouth!’ ‘You are a nice fellow to talk of flying off. else? Come! Say the next day! I want you to stand between Rosa Dartle and me. having had enough of that for one while) and walked with him as far as the open road: a dull road. and then rejoined. and giving me a shake: ‘Come! Say the next day. Finding him in this intention. I wanted you to come and stay a few days with us.’ ‘Well. and it lies upon my conscience. then.You mean to go tomorrow. holding me out at arm’s length. . then. and keep us asunder. don’t go till next day. I think so. on purpose to bid you. I have not seen my mother this long time. at night. I suppose?’ he said.‘Quite. and when we Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I put on my own great-coat (but did not light my own cigar. ‘Yes. ‘I am for Highgate tonight. for it’s something to be loved as she loves her prodigal son. Here I am. and he put on his great-coat and lighted his cigar. He was in great spirits all the way. and set off to walk home. ‘no matter which. Come! Say the next day!’ I said the next day. with a hand on each of my shoulders. and pass as much of tomorrow as you can with us! Who knows when we may meet again.’ ‘Would you love each other too much.

and the undersigned is Crushed. I thought of his saying. employed by a broker. not only the chattels and effects of every description belonging to the undersigned. but also those appertaining to Mr. ‘The present communication is penned within the personal range (I cannot call it the society) of an individual. it would be  David Copperfield . as yearly tenant of this habitation. I broke the seal and read as follows. but hope has sunk beneath the horizon. which he seemed to think equivalent to winding up his affairs. I was undressing in my own room. a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. ‘It is expedient that I should inform you that the undersigned is Crushed. Thomas Traddles. lodger. ‘If any drop of gloom were wanting in the overflowing cup. His inventory includes. in a state closely bordering on intoxication. Thus reminded of it. Micawber was at any particularly desperate crisis. for the first time.parted. when Mr. that he had some worthy race to run. and win the race!’ and wished. Micawber’s letter tumbled on the floor. he used a sort of legal phraseology. Some flickering efforts to spare you the premature knowledge of his calamitous position. under a distress for rent. and I looked after him going so gallantly and airily homeward.for I dare not say my dear Copperfield. which is now ‘commended’ (in the language of an immortal Writer) to the lips of the undersigned. ‘SIR . when Mr. It was dated an hour and a half before dinner. That individual is in legal possession of the premises. ‘Ride on over all obstacles. you may observe in him this day. I am not sure whether I have mentioned that.

Also. that a friendly acceptance granted to the undersigned. for the sum Of 23l 4s 9 1/2d is over due. who was one of ten. and who was such a dear girl. to foresee that he might be expected to recover the blow. whose miserable appearance may be looked for . ‘After premising thus much. and who would wait for Traddles (ominous praise!) until she was sixty. be increased by the sum of one more helpless victim. in the course of nature. but my night’s rest was sorely distressed by thoughts of Traddles.found in the fact. by the before-mentioned Mr. and is NOT provided for. Micawber by this time. and of the curate’s daughter.’ Poor Traddles! I knew enough of Mr. it would be a work of supererogation to add. that dust and ashes are for ever scattered ‘On ‘The ‘Head ‘Of ‘WILKINS MICAWBER.com  .at the expiration of a period not exceeding six lunar months from the present date. in the fact that the living responsibilities clinging to the undersigned will. Thomas Traddles. or any age that could be mentioned. down in Devonshire.in round numbers . Free eBooks at Planet eBook.

to express my hope that Miss Spenlow was quite well. I passed an hour or two in attendance on it with Mr. were treated with so much consideration. I took that opportunity. and she was very well. with no more emotion than if he had been speaking of an ordinary human being. that I wanted leave of absence for a short time. As I did not care. that he was much obliged to me. that I was almost my own master at all times. Spenlow replied. We articled clerks. to get to Highgate before one or two o’clock in the day. and as we had another little excommunication case in court that morning. which was called The office of the judge promoted by Tipkins against Bullock for his soul’s correction. and my sight failing as I uttered the words.CHAPTER 29 I VISIT STEERFORTH AT HIS HOME. Spenlow David Copperfield 0 . there was no difficulty about it. to which Mr. however. Spenlow in the morning. with my voice sticking in my throat. and as I was not in the receipt of any salary. as germs of the patrician order of proctors. AGAIN I mentioned to Mr. and consequently was not obnoxious to the implacable Jorkins.

Steerforth was pleased to see me. that at such a time she only fixed her piercing look upon me with a more intent expression still. whose eye it was much more pleasant. before I had been half-an-hour in the house. or comprehending both of us at once. which school-house was under a gable of the church-roof. quite Free eBooks at Planet eBook.very agreeably. intent on mine. So surely as I looked towards her. and so was Rosa Dartle. did I see that eager visage. and to lie in wait for something to come out between the two. It arose out of a scuffle between two churchwardens. made the push an ecclesiastical offence. Spenlow had said about touching the Commons and bringing down the country. or passing suddenly from mine to Steerforth’s. But what I particularly observed. It was an amusing case. thinking about the Commons. and that we were attended by a modest little parlour-maid. than the eye of that respectable man. and what Mr. on the box of the stage-coach. with its gaunt black eyes and searching brow. to catch by accident. Mrs. and Steerforth’s with mine. In this lynx-like scrutiny she was so far from faltering when she saw I observed it. and the lurking manner in which she seemed to compare my face with Steerforth’s. and sent me up to Highgate.com 1 . one of whom was alleged to have pushed the other against a pump. was the close and attentive watch Miss Dartle kept upon me. the handle of which pump projecting into a school-house. with blue ribbons in her cap. and knew that I was. I shrunk before her strange eyes. I was agreeably surprised to find that Littimer was not there. Blameless as I was. and much less disconcerting. in reference to any wrong she could possibly suspect me of.

If I talked to Steerforth in his room. mind I want to know . showed me whom she meant. but beyond that. perhaps. ‘Don’t it .unable to endure their hungry lustre. to keep me back. while Steerforth and his mother went on out of hearing: and then spoke to me. like a wandering light. Is your profession really so engaging and interesting as to absorb your whole attention? I ask because I always want to be informed. ‘Ah! very true! But isn’t it a little . And I looked so. ‘without coming here. Is it really. when I am ignorant.don’t it rather engross him? Don’t it make him.Eh? . I have no doubt. I heard her dress rustle in the little gallery outside. she seemed to pervade the whole house. ‘perhaps it was a little dry.excitement and all that?’ said she. with his mother leaning on his arm.for him. When he and I engaged in some of our old exercises on the lawn behind the house. When we all four went out walking in the afternoon. but that I certainly could not claim so much for it.  David Copperfield .’ said Rosa Dartle. I saw her face pass from window to window. ‘Oh! I am glad to know that.’ ‘Oh! and that’s a reason why you want relief and change . because I always like to be put right when I am wrong. ‘You have been a long time. perhaps?’ ‘Well. and watched us. ‘You mean it is a little dry. All day.’ she said. until it fixed itself in one. I was quite lost.I don’t say that it does. though?’ I replied that I liked it well enough.’ I replied. she closed her thin hand on my arm like a spring. I don’t mean you?’ A quick glance of her eye towards the spot where Steerforth was walking.

more to myself than her. ‘that I am accountable for Steerforth’s having been away from home longer than usual . who never looks at me without an inscrutable falsehood in his eyes? If you are honourable and Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I want to found an opinion on what you tell me. Then. ‘In what is that man assisting him. Miss Dartle. unless I understand it from you. and deep into the nether lip. and slanted down the face. looking fixedly at me: ‘What is he doing?’ I repeated the words.’ ‘It certainly is not the fact. perplexed.’ said I. being so amazed.’ I returned. and the marks of the old wound lengthen out until it cut through the disfigured lip. until last night. and such a glance at me as seemed to look into my innermost thoughts. ‘pray do not think -’ ‘I don’t!’ she said. it’s not so? Well! I am very glad to know it. There was something positively awful to me in this. I have not seen him this long while. don’t suppose that I think anything! I am not suspicious. I saw her face grow sharper and paler.a little more remiss than usual in his visits to his blindly-doting .com  . I don’t state any opinion. and in the brightness of her eyes. ‘Oh dear me.if he has been: which I really don’t know at this moment. as she said. ‘What is he doing?’ she said. I only ask a question.’ ‘No?’ ‘Indeed. with an eagerness that seemed enough to consume her like a fire. ‘Miss Dartle.eh?’ With another quick glance at them. no!’ As she looked full at me.

Mrs. fierce. from which I could not dissociate the idea of pain. on this occasion. is it anger. and lifted up the corner of her lip as if with scorn. is it some wild fancy.’ I returned. ‘I swear you to secrecy about this!’ said not a word more. passionate way. or with a pity that despised its object. and the manner in which what was haughty or impetuous in him was softened by age and sex. Steerforth was particularly happy in her son’s society.might have been harder to  David Copperfield . that is leading him?’ ‘Miss Dartle. I hardly understand even what you mean. not only on account of their mutual affection.and saying. so that you will believe me. what is it.a hand so thin and delicate.I ought rather to express it. that I know of nothing in Steerforth different from what there was when I first came here? I can think of nothing. is it love. particularly attentive and respectful to her. I ask you only to tell me. I had compared it in my thoughts to fine porcelain . and Steerforth was. It was very interesting to me to see them together.faithful. is it pride. I don’t ask you to betray your friend. two such shades of the same nature . in a quick.’ As she still stood looking fixedly at me. more than once. I firmly believe there is nothing. to a gracious dignity. a twitching or throbbing. came into that cruel mark. I thought. is it hatred. She put her hand upon it hurriedly . but because of the strong personal resemblance between them. that it was well no serious cause of division had ever come between them. in her. ‘how shall I tell you. is it restlessness. that when I had seen her hold it up before the fire to shade her face. or two such natures .

’ ‘You cannot learn frankness.when your manner was different. with a smile.let me see . ‘Oh! really? Do you consider me so?’ ‘Do I constantly entreat you. Rosa. ‘to speak plainly. The idea did not originate in my own discernment. ‘and so it is that bad habits grow upon one! Really? Less guarded and more trustful? How can I. but do tell me. and was more trustful. Steerforth quickly . Rosa?’ returned Mrs. because I have been thinking about it all day.’ she returned. Steerforth. Steerforth.’ said Mrs.reconcile than the two extremest opposites in creation.and so must you. ‘but I remember.’ said Mrs.’ ‘It has become a second nature. Steerforth. imperceptibly. have changed. you know!’ she answered. pray. Steerforth.’ ‘I am sure you are right. do not be mysterious. somebody. .com  .for there was always some effect of sarcasm in what Free eBooks at Planet eBook.’ ‘Mysterious!’ she cried.’ said Mrs. but in a speech of Rosa Dartle’s. without any displeasure. I think. ‘Pray. that’s very odd! I must study to regain my former self.from James. She said at dinner: ‘Oh. Rosa. ‘Now you must really bear with me. in your own natural manner?’ ‘Oh! then this is not my natural manner?’ she rejoined.’ ‘You want to know what. and I want to know.’ said Mrs. though. We never know ourselves. I wonder! Well. I am bound to confess. when it was not so guarded. ‘Oh! I really will.’ ‘I wish you would. because I ask for information. Rosa. ‘I will learn frankness from . .

’ ‘That I am sure of.that you and your mother were to have a serious quarrel.any unlikely thing will do for a supposition .’ interposed Mrs. That would prevent it? Why. Exactly.’ said Steerforth. of course. we have not heard what it is that you want to be satisfied about?’ ‘That I want to be satisfied about?’ she replied.whether people. as this was. in a kind tone: ‘Well. who are like each other in their moral constitution.’ Mrs. ‘Thank you: . I am glad I have been so foolish as to put the  David Copperfield . ‘Dear me! Supposing then. Now. ‘To be sure. for instance . for she presently said. of course it would. supposing any serious cause of variance to arise between them. of being divided angrily and deeply?’ ‘I should say yes.’ ‘My dear Rosa. you know.’ she answered. ‘Oh! It was only whether people. who are like each other in their moral constitution . ‘If I am sure of anything. ‘Should you?’ she retorted. I pray Heaven!’ ‘Oh!’ said Miss Dartle. I am sure of that. ‘suggest some other supposition! James and I know our duty to each other better.is that the phrase?’ ‘It’s as good a phrase as another. are in greater danger than people not so circumstanced. with uncommon fervour.Rosa Dartle said. Steerforth appeared to me to regret having been a little nettled. nodding her head thoughtfully. in the most unconscious manner in the world .‘in a better school. with provoking coldness. Steerforth. my dear Rosa.’ said Steerforth. laughing good-naturedly. though it was said.

During the whole of this day. I do not know. softly. and her smile become quite gentle. for I had reason to remember it thereafter. Whether it was because we had sat there so long. was no matter of surprise to me. That she should struggle against the fascinating influence of his delightful art . to resist the captivating power that he possessed. for I knew that she was sometimes jaundiced and perverse. with as little reserve as if we had been children. and I ceased to be afraid of her as I had really been all day.’ He said it with a curiFree eBooks at Planet eBook. but always angrily. as if she condemned a weakness in herself. to charm this singular creature into a pleasant and pleased companion.com  .delightful nature I thought it then . but we did not remain in the dining-room more than five minutes after her departure. when all the irremediable past was rendered plain. more and more faintly.’ said Steerforth. I saw her try.did not surprise me either. and that was with his utmost ease. That he should succeed. and we all sat about the fire. these three years. or because Steerforth was resolved not to lose the advantage he had gained. talking and laughing together. for it is so very good to know that your duty to each other would prevent it! Thank you very much. I saw her look at him with growing admiration.case. Steerforth exerted himself with his utmost skill. I saw her features and her manner slowly change. but especially from this period of it. I believe. ‘She is playing her harp.’ One other little circumstance connected with Miss Dartle I must not omit. at the drawing-room door. ‘and nobody but my mother has heard her do that. and finally. I saw her sharp glance soften.

too.Steerforth had left his seat. or the chair from which she had risen. loves music from his soul. and we went into the room and found her alone.’ He did not touch her. which was gone directly. with her right hand. which found imperfect utterance in the low sounds of her voice. and had put his arm laughingly about her. ‘Don’t get up. She stood beside it for some little while. playing it. Rosa! and let me sit and listen as I used to do.’ said Steerforth (which she had already done)’ my dear Rosa. but not sounding it. but sat himself near the harp. ‘Much more than for any other. in her touch or voice. or set to music. and played and sang. and drew it to her with one sudden action. and this had roused me from my trance: . A minute more. going through the motion of playing it with her right hand. but not sounding it. Rosa. There was something fearful in the reality of it. in a curious way. Here is Daisy. ‘Much!’ said Steerforth. and had thrown him off with the fury of a wild  David Copperfield . and crouched again when all was still. or can imagine. Sing us an Irish song. but sprung out of passion within her. I don’t know what it was. and gone to her. and had said. ‘Come.ous smile. At length she sat down. It was as if it had never been written. I was dumb when she leaned beside the harp again. and sing us an Irish song. don’t! Be kind for once. for the future we will love each other very much!’ And she had struck him. that made that song the most unearthly I have ever heard in my life.’ ‘What do you care for an Irish song?’ she returned.

and no other mention was made of her. until I went with Steerforth into his room to say Good night. mother. I wish. She is always dangerous. with a hand on each of my shoulders. Good night!’ ‘Good night!’ said I. it’s the name I like best to call you by . holding me out. and had burst out of the room. Heaven knows. and has run into the opposite extreme. and requires great care in dealing with. and ought not to be tried. ‘Anything you like . Free eBooks at Planet eBook. I expressed as much of my astonishment as was then capable of expression. to a grindstone. herself included. Good night!’ He was unwilling to let me go. Her temper has been soured. ‘my dear Steerforth! I shall be gone before you wake in the morning. remember. and stood. since. ‘Daisy.’ he said.com  .‘for though that’s not the name your godfathers and godmothers gave you. James. with a smile . and asked if he could guess what it was that she had taken so much amiss. I wish. and sharpened it.’ said Steerforth. ‘for a little while.’ ‘You should be careful not to irritate her.and I wish. as he had done in my own room.cat. coming in. ‘Oh.or nothing! I told you she took everything.’ returned Steerforth. Then he laughed about her. and asked me if I had ever seen such a fierce little piece of incomprehensibility. ‘She has been an angel. by way of compensation. so suddenly. She is an edge-tool. Steerforth. ‘What is the matter with Rosa?’ said Mrs.’ Rosa did not come back.

and we parted. But for the reluctance I had to betray the confidence of Agnes.as I had often seen him sleep at school. you must think of me at my best. He was fast asleep. but for my uncertainty how to approach the subject with no risk of doing so. as I looked at him. You are always equally loved. if I choose. looked into his room. I left him.’ said I. and we shook hands. old boy. Daisy. with his head upon his arm. easily.let me think of him so again . Come! Let us make that bargain. even by a shapeless thought. when I almost wondered that nothing troubled his repose. I was up with the dull dawn. it did NOT reach them. that the confession of having done so was rising to my lips. as I had often seen him lie at school. in this silent hour. lying. and thus. Steerforth! to touch that passive hand in love and friendship. never more! 0 David Copperfield . and good night!’ In my doubt. .you could give it to me!’ ‘Why so I can. and that was very soon. did I feel within me. if circumstances should ever part us!’ ‘You have no best to me. ‘Daisy. oh God forgive you. and. Think of me at my best.Never more. Steerforth.’ So much compunction for having ever wronged him.’ said I. The time came in its season. ‘and no worst. if anything should ever separate us. But he slept . having dressed as quietly as I could. and cherished in my heart. it would have reached them before he said. Never. ‘God bless you.

before whose presence all the living must give place. When I came to Omer and Joram’s.was likely to have occupation enough in a little while. and went to the inn. ‘Why.’ ‘What. Omer. and dined there. if that great Visitor.in somebody else’s pipe. I entered. I knew that Peggotty’s spare room .’ Mr. so I betook myself to the inn. and engaged my bed.CHAPTER 30 A LOSS I got down to Yarmouth in the evening. eh?’ Mr. ‘how do you find yourself? Take a seat.Smoke not disagreeable. smoking his pipe by the parlour door. were not already in the house. but the shop door standing open. sir. Many of the shops were shut. bless my life and soul!’ said Mr.com 1 . Omer inside. Omer returned. not in your own. for the asthma. . ‘All the better. and placed a chair. myself. He Free eBooks at Planet eBook. and the town was dull. I smoke. ‘I like it .’ said I. I hope?’ ‘By no means. It was ten o’clock when I went out. Bad habit for a young man. laughing. I found the shutters up. and asked him how he was. Take a seat. As I could obtain a perspective view of Mr.my room . Omer had made room for me.

I have known him forty years.’ returned Mr. ‘Yes. Mr. Omer looked at me. ‘how is he?‘‘ I felt it was rather hard on Mr.’ Mr. and Mr.’ said Mr. we can’t ask how the party is. ‘We dursn’t do it. when I went in. though I had had my apprehensions too. ‘Take myself. ‘I’m not more self-interested.’  David Copperfield . Omer. sir. Bless you. without which he must perish. to move to as he went by. It’s one of the drawbacks of our line of business. it would be a shock that the generality of parties mightn’t recover. Barkis.’ The difficulty had not occurred to me. and how do you find yourself this morning?’ . to say ‘Omer and Joram’s compliments. When a party’s ill. nodding his head. ‘It’s one of the things that cut the trade off from attentions they could often wish to show. however. ‘The very question I should have put to you. gasping at his pipe as if it contained a supply of that necessary. If I have known Barkis a year. you understand. ‘but on account of delicacy. Omer. and said as much.’ said Mr. I hope. On its being mentioned.as it may be. I recognized it. with a steady countenance. yes. than another man. of hearing the old tune. Omer recruited his wind by the aid of his pipe.now sat down again very much out of breath.’ said I. Omer. Omer and I nodded at each other. and shook his head. Omer. ‘Do you know how he is tonight?’ I asked. But I can’t go and say. and I told him so.or this afternoon . ‘I am sorry to have heard bad news of Mr.

no doubt. my dear. and that man a grandfather. after hours. and then said. took several puffs in silence. ‘and I’ll find passages.’ said Mr. ‘Not at all. as if a pair of bellows was cut open. Omer. to limit ourselves to Em’ly. Omer. and if you was to please to wait till they come back. in fact (she’s there. resuming his first point: ‘Accordingly we’re obleeged. Lord bless you.‘‘ Free eBooks at Planet eBook. to my own knowledge. Will you take something? A glass of srub and water. in ascertaining how Barkis goes on. Minnie and Joram have just stepped down to the house. She knows what our real objects are. ‘it ain’t the passages that’s out of order! ‘Give me breath enough. to ask her how he is tonight. ‘because it’s considered softening to the passages. when it DOES go. I said.said Mr. now? I smoke on srub and water. ‘It ain’t that. they’d give you full partic’lers. Some good and some bad goes.’ said I to my daughter Minnie. But.’ said Mr. I’d be self-interested under such circumstances.’ said Mr.’ Mr.com  . and she don’t have any more alarms or suspicions about us. and it ain’t likely that. helping her aunt a bit). ‘Look at me! My wind may fail me at any moment.’ ‘It ain’t that I complain of my line of business. to all callings. huskily.’ said Mr. myself. Omer. Omer. I say it ain’t likely. by which this troublesome breath of mine gets into action. with a very complacent and amiable face. Omer. that parties was brought up stronger-minded. than if we was so many lambs. Omer. taking up his glass. in a man who knows his wind will go. What I wish is.

for she does.’ said Mr. as I had just had dinner. she’s unsettled at present. as divining his meaning. and she IS worth any six. observing that I would wait. ‘A long pull. that he might rub his chin: ‘I tell you truly.in a general way . ‘what I mean in a general way by the expression. hurrah!’ I should say to you. after rubbing his chin again. ‘Well.I do assure you. You must al David Copperfield . ‘It ain’t that she’s not as pretty as ever.’ ‘Why so?’ I inquired. my hearties. and it was very alarming to see him laugh.’ Mr. sir. We have talked it over a good deal. and he went on: ‘Now I consider this is principally on account of her being in an unsettled state. When he was again in a condition to be talked to. My quickness of apprehension seemed to please him. I shall be glad when her marriage has taken place.what I miss in Em’ly. and I consider it is principally on account of her being unsettled. which I declined. her uncle and myself. Omer. and a pull altogether. and smoking a little. removing his pipe. since he was so good as to invite me. until his daughter and his son-in-law came back. she is prettier. Omer. It ain’t that she don’t work as well as ever. and. and her sweetheart and myself.’ said Mr.’ said Mr. I thanked him for the proffered refreshment. for she’s prettier . you see. But somehow she wants heart. If you understand. and a strong pull. I inquired how little Emily was? ‘Well. She WAS worth any six. after business. Omer’s face and manner went for so much.He really had no breath to spare. Omer. that I could conscientiously nod my head. that that was .

would go and strain points with a little bit of a blue-eyed blossom. Omer and Joram can run their pen through what remains. Why should it be made a longer one than is needful?’ I listened attentively to the good old fellow.’ ‘I am sure she has!’ said I.’ For .’ said Mr. touching me with his pipe. ‘this.ways recollect of Em’ly. afterwards. I said.’ Well. ‘Now. ‘it ain’t likely that a man so short of breath as myself. anyhow. Her services have been more valuable than was supposed. if you begin early in life. shaking his head gently. Omer. every day.don’t you see. I mentioned to them. I don’t know about that. ‘Therefore. at all. The proverb says. and she’s free when you wish. easy-going tone. We’re no losers. tighter and tighter.’ said Mr. don’t consider Em’ly nailed down in point of time. She has made a home out of that old boat.’ said Mr.com  . that stone and marble couldn’t beat. I am certain. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. very well. ‘to see the way she holds on to him. Omer.’ said I. and acquiesced. If she likes to make any little arrangement. and closer and closer. ‘You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. If she don’t.’ said Mr. Omer. there’s a struggle going on when that’s the case. I rather think you may. and a grandfather too. Omer. like her?’ ‘Not at all. in what he said. very well still. in a comfortable. Make it your own time. is to see a sight. her learning has been quicker than was supposed. sir. in the way of doing any little thing for us at home. you know. ‘To see the clinging of that pretty little thing to her uncle. ‘that she’s a most extraordinary affectionate little thing. Now. with all my heart.

Every day she seems to get fonder and fonder of her uncle. as it appears. As it is. as neat and complete as a doll’s parlour. they would have been man and wife . it’s an uncertain state of matters. as one may say. rubbing his double chin again. and a little fluttered. and all that. ‘Well. and but for Barkis’s illness having taken this bad turn. ‘can’t naturally be expected. and more loth to part from all of us. and went and took as comfortable a little house as you or I could wish to clap eyes on. The prospect of the change and separation. That little house is now furnished right through. ‘Has she become more settled?’ ‘Why that. ‘Consequently.’ ‘I see. close to her and far away from her. in good work. is. ‘Well.you know it’s a cousin she’s going to be married to?’ ‘Oh yes. thanked me in a very manly sort of manner for this (conducting himself altogether. Anyway. poor fellow.’ said Mr. perhaps.’ I replied.’ pursued Mr. A kind word from me brings the tears into her eyes. you know. and well to do. sir! Her cousin being. but his lingering might. ‘I know him well.’ ‘And Emily. she’s more so than she was. Omer?’ I inquired. I must say. Omer.’ he returned. ‘Em’ly’s still a little down. Omer.I dare say.’ ‘Of course you do. and if you  David Copperfield . both at once. by this time. her cousin .’ said I. upon the whole. you see. sir.‘Not at all! You’re right!’ said Mr. Mr. Barkis’s death needn’t put it off much. in a way that gives me a high opinion of him). Omer. there’s a postponement.

and to Mr.for she’d take me up directly . None of us ever did. which made Mr.was to see her with my daughter Minnie’s little girl. and shut up one eye. A sad story. I determined to go to the house at once. Mr. Chillip had mournfully said in the kitchen. Omer. touched me with his pipe. however you come to know it. that he was quite unconscious. I wouldn’t wish to mention it before my daughter Minnie . whether he knew anything of Martha. Free eBooks at Planet eBook. pondering. and the Hall could only poison him. if they were all called i